Interviewing in: English

Background on subject

This course balances a strong grounding in the core of English literature with the chance to explore literature from around the world, other art forms, the English language, and related intellectual traditions.

There is a lot of crossover with English and other disciplines. Indeed, while Oxford offers a hugely popular English Language and Literature course (its faculty is the largest in Britain), English is offered in combination with Modern Languages, History and Classics. 

Cambridge University offers a degree course in straight English, and boasts many alumni including Spenser, Tennyson, Plath, Hughes, and Zadie Smith. 


Can I interview in this subject?

You do not have to have studied English at university to give a robust and rigorous practice interview in this subject. 

Volunteers from the following subjects, or similar, will also be able to deliver English interviews:

Interview types

There are two different types of practice interviews in English, which you may be asked to deliver. 

  1. Interview on 'application material' - asking the students' questions about their personal statement, or an essay they will submit as part of their application

  2. Interview on 'unseen material' - asking the students' questions on an article, study, or research paper they have not seen before, testing how they handle new material

SAMPLE Resources

Below you can access a folder of resources for conducting English interviews:

  1. Interview on application material - you can see a sample personal statement, highlighted with examples of questions which could be asked

  2. Interview on unseen material - you can see examples of articles which have previously been given to students, along with questions

These resources are intended for inspiration - to give you an idea of the level, length and themes of the material we use in our practice interviews. However, should you wish to use this material in the practice interviews you deliver, just let us know so we can make sure returning students haven't seen it before!

Meet one of our VOLUNTEER INTERVIEWERS: Bertie

I graduated in English Literature from Merton College, Oxford in 2017.

I'm now studying as a lawyer, whilst working as a photographer and filmmaker.

I've volunteered with OxFizz as a mock interviewer over this past year. I enjoy watching candidates realise their academic opinions are valuable, and encourage them to trust their instincts and speak their mind - they have lots to offer!

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