University of York - Computer Science InterviewWatch
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I received an interview for the computer science at York University and I was wondering if anyone could give me any advice on what to expect/how I should answer and what I should include in my answers.
I had my York Computer Science interview a few weeks back (I think, lost track of time!) and got my reduced offer about a week after that, followed a few days later by an email from the uni saying that I was unconditional if I firmed them.
They don't ask anything too taxing and it's more personal stuff, with some venturing into why you're passionate about CompSci and why you want to study it. My interviewer also gave me a problem to do with depth first search on the whiteboard, although I hadn't covered this in my A-level Computer Science yet at the time. I wouldn't worry about the problem though, they walk you through it and as long as you provide relevant things that you do know along the way and make sure that your passion for the subject and enjoyment of learning it shines through you'll be absolutely fine.
For example, despite not knowing about the specific searching algorithm I thought about how I'd solve it in terms of programming (it was about a mouse finding its way to a piece of cheese in a 2D array style layout with walls inside) and literally ended up outlining a depth first search algorithm without knowing what it was. Then, I was able to explain how the mouse could find the cheese if the 2D array was limitless (i.e. there were no walls around the edge), and again I thought about it programmatically and realised that you could simply insert imaginary walls and expand them outwards from the centre until your search found the cheese.
It's fine to be nervous (I was, and I even told my interviewer this as I walked through the door), just remember that irrespective of what happens in there you already have your offer and have lost nothing by trying to get it lowered. Just do your best, and if you truly love CompSci then you might even enjoy it like I did!
The last thing that I would say is make sure that you know where CompSci falls in relation to related subjects such as Computing, Physics or Engineering. I was asked about the difference between CompSci and Computing (possibly because I mentioned too many more computing-ish extracurriculars) and it caught me off guard quite a bit despite knowing the answer, so just ensure you get it across that it's this subject you're interested in (note though that it's fine and probably beneficial to have related interests!).
In case anyone is reading this in future (I did my research and couldn't find this info anywhere), in the 2018/19 application cycle it seems almost everyone who applied got an offer, of those who applied most of those to attend interview (if not all) got their offer lowered and of those who got their offer lowered I'd imagine a smaller number got unconditional, although I've not come across anybody else who has one yet so don't quote me on that. I believe for unconditionals they look at more than grades, as my equally academically able friend, fellow applicant and Cambridge interviewee did not get one.
Hope this helps.