University Interviews – The Alternative 10 Top Tips

  1. 1. You cannot improve, learn or practice for an interview. You either have it or you don’t. So don’t waste your valuable time looking for any help or advice.


  1. 2. “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach; and those who can’t teach offer careers advice” – don’t listen to them! There is no point in talking to your family, friends or students from the university because things move on and they’re not you so what could they possibly offer?


  1. 3. Don’t bother doing any research about the universities, the course or the lecturer(s) who will interview you, they’re all pretty much the same and it is their job to sell to you.


  1. 4. Do bring your parents/guardians or someone into the interview with you and let them do the talking – it makes it so much easier. This strategy has the added benefit that no one can be disappointed in you if it doesn’t work out.


  1. 5. Use body language to unsettle your interviewer and let them know you’re the boss. Avoid eye contact, fold your arms or better still examine your finger nails while answering a question. If you sigh when they are talking and look out of the window, to show how bored you are, this can only help improve their interview skills.

Art of The Brick

  1. 6. Don’t let them set the agenda, take control and dazzle them with how much you have recently learnt about a subject you can talk on – lecturers tend to underrate how much you already know.


  1. 7. Do use your smart phone, as you normally would, it shows you can exploit technology and multitask. Even take a selfie with the lecturer, it could help you remember which university interview it was and whether you like the cut of their jib.

Google It

  1. 8. If you can’t think of a good answer to a question just make something up, talk about something you do know about or (back to 7) Google the question.


  1. 9. Make things up and claim all sorts of achievements e.g. I represent my country at [sport], I have just been asked to star in the sequel of Whiplash, I can’t tell you which evening but my band have been asked to headline on the Pyramid stage this year. They’ll never know and you can always say you got injured or hit a contractual problem.


  1. 10. Grill them, turn the tables and ask them at least 30 questions, see if they can recite paragraphs of their prospectus and how they react when the tables are turned.


Don’t think for yourself it will only unnecessarily deplete your grey matter and above all don’t waste any of your precious time looking at:

Amy Cuddy’s Ted Talk on Body Language

The application form and interview advice I offer to lawyers who want to become Judges on my website, or requesting a copy of the PowerPoint I give to university students.

It would be like a pencil without a lead – pointless!