ADVICE I wish that someone had given to me!
I had my interview over Zoom in 2023 (so it could be different next year Manchester are trying to push for on campus interviews).**Interview typically lasts 15 - 20 minutes (unless you have a chatty interviewer 🤭)
I managed to get an offer now just waiting to sit exams. If I remember I will try to update how it went!
Manchester do not really look at your personal statement (though some interviewers might) . They're more interested in your UCAS application as a whole and if you mess up on the interview you will be fine. They usually get back to you a little over 2 weeks (MAP applicants usually hear back within a week or less).
This interview typically asks around 5+ questions. You won't be asked scenario questions like in Aston + Plymouth University interviews.
So MAIN 2 questions asked:
1). Why Manchester? (have good reasons i.e it's a city campus does that attract you? local hotspots?**it's a prestigious establishment/russel group)
2). Why Optometry? (you may have to elaborate on reasons you included in later questions.
Some questions that were asked are:
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? (NHS? Private Practice - Boots/Specsavers?)
What can optometrists do to improve healthcare?
How has Covid affected Optometry *Practices ?(financial? the public leaving their houses. Though in 2024 may not be that relevant)
Do you know what the GOC is? (Inform yourself about the General Optical Council)
Be informed about what modules you might cover in the course. You may be asked on what you are looking forward to/ not looking forward to.**And can link to give me a weakness about yourself?
Note: not everybody has the same set of questions, they mix it up a little so you might get some similar questions asked and some different to your friends.
When asked questions, I am telling you from EXPERIENCE, you are in NO RUSH! Breathe and take your time when answering the questions. Also don't try to read off a sheet (they can tell if you do and will confront you🤣), try keep your answers free flowing.
DO NOT RUSH FOR THIS PART! Your mental maths skills might be assessed too: simple fractions to decimals, and numbers as percentages. No calculator allowed they say or pen and papers They are not bothered if you took 7 secs to answer or 35 secs as long as you come to a reasonable answer. HOWEVER if at any point you feel that you have answered a question wrong, you can ask at the end to change your answer.
If you are looking for no interview universities Huddersfield, Bradford and Cardiff are great choices. But don't be thrown off by interviews, I don't want to scare you 😁😂
Some basic preliminary questions will be asked BEFORE the actual questions are asked e.g are you okay with treating real patients in clinics? are you okay with working with other students to test skills on each other?
Those who struggling for an Optometry Personal Statement structure here is are some ideas:
1. 3/4 sentences about REASON to study optometry
2. WIDER READING (its not necessary but you could read journals like Optometry Today), WORK EXPERIENCE (this does not necessarily have to be carried out in a practice, it could be online short courses like MOOCs. More info on UniFrog), if you are a STUDENT AMBASSADOR, ACCESS PROGRAMMES
3. Optional: can link optom to your A Levels. Practicals ? Biology topics that you are interested in? (Can Place this paragraph as your 2nd or 3rd depending on how it flows)
4. Extra curricular activities (if you feel it flows you can add this in with your work experience paragraph)/ Part time jobs
5. Overall conclusion of why would you would be great candidate for this course.
When talking about yourself mention the qualities you will need and HAVE when talking to patients, empathy, importance of inclusion, good communication, respect.
Note: Though it's obvious 😭 in your PS do not write specific university names e.g I want to study Optometry at Huddersfield because ..... As this will be sent to all the unis you apply to read. Just write I want to study optom at degree level in university to further my ....
One thing also I learned the HARD WAY! The character count on the UCAS website and Microsoft Word is DIFFERENT!