Oxford interviews for all its undergraduate courses. The interview is an opportunity for you to have a discussion about your chosen degree subject with two experts. As small group teaching is an important component of undergraduate teaching at Oxford, it is also an opportunity for you to see whether you would enjoy learning in this way. The interview will challenge you to apply what you know now to unseen material and go beyond your current knowledge. The interview examines:
- Academic ability and potential to succeed
- Ability to think independently and critically
- Subject-specific selection criteria
- Self-motivation, commitment and enthusiasm for the chosen course
Interviews take place at the beginning of December, with invitations sent out to candidates in mid-November. If you are invited to interview, you will have at least two interviews with academic tutors, lasting about 30-40 minutes. In 2021, all interviews will take place online by Microsoft Teams.
You can find more information about interviews on the University of Oxford website. You can also download the official Interviews Guide, see sample interview questions by subject and watch demonstration interviews made by tutors and current first year Oxford undergraduates.
There are many helpful online resources about interviews created by Oxford colleges, departments and students. Here are some of our favourites, created by Wadham College, St Edmund Hall and Jesus College:
How can I prepare?
- Familiarise yourself with the selection criteria for your course
- Research the kinds of interview questions tutors might ask in your subject
- Watch mock interviews (see Subject Specific Resources below for links)
- Revise your subject
- Reread materials you mentioned in your personal statement
- Read widely around your subject – you can find further reading suggestions and resources for each subject on the University of Oxford website
- Check out the super-curricular resources on Inspire Digital!
- Reread any work you submitted
- Answering questions – check out Oxplore for big questions and ideas of how to approach answering them
- Speaking about your subject out loud – whether to your friends, family or pet!
- Responding to unseen material – practise analysing sources or texts for subjects such as English Literature, History or Modern Languages, a newspaper article for subjects such as Politics and Law, or Maths problems for subjects such as Maths, Computer Science and Physics.
Subject specific resources
Below, we have collated a number of mock interviews and interview resources by subject. If you are applying for joint honours, look at the resources in both subjects. You can find more example interviews on the University of Oxford admissions website under the tab Demonstration Interviews.
Archaeology and Anthropology
See Biology and Chemistry resources
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
Earth sciences (Geology)
Economics and Management
History of Art
Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE)
Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics
Theology and religion
The interview is one piece of information amongst many that tutors will consider when assessing your application. They will also consider admissions tests, written work, your personal statement, prior academic and predicted grades, and your academic reference. Good luck!