york - interviewWatch
How to prepare
Here's some guidance to help you prepare for any of our interviews. For course-specific advice, please contact your department.
Do your research
One of the main things we're interested in is why you want to study the course. Read the course information and think about why you're passionate about that subject. Are you interested in a particular aspect of the course, or a certain module? What excites you about studying in the department for the next 3-5 years?
Search undergraduate courses
Revisit your personal statement
Read over your personal statement and be prepared to answer questions or elaborate on what you wrote about.
Think about your experience
Talking about relevant work experience or volunteering in your interview is a great way of demonstrating your interest in the subject. Think about what you've learnt and the skills you've developed, and how they relate to the course.
Write questions to ask us
Remember, an interview is a two-way process. Make sure you prepare some questions to find out as much as you can about the course, and living and studying in York. This is a great opportunity to make sure the course and University are right for you.
Practise makes perfect
Run through your interview technique with a friend, family member or teacher, if possible someone that knows a bit about the subject. Practise talking about why you're interested in the course, what you love about the subject, and why you want to study at York. If your interview's online, it's also a good opportunity to check your set-up.
You will need to ask all candidates the same set of core questions. However, you should also react to candidate's responses with more probing secondary questions.
Whatever you ask should be designed to test the candidates skills and abilities against the person specification. Here are some different types of questions to consider:
Open questions should be used extensively as they invite the candidate to talk freely and descriptively.
Probing questions are a good way to encourage the candidate to expand or clarify an answer.
Linking questions allow you to use a candidate’s response to flow into another question.
Hypothetical questions should be used sparingly as they invite model answers which may not reflect the candidates’ realistic experiences.
Closed questions and leading questions should be avoided as they inspire short answers which will add little to your understanding of the candidate.
Multi-part questions may confuse the candidate; they also give them an opportunity to skip over the parts which they would rather not answer.
Experience based questions can be used to gauge skills and competence gained in relevant circumstances.
Sensitive questions There may be aspects of certain applications that require clarification, such as gaps in employment history or incomplete parts of a form. There may be perfectly acceptable explanations for this, for example, candidates may have taken time out of employment for maternity leave or caring responsibilities, or because of a health or disability issue. In cases where you have been made aware of a candidate’s disability during the selection process, you should ask what reasonable adjustments the candidate would require should they be offered the post. Such a question must be sensitively posed and you should make it very clear that this is solely for information purposes. If you have any concerns about how to pose sensitive questions, speak to your HR contact before the day of interviews.
A bank of generic questions is available as a starting point for your own set of questions.
Generic recruitment interview questions [pdf]