A high proportion of those who apply for a place at Trinity are asked to come for interview here. Most people applying to Trinity are very able pupils with good academic records, high exam predictions and strong support from their schools. To choose between them we need more information than the application form usually provides. An interview gives us the opportunity to see candidates individually and talk to them about the subject they want to study.
The format of an interview varies from subject to subject. If you are applying for an Arts subject, you should be prepared to talk about your reading outside the school syllabus and to put forward your own views and be able to defend them. If you are a scientist, engineer or mathematician, you will be asked to work through a number of problems which are not entirely standard in type. We are less interested in your conclusions than the methods you use to reach them. The interviews are academically focused, and we don’t set traps or ask trick questions to catch you out.
Further details about the format of interviews in particular disciplines are available on our subject notes pages:
To give you a sense of what interviews are like, we have filmed two mock examples in full, one in the sciences and one in an arts subject. The questions asked here by our interviewers are similar to those they have asked previously in interviews. The interviewees are current Trinity students, who – to make the interviews more realistic – are studying different subjects to those for which they were interviewed here. They had not previously met their interviewers or been informed about the questions they would be asked. We’ve kept the setting as close as possible to how interviews actually take place.
Interview 1: Engineering
Interviewer: Professor Matthew Juniper (Engineering)
Interview 2: Law
Interviewers: Dr Louise Merrett and Dr Ben Spagnolo (both in Law).
Financial support for interview travel costs
To enable applicants to come to interview in Cambridge, the Colleges are pleased to provide support for travel costs to students who are in local authority care and/or are currently eligible for Free School Meals and who attend a UK maintained sector school/college. Mature applicants in receipt of certain benefits may also be eligible. Public transport travel costs will be reimbursed, and the College will contact eligible applicants directly with further information when they are invited to interview.