Skype Interviews – Guidelines for Candidates

We interview all UK student who are shortlisted. Ideally, we would also like to interview all shortlisted international applicants as well, but because of geographical distance and visa requirements we realise this is not always possible. Information about Skype interviews for international candidates is available here.

Candidates being interviewed by Skype should be aware of the following:

The interviews will be academic – as they would be if attending for interview in Oxford. In advance of the interview, candidates are encouraged to consult the University’s Interview Guide (available at and to check subject selection criteria (available at )

The interviews will be as similar to those in Oxford as possible.

The interview is a formal part of the selection of students to the University of Oxford and our preference is to hold these interviews in overseas schools/colleges wherever possible.

  • You should ensure that you are in a room that is appropriate for the interview where you will not be disturbed by others.
  • No other individuals should be present during the interview unless they are there for IT support reasons.
  • You may be asked to confirm that you are alone at the start of the interview and to conduct a camera sweep of the room. 
  • You may be asked to produce ID at the start of the interview to confirm your identity.
  • You may be asked by the interviewers if you are content for them to take a snapshot of you using Skype. This is to provide a photograph which may be used by interviewers to help with their recall.
  • You should have available to you a pen and paper on which you may be asked to work through problems – holding the paper up to the Skype camera so that the interviewers can see your answers.
  • You should have access to a telephone that does not require you to enter another room, so that the interview can continue if problems develop with the use of Skype. Before moving to a phone-only interview the interviewers may wish to try using phone for transmission of sound and Skype for images, or to use Skype for voice only. It is therefore particularly helpful if the back-up telephone can be used in speaker mode. The College can telephone the number so that you do not have to cover the cost of the call.
  • You must not record your interview.
  • You should ensure that you are available for a while after the scheduled interview time just in case the interview overruns.
  • You may wish to dress appropriately for an interview.
  • You should check your emails regularly between now and the interview.

Although every effort will be made to test and operate the technology successfully, it is possible that problems may develop. If you become concerned that difficulties are impacting on your ability to concentrate or answer questions please make the interviewers aware of this so that they may consider how best to proceed.