notes from a quivering candidate

interview [recall]

date: 9 May
time: 11.25am

The panel will be looking for students with enthusiasm, robustness of intellect, a willingness to engage and an appropriate humility that comes from an awareness that nothing is ever really simple.

Candidates will be asked about their work: why it excites them; what they know about the broader field of which it is part; why it is important; why coming to Cambridge will help them with their research or build on their earlier educational experiences. Also, do they understand that higher education brings privilege and opens opportunity for the future; what do they intend to do with the benefits they’ve had; how do they see themselves contributing to the wider society and world in time. Candidates may also be asked questions of a probing intellectual or ethical dimension, to which there are no ‘right’ answers.

You should remember this is a very tough competition and you have done extremely well to have got as far as you have. The last part is still very tough, but there is nothing you can do now except relax and enjoy your interview, which will be conducted in a friendly way, and also to take some time meet the other candidates who have been shortlisted.

“relax and enjoy your interview”? excuse me while I crumble into a quivering heap of anxiety


2 responses to “notes from a quivering candidate

  • andrew weiss

    “students with enthusiasm, robustness of intellect, a willingness to engage and an appropriate humility that comes from an awareness that nothing is ever really simple”

    This sounds enough like what I know of you through this blog and your other one that I am quite sure you’ll be fine! At any rate these fund selection processes are quite arbitrary sometimes, and even if you don’t get it, as the description says, you have done amazingly to get to shortlists.

    And yes relax! My undergraduate scholarship interview was more of a friendly banter than any sort of grilling =) You’ll do better if you go in there expecting a stimulating discussion rather than a torture rack. Best of luck.

  • Gavin Robinson

    So you have to be confident and humble at the same time? Okaaay.

    Seems a bit unfair to ask ethical questions, but I suppose if there are no right answers there can’t be any wrong answers either.

    “Nothing you can do” isn’t quite true as you still have quite a bit of time to prepare. Make sure you practice talking about the kinds of things they might ask – get a friend or tutor to help you. You won’t be able to predict all the questions like you can with a job interview (although you’ll be able to predict some of them), but the more practice you get the more confident you’ll be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: