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howeverhence
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Hey, i've just had my interviews for History at Cambridge and i'm feeling massively underwhelmed.

I am particularly worried about my 2nd interview as I felt the interviewers did not 'challenge' me, as they usually do to camb applicants. They directly quoted my written work and asked me general basic questions about that period to which i responded to (a bit badly tbh) and then the other interviewer asked me a couple of questions on things from my PS (why did you say '...' ) but there was no element of debate/argumentation? the whole interview was me talking (describing) at length and them just listening and nodding


is this bad? I am so anxious rn i feel like i didn't get any of those 'killer' questions that push you - just general discussion on pretty simple topics. Some people have told me it's because i failed to get through the easy, more general stuff.

any input?
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DeltaEpsilonPhi
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They're listening and nodding, I would go party in a bar tonight if I were you.
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Lougracebear
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Hi, I went for an Oxford interview ( I know this thread is on Cambridge ) and felt pretty much the same. They asked really general questions like ' why Oxford ?' And ' what challenges would you expect ' etc. Then we talked about my written work and basically I was only regurgitating facts and what I've written.

Also, the interviewer seemed a bit annoyed and rushed. Like she was frowning the whole interview. At last she asked of I'd got any general questions regarding Oxford and i said no. Am I supposed to ask Sth? So nervous now
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beccabokka
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I had that too. Apparently one of the tutors was rigorously questioning everyone else and she only questioned me once... I didn’t feel like I was saying much of substance and was waffling a bit, or didn’t flesh out some of my other points. I’m worried...
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DeltaEpsilonPhi
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Hmm.. how are your A levels? and do u think u did well in the admission assessments?

Maybe they already want you, or according to some posts I saw on this forum, they interview ppl who even if they won't be admitting.
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howeverhence
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(Original post by DeltaEpsilonPhi)
Hmm.. how are your A levels? and do u think u did well in the admission assessments?

Maybe they already want you, or according to some posts I saw on this forum, they interview ppl who even if they won't be admitting.
Highly highly doubt it's the former. Latter probably.

My AS were AAA and predicted 3A* but I feel like i've definitely underperformed in the admissions assessment

The written work I sent them was pretty weak too, as are my GCSEs.
I wanted the interview to let me shine so it can compensate for weaker areas but from responses I am getting so far it doesn't sound good
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Juno
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(Original post by howeverhence)
Highly highly doubt it's the former. Latter probably.

My AS were AAA and predicted 3A* but I feel like i've definitely underperformed in the admissions assessment

The written work I sent them was pretty weak too, as are my GCSEs.
I wanted the interview to let me shine so it can compensate for weaker areas but from responses I am getting so far it doesn't sound good
The thing is, it's done now. If they were asking you simple questions because you failed then you'll be rejected, and worrying now won't change that. If they were asking simple questions because they liked you, then you'll be given an offer, and worrying now won't change that. Worrying now will not change anything and is just going to drive you crackers.

You just need to try to put this behind you and focus on your A Levels, because if you do get an offer you'll need to get the grades. If you don't gt an offer, you'll need to get the grades to meet an offer from a different choice.
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Doones
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(Original post by howeverhence)
Hey, i've just had my interviews for History at Cambridge and i'm feeling massively underwhelmed.

I am particularly worried about my 2nd interview as I felt the interviewers did not 'challenge' me, as they usually do to camb applicants. They directly quoted my written work and asked me general basic questions about that period to which i responded to (a bit badly tbh) and then the other interviewer asked me a couple of questions on things from my PS (why did you say '...' ) but there was no element of debate/argumentation? the whole interview was me talking (describing) at length and them just listening and nodding


is this bad? I am so anxious rn i feel like i didn't get any of those 'killer' questions that push you - just general discussion on pretty simple topics. Some people have told me it's because i failed to get through the easy, more general stuff.

any input?
Some interviewers are "better" than others. And no, you can't read anything at all into how you think an interview went.

It's done, relax and enjoy the wait until the 10th Jan.
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Parliament
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Paging Dr Doonesbury - The Graph (TM) is needed once again

OP, don't worry about it. Candidates are notoriously terrible at evaluating their own interview performance. I remember thinking I'd bombed out because I'd been primed to be ready for hard abstract questions (I study English, so questions like 'what is ambiguity?' etc) and I didn't really get anything like that when other candidates did. You might simply have been subject to the whims of the interviewer, or perhaps you were talking interestingly enough on your PS stuff that it wasn't necessary to bring up other areas to help you shine through. In any case, it's over now and finding reasons to convince yourself that you've failed is a waste of your time and energy. Que sera sera, and good luck!
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Doones
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(Original post by Parliament)
Paging Dr Doonesbury - The Graph (TM) is needed once again

OP, don't worry about it. Candidates are notoriously terrible at evaluating their own interview performance. I remember thinking I'd bombed out because I'd been primed to be ready for hard abstract questions (I study English, so questions like 'what is ambiguity?' etc) and I didn't really get anything like that when other candidates did. You might simply have been subject to the whims of the interviewer, or perhaps you were talking interestingly enough on your PS stuff that it wasn't necessary to bring up other areas to help you shine through. In any case, it's over now and finding reasons to convince yourself that you've failed is a waste of your time and energy. Que sera sera, and good luck!
Oh go on then:

Name:  Cambridge Interview Outcomes (updated).jpg
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howeverhence
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thanks for responses, I do feel a tinge better than I did before. Doonesbury Also, is it a bad sign if the interviewer, upon leaving, says "before you leave, would just like to remind you that every year we have lots of great applicants and have to let go of many of them. And there are many brill applicants like you who do not end up getting in but we will definitely hear about you wherever you end up.."

It was nice but it seemed like he'd made up his mind already? I felt like he wanted to reassure me that my impending rejection shouldn't get to me. (or do you think he said this to everyone???) it also got me a bit anxious.

They were lovely, though.
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Doones
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(Original post by howeverhence)
thanks for responses, I do feel a tinge better than I did before. Doonesbury Also, is it a bad sign if the interviewer, upon leaving, says "before you leave, would just like to remind you that every year we have lots of great applicants and have to let go of many of them. And there are many brill applicants like you who do not end up getting in but we will definitely hear about you wherever you end up.."

It was nice but it seemed like he'd made up his mind already? I felt like he wanted to reassure me that my impending rejection shouldn't get to me. (or do you think he said this to everyone???) it also got me a bit anxious.

They were lovely, though.
That was probably not a helpful thing to say as it can be misconstrued... and yes he probably says it to many candidates. It's meaningless really, and even if you take it to mean anything it's only the opinion of one person. There are usually 4 or 5 involved in assessing your application (and the most important are the DoS and the Admissions Tutor).
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howeverhence
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
That was probably not a helpful thing to say as it can be misconstrued... and yes he probably says it to many candidates. It's meaningless really, and even if you take it to mean anything it's only the opinion of one person. There are usually 4 or 5 involved in assessing your application (and the most important are the DoS and the Admissions Tutor).

he was the DoS ahhh i'm just hoping he didn't mean it like i interpreted it :/
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Doones
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(Original post by howeverhence)
he was the DoS ahhh i'm just hoping he didn't mean it like i interpreted it :/
Honestly don't read anything into it at all. For one, there's many more candidates to interview
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Parliament
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(Original post by howeverhence)
thanks for responses, I do feel a tinge better than I did before. Doonesbury Also, is it a bad sign if the interviewer, upon leaving, says "before you leave, would just like to remind you that every year we have lots of great applicants and have to let go of many of them. And there are many brill applicants like you who do not end up getting in but we will definitely hear about you wherever you end up.."

It was nice but it seemed like he'd made up his mind already? I felt like he wanted to reassure me that my impending rejection shouldn't get to me. (or do you think he said this to everyone???) it also got me a bit anxious.

They were lovely, though.
I was told a version of the same thing after my UCL interview and ended up being offered. You can interpret it (as you have and as I did) as: 'don't get your hopes up, this is a case of being let down gently', or you can interpret it as 'you did very well in that interview but don't assume you're automatically through because we have lots of candidates left and we'll have to turn down some good people, so don't get too cocky just because you smashed it'.

It's a pretty crass comment because, as you can see, your interpretation can change based on your perspective of your own interview performance. Another ambiguous and meaningless sign for you to ignore until January
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knoxode
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(Original post by DeltaEpsilonPhi)
They're listening and nodding, I would go party in a bar tonight if I were you.
Are you saying because it's good, or because it's bad?

I mean, they could go party in the bar because they gave up on trying, or because they thought it went well.
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DeltaEpsilonPhi
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(Original post by knoxode)
Are you saying because it's good, or because it's bad?

I mean, they could go party in the bar because they gave up on trying, or because they thought it went well.


sorry for the confusion. I meant partying cuz they got that W.
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knoxode
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I've just finished both of my interviews and it feels like it was too easy as well. I feel like they thought I wasn't good enough to go into the harder questions.

I highly doubt that it was easy because I'm just so good. Feeling that it is because I am not good enough seems more feasible.
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Doones
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(Original post by knoxode)
I've just finished both of my interviews and it feels like it was too easy as well. I feel like they thought I wasn't good enough to go into the harder questions.

I highly doubt that it was easy because I'm just so good. Feeling that it is because I am not good enough seems more feasible.
Nope... some do indeed find it was easier than expected, and get an offer. It can also depend on the interviewers - they are all different

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JusticeClarkeQC
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I just came out of my interviews and feel terrible...In the first one I was challenged on a stance I took in my personal statement. My original stance was referred to as 'absolute' and they gave me an example that made me half way u-turn on it. Then, they gave me another example and I kept asking them to repeat the question. They gave an example that made me u turn on my original point completely. They picked up on this and asked me why I had change my answer. Then I explained and they called that answer vague. Then I gave a little more detail and they took from that detail and asked another question. I paused and there was an awkward silence. They then gave me a hint and I used this to answer the rest of the question. They then said "that's what we were trying to get at".

I could say...

They pushed me lots and I changed my mind which meant I got to give them the points they wanted.

Or...

I took too long to give them the answer they were looking for and was unable to move forward because of this. And, I backtracked too much.

With you it's the opposite...

Either...
I did not get pushed and this meant I must have not picked up on the points they wanted me to. I probably did badly because I wasn't challenged enough.

Or...
I did well because I grasped the points they were looking for much quicker. This meant they didn't need to challenge me as it wasn't necessary.

No matter what, it's misleading to rationalise in this way since either stance can be justified. Don't analyse or overthink. If you wait then you'll know whether you were right or wrong.
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