Ways to Impress Your University Interviewers
If we compare job interviews with university interviews, we'll see two completely different pictures. The former are quite predictable because before very job interview there's a job description, where the employer explains in details what kind of employee they're looking for. University interviews are different because there are no descriptions and they value diversity. In order to prepare you for an interview at the university we have gathered these 4 tips:
1) Remember that all interviewers are different. Think of two completely different interviewers. Interviewer number one wants to be unbiased that's why she doesn't remember your personal statement and you're A-levels. She also hasn't looked at the references from your teacher, because she wants to form her own impression during the interview. The second interviewer is very pedantic and responsible person. He studied your personal statement, A-levels, and references carefully and he will give you an academic discussion that you may be expecting. Whom will you face? Do you know? Nobody knows! That is why you need to be yourself and be ready for everything.
2) Always do a research. It is interesting that job seekers usually do their research before going to the interview. They're browsing company's website and social media pages, looking through company's competitors and trying to understand the unique selling points of the company. On the other hand, those who are planning university interviews rarely do the research. It is highly advisable to do a research before going to the university interview. Although, you don't know who exactly will interview you can look through the online faculty listings to see who may be conducting an interview. If you're applying for a small course there will be probably 3-10 people. Search their recent publications to know their area of expertise and get acquainted with their thoughts. In case relevant topic arises you can discuss it with them, showing that you are well prepared for this meeting. If you would like to impress them, you can even ask a question about one of their articles.
3) Take it as a two-way process. Never forget that interview isn't just happing for you to convince the interviewers that you're good for the university that they represent, but also to make sure that university you're applying for is a good fit for you. If you're taking the interview as a two-way process it also shows interviewers that you're serious about your future and you want to make sure that this university is good for you. They don't just want applicants who want to enter the university to impress their grandfather. They want students who made a conscious choice to study.
4) Behave like an undergraduate. Interviewers will ask you different questions to understand what kind of person you are, whether it will be pleasant to work with or teach you or not, and whether you can grasp new ideas quickly. They will also try to figure out how strong are you in terms of logic and critical thinking. Therefore you should take an interview as a short preview of future university tuition.
Remember about these four things and your university interviews will be much easier.