Congratulations for having secured a Law interview at Oxford or Cambridge!
The interview stage is your chance to demonstrate your academic potential to read an intellectually rigorous subject. To guide you through this important step in the application process, take note of the following advice.
1. Re-read your application
Before your interview, re-read your Personal Statement and familiarise yourself with its contents. If you are applying to Cambridge, remember to also go through your SAQ or COPA.
Additionally, make sure to have your Personal Statement at hand on the day of the interview. This is because your interviewers may use it as a point of reference to formulate their questions. For example, based on your application, they might ask questions such as ‘Why Law?’, ‘Why Oxford/Cambridge?’ and other questions relating to your studies.
2. Ensure you have completed your reading list
If you are applying to read Law at Oxford or Cambridge, it is likely that you have mentioned several books in your Personal Statement. While referring to the reading you have done in your application demonstrates your engagement with the subject, it is of utmost importance that you read the literature you have cited well in advance of your interview.
Depending on the style of your interview, there is a good chance you will be asked about your opinion or interpretation of a book referred to in your application. Ensure that you are able to summarise its main points and form an opinion about its contents. A thorough understanding is crucial; the Wikipedia summary will not pass muster.
Therefore, it is recommended that you embark on further research into topics and/or books mentioned in your Personal Statement. This may involve searching for relevant articles and publications to read online, or alternatively, sourcing books from your local library.
3. Explain your answers
Tutorials and supervisions are at the core of the Oxbridge academic experience. During your Law degree, you will be taught in small group lessons of normally not more than four students – the interview is a simulation of this style of teaching.
As a result, the interviewers are looking for your willingness to engage in debate and form an opinion on a certain issue. Also make sure to explain your answers and lay out your thought processes.
4. Make appropriate travel plans and aim to arrive early
Whether you might need to book a flight or buy train tickets, remember to do so in advance of your interview, as this will save you from last-minute panic.
Aim to arrive at least half an hour before your scheduled interview so that you have plenty of time to relax. If you are interviewing in College, arriving early also gives you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with your surroundings.
5. Get a good night’s sleep
Have an early night the day before your interview. With adequate preparation, there will be no point in stressing out at the last minute. What is important is that you unwind and get a good night’s sleep. If you are well-rested, there is a higher chance you will perform to the best of your abilities and think quicker on your feet.
Good luck with your interview!
Resources for school and university interview preparation:
- Interview Techniques – Highlighting Personal Experiences & Achievements
- Ampla’s Secrets for Interview Coaching
- Oxbridge Interview Case Study
- The Oxbridge Interview – Article Analysis
- Are US College Admissions Interviews Necessary?
Educated at Wycombe Abbey, Athena obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law from the University of Cambridge, where she was an Academic Scholar, President of the Cambridge University Society for Women Lawyers and Careers Secretary of the Cambridge University Law Society. Athena is passionate about learning and teaching languages. She has had experience in teaching English, English literature, and modern foreign languages, including French, Spanish and Mandarin.
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