Interview Surprises

 An interview is one of the most significant parts of candidates’ assessment. It allows Admission to look beyond formal things like GMAT score or GPA, engage and assess one’s personality and suggest whether or not this further graduate can succeed on the job market of the real world and hence contribute to university’s reputation and rankings. Much like a job interview, it shall show bold how the institution will benefit from taking you on board.

Besides, an interview is the only possibility for Admission to see your personal features and check your psychological and stress-sustainability which are highly demanded from international students to succeed with their studies. This is why some interviews surprisingly include “questionsults” and stress-tests. So how to deal with it?

A good technique to overcome nerves and stress during an interview is imaging the interviewer is an old friend of yours. He’s asking questions about your life and you are keen to share with pleasure and smile. That works perfect with simple regular questions. But be aware and prepared for surprising pop-ups!

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The remedy is bold: be prepared! Remember the aim of such awkward and surprising questions is not to crack you and get the truth but rather to put you in a compromising and confusing situation and see how you deal with it. This is a quite common mental technique widely used to assess one’s stress-sustainability and ability of operating under pressure. Not your answer itself but your general reaction and the manner of your reply are what matters.

With this idea in mind, see the questions below from the collection of real university interview cases. Try to imagine you face a question alike these. Your first impression is shock and confusion? This is ok. Now think what will follow.

  • «We have lots of problems connected with suicide. What would you do to avoid them?» (Harvard)
    One replied: “If I survived in a boarding school, then Harvard would positively seem a spa for me!”. Bingo!
  • «You will not come here. Why shall I reserve a place for you?» (Leeds)
    It was the first interview for the candidate. Despite the stressful situation, he managed to persuade the interviewer that he is not right and that candidate’s intent is really strong. By the way, when this candidate was admitted, he refused the offer J
  • «Do you smoke marijuana?» (Cambridge)
    The answer was positive with a reference that smoking weed did not hamper B. Obama becoming the President of the U.S.A. However strange it may sound, that candidate was accepted.
  • «Is there any sense to teach you to be an engineer, if you are not going to work in this sphere, and will dedicate yourself entirely your family and children?» (Imperial)

The girl who was asked this question still feels sorry for her attempt to answer it, instead of having let them understand that the question was simply incorrect.

  • «Why do you want to become a doctor?» (Glasgow)
    All candidates claim an honest “it’s all about money” answer won’t work here. Sometimes it is necessary to find a convincing reason that does not seem obvious. And that’s a stress-test, too!

Want to know more? Here at AcademConsult our coaches can give more hints & tricks and tons of real challenging interview cases. While preparing for an interview with us you will:

  • Discover how to prepare for interviews and make a great first impression;
  • Learn various strategies how to overcome nerves and fear
  • Learn how to build confidence and good relations with the interview officer;
  • Learn how to answer common interview questions;
  • Learn how to respond to behavioral-based questions using the STAR technique;
  • Practice interview skills in mock interviews;
  • Get tips on how to stand out from other applicants and make the interviewer remember you.
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