The Most Common Cambridge Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

Preparing for Cambridge interview questions is not an easy task. (Sometimes even more so for the parents). There are so many possible things that they could ask. However, to help guide you through, we’ve put together some common Cambridge interview questions to look out for. Most of which come in various ‘types’. Let’s go through some examples….

The ‘university’ questions:

Cambridge interview questions are often more of a test of how aware a candidate is of what they have applied for and what this means for their application. These questions are usually:

  • Why did you choose Cambridge?
  • Why this college?

These common Cambridge interview questions may seem ridiculously simple. However, they are also a good opportunity to demonstrate a passion for the University and for the subject. For example, the best answers to questions like this are answers based around the subject, the course, the college, and the subject the tutors at that college specialize in. With this in mind, it is worth your child knowing that they need to do their research! Being able to answer these questions shows an interest, passion, and knowledge of the University.

The ‘moral’ common Cambridge interview questions and ‘looking ahead’:

  • How do you think that you studying this subject can affect society or add to it?
  • How important do you think this subject is in terms of humanity?
  • What do you want to be after university, and why?
  • What do you expect to gain from going to university?

These common Cambridge interview questions are a chance to argue why the subject is important on a wider scale, how it can benefit society and why. The tutor will probably feel the same way but they are testing candidates to see if they have looked at their subject from a larger perspective. They do not want to see students applying to Cambridge just to receive a good degree for their next step in life.

The ‘personal statement’ questions:

  • What is your favourite thing about your subject?
  • What do you not like about this subject?

These are both surprisingly tricky common Cambridge interview questions. The former is difficult because candidates will need to make sure that they avoid regurgitating the personal statement or the work that they have handed in. In addition, it is a bad idea to be too specific and talk about one very small area of study. The latter is difficult because it is not clear whether it is a trick question.

It is important to remember that it is okay not to like certain aspects of your subject, but keep it within reason. Furthermore, if areas of dislike within the subject are mentioned, it should be backed with good reasons.

For example, candidates could say the following:

“I find it difficult at the moment, but I hope to understand it better over the course of my degree.” Or, “I find it too simplistic, and prefer more complex areas of study”.

We’ve got more tips on how to answer these hard Oxbridge interview questions and more. Overall, though, the best thing is to communicate a passion and dedication for the subject.

For further practicalities and advice on the interviews, visit the Cambridge interviews page. However, if you want more examples of the interview questions that could come up, then we recommend reading how to answer the strange Oxbridge interview questions.

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