Are all applicants interviewed?
No. We only interview those who have a realistic chance of getting in, when judged by past and predicted exam results, school reports, personal statements and the pre-interview test. Applicants who do not take the pre-interview test will not normally be shortlisted for interview. Candidates from overseas may be considered without interview or interviewed online: see the interview arrangements for international students webpage on the University website.
What happens at interview?
The interview is not primarily a test of existing knowledge. It is aimed primarily at assessing the candidate’s potential for future development. Interviewers will be looking for evidence of the candidate’s potential for development in the following four areas:
Understanding: this can be shown in (for example) a candidate’s ability to listen carefully, to analyse problems, to identify the premises and conclusions of arguments, and to express in their own words someone else’s ideas.
Intellectual flexibility: this can be demonstrated by (for example) a candidate’s willingness to consider alternative views, and readiness to respond to problems and criticisms.
Critical thinking and problem-solving: this can be shown in (for example) a candidate’s ability to adopt logical and critical approaches to problems, to critically assess arguments, to identify good and bad reasons for believing a particular claim, to assess relevance, and to think independently.
Communication: this can be shown in (for example) a candidate’s ability to express ideas clearly, to give considered responses to questions, and to address the point under discussion instead of veering off topic.
More information about interviews, how to prepare, and sample questions is in the interviews section of the University website.