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Oxbridge interviews(73 Posts)
Hello- does anyone have any experience with the Oxbridge Interview advice companies which help prepare candidates with mock interviews/workshops? Just having a quick google and they charge a small fortune.... anyone rate them or heard good things? Thanks in advance
They are all charlatans and not necessary.
Has your DC got an interview? DM me for some off-board advice, but please don't spend your hard earned cash in this way.
You can try ringing the department in your local university, and asking if anyone can assist with a mock interview (better if DC or school do it though).
I've done mock Oxbridge interviews in my two previous institutions - one offered the option to local schools, iirc, and at the other, it came under widening participation and was arranged through one of the service departments (possibly admissions?)
Don't pay a company for it.
Hi OP there is an Oxbridge thread link: Oxbridge applications 2019 (part two). http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/higher_education/3430936-oxbridge-applications-2019-part-two
Hopefully some of the people on there will have some good advice and support.
I would also say don’t spend the money. However getting anyone to give a realistic Oxbridge interview is really difficult. The interview will mostly be about the subject and whether the candidate thinks in a way that leads to being successful at these universities given their teaching methods. This is very difficult to replicate.
My DD attended a private school and her mock interview was woeful. The person didn’t know anything about her subjects so just asked questions that were not remotely relevant. DD didn’t know they were not relevant of course and then became worried.
What we learnt from the experience is to be yourself. Wear something comfortable. Remember what you have written on your PS about your undying love for X author’s books and be prepared to chat about that if asked. The PS is usually an ice breaker.
Then it’s down to the student to engage with the lecturers because it’s essentially a conversation where they challenge the applicant. If you answer a question they may want to know why you thought that way. It’s an exploration of thoughts. I don’t think you can really be taught how to do this. What you can work on is confidence, (not over-confidence of course), being familiar with your subject as much as possible given that the applicant is an A level student, and doing well in the pre tests! Over coached people never seem to be themselves and I think they are spotted.
Don’t waste your money was our school’s advice . I’ve found very helpful info on student room . Students will tell you more on the interviews there ( takes a bit of time finding the relevant posts ). I would say maybe if your daughter doesn’t come from a school where they prepare for Oxbridge interviews , she can just say that to them ? Good luck to her .
Thanks everyone for your advice. She wants to read Vet Med so quite specialised but I do agree that you shouldn't have to pay and these companies are tapping into our insecurities!
That’s a very specialised degree and all universities interview. Do any of them give interview advice on their web sites? Also, has she met any Cambridge educated vets locally that she could talk to? Look at the vet web sites and see if any are Cambridge educated. The younger the better! Also pay huge attention to pre tests. These may well be more important than the interview.
Thanks BubblesBuddy. That is excellent advice
Very good advice from BubblesBuddy. From my limited experience (DD started at Cambridge this year) the interviewers aren’t that interested in what the applicant already knows or doesn’t know. The purpose of the interview is to identify the edge of their knowledge and then set them a question to see how they deal with it. So the candidate has to think out loud explaining their thought processes. And if they get stuck the interviewers will give them a bit more info to guide them along the way. So it’s not really something you can revise or prepare for. And the PS is just used as an icebreaker to relax them a bit in the first few minutes before the real business starts. It’s about mental agility and being able to absorb new ideas and quickly link them to what you already know, so trying to stay relaxed and genuinely enjoying the discussion, if you can, helps!
I woke up to good news - mail came last night ! Someone’s had a long week ! How nice of them to send it out so late on a Friday evening .
Re interviews : I’ll ask my son what they do . at his school .I think it’s more confidence and presentation but I’ll ask .
Hello all, I find this and the Oxbridge applicants thread invaluable. Not too active but am reading you all with interest. Congratulations to all DC who have interviews already and commiserations to the ones without invites.
I have a question about the period of waiting in the colleges . How does it work exactly? Do the DC need to sit and wait around and check the board regularly to see if they are to be interviewed again when and where? How many interviews maximum they could possibly have? Do they inform them when they are done and can go home?
Which uni puzzled ? I’ve been reading all about oxford . They have a leaflet that I found online that’s very useful . So mine is invited to Kebles but might be interviewed by other colleges . Now pay attantion as I did all the googling for you : anything can happen . That you just are interviewed by your college or that you are interviewed by 2 more - it’s for their organisation and your child should not worry as anything can happen and it doesn’t mean one outcome or another . I think you’re right : they check if they have interviews and if not they have free time . I’m not sure if anyone from my son’s school has interviews on the same day . I think my son is ok a few days on his own . You can take your laptop and lock your room I guess ? And some books . Or socialise if you’re that way inclined ;-)
Biscuit's advice is spot on. DD had exactly that experience last year - cried in her interview and thought there was no way she'd get a place - she's now nearing the end of her first term...
I would never pay for interview prep. Interviewers can spot it a mile off. Good advice on uni website about questions etc. DC need to be themselves (even as far as dress is concerned) and try and treat it as what it is - a sample tutorial. That sort of teaching doesn't suit everyone - and DC have a decision to make too!
Yes, there is a lot of waiting around. Some choose to stay in their rooms, others to hang out in the JCR, you can even go for a wander. I think they are told when to check the boards - and they shouldn't let that freak them either - getting more or less interviews isn't always indicative of how well you've done!
Good lunch to all DC approaching interviews - they should be proud of getting this far - whatever the eventual outcome.
My DS has a VetMed interview at Clare Cambs in a couple of weeks. When's your DSs interview?
Sorry that should have said DD...👍🏻
My DH is an Oxbridge interviewer and he’s told me that they are looking at how the students think, how they go about solving a problem, whether they are teachable, and how they can contribute to the class if they are accepted. Crying during the interview isn’t a problem! They understand how overwhelming it is. They will already know a lot about the students, so being yourself, as others have written, is the best advice. Also, those 2-3 days of interviews is quite brutal for the interviewers as well! 😀
Thanks for the responses. Rianna** DD is applying to Christ Church, Oxford. In the invite they mention that there might be other interviews at other colleges but have not specified which one. On TSR some students seem to know where and when is their second interview but I suppose it differs for all.
It is good for them to know when to check the boards etc as there is nothing worse than being stuck in one place and not able to go for a wander all day for 4 days!
His mail says something like he might get interviews at more colleges but not which ones . I would not worry about her once she’s there - they will know what to do and be looked after very well . I’ve been before at the uni and everyone was friendly and the children looked after very well . It’s all very normal people . not stuck up , when chatting to me not being judgemental about me not having a career etc . I can’t imagine they have prejudices against state educated children either ( don’t know about your daughter but just to reassure everyone). It’s all very normal and friendly with everyone in jeans .
My DS has been told about pooling. If a certain college feels you're not right for them they'll give another college the chance to see if they want you.
Rianna, thank you! I have this book too but have not had the time to look at it in detail. I am not worried at all when she is there. In fact, I don’t think I am actually worried now. They have the opportunity to interview so it is completely up to them to perform now. My DD is from a very selective grammar and previously from an indie, she can handle attitude . I also believe that should they be accepted, it would be in the best college for them.
Puzzledmum Oxbridge Applications is a commercial company.
Puzzledmum I think you said your DD is applying for Biology. That means that when she arrives at ChristChurch the board will say where her second college interview is and what time it is. For Biology (as for a number of sciences, including Medicine) this is not a pooling interview as such, but completely standard for every Biology applicant. It's completely different from the system with History for example, where you may or may not get asked to go to another college after the tutors get together on the evening of the second main day of interviews. That sort of second interview is entirely different and almost always (though not always) means that you've not been selected by your first choice college.
Please ignore if she's not a Biology applicant