University Interview Tips for International Students in Spain

Interviews can be daunting- especially if your education is on the line! While some universities only require a written application, some may request an interview to get a sense of who you are as a student. If your academic program at your chosen University requires an interview, here are some tips to help you prepare. 

University Interview

1. Study the University

When you go in for an interview, typically your interviewer will end with asking: “Do you have any questions for me?” While your mind may immediately draw a blank, preparing some questions beforehand can help ease nerves and convey your interest in the school. While an interviewer may truly answer most of your burning questions during the interview, always have a few basic but important questions prepped and ready. Additionally, do not ask questions that are easily answered on their website or any material they provide you. The key is to ask questions that provide you with deeper insight into your academic program without looking uninformed and unprepared. Here are some sample questions:

  • What are the expectations for each year of this program?
  • What are some of the main characteristics a student should possess to succeed in this program?
  • How does the university foster a sense of community among students, both academically and socially?
  • What would a typical day look like for a student in this program?
Preparing Interview

2. Review Your Documents

When walking into your interview, it is important that you are consistent with your other application materials. Review your application, portfolio, and motivational letter or personal statement. This allows you to know the information your interviewer possesses about you and will assist you in answering questions in a consistent and confident manner. 

Smilling Interviewer

3. First Impressions Matter

While an interview allows you to showcase your achievements and highlight your personality, the first thing your interviewer will notice about you is your appearance. While it is not necessary to show up in formal attire, you should look professional and aim for business casual. A sweater and slacks go a long way! When you show up dressed professionally, you are simultaneously showing that you are in a professional mindset, as well as respectful of the interviewer and institution. Dressing in a T-shirt and jeans will only harm your chances in the long run. 

4. Practice Makes Perfect

While the purpose of an interview is to learn more about you, it doesn’t hurt to have some formed and rehearsed answers to some of the most common questions your interviewer may ask. Here are some questions to prep for:

  • Why did you choose this program and/or field of study?
  • How would you describe yourself?
  • What was an achievement you are most proud of?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why should we offer you a place in this program?

While you don’t want to sound over-rehearsed, it is important to have an outline for these questions that you can build upon in your interview. In general, try to keep your answers concise and coherent. Avoid rambling and filler words like ”um” or “uh.” Having strong, concise, and coherent answers creates a strong and positive impression that your interviewer will appreciate.  

5. Follow Up

While you may want to immediately move on once completing your interview, it is important to follow up with your interviewer. Take the time to send a quick email thanking them for their time and showing your dedication to the program.

Example University Interview Follow Up Email:

Subject: Thank You!

Dear [Interviewer's Name],

I wanted to express my gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the [specific position/program] at [University/Institution name]. Our discussion was insightful, and I appreciate your time and consideration. I look forward to the possibility of contributing to [University/Institution name].

Best regards,

[Your Name]

In general, while interviews may seem daunting, they are an achievement- as you would not be interviewing if the University did not consider you a good fit. The best way to ace your interview is this: prepare, prepare, prepare! By doing this, you are allowing yourself to show up as the best version of yourself- and you are sure to get accepted!

Curious about other factors of the admissions process? Check out our FAQs to find out more.

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Written By

Tessa Sternal

Undergraduate Student, 2023

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