Lizzie and Ellie’s top tips for admissions interviews

This week Trinity welcomes nearly 800 undergraduate candidates from around the world for interviews across the disciplines offered at Cambridge.

College is quieter than normal for the more than 1,000 interviews and nearly 600 tests and assessments scheduled this week. Current Trinity undergrads in Santa hats are helping out – directing prospective students to interview rooms, answering queries and showing visitors to the Café Bar and Junior Common Room.

Trinity Schools Liaison Officers, Ellie Wood and Lizzie Bowes, are welcoming candidates at the registration desk in the Old College Office, opposite the Porters Lodge at Great Gate.

Here are Ellie and Lizzie’s top tips for a good admissions interview

  1. Ellie: Leave enough time to reach your interview

Make sure you leave enough time to get to your interview room – we will give you directions and there are student helpers on hand but the volume of interviewees means we don’t escort you individually to interview venues (unless they are particularly hard to find).

  1. Lizzie: Listen to the interviewer

Sounds obvious but listen carefully to what the interviewers ask and try to avoid going off on a tangent!

  1. Ellie: Remember what you wrote in your personal statement

It might come up in the interview, as might any work, such as essays, that you have submitted beforehand.

  1. Lizzie: Don’t be afraid to ask questions – or get things wrong!

The interviewers are interested in how you think and how you apply your current knowledge to new problems. They aren’t trying to catch you out.

  1. Ellie: Keep reading around your subject…

Or practising problems, if you are applying for Maths, for example. That’s the best preparation for applying to Cambridge and for the interview itself.

6. Lizzie: Parents and supporters, don’t worry about your son/daughter/young person

We will ensure they know where they are going and help calm nerves. Take the opportunity for some Christmas shopping or explore the sights of Cambridge!

Finally, says Ellie: ‘If you feel nervous or have any questions, please come and find us in the College Office, we’re there 7am – 7pm, Monday to Friday this week.’

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