This is the experience of an anonymous PBS Sidney Sussex Cambridge Interview – if you’re applying for Sciences at Cambridge then this will be a great indicator to what you need to think about when it comes to your sciences interview.
4 interviews, in Cambridge, formal interview. Just 1 interview. It lasted for 50 minutes. It took place on 11th December, so a short while after I sent my written work. I had to read a sample study review before the interview and discuss it.
We talked about critically analysing the study that i read about before the interview (reading time was 15 minutes). I felt like it was fairly up to me to steer the conversation in a certain direction. It was challenging but also incredibly enjoyable.
The tutors were all very friendly and it was a great opportunity to talk to experts in their respective fields. We talked about some biological questions, about defining mental health, whether I thought Steve Jobs was mentally ill and policy implications of scientific research.
The format was similar to what I thought. I was surprised by how academic it was and how if I hadn’t probably revised my A Level syllabus I would have failed. My favourite question was probably ‘you are looking at a painting and it is making you sad. What is going on in your brain?’.
I prepared my going through methodology for psychological studies and revising my syllabus. I would recommend being confident, make sure you vocalize each and every step of your thought process and enjoy!
I really enjoyed it and it was a great exercise for supervisions. I came out feeling relieved and proud of myself for giving well thought out answers.
I would definitely recommend people to fully make use of the opportunity as a conversation, ask questions about anything related to the field (obviously research your interviewers before) because it might be the last time you’ll get to talk to Cambridge academics!
Be analytical and approach problems with a scientific mindset but also be really good at essay writing!