Interviewing with OxFizz
On this page you'll find some general advice for running your interviews, and some more information on OxFizz's ethos
Our general advice to interviewers is to:
- Be stern. We want to prepare students for a rigorous interview process, so we ask interviewers to take a stern tone with students. In practice, this means keeping a impassive expression - or 'poker face' - and avoiding nodding, murmuring agreement, and complimenting the interviewee throughout.
- Avoid lecturing. Your interviewee will take less from the experience if you do most of the talking, or tell them the answers to your questions too quickly. You should encourage them to do most of the talking, asking them open questions and looking for them to think out loud.
- Be constructive. In order for your feedback to be as useful as possible, it is important not to be too complimentary or too harsh. Your interviewee should come away with areas to improve on going forward
If you are looking for a useful way to structure your questions, we recommend dividing them into 'Zoom In' and 'Zoom Out' categories.
- 'Zoom In' questions ask about something specific in more detail - for example, 'You mentioned X in your personal statement; can you tell me what is meant by that term?'
- 'Zoom Out' questions ask about a broader concept or debate - for example, 'What do you think makes a piece of literature endure through time?', 'How do you think this article relates to the nature/nurture debate in Psychology?'
If you ask a mixture of Zoom In and Zoom Out questions, you will have evaluated both a student's attention to detail and their ability to see the bigger picture.
When conducting your interviews, please keep OxFizz's ethos in mind:
- Mythbusting. We believe that the myths surrounding Oxbridge admissions interviews are unhelpful and counterproductive. We want to assuage any such fears our students have, and prepare them for a challenging and rigorous admissions process
- No 'perfect candidates'. We believe there is no textbook Oxbridge candidate. Rather than coaching students to have the 'perfect interview', or giving them stock answers to use, we want to encourage students in their application to be creative and be themselves
- Child safeguarding. All OxFizz staff and volunteers should maintain an 'it could happen here' mindset as far as safeguarding is concerned, and this means that if abuse of any nature of a child is suspected it must be reported to our Safeguarding Lead as soon as possible and within 24 hours