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How to ace your College interview over the phone

04.05.2020

How to ace your College interview over the phone

‘Working from home’ is a phrase we have all become so used to in recent months. Everything has had to be done remotely, from catching up with friends to checking in with school teachers. Some of us have settled into it easily, while others have found it a bit trickier!

If you’ve applied for a place at College, you will soon be sent a date for an interview. It’s not as scary as it sounds – in fact it’s a great opportunity for you, and us, to make sure you’re on the right course so you can make the most of your time here at College once you get started.

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all of our interviews with new students are now being done over the phone.

While there are lots of helpful hints and tips online about face-to-face interviews, we thought it would be good to share some telephone interview tips in this blog. If you have any specific questions about your interview, please feel free to get in touch with us and one of the team will be able to help you.

Getting ready

Preparation is key for any type of interview. You will be sent a date and time for your telephone interview – make sure you make a note of it straight away and set a reminder on your phone for a couple of days before and then an hour before.

If you are unsure of the date and time of your appointment, you can double check the details on your online portal via our website.

When it’s time for your interview, one of the department tutors will call you from an unknown number. Make sure you are available to take the call and answer when they do!

Five top tips for phone interviews

Arrive early – OK, we know you’re not actually going anywhere, but what we really mean is, choose where in the house you’re going to do the interview and set the space up beforehand. Make sure the chair is comfy and that you have something to lean on if you need to make some notes.

 Tell everyone else in your house – Mum, dad, big brother, little sister – everyone needs to know what you’re doing so that they don’t disturb you during your interview. The last thing you need is dad asking what you want for lunch half way through!

 Eat and drink – When we’re at home, routines can go a little out the window, but try and make sure you have something to eat an hour or two before the interview to prevent your stomach rumbling and have a small glass of water beforehand. It will help to refresh your mind and improve your focus.

Dress code – Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview – this will help with your confidence and put you in the right mind space. Think how much more productive you are when you’re up and dressed rather than still in your pyjamas at midday!

Stand up and smile during the call – Standing up and smiling during a call helps the caller hear your enthusiasm and the posture gives you confidence.  If standing doesn’t feel right for you, then sit up straight at a table. You’ll be amazed how body language can come across in your voice. And when your voice is all the interviewer has to go on, you need to make the best of it!

Practice makes perfect

A practice call with a friend or family member is a really good idea. Sometimes when we’re so used to communicating only on things like FaceTime or Messenger, we can lose a bit of confidence on the phone, but it doesn’t take long to get it back.

The questions below are some common questions asked at college interviews. You might not be asked these exact questions at your interview, but they’re a good starting point to help you prepare. Why not send them to a family member and ask them to give you a call pretending to be the interviewer? Remember, practice makes perfect and they’ll probably be able to give you some useful feedback too.

Why have you chosen this course? – This is the perfect opportunity to show your enthusiasm and understanding of the course.

What are you hoping to gain from the course? This enables the tutor to understand your expectations. Your education is our number one priority, so we want to ensure it is the most appropriate course for fulfilling your aspirations.

What would you like to do after your course? Consider where you would like the course to take you. How will this course help you achieve your goals? Not everyone knows what they want to do, and that’s ok – the course might be a stepping stone to something else, or it may help you decide on a career – there is no right answer.

What do you think your strengths and weaknesses are? – This may seem like a tricky question, as it feels more comfortable to share your strengths over your weaknesses, but we all have them, no one is perfect. Your strengths might be your self-awareness, that you are hardworking and passionate. However your weakness may well be that you are a bit of a perfectionist, as you sometimes spend too much time trying to make an assignment perfect rather than having the confidence to send it off.

Do you have any questions for me? Asking questions is your chance to get as much information that you need to make sure this is the right course for you. If there is anything you are unsure of, this is the perfect opportunity to ask.

Be yourself

Try not to get too stressed about the interview. Think of it as a discussion with the tutor rather than a test. Although it is important for us to guide you towards the right course, it’s just as important for you to ensure that the course suits your expectations.

Talk to the tutor about the things you like, your hobbies and what your future plans are – and feel free to ask as many questions as you like. We’re here to support you. Good luck!

 

 

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