Imperial College London Entrance

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MSc applications for 2019/20 academic year are now open! After initial assessment of your application, you may be invited to complete a video interview via the online interview platform, Kira Academic.

While this is a really useful tool for us to get to know you a bit better, it can also be a valuable experience for you, as an increasing number of employers are using video interviews in their recruitment processes. However, for those who haven’t yet completed an online interview, we know it can be a bit daunting, so we have provided a bit more information and some tips which we hope will put you at ease about the process.

Which MSc programmes use video interviews?

The following MSc programmes are now using the Kira interview platform:

Why an online interview?

The interview is a supplement to your application and adds an extra dimension to the selection process. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to hear directly from you, and a chance for you to show your passion for the programme you’ve applied to. We want to hear about your motivation, career aspirations, wider interests and why this programme is the right fit for you.

As mentioned above, this kind of platform is often used by employers as part of their recruitment process. This means it’s also a chance for you to practice using the type of online platform you may use in your future career.

 When will I be asked to complete a video interview?

If you are successful in the first stage of our selection process, we will then contact you by email to invite you to complete an interview for the programme. Processing times can vary slightly depending on which programme you’re applying to, but you should expect to receive an interview invite around 3-5 weeks after submitting your application. Remember to check your junk mail to avoid missing the email! When you receive the invite, you will be given two weeks to log on and complete the interview. 

What will I be asked in the interview?

The interview is designed to show us you can think on the spot, as you would need to in a face-to-face interview, so unfortunately we can’t provide specific examples of questions. Having said that, you can expect to be asked some general questions which will give us a chance to hear more about your background, strengths, and passion for your programme. There will also be some programme-specific questions, and for certain programmes these questions may require you to demonstrate your quantitative skills or business acumen. These are not designed to catch you out, so there is no need to try to revise everything you’ve learnt!

For more information on the Kira System, you may wish to explore the ‘Applicant Help Center’ part of their website where you can explore helpful articles and the answers to commonly asked questions.

Interview Dos and Don’ts

Do pick somewhere quiet

It may sound obvious, but the first thing is to make sure you choose a quiet, private place to do the interview. This should be a place where you won’t get distracted or interrupted, and where you can concentrate fully on the interview. Try to minimise the amount of background noise – if there are other people talking in the room, it can be hard for us to hear your answers, so do pick a spot which isn’t too noisy.

Do prepare, but don’t over prepare

As with any interview, preparation is important in allowing you to perform at your best. We therefore recommend spending some time before the interview thinking about the questions we may ask you and how you would respond.

In the interview itself, you’ll get thirty seconds preparation time for each spoken question, followed by one minute to give your answer. You’ll have five minutes to answer a written question. The interview will start with a practice session, which aims to get you used to the timing.

You should use your preparation time to plan the key points of your answer, but don’t try to script your answer word for word as you’ll run out of time. The interview is also an opportunity for you to convey your personality to us, and natural answers – rather than overly scripted responses – are the best way to do this.

Do answer the right question

When giving your spoken answers, you should be concise and make sure you stick to the question being asked. When you know a lot about a subject, it can be easy to answer a slightly different question rather than the one being assessed – if you are asked about a time when you’ve had to keep a team motivated, don’t just tell us why teamwork is important. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of your time and realising you haven’t started to answer the actual question yet!

Remember you can always look at the bottom of the screen when the interview is recording if you want to remind yourself of the question.

Do use examples

Be as specific as you can be in your answers and use real-life examples where possible. When you’re asked a question, try to link it to your own experiences, rather than just talking generally; we want to hear about what you have done.

Do be yourself

This is really important. The reason we want to interview you is because we want to find out more about you as a person. Try and be natural, don’t just say what you think we want to hear, and be honest in your answers. We want you to be a good fit for your chosen programme, but we also want your programme to be a good fit for you.

We’re looking for well-rounded students on our programmes, so don’t be afraid to inject a bit of your personality into your interview – you’ll be asked about your hobbies and interests, so take the opportunity to tell us about what you enjoy doing in your spare time.

Finally, don’t panic

Even if you feel you haven’t answered one question as well as you wanted to, don’t panic. We will assess your interview as a whole and will take each of your answers into consideration, so don’t worry too much if one question doesn’t quite go to plan. Just try to move on and refocus your energy for the next question.  Remember that the interview is only one component of your overall application and will be reviewed alongside your written form.

Good luck with your interview!

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Bailey Marques

About Bailey Witting

Admissions Coordinator
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