Nail your college interview

Got an interview for your course? Find out what to expect and how to impress.

2 minutes

A college interview is different from a job interview. It’s more like a discussion so that you and the course leader can figure out if it’s the right fit for you. 

You want to enjoy your studies. Part of that is making sure you’ve considered all of the changes ahead. The opportunity to chat about this is an important part of the selection process. 

What to expect

You will be contacted to arrange an interview, most likely through email. Make sure to check your emails regularly, including your junk or spam folder.  

Your interview could be in person or over video or phone call. You’ll be told where your interview will be well ahead of time. We have some top tips on how to prepare for video and phone interviews which could help.  

Interviews are different depending on the course. Many interviewers will spend some time chatting at the start of a call before asking any questions. This is to help you relax.  

Here are some standard questions you should be ready to answer: 

  • what do you know about the subject you are applying to study? 
  • why are you interested in this subject? 
  • why do you want to attend this college in particular? 
  • what are your short-term and long-term goals? 
  • what do you like to do in your spare time? 
  • have you ever done any volunteering?  
  • why is there a gap in your employment or schooling? 
  • what makes you more suitable for the course than another applicant with the same grades? 
  • what do you think will be your biggest challenge? 

Remember, they’re not trying to trick you. They just want to hear that you’re ready to take the next step in your studies and are making the right choice for you. 

What's expected of you

You will need to show that you’ve thought about all aspects of college life. You could talk about things like meeting new people, handling your finances or how you'll adapt to the change between school and college. This will also help you to feel more confident going into your studies. 

The interviewer wants to hear you talk honestly about your choices and achievements. Think about what inspired you to apply in the first place. Let them know what you’re passionate about and show them your enthusiasm.  

If you did not get the exam results you wanted, talk about why that happened and what you learned from that experience. Your results do not make you any less valuable of a candidate — be confident in yourself and your skills. 

Bring along evidence to show what you’ve achieved. You could bring exam results, a piece of work you’re proud of or a portfolio. Anything that says a bit about who you are. Try to bring something that you are passionate about, this will help you to talk about it confidently. 

Ask questions

If you’ve got questions, do not be shy. Ask away and find out as much as you can. Your interviewer will be happy to help and it shows that you’re interested.