Many of your students going through the university application process will face some form of selection panel at one or more of their chosen colleges.
Individual universities and faculties follow their own policies on whether or not they call prospective students for interview. Broadly, interviews are common in areas such as dentistry and medicine, and less so for Arts subjects – but there are exceptions.
What form the interview will take varies, too. While some universities conduct straight question-and-answer type interviews, others ask prospective students to participate in group activities or discuss an item of work they’ve prepared.
So, step one in helping students get interview-ready is to make sure that they’re clear about what exactly they’re going for.
Universities like to assess a potential student’s suitability for a degree course holistically – so they’ll take into account their performance at an interview alongside academic markers, any supporting work they’ve been asked to prepare, and the ‘Personal Statement’ section of their application form. Try to get your students to see how the different aspects of their application work together. If their Personal Statement lists texts that have ‘inspired’ their interest in a subject, they need to know them inside out. Put on the spot, can they explain the hypothesis the author explores in chapter five? No? Leave it off – or read the book.