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School News > University & Careers News > Cambridge University Interview Questions: 60 Famous Examples

Cambridge University Interview Questions: 60 Famous Examples

Many students dream of a place at Oxbridge but such is the competition that even the best of the best find the process a challenge. These interview questions may help to bring that dream closer.
The Dreaming Spires of Cambridge
The Dreaming Spires of Cambridge

If you’re dreaming of becoming a Cambridge student, then you have to prepare yourself to answer Cambridge university interview questions. Solid preparation is key to achieving your goals. 

The University of Cambridge is a world-renowned international organization providing the highest standard for global excellence for research and learning. It has been serving history-changing contributions to society for the past 800 years. 

Who knows, you may join the ranks of the 110 Nobel Prize Winners and 47 Heads of State it has raised and nurtured throughout the years. 

Do you want to join the ranks of these illustrious history-makers? You can start preparing today for your upcoming interview. Before you become a Cambridge student, you’ll have to go through a student interview as part of the admissions screening process. 

In this article, we share common Cambridge university interview questions. There’s a massive possibility you’ll encounter some of these questions in your interview. Afterwards, you’ll discover practical tips on how best to answer them. Buckle up and read on! 

60 Cambridge Common University Interview Questions

If you were me, would you let yourself in?

What do you expect to gain from Cambridge?

Discuss spontaneous human combustion.

How do you define success?

What has been the greatest challenge you had in life? How did you deal with it?

If you could talk to anyone in human history, who would it be?

What is the geography of orange?

Do you believe you’re smart?

Do you have political views?

What can you contribute to the college experience?

What is the one superpower you wish you had?

What did you read today?

Discuss your top 3 skills. 

Can you cope with the pressures of Cambridge? How?

What type of decision would you toss a coin for? 

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?

What are your long-term plans?

What is your favourite colour? Why?

What colour best represents your personality?

Who is the most influential figure in this age?

What’s your favourite extracurricular activity?

If you could meet any living person, who would it be?

Describe a potato and compare it with a tomato. 

What is the meaning of life?

What was the most recent magazine article that caught your interest?

Do you think you should be allowed to use your phone during this interview?

How will you describe this object to your friend over the phone?

How important do you think this subject is for mankind?

Tell me what you know about the course structure.

What is your greatest strength?

What shape is the sky?

How many planes are flying over the UK now?

If you could travel in a time machine, where would you be?

Discuss your greatest weakness. 

Can you say Hitler was evil?

Who influenced you most in life?

How many percent of the earth’s water is contained in a sheep?

How will you poison someone without anyone finding out?

What’s your favourite TV show?

Who am I?

What makes something beautiful? 

Why does a cheetah move so fast?

If you were to be a biscuit, what would you be?

How do you know what you just said is not a lie?

Why should people study in a university?

What is more significant to mankind: art or science?

Define truth. 

If you can be a character from any book, who would you be?

What life achievement are you most proud of?

What recent news article did you read?

If given the chance, would you live on Mars? Why?

How many letters does the Royal Mail deliver daily?

What is your favourite number? Why?

What will you choose: party or essay?

Why do objects have names?

Should you give Chimpanzees human rights?

If you win a million pounds in the lottery, what would you do with it?

What is the sound of silence?

If you were me, what would you ask yourself?

Why are you sitting in this chair?

Tips On How To Answer Cambridge University Interview Questions

Scanning through the common Cambridge University interview questions can quicken the heart rate a little bit, don’t you say? Lucky for you, help is here. Check out these practical tips to help you nail your interview like a pro. 

Answer The Sample Questions Aloud

While you were scanning through the questions, did you know the answers? If you were to answer the questions aloud, will your answer be coherent and engaging? You’d be surprised at how your answers may deviate from the actual question.

But don’t be discouraged, all of us get sidetracked from time to time. Especially when our thoughts fly ahead while our mouths are struggling to catch up! 

That’s why you need to practice answering sample Cambridge University interview questions. Pay close attention to your sentences. Do they make sense together? Is it easy to understand? Tweak your answers until they become as concise as possible. 

Review Your Personal Statement

Your Personal Statement is your golden ticket to admissions. In it, you’ve written the most crucial reasons why you’re worthy of becoming a Cambridge student. The interviewer would like to find out if you are who your personal statement says you are. 

Be ready to embody your personal statement. That is, be yourself! Of course, you can’t avoid forgetting some specific detail here and there, especially if you haven’t read it for a while. Make sure you also review the materials you’ve cited in your personal statement. Your interview might want to get more insight about them. 

Keep Reading 

You need to stock up on knowledge related to your course. A good place to start? Check out the course outline on the official Cambridge site. What subjects do they mention? 

If you’re planning to take Architecture, you’ll need to read up on architectural history, principles of construction, and environmental design. For Computer Science, subjects include foundations of computer science, Java, and interaction design. 

Start searching for journal papers, news articles, and go-to books related to your course. 

Even if your interviewer ended up not asking you questions about what you read about, you’d benefit from improving your vocabulary. Making it easier for you to construct your sentences and explain yourself. Trust us, you’ll need it!

Practice Talking About Your Course

You have a brilliant mind. But the question is, how will the interviewer know that if you can’t express yourself? Practice talking to people. Engage in meaningful discussions related to your course. 

Don’t hesitate to approach people who are interested in the course you’re planning to pursue. Your friends, batchmates, and teachers are great people to approach. But strangers are the best! Why? Because you need to practice talking to someone you’re not comfortable with. 

How do you talk to someone you just met?  Can you express to them your passion for your course? The more you practice, the more your confidence will grow. On the day of your interview, talking to someone you just met will feel more natural to you. 

Get Feedback 

There’s only so much you can see about yourself. If you need constructive criticism to help you improve fast, set up mock interviews with your friends. Ask them to ask you random Cambridge University interview questions. Answer them as if it’s the real deal. 

Then ask them for their feedback. Take note of their observations. What are the most common points of improvement people say you need to work on? Focus on these points and work on them.

Do the mock interview again and ask them if there were any changes. Repeat the process until you get better. Don’t stop practising! 

Prepare Your Questions 

The interview is a conversation, not an interrogation. While your interviewer will ask you questions, your turn will come. You’ll also have to ask your questions in turn. 

Asking questions is a sure sign you’re invested in becoming a Cambridge student. It means you’ve given Cambridge much thought and you want to know if the school has what you need to help you succeed in your long-term plans. 

If you need a quick brainstorm on what questions to ask at a university interview then check out the link.

Get To Know Your Potential Interviewer

Research on the tutors of your course. Find out their interests, achievements, contributions, and field of expertise. 

The more familiar you become with them, the more comfortable you’ll be during your interview. What’s more, they’ll be impressed that you did your due diligence! Feel free to tell them what you appreciate about their work, and what trait they have that inspires you. 

Remember, the interview is a conversation among human beings. Not an interrogation! So treat it as such. 

Wrapping Up 

There you have it! You have 60 of the most common Cambridge University interview questions to practice with. Plus, you have practical tips to help prepare you for your interview. All that’s left to do now is to act. 

(This article appeared on the Immerse Education website in February 2022. Credit: Max Stevens, Immerse Education).

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