Essay and logic problems test; 2x interviews
Interview 1: personal statement; Interview 2: subject questions
Thinking about controversial topics
Recognising your own mistakes
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.
Also, someone else's experience may not reflect your own. Most interviews are more like conversations than tests and like, any conversation, they are quite interactive.
Test taken: mixed essay and logical problem solving papers
Number of interviews: 2
Skype interview: no
Time between interviews: 20 minutes
Length of first interview: 30 minutes; Length of second interview: 30 minutes
The first interview was pastoral and very chatty. We mostly talked about my personal statement i.e. my history and hobbies.
The second interview was more industrious, with philosophical questions about general everyday things. No reading or specific knowledge was required. There were two interviewers for each.
Good preparation could include thinking generally about philosophical questions, and practicing non-verbal reasoning questions.
By 'thinking about philosophical questions', I mean e.g. looking at themes, issues or ideas behind your favourite films/books/newspapers/whatever puzzles you find interesting or problematic, and ask yourself why is it interesting/problematic/complex/controversial? Can you suggest a reason why this might be the case? Is that reason coherent? What would someone with the opposite opinion say?
For this subject, it’s not about preparation, but whether you think about things in a philosophical way. The interviewers are not looking for expertise or knowledge, but someone willing to think deeply about any topic. If you suddenly realise you held a mistaken view, or did not consider an opposing view, recognise this and say so!