Hi to all prospective Leeds Beckett students!
I wanted to write a blog about the interview process, and how I found it on the day – which may (hopefully) help with some of your concerns or nerves!
Once you have had your letter or email through about your interview, make sure you put it straight into your phone or diary, because you can find out way in advance of your interview date. You don’t want to end up forgetting about it or making other plans for the same day! You can then start to get yourself ready for the day.
The thing that helped me most of all when preparing for the interview, and the best tip I can give, is to have in your head what you want to say about yourself. The purpose of interview is to ‘sell yourself’ as a person – your exam results will speak for themselves. If you really feel like you are meant to be on the course, and it is something you are passionate about, you need to be able to relay that to the person who is interviewing you. Smile, be brave and confident that you know what you want. You can do this by practising being interviewed by your parents/friends/partner/siblings, or even just by yourself. Make sure you talk about the main points you want to get across to the interviewer. I had 3 things that I wanted to say, and remembered them by counting on my fingers and having a ‘key word’ in my head to remind me of it. Also, make sure you know how you are going to get to the interview, leaving enough time to park at uni or walk from the station, as being late is not a brilliant first impression!
My course is very vocational, and so before I got to the interview I prepared by gathering some of the things I have done in the past that are relevant to the course, for example certificates of other courses/qualifications. This is not always necessary, depending on the course – but some people feel better about having something like that with them to be able to speak about.
On the day of the interview I felt REALLY nervous. My mum had to make me eat breakfast because I felt like I couldn’t eat! I was also eager to go and get the day started, as for my course there for a few different things that were part of the interview process, which was exciting, as well as scary! I knew it was going to be the ‘first step’ of my career, and I was excited to get started. Meeting new people, as well as trying to make a good impression is a tricky thing to do, and the people at uni understand that on the day you won’t be acting like your usual self because of the nerves. I decided to take my dad with me, which was a huge help to know that someone was there for me, even if they were just sat in the cafe. I would recommend taking someone if you can because it really does make a difference to have that added support and comfort when you are feeling such a huge range of emotions in one day.
Before the interview began I was asked to meet with a group of other students and one of the current 3rd years, who was there to escort us to the interview rooms. She talked to us a bit about what the course is like, and answered questions from the students and the parents, which was really helpful and put us at ease. I spoke to a couple of the other people having interviews as well, really just to say how we were feeling about the day! You often find when you meet people doing the same course, they are like-minded, and you will have something in common. You may even make friends with someone you will be studying with for the next few years. One of the girls I met on my interview, I am good friends with and sit with in lectures now I am on the course!
The interview itself went better than I expected, as always with this kind of thing – it’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be. I had 2 separate interviews, and 2 mini ‘tests’, on the day – but my course (speech and language therapy), is very different from a lot of others. The email you receive should specify what you will be expected to do on the day. The face to face interview was quite informal, as they were just asking me about why I want to be on the course, what I want to achieve, and what makes me a good candidate. This is good time to talk about anything ‘extra-curricular’ that you do – like volunteering, playing sports or interests you have that make you ‘stand out’. My tutor really put me at ease, as he was very friendly and immediately told me not to worry as he knows how scary interviews can be – in fact he graduated from the very course I was trying to get onto! The types of questions he asked me were:
- Why do you feel you are right for this course?
- Why do you want to be a Speech and Language Therapist?
- Why do you want to come to Leeds Beckett?
- What makes you a good candidate for this course?
After the interview was over, I felt extremely relived, as the few days before and the day itself were spent thinking about what I was going to do and say. I also felt a bit worried about things I didn’t say or felt I could’ve said but forgot due to nerves at the time. I would say – as long as you get your main points across, (using the counting on your fingers tip!) and what you think is important to be clear about, everything else is just you worrying for no reason - looking back now I only remember the main points I wanted to make and getting there on time. I thought the day, overall, had gone well and I did stop worrying about it after I’d got home and had a cup of tea! The most important thing (which sounds so cliche, but is so true), is to be yourself. You have got the interview, you are obviously a good candidate, you are good enough to get on the course and achieve your goals, so show them that! I remember talking to myself up in the car beforehand, just telling myself that I know I can do it! Even if you feel the most nervous you have ever felt in your life, pretend that you aren’t! You are more than capable, and you deserve to achieve what you want, (especially after all of the stress of your A Levels!)
I heard back about my interview and offer within 48 hours, which really surprised me as I thought it would take ages for them to review everyone. I know that sometimes it does take longer, but for my course it was especially quick. I guess when you interview hundreds of people the best way to process your decisions is to process them quickly.
Like I said, the best advice I can give is to be yourself, and be confident in your abilities and the key points you want to get across. Make sure you have everything you need, get to Leeds in lots of time to find where you need to be, try to speak to some of the other candidates and smile! 😊
I wish you every luck in the world with your interview – and hope you decide to come to Leeds Beckett!
Thank you for reading,