We understand that interviews can seem a stressful part of the selection process. These notes may help to reassure you. Some students even find that they enjoy the experience!
Interviews form just one small part of our overall assessment of you. We explain exactly what your interview day will involve when we write to invite you. We understand that you may feel nervous particularly at the start of the interview and that you will feel more comfortable with some topics than others. You will have at least one interview about your chosen subject and also often a general interview.
All of our interviewers are trained and experienced and will try to put you at your ease. Subject interviewers will share your passion for your subject and be keen to discuss it with you. They will assess your current knowledge and they will also ask questions which take you into more unfamiliar territory to see how you handle new concepts and ideas. They won't expect you to know all the answers but they will expect you to have a go, perhaps by telling them how you would approach the problem. General interviewers also help to assess you and will often ask you more widely about your interests and your academic progress.
You shouldn't need to prepare in any particular way but you may find it useful to talk about your subject with an interested teacher or friend beforehand. You may find it helpful to watch one of the short videos of a Cambridge interview or read about the interview experience of a direct applicant.
Your performance will be reviewed alongside that of others who come for interview and in the light of all the other information we have about your strengths. We look for a strong grasp of relevant current knowledge and the potential to tackle less familiar problems and concepts.
We suggest you dress comfortably for interview and we certainly don't expect you to buy a smart new outfit. We provide any meals free of charge while you are with us and will also offer you a free overnight stay if you have a long way to come. In addition, our current students run a very popular Help Desk on interview days. They welcome you when you arrive in College, guide you to the interview rooms and chat with you about the College and how your day is going. If you stay overnight, they usually invite you to drop in and chat over drinks and biscuits during the evening.
Finally, bear in mind that we only interview those students who have a realistic chance of a place at Cambridge. So if we invite you it means we are seriously considering you for a place.
Invitations to Interview - December 2018
So far we have contacted applicants for the following subjects
Classics (7th November)
Linguistics (7th November)
Architecture (8th November)
History of Art (9th November)
Music (9th November)
Mathematics (14th November)
Archaeology (15th November)
Law (16th November)
Modern and Medieval Languages (19th November)