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.

Music | Jesus College | 2017

Summary box (click titles to navigate)

Interview details

Application outcome: succesfulDirect
Interview type: directInterview

Interview format

No test; 2x interviews

Interview content

Interview 1: Unseen pieces of music and text; Interview 2: personal statement, aural test

Advice in hindsight

-

Best preparation

Speculate about questions in interview, speak to other people and think critically about reading

Final thoughts

Don't panic and don't feel judged!

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 Music. Keep an eye out for new interviews, we are adding them daily.

Interview Format​

Test taken: None

Number of interviews: 2

Skype interview: no

Time between interviews: around an hour

Length of first interview: 20-30 minutes; Length of second interview: 20-30 minutes

Interview content

In the first interview, I was asked to discuss my thoughts on a previously unseen piece of music and a text I had been given about half an hour before. We talked about the context that the piece of music was written in. I then had to speak about my opinion on the text and to the extent I agreed or disagreed with the writer's line of argument.

In my second interview, there was more discussion about my personal statement and I was able to elaborate on what I had written. I was asked to think of some other examples contrary to my thoughts outlined in my personal statement.There was also an aural test in this interview.

I felt comfortable going into both interviews, though I was naturally a little nervous and did relax into it. The interviewers were all very supportive and encouraged me to think more deeply; they didn't mind if I made a mistake, it was more about how I recovered from the mistake and moved forwards.

Advice in hindsight

Best preparation

To prepare, I tried to think about potential questions and I how I would answer them if I were to be asked them at interview. It was also very useful to speak to other people in the years above, regardless of their subject, about their experiences at interview. I was sure to read many books on the subject and think critically about what I was reading. I also made sure to read every book or reference I had mentioned in my personal statement thoroughly and with an analytical perspective too.

Final thoughts

It sounds like a cliché but don't panic, and don't feel judged by the interviewers. I felt that I was genuinely supported and encouraged by the interviewers and was at no point ever made to feel "less intelligent" or unworthy of being at Cambridge just because I didn't answer something correctly.

My expectations of the interview were exceeded, as the interviewers and all staff and students were helpful, and my interviews were both in beautiful old buildings.

Image Credits

NEED TO CREDIT IMAGE

(Feed me) Feedback (pls)


Yes

No



Anything not working?


Technical Bug (Something acting funny)
Typo
Factual Mistake
Broken Link
Other / Multiple: ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​