Being invited to an Oxford Interview is an incredible achievement and something to be incredibly proud of.
Knowing what to expect is a big question, as being prepared for an Oxford Interview is essential to impressing.
Oxford Law student Sophia Paraskeva shares her experience of the Interview, so you know what is in store.
Getting My Oxford Law Interview Invitation
It was the first week of December when I received my Interview invitation.
I, truly, cannot explain the emotions that overcame me when I saw that I had been invited to Interview at Oxford. It is a feeling like no other and a moment I will cherish forever.
Once I had taken a moment to take it all in, that was when it really hit me – I was being Interviewed to study Law at Oxford.
Although, I was really surprised by how late notice I was given as to when my Interviews would be. There were just under two weeks for me to prepare before I had to go to Oxford.
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Preparing For My Oxford Law Interview
With so little time before I was off to Oxford I knew, I had to make sure I got enough preparation in for my Interviews.
On the whole, I did not do a lot of preparation and probably should have started preparing much earlier than I had because of how late the Interview invitation was sent out – but this is just me looking back on it in hindsight.
Looking back, I know that there are preparation courses which would have given me this headstart to my preparation so it would not have felt so last minute. If I had joined one, then there is a strong possibility I would have performed even better than I did.
One of the first things I done, was read over my Personal Statement. It had been a while since I looked at it so felt it would be beneficial to remind myself of what I had wrote in it.
As well, I was aware that I would possibly be asked questions based of what I had included in it so wanted to try and prepare myself for anything that could come up.
I thought about what they could potentially question me on and come up with some ideas of what I might say – but I did not want to rehearse anything so that it sounded more genuine on the day.
The other thing that I done was keep on top of the current legal news. This was partly to show that I was keeping on top of current affairs – showing that I have been taking an active interest in Law.
Additionally, I knew there was a chance I would be asked about legal news in my Interview, so I wanted to be as prepared as possible.
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The Day of My Oxford Law Interview
On the day of my Interviews there was three distinct parts of the day: before, during, and after the Interviews.
How I felt and what I was thinking at each point formed a different part of the day for me.
Before My Oxford Law Interview
Before my Interview, I was trying to keep myself as relaxed as possible, as not to stress myself out and overthink what was going to happen.
So, in general, I was pretty relaxed – aside from the normal nerves.
The student helpers, really helped with this too as they were all just so lovely and were able to take my mind off of it all.
(For those who do not know, the interview helpers are there to reassure candidates and to arrange entertainment during the day. Make sure to ask them plenty of questions about their experience at Oxford as that is what they are there to do!)
I spent some time in the Junior Common Room (JCR) – these are colleges versions of a students’ union that provides a place to relax and unwind – which was really cool to see, and I spoke to some of the other candidates there.
During My Oxford Law Interview
I expected to be so nervous whilst actually taking part in the Interview but surprisingly I was far more relaxed.
This was obviously a really good thing, it meant I did not panic, and it allowed the responses to flow from me.
I wanted to try and establish as much of a rapport as possible in the time allocated – I had two 30-minute Interviews – as I knew I was being Interviewed by the people who could potentially become my tutors.
As well, with the Interview meant to be like the tutorials that are part of my course I wanted to know what it would like to learn and adapt in such a situation.
On the whole I really did feel comfortable during my Interview which I am so thankful for as I am sure that is what helped me do so well and ultimately get my dream place to study at Oxford
The confidence I gained in myself, and my responses just kept increasing throughout the whole Interview – I know it may not seem easy to do, being relaxed, but it truly made the difference for me.
Questions I Was Asked During My Law Interview
I honestly do not remember any particular questions I was asked, I applied for 2019 admission, meaning my Interview was in 2018 so it has been a while!
What I do remember was that I was given two cases to read over, and they are what framed my Interview. Again, I do not remember the specific cases that I was given.
Once I had read them, we delved straight into the questioning, and this was the bulk of what I was asked.
This is primarily why I was so glad I had spent that reading up on what was in the news as I had been in the mindset of understanding what a piece of text was about.
After My Oxford Law Interview
Once the Interview was done there really was not much more I could do. I had done what I had set out to, which was show off the best possible side of me to the Admissions Tutor.
In truth, I felt it went as well as it could have. I did not leave the room feeling like I should have said something different, or I was overly confident. I was really content with everything and knew I did the best I could.
Now, it was just for the endless wait to find out whether or not I had gotten accepted.
What Surprised Me Most About My Oxford Law Interview
What truly surprised me was just how relaxed the Admissions Tutors were.
It makes sense though, them giving off that energy is what played a big part in me being able to stay so calm and comfortable the whole time.
If they were not so calm, chances are I probably would have panicked and let my nerves get the best of me but I was able to maintain a cool head thanks to them.
My Favourite Part Of My Oxford Law Interview Experience
What really stood out to me as the highlight of the entire experience was getting to stay in the college accommodation.
It was just so different to staying in a hotel overnight and added to the Oxford experience.
This meant I also got to meet other candidates who were there for their Interviews which was really nice.
This all just added to the experience for me. I kept thinking to myself that even if I was unsuccessful, I had made it here and got to stay in one of the colleges, which is no easy feat and not something a lot of people are able to say they have done.
My Tips and Advice For an Oxford Law Interview
I am by no means an expert on what it is like to have an Interview at Oxford, but there were definitely some key takeaways from the time spent in Oxford and the Interviews.
Firstly, looking back, I am happy with how I performed on the day – I feel I should be; I got accepted to study Law at Oxford at the end of the day.
At the time, I felt that the preparation I had done was sufficient but looking back and knowing now that there are Interview preparation programmes out there, I would have utilised one of these. In hindsight, there probably was room for improvement in my Interview, which, if I had joined an Interview programme, would have been explained to me.
Secondly, my main piece of advice would be to remember that the Interview is an opportunity to show that you are teachable – not that you are the finished product.
As mentioned before, the interview is meant to be like the tutorials, so Admissions Tutors want to see that you can be taught in such an environment.
The Oxford Law Interview, truly, is an experience like no other, and getting invited to one is a great achievement. My final piece of advice then is to simply enjoy the day, chat with your fellow candidates, and take part in the activities going on, as the more relaxed you are, the more confident you will be.
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