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Interviews: Definition and Policy

contact:Admissions Office, Student and Registry Services.

Policy Definition of ‘interview’

In the context of UCL student selection and admissions, an interview is a meeting with an applicant for admission as a student that:

  • takes place only once it has been established that the applicant meets, or is likely to meet, UCL’s entry requirements;
  • is used for selection purposes and not solely as a means of recruitment.

Policy on conduct of interviews

General

  1. Interviews should be conducted by a minimum of two members of staff*, both of whom have been trained in interviewing** and equal opportunity awareness.
  2. If it is deemed that an interview is required for a group of applicants, then all applicants in this group should be interviewed regardless of their place of residence.  Applicants living in exempted areas of the UK as well as overseas (in other EU countries or elsewhere) may be interviewed by telephone or Skype rather than in person. Technology, such as OVIA interviews, can be used instead of other formats of interview.
  3. An agreed line and level of questioning should be adopted and questions must be relevant to entry criteria. Supplementary questions should be used to probe for further information or clarification where answers are incomplete or ambiguous.
  4. Interviews should be assessed against predetermined criteria which are consistently applied throughout the whole admissions cycle.
  5. The interviewers should keep a set of notes between or among themselves to help them reach an informed decision based on the content of the interview. Interview notes should relate to how candidates demonstrate their knowledge, skills, experience and abilities in relation to the entry criteria.  Under the Data Protection Act, access to interview notes must be given to applicants who request it.

Undergraduate

A department should in advance of the interview provide the applicant with:

  • Information about the programme of study, the department and UCL, including clear instructions on how to find the department.
  • A programme of events sent with the invitation to interview.
  • Information on what, if any, arrangements there may be should a parent or parents decide to accompany the applicant.
  • A departmental welcome point.
  • An opportunity to be shown the department and its facilities, to meet current students and to be given a tour of UCL

A department should also ensure that:

  • All staff and students involved in the interview event are fully aware of their responsibilities and available at the required times and venues (this is particularly relevant where more than one department is involved in this process).

A department should on conclusion of or subsequent to the interview as appropriate provide the applicant with:

  • Realistic information about when s/he may expect to learn the outcome of the interview.
  • A letter thanking the applicant for attendance at interview.

Graduate Taught Programmes

A department should in advance of the interview provide the applicant with:

  • Information about the programme of study, the department and UCL, including clear instructions on how to find the department.
  • A departmental welcome point.
  • An opportunity for candidates to be shown the department and its facilities, to meet current students and to be given a tour of UCL

A department should also ensure that:

  • All staff and students involved in the interview event are fully aware of their responsibilities and available at the required times and venues (this is particularly relevant where more than one department is involved in this process).

A department should on conclusion of or subsequent to the interview as appropriate provide the applicant with:

  • Realistic information about when s/he may expect to learn the outcome of the interview.
  • A letter thanking the applicant for attendance at interview.


*The requirement of at least two interviewers is designed to ensure that the applicant receives a fair interview and to avoid accusations of unfairness or discrimination being made against a single interviewer.   The second interviewer can be an administrator who acts as an observer or secondary interviewer.

**Enquiries regarding interview training should be referred to: Sarah West [Undergraduate Admissions Manager – email s.j.west@ucl.ac.uk; telephone 0207 679 4083/internal extension 54083].

June 2012