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What skills are Admissions Tutors looking for?

What skills are Admissions Tutors looking for within a university interview? This video gives you some ideas from the perspective of the interviewer

This is a really key question and in the video above, you’ll get a real flavour of what some of our interviewing courses at York are looking for.

It can help to look at it as two different categories; general skills and subject specific skills.

General skills

Some applicants may gloss over these thinking that they aren’t as important, however they really are! Can you imagine making yourself understood by a patient as a Medical student without effective communication skills; making up does of medicine as a Nursing student without having basic numeracy skills or producing a short film as a Film & TV Production student without team working skills? Of course not! Interview assessors want to know about these skills, where you have used them regularly and how they link to the course you are applying for. General skills can be:

  • Enthusiasm for the subject
  • Problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Responsibility and leadership
  • Team work
  • Personal reflection
  • Critical thinking
  • Empathy
  • Resilience
  • Understanding different points of view.

Subject specific skills

Of course, subject specific skills are important too! You wouldn’t get very far without having the right academic skills for your chosen course, such as science for medicine or mathematics for mathematics! Interview assessors will want to see beyond this though, to find out more than just your predicted grades. They may be looking for the following:

  • Ability to solve technical problems and to show how you have solved it (Mathematics and Physics courses in particular)
  • Knowledge of the Professional Capabilities Framework (Social Work courses)
  • NHS Values (Medical and Health Sciences courses)
  • Practical experience in your chosen course

How do I talk about my skills?

Don’t just list them all out! Or list all the NHS values or the Personal Capabilities Framework! Interview assessors want to hear succinct examples of how you have used these skills and how they relate to the course. Much more information on this will be covered in the What are Admissions Tutors looking for? and How should you structure your answers? steps.

Let’s give it a go! What skills do you have? Use this Padlet to outline a skill, where you have used it regularly and why it relates to your chosen course. Do as many as you like to practice! We’ve done one to start you off!

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