“How would you poison someone without the police finding out?” This is just one example of a question that has been asked at a Cambridge interview, in this case, to those aspiring to study Medicine. From Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic to Veterinary Medicine, bizarre interview questions abound in an Oxbridge interview. For centuries, students have been faced with left-field questions to test their lateral thinking skills and determine whether they will thrive in an environment which seeks to nurture their academic potential and curiosity.  So, what should you expect at a Cambridge interview and how can you prepare?

Law applicants are likely to be asked their opinion on a fictitious or past legal case or point of law, an example being “If a wife had expressed distaste for it previously, would her husband’s habit of putting marmalade in his egg at breakfast be grounds for divorce?” No prior knowledge is required; solely an ability to present a logical and reasoned argument.

Students going for Medicine may be asked questions around medical ethics, such as “At what point is a person “dead”?Medicine applicants (like all applicants), should also keep up to date with current affairs and be prepared to discuss a wide range of topics, such as their opinion on the government’s latest reforms to junior doctor contracts.

Economics candidates may be asked to put a monetary value on an item or be invited to create an alternative process for a current economic conundrum or controversial issue. Students should be able to apply previous knowledge where applicable, whilst also thinking of new and creative approaches.

So in the weeks leading up to the interview, we would advise you to do at least three things:

  1. Keep abreast of current affairs within your subject area as well as general topical issues
  2. Practice some of our real-life Oxford and Cambridge interview questions
  3. Discuss areas of interest within your subject with peers or family members

We wish you all the best in your forthcoming interview. 

More Resources