How to pass the Oxford interview

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Four things that unis think matter more than league tables 08-12-2016
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    (Original post by FlowerFaerie087)
    I seem to remember when we came out of the interviews, there were a number of people who were so certain they'd done well and so excited about it. I shared my phone number with a couple of people. Turns out pretty much all the ones who were certain they'd got in hadn't. And pretty much all the ones who were unsure had - thankfully for me!
    I had the opposite experience. Probably because I'd already been through the process once and knew my interviews second time round had gone much better, possibly even very well, and of 32 people interviewed for my course and college, only 10 of us weren't sent off for further interviews. It seemed pretty clear to me at the time that if I wasn't definitely in, I'd done well enough to deserve further interviews elsewhere. So that was nice.

    I say this for a couple of reasons: firstly to stroke my own ego a little bit; secondly (and more importantly!) to reassure people that it's okay to think your interviews went well. It's definitely true that the tutors are trying to push you as far as they can in the half hour-ish that they have but (and this is probably more true in the sciences (though I know FlowerFaerie87 was also a chemist, so evidently this isn't a universal truth)) if you take a step back from the interview and think about how much you covered, you might feel better about how you did than if you fixate on the bits you couldn't do. I realise this doesn't address the actual question posed at all but – well, I've written this now, so there you go.
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    Just going to post this up...

    It's a chart showing how a group of TSR interviewees rated their Cambridge interview (10 = excellent, 1 = bad) immediately afterwards. I then tracked their subsequent offer/rejection outcomes.

    Name:  Cambridge Interview Score vs Outcome.jpg
Views: 121
Size:  166.1 KB

    Bottomline; interviewees are very poor judges of their own interview!
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Just going to post this up...

    It's a chart showing how a group of TSR interviewees rated their Cambridge interview (10 = excellent, 1 = bad) immediately after the interview. I then tracked their subsequent offer/rejection outcomes.

    Name:  Cambridge Interview Score vs Outcome.jpg
Views: 121
Size:  166.1 KB

    Bottomline; interviewees are poor judges of their own interview!
    It's nice to see my anecdotal evidence of this backed up with a graph! Very interesting.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    It's nice to see my anecdotal evidence of this backed up with a graph! Very interesting.
    :hat2:

    Me and an excel chart are never far apart.
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    How many A* do I need in GCSE for Cambridge mathematics or engineering?
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    (Original post by BJack)
    I had the opposite experience. Probably because I'd already been through the process once and knew my interviews second time round had gone much better, possibly even very well, and of 32 people interviewed for my course and college, only 10 of us weren't sent off for further interviews. It seemed pretty clear to me at the time that if I wasn't definitely in, I'd done well enough to deserve further interviews elsewhere. So that was nice.

    I say this for a couple of reasons: firstly to stroke my own ego a little bit; secondly (and more importantly!) to reassure people that it's okay to think your interviews went well. It's definitely true that the tutors are trying to push you as far as they can in the half hour-ish that they have but (and this is probably more true in the sciences (though I know FlowerFaerie87 was also a chemist, so evidently this isn't a universal truth)) if you take a step back from the interview and think about how much you covered, you might feel better about how you did than if you fixate on the bits you couldn't do. I realise this doesn't address the actual question posed at all but – well, I've written this now, so there you go.
    I'm so happy you posted this! Because virtually everyone says that if you think that your interview went well then you definitely did badly. So I was really scared that I'll come out of my interview feeling OK and that this would be a bad sign. But I'm genuinely super excited for my interview! I cannot wait to go in and talk to ppl who are sincerely interested in what I have to say about Biochemistry


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    (Original post by Weiran)
    How many A* do I need in GCSE for Cambridge mathematics or engineering?
    GCSEs are not as important as your A-levels for Cambridge. The average is 5 or 6 but it is *not* a requirement.

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    i don't know what uni I'm going to yet but I'm afraid that i won't be able to think the way they want me to... like using an alternate method or thinking fast. its worse in an interview because its harder to have time to think then give the answer, they want a suitable reply straight away... thats why I'm pooping it for bmat and stuff
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Just going to post this up...

    It's a chart showing how a group of TSR interviewees rated their Cambridge interview (10 = excellent, 1 = bad) immediately afterwards. I then tracked their subsequent offer/rejection outcomes.

    Name:  Cambridge Interview Score vs Outcome.jpg
Views: 121
Size:  166.1 KB

    Bottomline; interviewees are very poor judges of their own interview!
    The one person who rated it a one must've been over the moon when they got an offer.
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    (Original post by ColossalAtom)
    The one person who rated it a one must've been over the moon when they got an offer.
    They were... Unlike the ones who rated an 8 and got rejected...

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    What makes a novel or play "political"?
    It suggests a way society should change or challenges government.

    About one in four deaths in the UK is due to some form of cancer, yet in the Philippines the figure is only around one in 10. What factors might underlie this difference?
    I would imagine we're better at treating disease which leaves cancer to kill us.
    In the Philippines, they grow a lot more vegetables and fruit and as a result, I imagine their diet is better.
    I think they are less affected by carcinogenic air toxins.

    What exactly do you think is involved in blaming someone?
    Identifying a target and then claiming that a person is culpable for an action.

    Imagine a ladder leaning against a vertical wall with its feet on the ground. The middle rung of the ladder has been painted a different colour on the side, so that we can see it when we look at the ladder from the side on. What shape does that middle rung trace out as the ladder falls to the floor?
    I imagine it traces the arc of a circle

    A large study appears to show that older siblings consistently score higher than younger siblings on IQ tests. Why would this be?
    If they are tested at the same time (i.e. they are aged differently), the older siblings will have more time to develop the skills that IQ tests test. If they are tested at different times but the same age then I'd say the difference is due to the fact they older child probably received more time and attention from their parent in their developmental years.
    I imagine it's not uncommon for new parents to take more time off with their first child compared to the second and successive children. After all, once they've done it once they probably are able to bounce back more quickly on the second and successive occasions. But this might be done at the expense of the child.
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    (Original post by jneill)
    They were... Unlike the ones who rated an 8 and got rejected...
    Oh dear. What did I rate mine?
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    (Original post by Kvothe the Arcane)
    Oh dear. What did I rate mine?
    I don't think I have a score for you - but you did finish with "I'm hoping for the best" in your feedback to me. Which proved correct
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    (Original post by Kvothe the Arcane)
    I would imagine we're better at treating disease which leaves cancer to kill us.
    Life expectancy is probably key here. Cancer rates increase at older ages...*


    I imagine it traces the arc of a circle
    Good, but you can add more info. I recommend candidates sketch this out if they get this kind of question in an interview.

    *
    If they are tested at the same time (i.e. they are aged differently), the older siblings will have more time to develop the skills that IQ tests test.
    IQ tests are age-standardised.

    *
    If they are tested at different times but the same age then I'd say the difference is due to the fact they older child probably received more time and attention from their parent in their developmental years.
    I imagine it's not uncommon for new parents to take more time off with their first child compared to the second and successive children. After all, once they've done it once they probably are able to bounce back more quickly on the second and successive occasions. But this might be done at the expense of the child.
    Good idea. But data also show that only children score lower than first-born siblings. Would that change your interpretation?*
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Just going to post this up...

    It's a chart showing how a group of TSR interviewees rated their Cambridge interview (10 = excellent, 1 = bad) immediately afterwards. I then tracked their subsequent offer/rejection outcomes.

    Name:  Cambridge Interview Score vs Outcome.jpg
Views: 121
Size:  166.1 KB

    Bottomline; interviewees are very poor judges of their own interview!
    Awesome! How have I not seen this before?
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    (Original post by jneill)
    Bottomline; interviewees are very poor judges of their own interview!

    The Dunning-Kruger effect springs to mind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunnin...3Kruger_effect
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    (Original post by Plagioclase)
    Awesome! How have I not seen this before?
    I did it on the 2016 Applicants thread earlier. But yes it's quite pleasing
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    (Original post by CatusStarbright)
    I went on a Law Study Day and we got to read the material that last year's interviews were based on and we watched a Classics student doing that interview (I think they used a Classics student to prove you don't need any prior legal knowledge and to be more representative of the typical interview candidate)
    Sounds like a good experience!

    I think the key to doing well in a law interview is to stay calm, and look very carefully at the materials you are given (if any). Take your time to think your answer through, and if you're stuck, try to think out loud because at least the tutors can see your train of thought. It really doesn't matter at all that you have no legal knowledge - what the tutors want to see is how you think, and how you respond to and apply new knowledge.

    Law interviews seem to have varying formats across colleges, but you might want to try reading a cases like Rose v Plenty (http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/1975/5.html).

    After you've read the case, try to answer the following questions:
    1) In no more than 25 words, summarize the facts of the case.
    2) Who were the judges sitting in the case? Which party did they rule in favour of?
    3) What was the rationale behind the judges' ruling?
    4) Let's say I'm a security guard at a restricted area. While I was working, I saw someone trying to climb over a perimeter fence, and I tried to stop them. In the process, he accidentally fell and broke his arm. Should my employer be liable? Why or why not?
    5) Same facts as above, except that this time, my employer has a strict no physical contact policy. The man fell because he got a shock when I grabbed him. Should my employer be liable? Why or why not?
    6) Same facts as above, except that on my way to work, I ran into someone I hated, and I hit him such that he fell and broke their arm. Should the club be liable? Why or why not?

    You can also try reading a statute, for instance the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...5/100/contents). Look at sections 20 and 47. How would you distinguish between what a wound, actual bodily harm, and grievous bodily harm?
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    (Original post by mishieru07)
    Sounds like a good experience!

    I think the key to doing well in a law interview is to stay calm, and look very carefully at the materials you are given (if any). Take your time to think your answer through, and if you're stuck, try to think out loud because at least the tutors can see your train of thought. It really doesn't matter at all that you have no legal knowledge - what the tutors want to see is how you think, and how you respond to and apply new knowledge.

    Law interviews seem to have varying formats across colleges, but you might want to try reading a cases like Rose v Plenty (http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/1975/5.html).

    After you've read the case, try to answer the following questions:
    1) In no more than 25 words, summarize the facts of the case.
    2) Who were the judges sitting in the case? Which party did they rule in favour of?
    3) What was the rationale behind the judges' ruling?
    4) Let's say I'm a security guard at a restricted area. While I was working, I saw someone trying to climb over a perimeter fence, and I tried to stop them. In the process, he accidentally fell and broke his arm. Should my employer be liable? Why or why not?
    5) Same facts as above, except that this time, my employer has a strict no physical contact policy. The man fell because he got a shock when I grabbed him. Should my employer be liable? Why or why not?
    6) Same facts as above, except that on my way to work, I ran into someone I hated, and I hit him such that he fell and broke their arm. Should the club be liable? Why or why not?

    You can also try reading a statute, for instance the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/...5/100/contents). Look at sections 20 and 47. How would you distinguish between what a wound, actual bodily harm, and grievous bodily harm?
    Thank you very much for this I'm going to try it! For the last task, I actually already know the difference, as I study A Level Law
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    (Original post by Gabriela.K)
    Being white and privileged has nothing to do with getting accepted into Oxbridge, the interviewers don't care where you are from, they care about if you know how to think.
    But it does. Of course the interviewers aren't going to racially discriminate against anyone, but this is a structural problem that goes much deeper than that. The fact of the matter is, if you are white and privileged, statistically you stand a much better chance at getting in over someone from a disadvantaged background where they aren't nurtured/encouraged into applying to Oxbridge. My college is very white (there are two black people in my year out of 130, and eight black people across the college as a whole). This is not a good representation of what the UK looks like.
 
 
 
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