Map Oxbridge Applications. 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oxford and Cambridge have moved their interviews online. We've put together a helpful guide on what to be aware of when preparing for a video call interview.

Set the stage 

It is important that both you and your interviewer/s, can concentrate without distraction during your interview. For this reason, it is very important that the location you pick for your interview is an empty room, with no through traffic of other people that could disturb you. Try and find a spot that has no background noise and has a neutral or academic backdrop (you might wish to add in some books you've used for your wider reading, some certificates or items that reflect your interest in the course you are applying to). It is also important that you are alone because interviewers will want to ensure that no one can help you with answers. The only acceptable reason to have someone else in the room with you is for I.T. support. Interviewers may ask you to pan the camera on your device over the room so that that can confirm that you alone.

Put a name to the face

Interviewers will also need to confirm that you are who you say you are and that no one is sitting the interview in your place. To confirm your identity, you'll be asked to show a piece of I.D. at the beginning of the interview. As interviewers will be seeing lots of students for video calls, they will also be taking screenshots and will ask permission to do so at the start of the call. This is to ensure that they have an accurate memory of each candidate.

Put pen to paper

Even though you are being interviewed on camera, you are still allow to take notes to help you answer questions. This is especially important if you are applying for a science or mathematical subject as you may be asked to show your working for a particular problem.

Have a back up

Technology isn't always reliable, so, in the event of the video call dropping, or your internet being lost, you should have access to another way to make a call such a mobile phone or landline. The phone should be in the same room as you started your video call, so that, in the event of weak WiFi or a poor internet connection, the conferencing system can be used just for sharing images or a muted call, whilst the conversation is conducted over a phone. If you are forced to take your call over the phone, university will call you, so you do not have to cover the expense of the call.

No trips down memory lane

It is important that you do not record your interview in any way, either with screen capture software, mobile phone or Dictaphone. Every interview is different, but recording your interview could be seen as an attempt to help another student by proving them with a sneak preview of the format.

Time flies when you're having fun

Whilst you will have an allocated slot for your interview, it may well overrun. Make sure you have ample time available after your interview ends in case your interviewer have any further questions.

Stay all ears 

This year has been a time of change, and mass online interviews are new for 2020. Check your emails regularly for updates and in case of any changes to your interview.

Don't suffer in silence

If your video call connection is poor or you're are having difficultly using the video call software to the extent that you cannot perform at your best, please do inform your interviewers. Without this information, your interviewers cannot help to resolve the problem or make allowances for poorer performance.

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Our Oxbridge-graduate consultants are available between 9.00 am – 5.30 pm seven days a week, with additional evening availability when requested.

Oxbridge Applications. 14 – 16 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AR


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