menu icon
Book your open day visit nowClick to book open day

How to Ace a Postgraduate Interview

Interviews with admissions tutors for your postgraduate course can be nerve-wracking, but there are some simple actions you can take to help keep yourself feeling calm. Alongside the following tips, it’s always good to remember that you have made it to the interview stage for a reason – the tutor saw potential in your university application – so you can feel proud about that. Use that confidence to bolster your spirit while you make a convincing case for why you deserve to be accepted onto the course. Interviews will always be somewhat stressful, but with this advice, you’ll be able to get through your interviews with relative ease. 

Do Some Subject Prep 

Make sure you know what you are talking about when you do go in there. 

Cian Tolan, a student studying an education master’s degree at Galway’s National University of Ireland campus, recommends thorough research of your chosen field of study before going in for the interview. "Have some really good and insightful questions prepared - not just asking about the hours you’ll be in classrooms - to show you have an interest in developing your career." 

He also recommended knowing what skills would be needed for both your degree and the career that could follow. Apply these skills and qualities to your experience so far, and the opportunities you hope to get out of it. "Use a good balance of academic vocabulary and communication skills when speaking with your interviewers," Cian adds. 

Take a Portfolio 

Liam Turner, a magazine journalism student at Cardiff University, recommends having a portfolio of your work ready, especially if you’re applying to study a creative degree. 

"Bring your thesis along if it’s based on something related to your new course,” he says. “It could be a really strong talking point in your interview, as you’re bound to know what it’s about." 

Dress the Part 

One of the key things you can do is dress appropriately for the interview. Treat it just as you would a job interview – meaning jeans, a T-shirt and sneakers won’t work in your favour this time. 

But remember there’s a very thin line between being underdressed and overdressed. A sparkly outfit may be perfect for celebrating your place on the course, but you might want to leave it until after the interview altogether. Simple and understated is the order of the day here, and it can go a long way. 

Remain Calm 

It might be easier to say than to do, but if you steady yourself before you go for an interview you’ll automatically feel better. Before you go into the room, take a deep breath, stretch, wiggle your toes. Once you have a clear mind before you go in, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from showing the interviewers your best self when you step inside. 

Ask Questions 

Have at least three questions ready to ask. This will save you any embarrassment if your only question has already been answered in a group session or by the interviewer earlier on in your interview. It will also show your keen interest in the area if you get to ask all your questions. 

Be Yourself 

The last piece of advice, and probably the most important, is to just be yourself. 

You don’t have to sit through the interview being completely stoic, bring a little of your natural personality to conversation. Take time to process each question too – it’s perfectly fine to pause and think about a question before answering it. 

Next: Get more university application advice


Receive regular newsletters packed with useful tips.


Don't miss out

Receive regular newsletters packed with useful tips.