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Oxford University Interview Questions: 60 Examples

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Do you want to prepare for the famous Oxford University interview questions? Then you need ample time to prepare yourself and know what potential questions could be asked. 

Oxford University is a world-renowned institution of higher education in the United Kingdom. It also has an illustrious list of alumni including:

  • 26 British prime ministers
  • 27 foreign heads of state
  • 29 billionaires
  • 12 saints.

Are you pumped up to study at Oxford University? Then you have to prepare and practice for the upcoming interview. The student interview is part of the screening process to finally become an official Oxford student!

In this article, you’ll go over the common oxford university interview questions you may encounter. Go over the list and try to answer them as best as you can. If you’ll experience difficulty, don’t worry. Everyone finds these questions mind-bending!

Are you up for the challenge? Read on! 

60 Common Oxford University Interview Questions

The questions you’ll encounter are some of the most common oxford university interview questions that could come up in your interview. Depending on your course, some questions may have greater chances of popping up than others. 

  1. How can you say you’re in Oxford?
  2. If you had all the resources you needed, what would be your research topic?
  3. What does it mean to be “political”?
  4. What does it mean to be “smart”?
  5. Define poetry.
  6. Describe this rock/painting/plant.
  7. What are you reading?
  8. Tell us about the course structure.
  9. Is studying religion still important if there is no God?
  10. If you can change anything in world history, what will you change?
  11. If you can invite anyone in human history for an interview, who would it be?
  12. If you could be a character in a book, who would you be?
  13. What does it mean to be “autonomous”? Are you showing autonomy at the moment?
  14. How will you calculate the Earth’s mass?
  15. Do you think it should be illegal to run the red light at night on an empty road?
  16. When do you think this text was written? Why?
  17. What do you expect out of studying this course?
  18. What can historians not discover about the past?
  19. What are your interests in behavioural economics?
  20. Do you think this compound would dissolve more in water or alcohol?
  21. Why do animals have stripes?
  22. Define autoimmune disease. 
  23. Studies show that older siblings score higher IQ scores than their younger siblings. Why is this the case?
  24. Why do lions have manes?
  25. Is death bad for humanity?
  26. What does this graph of f(x)=ln(x) look like?
  27. What musical instrument would you like to invent? What will it sound like?
  28. Why do humans have 2 eyes?
  29. How do you measure human capital?
  30. Is it surprising that viruses cause human diseases?
  31. Define “equal.”
  32. Why do you want to study this course?
  33. What does the future hold for cancer treatment?
  34. How will you cope with the heavy workload?
  35. How will you define “normal”?
  36. What life achievement are you most proud of?
  37. What are your long-term plans?
  38. Is fair trade important? Why?
  39. How do you listen to music?
  40. How much should we limit the role of “emotion” in understanding history?
  41. What happens to your bones in space?
  42. What makes a country “rich”?
  43. If you dug up a plastic bag 2,000 years in the future, what will it look like?
  44. Where do you think it’s easier for organisms to live, in water or land?
  45. If you could design a gravity dam, how would you do it?
  46. Discuss triangles.
  47. What is the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes?
  48. In what circumstances do you toss a coin to make a decision?
  49. How would you define the difference between writing to children vs. adults?
  50. Who is your favourite historian? Why?
  51. If a historian visits your place 2,000 years later, what would be the most interesting thing they will find?
  52. Do you consider some poems you’ve read “musical”?
  53. Do you think a physical book has a greater impact on the reading experience than a digital book?
  54. Identify the max and min values of f(x)=x2 between -infinity and +infinity.
  55. Do you think there could be a year without a Friday 13th?
  56. What do you say is the most powerful nation? Why?
  57. Do you think the Loch Ness Monster exists?
  58. How do pirates divide their stolen treasure?
  59. Is sugar in your urine a good indicator of diabetes? Why?
  60. Where does this power come from?

Tips On How To Answer Oxford University Interview Questions

You’ve had a glimpse of common Oxford University interview questions. How best can you answer them? Here are the tips you need to nail your interview!

Review Your Personal Statement

Your personal statement is your golden ticket to university application. You’ve written in it all the reasons why you’ll be a valuable student asset to the University. The interview is the perfect avenue to bring your personal statement front and centre.

Related Read: How To Prepare For A University Interview?  

Nine out of 10 your interviewer will ask follow-up questions about your personal statement. Each interviewer is searching for specific criteria depending on the course. They will zero in on said criteria in your personal statement and will ask you more about it. 

Check Out The Selection Criteria For Your Course

Oxford has dedicated “Selection Criteria” pages for each course. The Selection Criteria contain essential information you need to know, including admission requirements and tips on how to apply. 

Checking out the selection criteria can help you answer the common questions related to “Why should you be accepted?” All you have to do is pick out one of the ideal characteristics the specific course is looking for in a student, and demonstrate that you have it. 

The selection criteria page also gives you valuable tips on how to write your personal statement or how to handle yourself during interviews. Learn as much as you can!

Practice Answering Sample Questions

It’s not enough to fill your mind with the information you need to answer questions. You also have to practice speaking. If you cannot translate your thoughts into spoken language the interviewer understands and finds engaging, what’s the point? 

Related Read: Cambridge University Interview Questions

So get yourself in front of the mirror, look yourself in the eye, and practice answering sample Oxford University interview questions. The more you practice talking, the easier it is to find the right words and the more confident you become. “Practice makes perfect ” is a common adage that remains 100% true!

Get Feedback

Practising by yourself is a good start, but it can only get you so far. You need another person to give you unbiased constructive criticism to help you fill in the blind spots. Do you want to know the most important reason why you need to practice with someone else? It’s a more accurate replica of the interview. 

Having another person listening to you can be unnerving. But if you practice answering questions with different people, you’ll get used to it. When the time comes for your actual interview, it’ll feel more natural to you. 

Don’t pull your punches by sticking to your inner circle. Ask a variety of people, even strangers, to practice with you!

Watch Demonstration Interview Videos

The “Demonstration Interview Videos” tab on the official website is a goldmine of advice on how to answer Oxford University interview questions. Each course that requires an interview will have a specific tutorial video to give you a run-through of how they conduct interviews and how you can succeed. 

If you check their Biology section, you’ll discover the interviewers are searching for candidates who have a genuine interest in Biology and who can carry a conversation. For Computer Science, they’re looking for individuals who can cope with mathematical problems. 

To get a handle on what each course is looking for and how you can fit in, check out their demonstration interview videos. 

It’s Less About The Answer And More About HOW You Answer

You may have noticed how ridiculous-sounding some of the questions are. “How can you say you’re in Oxford?” and “Why do humans have 2 eyes?” are not questions with a technical right or wrong answer. 

Also, the interviewers don’t expect you to be an omniscient being who can answer all questions correctly. What the interviews are looking for is a brilliant mind with a capable mouth. If you can express how your fascinating mind works in an engaging conversation, your chances of succeeding are extremely high. 

The good news is, that you can have these traits if you read and practice speaking. 

Wrapping Up

You now have a convenient cheat sheet on answering Oxford University interview questions. Which question is the most challenging for you? What practical tip is your favourite? Don’t forget to bookmark this post for easy reference.

We at Immerse Education wish you the best of luck!

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