How do the Oxford Interview Results Affect the Selection Process?

Oxford Interview results and the university selection process can be quite overwhelming as there are many different stages in the whole process. We set out an outline of the decision itself and the steps that follow from it.

Author: Zayra Morales

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As you prepare your application for Oxford University, it can be quite overwhelming given there are many different stages to the overall process.

By the very end, waiting for Oxford Interview results might seem like you’re on your last nerve. Especially if it hasn’t been clear exactly how much of a role each stage plays in the final outcome. We break this down today and set out an outline of the decision itself and the steps leading on from it.

What parts of my application are important?

The first thing to say is that everything; including existing and predicted grades, your Personal Statement, reference written by your school, submitted written work and the results of Admissions Tests are all taken into account when the tutors decide who to Interview for a place at Oxford. This is because they try to see an overall picture of the candidate and understand their skills as to whether they would fit in well with Oxford life.


This requires meeting demanding deadlines and a high standard of academic work. However, the best way in which a candidate can show they are suited to Oxford teaching is their performance in a tutorial-style setting, which is what the Interview is designed to mimic. Therefore, unsurprisingly, Oxford Interview results are quite a weighty factor taken into account.

Furthermore, the Interviews are a chance for candidates to make a personal impression on tutors and to show off their personalities in a genuine manner. 

Oxford Interviews Statistics

Each year, Oxford receives around 22,000 applications for 3,300 places. Oxford then shortlists around 10,000 candidates for Interviews, which is generally 40-45% of applicants every year. 

The point of highlighting these numbers is not to show that Oxford University is extremely competitive (although this is also true), but rather to show that a high proportion of applicants will be invited to attend the last stage of the process and receive Oxford Interview results in the end.

This can be useful to bear in mind because it shows that intellectual personality is still important in the Oxford University selection process. It might also offer some consolation for those who felt dissatisfied or uncomfortable with any single part of their UCAS application or Admissions Tests, because there is a chance to redeem themselves. That is as long as they show that they are a bright and motivated candidate at Interview.

With 40-45% of Oxford applicants getting invites, it is crucial you stand out. We help you demonstrate your passion, interest and experience and ace your Interview. 

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The Different Oxford Decisions

Typically Oxford Interview results are communicated to the applicant in early January after the Interviews in December.

Conditional Or Unconditional Offers

If you receive an offer from Oxford, like with all other universities, your offer will either be conditional or unconditional. Generally, for those who are applying in their last year of Sixth Form, i.e. those who still have examinations and qualifications to complete at school, their offer will be conditional. The typical conditions are always covered in Oxford’s prospectus and course pages. You will need to decide whether to accept the conditional offer by around March, and to select Oxford as your “firm” choice on UCAS.

Decisions For International Students

International students may also be asked to fulfil requirements for proficiency in English. It is also worth for any students who are sitting international qualifications (i.e. those other than A-Level, International Baccalaureate and Scottish Highers) to contact their college to alert them to this fact.

Offers After Pre-University Studies / Gap Year

For those who have completed their pre-university studies, perhaps those who took a gap year or applied later, it is possible that you will receive an unconditional offer for the Oxford Interview results. Congratulations, your place will therefore be assured once such an offer is accepted by you.

How Will I Be Contacted?

The decision may be communicated by a letter from the college handling your application, or (less likely) by email. Don’t forget, if you do have queries about the offer or about your Oxford Interview results, it is best to contact the Admissions tutor at the college you are applying to. 

Open Offers

You may receive an “Open offer”. This could still be conditional or unconditional, but all it means is that the college at which you have a place has not yet been confirmed. It is still an assured place (subject to meeting the requirements if conditional) and a college will be confirmed for you once you receive the results of your examinations.

Conditional Offers

For those who had a conditional offer, once you receive A-Level, International Baccalaureate or Scottish Higher results which meet the offer criteria, and you have accepted the place on UCAS, your place will be confirmed. The college will then get in touch and you’ll be ready for the next phase to start as an Oxford University student.

Unsuccessful Applicants

If you are unsuccessful in the Oxford Interview, or if you do not meet the criteria set out in their offer from Oxford then you will unfortunately not be able to gain a place at Oxford through clearing as the university does not participate in this system. Instead, there are options to apply again the following year or to select a different university as your firm choice.

Good luck with your Oxford Interview! We hope the above has been helpful and we wish all of this year’s candidates the best of luck. 

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