1) Reading about interviews isn't a substitute for subject preperation. Read them for guidance but remember to do the work and know your subject materials.
2) Someone else's experience will not necessarily reflect your own. Most interviews are more like conversations than tests and, like any conversation, they can be highly personal.
Application outcome: Succesful - Direct offer
Interview type: Direct Interview
ENGAA; 2x interviews
Interview 1: general; subject skills; Interview 2: personal interest; academic
Practice papers, NSAA material, i-want-to-study-engineering.com
They're not looking to trick you, but see how you think.
1) Reading about interviews isn't a substitute for knowledge. Read them for guidance but remember to do the work and know your subject materials.
2) Someone else's experience will not necessarily reflect your own. Most interviews are more like conversations than tests and like, any conversation, they can be highly personal.
Remember this advice isn't official. There is no guarantee it will reflect your experience because university applications can change between years. Check the official Cambridge and Oxford websites for more accurate information on this year's application format and the required tests.
Read our subject resource guide for Engineering. Keep an eye out for new interviews, we are adding them daily.
Test taken: ENGAA
Number of interviews: 2
Skype interview: No
Time between interviews: 2-3 hours
Length of first interview: 25-30 minutes; Length of second interview: 25-30 minutes
Interview 1: This was a purely technical interview; a few minutes of small talk to get me comfortable, followed by an explanation of the structure of my interviews. We started then with some maths, with a simple question upon which the other questions were built. Next, the other interviewer asked a materials question which brought in probability.
Interview 2: It started off with a discussion on my chosen topic from current engineering and the impact of engineering on my local area. The PhD student set me a question about electricity, which was moderately hard but with A level spec, and then we moved on to a question about friction. There were some moments where very little information was given at first but hints were gradually given."
I used i-want-to-study-engineering.com, Professor Povey's Perplexing Problems and the TBO Problem Solving Booklet (hard pure maths). I also had a
Best Thing: Honestly,
Impact: The interview made me feel more comfortable and encouraged me to think aloud.
Advice: I came out thinking my performance had been very mediocre. However, it is impossible for a student to gauge whether they have done well (I found a chart on The Student Room that showed this). Another important skill is to learn to think the entire process aloud. They're not looking to trick you, just to see how you think.
By Diliff [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons