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.

History | King's College | 2016

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Interview details

Application outcome: succesfulPool
Interview type: directInterview

Interview format

2x interviews (c. 45 mins each)

Interview content

AS-level History topics

Advice in hindsight

Wish I'd considered college choice more; no extra-curricular interest in interviews

Best preparation

Reading over personal statement books; practice interview

Final thoughts

Take time over your answers

Something missing?

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 and there is no guarantee it will reflect your experience. The Cambridge application has changed in recent years to reflect the new A-Level system. Check the official Cambridge website for more accurate information on this year's application format and the required tests.

Read our subject resource guide for History. Keep an eye out for new interviews, we are adding them daily.

Interview Format​

2 interviews in one day, each lasting roughly 45 minutes. The interviewers did not expect me know the answers to everything and deliberately challenged me by suggesting new theories or schools of thought I hadn’t come across. They looked for an ability to consider new information, take time to think it through and then form an opinion.

Interview content

I was given a time and place for each interview where I was quizzed extensively on my AS level history topics and the books I had mentioned in my personal statement. Since there was no test, the interviews were very important. I was interviewed by two fellows in the first interview and three in the second. I had also been asked to submit two examples of marked written work, unfortunately I had thrown away my AS work as I did not realise it would be required, so I only had two essays that I’d done in class, one of which was of low standard so I felt the need to compensate in interview. I had not particularly revised my AS history as I did not realise I was going to be asked so many questions on it (so I would recommend looking over past work).

Because I studied them at school, we discussed the civil rights movement, WWII and James I!

Advice in hindsight

I wish I’d known about college application statistics and had understood a bit more about different colleges. I would not have applied to the college I did knowing how oversubscribed it is and what it’s like as a college.

Also, I was surprised that nothing extra curricular was mentioned.

Best preparation

Read over the books I’d mentioned in my personal statement and had a mock interview with a teacher at school.

Final thoughts

Take time to think about the question and be confident in your answer!

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