Do's and Don'ts

you've completed that all important College application but what next?

The next thing you’ve got to tick off your check list is the interview. Don't worry you don’t need to wear a suit and tie, and you don’t need to be nervous at all... You've got this!

It's not all about grades

Yes, you will be asked for your predicted GCSE grades but by no means are you being judged on them. Colleges just need to know what level of qualification would suit you best so they know you won’t struggle with the amount and level of work. Yes, your grades are important but they are not the be all and end all of your education.

Keep calm and carry on

We know the thought of an interview can be nerve wracking, can bring on a case of the butterflies and can even cause the sweats in some cases, but please don’t panic about your interview. All college staff have experience dealing with all sorts of students coming from a huge variety of backgrounds, so you don’t need to worry about feeling out of place.

Going to College is a very big step, and if you’re coming straight from school the likelihood is you may not have had any form of interview before. It may be worth asking your parents to do a mock-interview with you, and get them to ask you questions such as “why do you want to study this course?”, “what have you done to demonstrate your passion for this subject?”, “are you better at working in a team or in a group?”, and other similar questions that you are likely to discuss at your consultation.

Stand out from the crowd

Colleges interview hundreds of candidates each year – that’s a lot of names and faces to remember! Just like a job interview, it’s important to make yourself memorable. Colleges look for candidates who are confident, personable and can engage in a conversation with the interviewers, rather than someone who can just churn out stock interview phrases.

Remember the main thing they look for in a candidate is that they can demonstrate an interest and passion about the subject and have a vision of where they think this course could take them in the future.

Make a great first impression

First impressions are everything. Well... most of the time!

It’s likely that you won’t have met the tutor interviewing you before, you might have spoken to them at a previous open event, but not in an interview situation. Punctuality, preparation and appropriate use of language is essential to making a good first impression at college. Something as simple as not chewing gum, making sure your clothes are clean and making eye contact with your interviewer can make a huge impact on a first impression, especially through video call.

What not to do...
  • Be late
  • Dress inappropriately (no hoodies, trainers or tracksuits!)
  • Be silent/don’t ask any questions
  • Check your phone (put it on silent!)
  • Forget the name of your interviewer
  • Be unprepared

Good organisation will ensure you are well prepared for your interview. Know who you are meeting, be sure to have any examples of your work to hand if possible. For example, if you are applying for an Art course take along your portfolio of work and show off your talent! And above all, remember to SMILE!