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5 Hacks to Ace Your Online Oxbridge Interview

Updated: Dec 13, 2023



During the pandemic, interviews shifted from in-person to exclusively online. As of 2023, the majority, with a few exceptions in some Cambridge colleges, remain online requiring a completely different strategy to in-person interviews. Based on our tutors’ years of experience, here are five hacks that could revolutionise your online interview:


1 - Choose Your Device



Though phones and tablets generally have better front cameras than most laptops, we recommend using a laptop. Phones and tablets often move around a lot during an interview, creating distractions and confusion for both you and your interviewers.


2 -Tidy Your Room


Oxbridge professors may have a reputation for being eccentric, but this doesn’t mean they like messy rooms! If your background is untidy, it shows poor organisational skills, and the only course they will think about admitting you for is advanced cleaning studies!


3- Webcam Setup 


Webcams are pretty poor-quality cameras, and therefore it is vital to provide the correct conditions to allow them to perform at their best. The most important thing to do is to avoid backlight, which creates shadows, meaning they can’t see your wonderful face. If you really have nowhere else to do the interview, buy a light to get rid of all the shadows!


4 - Look at the Camera


 With almost all interviews done by a panel of two or three academics, there can be a temptation to look at individuals where you see them on the screen. However, when the camera is in the middle of the screen, this can look a little unusual, and you may appear to be looking away from the interviewers! To avoid this, we recommend directing your answers directly at the camera, with some previous students of ours having placed pictures of eyes next to their webcam!


5 - Height of the Laptop


It’s essential to make sure your webcam is at the same height as your eyeline—interviewers want to see your face rather than your chin! To do this, get a box (or a pile of books) and place your laptop on top of them and notice the difference it makes!

 

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