What to expect from an interview or selection day

For some arts and creative industries, and nursing and healthcare programmes, we may ask you to attend an interview (sometimes known as a selection day) with us in order to determine your suitability for your chosen course.

If you need to be interviewed this will show on your UCAS Track and we’ll send you further details by email including times, dates and anything specific you’ll need to do to prepare, or you can book for some courses below yourself. For some courses you’ll need to complete numeracy and literacy assessments when you come in for interview, and for others you’ll need to prepare a portfolio of your work.

We know that interviews can be nerve-wracking, but we want to try to get the best from you to help you shine on the day! We’ve put together some tips to help you prepare, including what to wear, what to bring with you, and what kind of questions you might be asked.

Interviews are a way for us to get to know you a little better and find out why you’d like to study your chosen course. We want to hear about your passion for the subject, that you’ve done your research about the University, and that you’re aware of what the course will involve. We might also discuss your personal statement with you, and talk about any work experience you have completed – if you’ve written about it in your application then you should be prepared to talk about it in your interview! Re-read your application before you attend, and be ready to expand on anything you’ve said.

Interviews are a two-way process though, so it’s also your opportunity to ask any questions that you have and get a feel for whether studying at Bucks is right for you.

You’ll find all relevant information about timings and where to go, what to bring with you, and anything you need to prepare in advance right on this page. It’s important you read this information carefully as this could impact on your ability to complete the interview.

To prepare for your interview you could practise mock interviews with a careers adviser, teacher, or parent/guardian. This is a great way to build confidence in talking about yourself and your studies, and will help highlight any areas that you might need to work on.

It’s normal to feel a little nervous, and our course leaders are used to this so will make allowances. If you have prepared fully before your interview this should help you to feel more confident in what to expect.

An interview can take anything from 15 minutes to an entire day, so you should make sure you are available for all of the required time. We will let you know how long your interview will be in advance so that you can make the necessary arrangements.

You will also need to factor in travel time to ensure you’re not late. Timekeeping is very important for all course areas, so try to make sure you arrive in plenty of time. If you are running late for reasons beyond your control, contact us on 0330 123 2023 as soon as possible for advice.

If you cannot make your interview, you are welcome to access your booking and cancel it. All we ask is that you do this as soon as possible.

If you’re attending an interview for one of our arts and creative industries courses, we will usually ask you to have prepared a portfolio of work to bring with you. We’ll provide you with specific requirements in advance, but generally speaking this could include sketchbooks, doodles, drawings, photos of 3D pieces, or you could bring your work on a memory stick or show links to web portfolios. Please refer to the Interview Guidance Notes for your subject below.

The work you bring doesn’t necessarily have to be finished or neat, but we want to see your creativity and passion for the subject as well as your thought processes when creating your pieces. You should be ready to answer questions about your work, and also talk about what you like and dislike about it.

During the selection days for our nursing and healthcare courses you will usually complete a numeracy and literacy assessment. Here we are looking for GCSE (or equivalent) standard, so we’d recommend practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, basic fractions and percentages. For your numeracy test you could have a look at the following websites, which include practice papers which you may find helpful.

For your literacy assessment you will usually be asked to write a response to a question or article. We’ll be looking at your spelling, grammar, and ability to structure your writing in a clear way.

If you are required to prepare anything specific or bring anything with you for your numeracy and literacy assessments, we’ll let you know in advance so that you can prepare.

Unless we specify in advance, there is no formal dress code for our interviews. It’s a good idea to have a think about the impression you are making, however it’s also important to wear something you are comfortable in.

We have three main campuses: High Wycombe, Uxbridge and Aylesbury Vale. You’ll find detailed information about how to get to our campuses online, as well as advice on where to park. If there’s anything you’re not sure of, please give us a call on 0330 123 2023. Our campuses are all situated in busy towns, so don’t forget to leave yourself enough time to allow for traffic and parking.

If your interview is held at our High Wycombe Campus, why not join one of our campus tours? Tours are available on a Tuesday and Thursday at 11am, and are a great opportunity to have a look around. Find out more and book your place via our Campus Tour page.

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