Preparing for an interview is tough enough, but preparing for some of the hardest Oxbridge interview questions is even more daunting.
With such high demand from Oxbridge universities, it’s understandable the pressure you feel to get your answers right. Let us help, as we tackle the hardest and most asked question in the interview process…
What are the hardest Oxbridge interview questions?
The hardest Oxbridge interview questions are often the most obvious. One question, in particular, stands out from the rest:
Whilst this might seem like the most obvious Oxbridge interview question, it does get asked, and it is one question you should really think about before going into the interview!
It’s also completely understandable to find this the hardest Oxbridge interview question to deal with.
Personal and honest answers are best. Yes, unfortunately, that does mean we can’t prepare your answer for you, however, we can give you the following pointers to think about. Read on to find out what they are.
#1: Show your academic rigour
This point ties in very well with drawing-in your own skills and strengths, giving you the chance to show your personality to the interviewer.
Can you think of examples that show you are hard-working? Diligent? Curious? Are you keen to discuss intellectual topics with top academics? Would you like the opportunity to be working with some of the best in the field?
This is not to say you should regurgitate all the buzz-words, but you should recognise that Oxford and Cambridge are universities which specialise in high-quality academic work. They will look for certain aspects from their applicants.
Most will look for people who are keen to learn, and who will commit very seriously to their studies.
To make your answer to this Oxbridge interview question personal, try and think of examples which demonstrate your skills!
Write these down, reduce them to bullet point form, and practise saying them to other people so that it sounds more natural when the actual interview comes around.
#2: Talk about the tutorial system
While the tutorial system can be very stressful for any Oxbridge student, there’s no doubt it can also be gratifying, and it is undoubtedly a unique feature of the Oxbridge education.
If you’re not super-confident about this last point, don’t worry, we understand that it’s a terrifying concept (especially if you may think you’re not Oxbridge material)!
As long as you understand the value of such an exercise and how will it improve your own development, you’re sure to fly through your interview.
The whole point is to show that you are comfortable and willing to work in the Oxbridge environment. They want to find students that will fit in!
Just by being yourself and giving it your best shot will really help you to face the hardest Oxbridge interview questions!
Don’t forget, after all, that the interview itself is designed to test how you do in this setting. So try and relax into it.
Show them that you have thought about it and that you’ll be excited to get your first taste of the tutorial system Oxbridge is famous for!
#3: Mention the collegiate system
The collegiate system is one of the main defining features of Oxford and Cambridge and a very big attraction for many people who want to study at either university.
Again though, you should think about why the collegiate system suits you.
- Do you like the idea of your college being your academic and social base because it will give you a sense of belonging?
- Are you keen to make the most of all the facilities and support on offer by your college so that you can focus on your learning and development?
- Have you spoken to Oxbridge students, past and present, and discussed the advantages or disadvantages of the system?
Our Final Words Of Wisdom
Don’t forget, you don’t have to enthuse all-positive comments about the Oxbridge system in your interview. Being thoughtful and realistic will reflect well on you too.
If you do have particular concerns about the collegiate system, or anything else about the Oxbridge set-up, show that you have considered how you might approach your issue and it will strengthen your application and show that you are being genuine.
We offer expert support to help you get through Oxbridge interviews.
By preparing for your interview you give yourself the best chance of Oxbridge admission. Don’t fall victim to late preparation by waiting until you get your offer!
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