8 Habits for Success in your University Interview
Getting a place at the University of your choice is quite a challenge nowadays, due to a high level of competition coming from within your country and abroad. So doing well at the entrance interview is extremely important. What is the best way to prepare for your interview and increase your chances of securing a place at university? Read on to find out!
Doing a university interview is one of those pivotal moments in your academic career. After finally getting through school, you’ve chosen the subject you want to focus on, and you probably have an idea of what job you’d like to do. But all that depends on getting into the college you prefer. What are the key characteristics of a successful university candidate? Here are eight habits that will prepare you for doing your best at an interview.
- Be positive and enthusiastic. If this university is the place where you want to spend the next few years, show your interest and enthusiasm. Make sure you’ve found out information about the faculty and ask a couple of questions if possible. The interview is a time for both the interviewer and for you to understand if this is the right place for you.
- Be organized. This is probably an obvious point but double check you have all the necessary documents you need with you when you go to an interview. You many need a copy of your personal statement or CV and possibly your school exam results. It’s better to have everything with you rather than find you’re missing something. And have another look through your personal statement to review what you wrote because the interviewer will probably use that as a basis for questions.
- Actions speak louder than words. The interviewer will already have a good idea of your academic ability and will probably want to use the interview time to find out more about the kind of person you are. So if you have a passion for something, make sure you have concrete evidence of this. For example, if one of your interests is sport, you want to be able to say that you are part of a particular team. If you like helping people, you need to be able to give examples of volunteering for an organization.
- Get an English certificate. In a similar sense to the point above, saying you can speak English and having a certificate to demonstrate your level are very different things. Most English speaking universities nowadays require foreign students to have done one of the international certificates such as IELTS, TOEFL or TOEIC. Make this a priority if you haven’t already obtained the certificate your university of choice asks for.
- Look smart. When you’re a university student you can probably wear casual and comfortable clothing to lessons, but when you go to the interview, show how serious you are about entering the university by looking smart. Wearing elegant clothes will probably not be the reason you get into a university, but it will definitely help you make a good initial impression on your interviewer.
- Give yourself time. It’s natural to feel a bit nervous before any interview and ideally, you need to stay as calm as possible. So try to arrive at the location of your interview with plenty of time to spare, which will give you a few minutes to relax, breathe deeply and focus. And when the interviewer asks a question, give yourself a moment to think of your response. Speaking reasonably slowly will also help you stay calm and be clear.
- Give a firm handshake. According to some experts, interviewers generally create an opinion of you within the first moments of the meeting. First impressions are everything, whether that is right or wrong. So when you meet your interviewer, smile and give a firm handshake – not too tightly but not weakly. By doing this you start the interview in the best way possible.
- Be yourself. The last and perhaps most important thing is to be yourself. The university ultimately will want what is best for you as well as for them, so don’t be afraid to be completely honest about who you are.
If you don’t already have your English certificate, start studying now. Try our course finder quiz to help find the right course for you!