REWIND: This is my most important piece of advice – hopefully over the last six months you have been reading news articles, science books, websites etc. and developing a strong extra-curricular knowledge base. In the last few days before interviews, use the time you have to revisit those materials and remind yourself of some of the details you may have forgotten since you last read them. Now is not the time to start learning new material! Focus on what you have already read and reinforcing the examples that you already know. In addition, if you haven’t been reading the news recently, do go online and scan recent science/medical related headlines to ensure you have not missed any massive new developments or discoveries. Turning up to an interview and not being aware that a major disease has been cured/who won the Nobel prize/etc is a very bad way to start an interview.
REFRESH: You should also be refreshed physically – don’t pull all-nighters in the run up to the interviews. The last thing you want to do is turn up to interviews exhausted. While those last hours of revision may seem like a good idea, being so tired in a pressured situation like an interview will negatively impact the speed and quality of your responses, as well as make it harder to recall examples and anecdotes. What will help is if you have set aside some time for sleep, sport and social activities to allow time for your brain to breathe and prepare for the big day.
RELAX: Once the interview(s) are done, relax. You won’t know the outcome of the interviews for a few weeks so once the process is done it is time to set them aside and enjoy the upcoming holidays. Many students understandably spend a lot of time revisiting their interviews, stressing over questions they felt they got wrong and could have answered better. All students do this to some extent, and it is truly pointless as it won’t change the outcome and the Oxbridge interviews are meant to be very challenging – it would be abnormal to feel like you aced them! Once you finish the interviews, do share feedback with your school on the questions asked so that they can use this information to help prepare next year’s class of applicants, but once that is done – take a deep breath and relax.