The day I received the news I was shortlisted for a Chevening interview was one of the best in my life so far. I was overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment, as well as intimidation for what is to come. I know it can be very stressful preparing for a 30 minute (or so) meeting that can potentially change your life, and so I gathered some of my best tips and advice for preparing yourself for the big day.
Before the interview
The first thing I would encourage you to do after booking your interview date and time is getting reacquainted with your application details. Read through your four essays and the questions and try to elaborate on them. I remember preparing q-cards with the questions and asking family members to conduct mock-up interviews with me. This helped me memorise my answers and gave me confidence to speak fluently in English. If you feel you need to, you can always ask for professional consultation (like us!) to help you with this process.
On the day
Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and eat before your interview. Also, give yourself more than enough time to reach the interview location, as British people are very punctual and first impressions matter. When you get to the location you might have to wait with other interviewees, keep calm and be friendly, these could be the friends that help you through the coming year.
For me, the interview itself was a very pleasant experience. I met with a group of three women who held different positions at the British Embassy in Israel as well as the head of the UCL Israel Alumni Association. I was asked to introduce myself and elaborate on the answers I gave in the application form, and explain why I was applying to Chevening and my university courses.
At the time of the interview I already received offers of admission from the universities so we discussed those and finalised my preferences. I remember being asked about my future plans and how I intend on contributing back to my home country after completing my degree, and what challenges I might face and how will I overcome them. The interview itself was very laid back and conversational in manner, however, this can vary between years and countries.
The thoughts after and waiting for results
To help ease the stress and sudden relief I felt after the interview, I met up with my parents for lunch and was able to talk them through what I just experienced. For me, this was a wonderful way to relive the experience and also get support from those closest to me.
Remember, once the interview day is complete it can take a few months before you know the outcome, so make sure you follow the official Chevening timeline to know when to expect results. At this time you also need to remind yourself that you did your best, and that it is no longer in your hands. So keep calm and focus on your other activities.
The writer is a Chevening alumnus and this blog depict her personal experience