How to beat nerves at your #OxbridgeInterview

A recent survey of Oxbridge students carried out by OxbridgeHumanities revealed that 100% of students felt nervous before and during their interview process – so the good news is, if you’re having an attack of nerves, you’re in good company.


We’d certainly be surprised to hear of anybody who didn’t feel at least a little nervous during their interview. It’s completely natural. For most people, this is one of the most important moments of their lives, and one which can dictate the course of one’s future career, not to mention the social circles in which one will move.

So – how can you help reduce nerves? Here are our top five tips for reducing nerves on the big day.




  1. Be prepared. Good preparation for your interview is absolutely vital. You cannot predict exactly what will be asked of you in your interview, but you can go a long way towards knowing what to expect. You don’t want to be hit with any sudden surprises – so make sure you’re aware of what your particular interview requires of you, whether it will be reading and answering questions on a text, carrying out a number of short interviews, or the like. Efficient preparation is absolutely vital to success – and what’s more, it will enable you to approach your interview with confidence and to show off ‘the real you’.
  2. Get some rest. Some colleges will put you up in accommodation the night before your interview. You are likely to be surrounded by fellow students also applying for admission. Socialising with others is, of course, a good thing – but make sure that you get a decent night’s sleep. Tiredness can cause unnecessary stress as well as make your brain a little foggy when you want to be razor-sharp.
  3. Talk to others. Take advantage of the opportunity to have conversations with others at your chosen college, whether they are fellow interviewees or current students. It’s amazing how much having a good chat will help to dispel that sense of nervousness which can build up quickly and quietly when you are left stewing in your own thoughts. Chinwagging also helps to loosen up your conversational muscle, which will help in your interview.
  4. Read a book. Your favourite book, or a new book. Something you enjoy, that’s just for you. Or go for a walk. Or listen to a favourite piece of music. The experience of arriving at an Oxbridge college can be overwhelming, and you may begin to feel ‘out of your depth’. Doing something that makes you feel like ‘you’ again can not only be relaxing, but can help you to focus on the things that are important at interview – who you are, why you are passionate about your subject, and why you will make a great addition to your college of choice.
  5. Remember that everyone feels like you. There’s nothing worse than feeling as if you are the only person in a room who doesn’t deserve to be there. Trust us – it doesn’t matter how much confidence your fellow interviewees are displaying on the inside, everybody is feeling the nerves inside. Everybody feels as if the odds are against them, but the fact is, you’ve already got your foot in the door by being invited to the interview. So remember – you’ve got a great chance, and youdeserve to be there.