A Levels: The next steps to University

In prep for University

Top Tips for University Interviews

Smartly dressed woman for interview

The Interview is stage two of getting into The University of Northampton. Not every course has an interview, but if yours does, make sure you’re prepared to ace it with these great tips…


Body language

You only have one chance to make a good first impression and how you present yourself says a lot about you. Dress appropriately – don’t just turn up in jeans! Make sure that your posture is good as well – don’t slouch in the chair, and be enthusiastic!


Do your research

It’s really not a good idea to turn up to an interview having no prior knowledge about the process or the course itself. Do some research about the course, and be ready to answer questions about why it interests you. It’s also a good idea to do some general research about the university too.


Prepare questions

No one is expecting you to bring a clipboard and show up your interviewer, but prepare a couple of mental questions that show your interest in the university and the course itself. You are spending your time and money there for the foreseeable future, and asking questions shows that you’ve put some thought into attending university. It’s only natural that you’ll have some burning things you want to know



Turning up at the right time not only shows that you are keen, but also that you are reliable. Aiming to arrive dead on time is both stressful and risky, as it doesn’t allow you time for any unexpected delays. However, turning up far too early will only leave you with more time to worry. Ideally 10–15 minutes before your interview is a good time to arrive.  If you get a chance, it might be worth taking a practice run of your route. At the very least, have a look at a map to plan a route, and work out how long it will take you to travel

Know your personal statement

Your personal statement is likely to be a key part on what the interview will be based on, so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with what you wrote, and be prepared to talk about what you’ve written in more detail. Try to prepare an answer for each part of your personal statement – that way you won’t get caught out by any tricky questions!


Be prepared for unusual questions

Occasionally some interviewers may ask questions that may seem a little weird and irrelevant, but the real motive is to see how you react under pressure, and to something unexpected. For instance, they could ask: “if you could be any fruit what would you be?” (Random I know). The content of the answer isn’t really something to stress over, so try to have fun with it – that’s the real key to answering these types of questions


Be Yourself

It may seem cheesy but the steps above are designed to help you relax. If you are well prepared in advance, you’ll be able to tackle the interview with no problems. The interviewers are well aware that you may be nervous during the interview, so try not to worry too much about how you’re coming across. The most important thing is to simply show your personality and your passion for the subject. Take a moment before answering each question, try to calm your nerves, and I’m sure you’ll be fantastic.

Transforming lives Inspiring Change