Human, Social And Political Science @ Sidney Sussex, Cambridge in 2016

Interview format

2x interviews (40-60 mins)

Interview content

1st interview: personal statement; 2nd interview: pre-interview extract

Best preparation

Online resources e.g. TED Talks & podcasts

Final thoughts

Interviews can be enjoyable

Remember this advice isn't official. There is no guarantee it will reflect your experience because university applications can change between years. Check the official Cambridge and Oxford websites for more accurate information on this year's application format and the required tests.

Also, someone else's experience may not reflect your own. Most interviews are more like conversations than tests and like, any conversation, they are quite interactive.

Interview Format

I had two interviews, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The one in the morning was a general politics interviews with two professors, one an International relations professor and the other an anthropology professor. The second was a more anthropological/sociological interview based on an extract i had received 30 mins before to read. The interviews took about 40-60 mins each.

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

We discussed class in modern Britain and its influences on the education system, especially comprehensive schools, as this was something I had written about in my personal statement. Also we talked about populist politics in the US. I generally really enjoyed the first interview talking about topics i thought were really interesting, enjoying the chance to speak to academics about such important issues.

The extract based interview was on feminism. One question really threw me off and i had no idea what to say so just rambled on! After that I didn't think I'd get a place.

How did you prepare?

The best preparation I did was watching podcasts online, TED talks and watching authors speak about their books, especially for the books I had mentioned in my personal statement.

Looking back, what advice would you give to your past self?

Interviews are often quite enjoyable. I really wouldn't stress, it is so hard to predict what will come up. Just be friendly, smile and think aloud showing your trails of thought.