Interviewing in: Modern Foreign Languages

Background on subject

Oxford and Cambridge offer a wide range of Modern Languages, including French, German, Italian, Portugese, Russian and Spanish. At Cambridge, students study two of the available languages, or combine them with Classical Latin or Greek. At Oxford, students can study a single language or two languages as a Joint Honours. At both universities, the course involves a year abroad.

Subject requirements are usually an A-level in at least one of the languages which will be studied; however, this is dependent on the subject as many languages can be studied as a beginner’s course.

For Cambridge, students are required to submit written work before interview and then take a written assessment at interview.

At Oxford, students have to submit written work and sit the Modern Languages Admissions Test (MLAT) before interviewing.


Can I interview in this subject?

You do not have to have studied Modern Languages 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 Modern Languages interviews:

Interview types

There are two different types of practice interviews in Modern Languages, 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 Modern Languages 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!


Devina studied Classics at St Catharine's College, Cambridge, graduating in 2017. Her degree covered Classical Languages, Literature and Linguistics.

Since then, she has gone on be a Consultant at Theorem, a multinational technology and digital media company.