When you arrive for your interview at Trinity, you will be met by current student helpers – very visible in yellow T-shirts – who will guide you to the JCR. The JCR is the student common room, and all applicants wait here until their interview times, which are posted on the noticeboard. A helper will let you know before each interview if there is any preparation you need to do, and if so you will be shown to a quiet study room to complete this. You will be able to eat your meals in College while you are here (no charge!), and accommodation is available for the length of your time in Oxford (also no charge!). The JCR team also organise many (optional) social events, so that applicants have opportunities to relax and feel at home, and meet other applicants throughout the interview process. Most people find that, regardless of the outcome, the interview process end up being a lot more enjoyable than they imagined.
For most subjects you will have two separate interviews, often by two different sets of tutors. The interview timetable is carefully worked out so that you have sufficient time to ‘regroup’ and get from interview to another; don’t worry about that! For International applicants who are interviewed over Skype, the interview process is the same as for those interviewing in person. Whether you attend the interview in Oxford or are interviewed by Skype, your interviews will probably be rather similar to the style of a tutorial. You may be asked for additional interviews by another college. This is so all colleges can make sure they are admitting candidates in a consistent manner. You can find more resources on what to expect at interview, including videos of mock interviews and guidance on how to prepare on the central University website.
No trick questions!
To make the interview process more engaging, questions may be novel, but they will be related to your subject area. Our tutors seek to challenge our students fully, so the questions will not always have straightforward answers. However, the tutors are looking to see how you think around the question and learn from discussion, so don’t be discouraged if you are stumped by something that is asked. Try to work through the question, and don’t be afraid to say if you don’t know something. In some interviews, the discussion will centre around a text, task or problem that will be presented to you, either before or during the interview. In either case, you will be told which to expect.