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.

Human, Social and Political Science | Murray Edwards College | 2013

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Interview details

Application outcome: succesfulDirect
Interview type: directInterview

Interview format

2x 30-40 minute interviews

Interview content

First interview - SAQ questions, interpreting a study; Second interview - response to unseen reading

Advice in hindsight

Nothing!

Best preparation

Reading things that interest you

Final thoughts

Be yourself and follow your intuition

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 Human, Social and Political Science. Keep an eye out for new interviews, we are adding them daily.

Interview Format​

2 interviews of about 30-40 minutes each. They were both in the morning.

Interview content

The first interview was with two college fellows (with tea). First, they asked me a few personal questions relating to my SAQ. Then, when I felt comfortable enough, they gave me some results from a study (with drawings) and asked me to try and guess what the study was about. Once I had given them my guess, they told me the content of the research question and asked me to interpret results of the study from the drawings of participants.

The second interview started with some reading time (I think it was quite short, something like 15 mins). The interview revolved around how I had approached the reading, and then (if I remember correctly) the themes were broadened and I was asked to link it to some reading I had done in my free time.

Overall, the interviews did not feel too intimidating as I was always offered tea and the fellows were quite unthreatening. It was only after they had ended that I realised how challenging the questions had been, how tired I suddenly felt and how quickly everything had happened!

Advice in hindsight

Not really!

Best preparation

Reading books I was actually interested in. This was something I was lucky enough to do in my own time as I had already finished exams. I did not do any mock interviews.

Final thoughts

The best advice I was given was just to be myself and follow my intuition.

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