Top 6 tips to prepare for your university admission interview
Congratulations, you’ve been invited to attend a university admission interview! Now it’s time to start thinking about how to prepare, so you can stand out and leave a good impression.
Here are our top 6 tips to help you prepare for your university admission interview!
1. Confirm the interview structure
Make sure you understand what the interview structure will be. There are different types of interviews (e.g., MMI, panel, one-on-one, SJT, etc.). Many schools use the multiple mini interview (MMI) for students to showcase their experiences, reasoning, and problem-solving skills. Some are done virtually, while others are in person.
2. Get to know the university and program
In most interviews, there will be questions related to the university’s values and pillars. Research the schools beforehand to know what they would be looking for in an applicant. An great example is James Cook University, which has a rural, remote, tropical, and indigenous health focus.
3. How will questions be asked?
If the university is doing an MMI, usually you get a prompt, read it for 2 minutes, then have 5–7 minutes to answer it. The length of time can vary by university. Other MMIs include the reading of the prompt in the total amount of time. Make sure you know the difference, so you can plan your answer accordingly.
4. Practice makes perfect
Practice in front of people and record yourself answering questions. Keep in mind that an interviewer’s facial expression is not a reflection on how well you are doing. Sometimes their lack of reaction throws students off, so it’s good to practice in front of others and ask them refrain from showing any expression.
Ask yourself “What is the question asking of me?” Does it want an example? Are there two parts to this question? Practice giving reasoning to your answers. Sometimes you will have a situational scenario where you need to pick one or the other, explain both sides, but then pick your final side and give the final reasoning. Usually there is no right answer, and they want to see how you pick a side, your thought process, and how you reason.
Record yourself answering questions on camera and watch your recording. Sometimes it’s easier to focus on areas of improvement when you can watch yourself from the interviewers’ eyes. And most important, don’t practice the hour before. Take a walk to clear your head, eat a healthy meal, or meditate to calm your nerves.
On the day of the interview, read the question and repeat it in your brain, because once you’re in the room or the Zoom starts, you might not be able to see the prompt again!
- Organize your answer to make it easier “I’m going to talk about x, y, z.”
- Add a personal event if you can. Include a relevant anecdote about yourself or about something you saw in the news.
- Read the Australian news and immerse yourself in the culture. This will help you feel more confident and provide better speaking points.
5. Organize your space
In virtual interviews, make sure your computer, speakers, microphone, and camera are all in working order. Some universities will have sessions prior to your interview to review your tech.
Find a quiet and private place to sit while interviewing. Let your family or roommates know what’s up so you don’t encounter any interruptions. Clear your background environment of any distractions. Make sure your affectionate pet cat, Backstreet Boys poster, and laundry-drying rack are out of the frame, too!
6. And finally, have questions ready
Have a small list of questions prepared so you’ve got something to ask should you have the opportunity. Oh, and don’t forget to thank the interviewer(s) for their time.
There are lots of free resources online where you can watch videos, hear other students’ feedback; Google is your friend. Here are some resources that might help:
- Amogh gives his top 5 communication tips for MMIs
- Emma shares her advice on how to prepare for your med school interview
- Brittani blogs about how to ace your MMIs
- University of Queensland shares their MMI tips
And don’t forget—be proud of yourself! You’ve worked and studied hard! You deserve this. 😊
All the best,
The OzTREKK Team