Computer Science @ Christ Church, Oxford in 2019

Interview format

3 x 15 min interviews

Interview content

Personal statement and questions

Best preparation

Try explaining your thoughts to a friend

Final thoughts

Treat the interview as a discussion

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

Test taken: Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT)
Number of interviews: 3
Time between interviews: One day.
Length of interviews: 15 minutes (all of them)
Online interview: No

What happened in your interview? How did you feel?

Each interview started with a question related to the personal statement and it should be pretty basic - just to check that you were honest in the essay. In the first interview they gave me around 3 different problems related to the things I talked about in my statement and we went deeper and deeper into them until I couldn't easily answer their questions on the spot anymore. I basically got a load of follow-up questions discussing different sides of the initial question. The other two interviews had a higher variety of questions and less follow-up ones. The questions were completely academic and related to my background in maths and computer sceince (about which I talked in my statement).

How did you prepare for your interviews?

They will ask you about the things you wrote in your essay so you should maybe repeat the basics of the books/materials/science things you wrote about. Also, you might want to try explaining your thoughts in English to a friend (or a rubber duck if that feels too cringey). Keep an open mind during the interview and don't think about the mistakes you made/you think you might have made; if you stay calm and keep your thoughts clear things should be fine. If you think you just tanked an interview - don't worry; if they also feel that they didn't get the best out of you they will give you another interview - or maybe another 5 interviews!

If you took a test, how did you prepare?

I did the previous MATs and timed myself.

What advice would you give to future applicants?

Be natural in your personal statement and during your interview - they should be normal discussions. Also, do whatever you want and do your best to feel comfortable during your stay in Oxford/Cambridge.