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What kinds of questions might you be asked?

What kinds of questions might you be asked within a university interview? This article spills the beans
students sat round a table
© University of York

As much as we’d love to tell you exactly which questions you’ll be asked in your university interview, that would be cheating… and where’s the fun in that?!

We can, though, give you some ideas on the types of questions you may get:

Open-ended Questions

These are the ones we’ve mentioned before so you should already be a dab hand at them! Typically questions like “why [name of course]” and “why [name of institution]”

Technical questions

For some courses like Mathematics and Physics you’ll likely be asked to solve a technical or mathematical problem and to show your working out too.

Questions in advance

Some courses may give you one or two questions in advance for you to prepare your answers. If this is the case for your course, you will be told about this in your invitation to interview or other pre-interview communications. As we’ve already mentioned, this is why is it important to read all your interview instructions carefully!

Scenario questions

You may be asked to ‘act out’ or ‘talk through’ a scenario with members of staff from the course to which you are applying. These are to see how you would respond in a ‘real-life’ situation or how you would show particular values and are often used in medical and health science interviews.

Group questions

You may need to take part in a group interview as part of your full interview day. These are often used to see how you react to others; whether you can respond appropriately to different points of view, work well with others and listen as well as put your own ideas forward.

Written questions

Some courses will ask you to complete a written test. This may be used to assess your academic writing abilities, as well as working to a set time and for assessors to understand particular values you hold.

Current issue questions

These are used to check your understanding of current issues surrounding the course you are applying for, or the profession it leads on to

Unusual questions

Finally some courses may ask you some downright strange questions! Think “if you were a fruit, what fruit would you be?”! These are quite rare but if you are asked one, it is often there to look at how you think something through and how you explain your answer rather than what the answer you’ve given actually is!

Would you expect these kinds of questions within a university interview? Which types of questions would you like to be asked and why? And vice versa – which types of questions would you not like to be asked!

© University of York
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