Here Are 20 Questions to Ask in Your University Interviews
University interviews are often an important part of the college admissions process, especially for courses like Medicine or Law. If you can approach them feeling prepared and confident, you’ll maximise your chances of success in your university study.
One way to demonstrate genuine interest in both the course and university to admissions teams, and gather key information, is to ask thoughtful questions during your interview.
We know this can sometimes seem overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together 20 question suggestions below to get you started. Feel free to pick the two or three you like most, and think about how you can better adapt them to your interviews.
1. Can you tell me more about the specific course?
In your interview, it’s really important to demonstrate your genuine interest in studying your subject at this particular university and on this particular degree course.
This question shows your curiosity and proactive nature in researching your course to make sure it’s the right fit for you and your future goals.
To personalise it, you might like to ask about a specific module you know is taught, for example: “Can you tell me more about the texts covered in the first year Medieval Literature module?”. This shows you have already done research, and are looking for more specific details.
2. How does the university encourage research and academic exploration among its students?
A love of research and independent exploration is a prized characteristic that can take you far in academia. This question emphasises your eagerness to engage actively in intellectual pursuits.
It also shows your value as a potential member of the university. You’re signalling your future contributions to the academic community before student enrolment has even started!
3. Could you provide insights into the extracurricular activities and clubs on campus?
This question is a great one! It reveals a holistic approach to personal development beyond academics. By demonstrating your readiness to engage in campus life beyond the lecture theatre, you’re able to portray yourself as the well-rounded individual you are.
If you have a particular interest, or you’re looking to join a sports team, you can ask about these more closely.
4. What kind of internship or work placement opportunities are available to students?
A forward-thinking mindset will help you stand out from other applicants in your interview, and this question is an excellent way to highlight a commendable interest in bridging classroom learning with practical work experience.
By demonstrating a strong focus on career preparation and success, you’re exhibiting a valuable commitment to your degree and your future – an excellent impression to make on admissions teams!
5. How does the university integrate hands-on learning and practical experience into the curriculum?
Asking this question highlights your intent to acquire tangible skills for application in real-world scenarios. It demonstrates an active approach to learning, problem-solving and critical thinking beyond the traditional idea of academia, as well as your commitment to developing a diverse and functional skill set.
6. Are there study abroad options or international exchange programmes available?
This question signals an appreciation for diverse perspectives and a proactive attitude in seeking out new experiences. It demonstrates a willingness to embrace different cultures, learn from various contexts and expand your horizons.
This question can be elevated further if you know the university and course in question do offer these things – you can ask “Could you tell me more about the study abroad options available?” instead.
7. Can you describe the student support services for students’ mental health and wellbeing?
University can, at times, be daunting. You’re in a new environment surrounded by new people – often living away from home for the very first time! Acknowledging this shows an awareness of the realistic university experience, as well as a proactive approach to supporting yourself in the best way.
By reflecting a concern for holistic wellbeing and a healthy academic journey, you’re demonstrating an invaluable readiness to seek support.
8. What initiatives does the university have in place to promote diversity and inclusion among the student body?
The university community is a diverse one. With students coming to study from all over the world from different countries, cultures and backgrounds, it’s important to understand the value of inclusivity, equality and cultural awareness.
In particular, this question signals a readiness to engage in meaningful discussions and contribute to a diverse and inclusive learning environment for all.
9. Can you share some notable success stories or career paths of alumni from this course?
This question works nicely for demonstrating a long-term mindset and a proactive approach to your future career. It’s a great opportunity for you to show your interest in leveraging the university’s resources and network as a launchpad for success!
10. How is the university committed to sustainability and environmental awareness?
In your interview, it can be helpful to emphasise an alignment with global sustainability concerns. It reflects an awareness of the world around you and a proactive mindset towards mitigating climate change as a student.
Additionally, it illustrates your potential to engage in eco-friendly initiatives and contribute to socially responsible efforts in the university community.
11. What technology, resources and facilities are accessible for academic research and projects?
Asking this question signals a readiness to utilise the university’s advanced tools and resources for academic inquiry and innovation, demonstrating a valuable interest in maximising research potential.
Moreover, an interest in leveraging technology for learning is something that illustrates a passion for academic research, and consequently your value as a potential future member of the university.
12. How does the university maintain a balance between class sizes and individualised attention for students?
This question illustrates a keenness for personalised learning and student-faculty interaction, emphasising your desire for an optimal learning environment that fosters active engagement and support.
If you’re looking for an early taste of university, our residential summer courses combine tutorial-style teaching and small class sizes, making for a nice introduction to the university experience.
13. Can you highlight the campus facilities, libraries and equipment available?
Enquiring about the available facilities on campus not only provides you with essential information about university life, but also demonstrates an intent to leverage resources for academic success. This question reflects an awareness of the role of well-equipped facilities in enhancing the learning experience.
14. In what ways does the university encourage students to take on leadership roles and contribute to the community?
In your interview, it’s especially valuable to signal an interest in personal growth, community engagement and leadership development. It shows a willingness to take on responsibilities, and an organised nature fit for taking initiative.
This question also demonstrates a readiness to contribute to campus life, collaborate with peers, and make a positive impact!
15. How does the curriculum promote critical thinking and interdisciplinary learning?
Asking this question reflects an appreciation for a comprehensive and innovative education. An awareness of the importance of multidisciplinary skills and analytical thinking can really make you stand out to an interviewer. Not to mention, it’s a great way to show your interest in applying your knowledge and skills across a range of industries in the future!
16. What opportunities exist for students to engage in community service?
This question demonstrates a commitment to social responsibility and giving back to your community. By reflecting an understanding of the role of community engagement in personal development and societal impact, you’re able to show yourself to be a thoughtful and socially conscious individual.
17. Could you provide information about financial aid, scholarships and financial support for students?
It can be really valuable to demonstrate an awareness of available financial resources and a readiness to explore scholarship opportunities. When you ask about student financial support, you signal a practical approach to managing educational costs and planning for the future.
Even if your course has nothing to do with finances, showing that you’re proactive and organised will make you a desirable candidate for any course.
18. Can you elaborate on thesis opportunities and collaborative research partnerships?
This question illustrates an interest in hands-on learning, research and academic projects. As well as providing important information about what your degree experience might look like, it also shows a readiness to engage in rigorous academic challenges and contribute to scholarly work.
19. How does the university foster a collaborative learning environment for students?
An interview is the perfect chance to show why you’re a great fit for the university. An eagerness to work with others is an extremely valuable trait, so it’s important to signal an appreciation for diverse perspectives and collaboration – let the interviewers know that you’re keen to help others as well as yourself!
20. What is the university’s long-term vision for its students and their academic and professional growth?
This is a great final question to illustrate an interest in aligning your aspirations with the university’s mission. It shows a desire to contribute to the university’s legacy and vision through your academic journey, leaving a lasting impression on the interview panel.
By highlighting your priorities and all that you value, an interviewer can better understand your motivations and passions, and your potential benefit to the university.
We hope this list has been helpful in your university interview preparations. Don’t forget to save our handy resource below (or print it out if you’re feeling old-school) for questions on-the-go!
By Jessica Mason
Jessica is currently studying a BA in English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, and has a particular interest in Early Modern theatre. She enjoys writing articles and has lots of experience in student journalism.
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