By Abbie McBain
You’re probably thinking “I’m so unlucky to be doing my interviews online! Why me? Why this year?” Don’t worry if you are, you’re not alone. Being interviewed online may seem pretty restrictive and you may think you’re missing out on some great opportunities – but there are actually some benefits to online interviews that you may have overlooked.
Comfort – You can literally wear what you want! Tutors will never judge you on what you wear, but it’s always good to look presentable in interviews. At home, you can wear a nice top/jumper and have sweatpants on at the same time. This just makes the situation more comfortable. Also, your surroundings will be more familiar to you. You can alter the temperature to how you want, sit in any chair you desire, choose lighting which best suits you. These may sound like trivial things but you’d be surprised at how being in a nice environment is more conducive to learning and thus, answering questions.
Isolation – this might seem like a negative but being isolated away from others will potentially relieve you of unneeded stress. For example, after my first interview (which went terribly) I sat next to my friend in college and asked her how her interview was. She told me it had gone really well and that she’d been able to answer all the questions competently. Immediately I thought – well I haven’t gotten in – and this upset me for the rest of the evening. At home, you have no one to compare to, no one to tell you that you did or said something wrong – in my experience, this is actually a lot nicer. As a wise person once said ‘ignorance is bliss’.
Finance –the university normally provides food and accommodation and subsidises/helps with transport costs but going to Oxford, in general, is fairly costly. By interviewing online, you’re essentially saving yourself money!
Knowledge – the benefit of online interviews is that if you want to, you can immerse yourself in your subject, right until the interview begins, with no distractions of travelling to Oxford, meeting new people.
Truth be told, interviewing online isn’t ideal and many people sympathise with you. You’ve just got to keep your head held high and give it your best shot - that’s all anyone can do in a situation like this. I hope this has put your mind at ease! Good luck for your ‘virtual’ interviews!