What to expect in your Oxford interview

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?




  • 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

Interview and admissions criteria

Reading suggestions


Reading suggestions

See Biology and Chemistry resources


Undergraduates talk about their interview experiences

Watch a mock interview

Biology interviews – Oxford Student Union Alternative Prospectus

Biomedical science

Selection criteria

Reading suggestions

Classical Archaeology and Ancient History

Undergraduates talk about their interview experiences

Admissions criteria


Mock interview in Classics, Jesus College

What are Classics Tutors looking for at interview?

Admissions criteria


Mock interview in Chemistry, Jesus College

Department of Chemistry – Frequently Asked Questions

Computer science

What are computer science interviews like?

How to apply: interviews

Earth sciences (Geology)

Department of Earth Sciences – Admissions

Department of Earth Sciences – FAQs

Oxford Student Union Alternative Prospectus


Mock interview in Economics, Jesus College

Economics reading suggestions

Economics and Management

Q&A with Student Ambassador

Economics reading suggestions

Management reading suggestions


Undergraduates discuss their interviews

Example interview questions


Application information

Resources: Great Writers Inspire

Resources: Writers Make Worlds

Fine Art

Q&A with Student Ambassador

Ruskin School of Art Admissions Process


Oxford SU alternative prospectus – interviews


Interview information

Undergraduates discuss their interviews

History of Art

Reading suggestions

Oxford Student Union Alternative Prospectus

Human Sciences

Selection process

Undergraduates discuss their interviews

Law (Jurisprudence)

Tutor talks through past interview questions

Reading suggestions

Materials Science

Admissions criteria

Reading suggestions


Mock interview – Maths problem

Reading suggestions


Tutor talks through past interview questions

Reading suggestions

Selection criteria

Modern Languages

Undergraduates discuss their interviews

How to apply and criteria


Reading suggestions

Application procedure

Oxford SU alternative prospectus – interviews

Oriental studies

Oriental studies selection criteria

Oxford SU alternative prospectus – interviews

Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE)

Watch mock interview (Politics and Philosophy)

Mock interview in PPE (Philosophy)

Watch mock interview (Economics)


Watch a mock interview – science problem

Watch a tutor’s top 10 tips for Physics interviews


Watch mock interview 2

Interviews and selection information

Reading suggestions

Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics

Linguistics suggested reading

Philosophy interview criteria

Theology and religion

Information about interviews

Q&A with the Director of Undergraduate Studies


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!