The Interview: Things I wish I had known

I wish I had known that it is okay to ask questions to clarify what the interviewer is after, it doesn’t make you look bad to ask questions, in fact, it can show that you’re engaged!

– Charles Pidgeon, English

I wish I had known that the Tutors aren’t there to trip you up. They’re looking for the good things you say so they can let you in, not trying to find a mistake which means you won’t get in – it’s sometimes easy to forget that they want you to do well.

– Ollie Watson, Medicine

1. I was particularly worried about what to wear to my interview but it’s not as important as I first thought! Your clothes should feel comfortable and feel like “you”. I wore a simple dress and a jacket, you definitely don’t have to wear a suit (unless you want to), just something neat and presentable. Remember, the tutors are interested in your thinking processes, not in your dress sense!

2. I wish I had known that Oxford is a place for all kinds of people. I was worried about not fitting the “Oxford mould” but the truth is, there isn’t one! So just turn up as you, that’s the best thing you can do.

– Ailsa Cookson, Modern Languages

I wish I had known before I arrived that yes, it is scary but it’s also really fun. It’s an amazing opportunity to sit with these tutors and talk about a subject you love. You spend your time with other people as passionate about your subject as you and that makes it really enjoyable.

Rosie Barker, Physics

I wish I had known how important it is not to have expectations of anything, and to come with an open mind to everything.

– Imran Hashmi, Modern Languages

That it is okay if you don’t know the answer – often you’re not expected to! – as the tutors will help you to try and figure it out.

Beth Thompson, Biology

What really surprised me was that interviews at Oxford could be fun! The tutors at LMH put me totally at ease and I loved talking about my subject and the texts I’d been given with experts in the field. It felt more like a chat than an interview, even though I was being really stretched by the questions.

– Helena Walters, Modern Languages

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