Now that you’ve completed your application, you’ll shortly hear from us to book an interview for your course. We know that an interview can be pretty daunting, particularly now that it will be online or over the telephone! Here you’ll find out what your interview will include, how to troubleshoot any problems with Zoom and our top tips to get the most out of it.
Booking your interview
We’ll contact you by email once an interview slot is available for you to book. You’ll choose a time and date which suits you (from selected dates according to the avaibility of the course director) through our student portal and details on how to do this will be included in the email. You can click here to watch our video tutorial if you're not sure how to log in to the student portal.
Once you’ve chosen a date, you’ll receive a confirmation email with further details on how to join your interview.
What to expect from your interview
We use our course interviews to determine your suitability for the course. Most of our interviews double up as an information session, where you’ll learn all about the course and college life. Jonathan Boyall, course director for Professional Cookery – Level 2, said “college is a very different environment to school. The interview gives staff a chance to introduce themselves, their course and talk about what college is really like - we like for those new to the college to have the opportunity to answer and ask questions”.
Our interviews are generally relaxed but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared! You’ll likely be asked the following:
- Why did you apply for college?
- What are you hoping to gain from this course?
- What would you like to do as a career?
- Is college (and the course) your first choice in September?
If your interview goes well, you’ll be offered a place on the course. You’ll have time to think about your offer but there isn’t a commitment if you accept your place during your interview – you’ll be able to change your mind or apply for a different course at any point before September.
You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions about the course - so make sure to read our top tips below!
As a result of the coronavirus restrictions, your interview will take place on Zoom (or over the telephone, if you’d prefer). Please note that, for safeguarding purposes, all of our Zoom meetings are recorded.
Joining your interview
Once you’ve chosen a date and time which suits for your interview, you’ll receive an email which has further details on how to join your interview on Zoom. It will include:
- A direct link to your interview (which you can click to open Zoom and start your interview)
- The meeting ID and passcode
If you’ve never used Zoom before, click here to go to Zoom’s website to learn how to join a meeting.
Once you’ve joined the meeting, it’s really important that you put your full name as your name on Zoom so that the course director can easily work out who you are. You should also use your time in the waiting room to test your audio and webcam (if you’d like to use one) and find a quiet space where you won’t be distracted.
What to do if you cannot join your interview
Technology can fail us all at times and we know how frustrating it can be when things don’t quite work as intended. If you still can’t join your meeting after watching this video and referring to the guide on how to join your meeting, please try to use a different device and access the meeting using the ID and passcode. If this still doesn’t work, please use the live chat on our website (staffed 9am – 4:45pm on Monday – Friday) and we’ll do what we can to help! If we cannot help further, we’ll see if it’s possible to change your interview so it’s by telephone instead.
If you’d rather have an interview over the phone, please contact us on 01553 815449 and we’ll get this arranged for you.
Getting the most out of your interview - our tips!
Prepare - but don't be scared to ask questions
While you’ll learn more about the course during your interview, it’s worth spending time before your interview to use our website to prepare for your interview. You should use the course page on the website and videos on Virtual CWA to really get a head start on your interview.
You should also think about what else you need to know about starting a course at college. Have a chat with your parents / guardians beforehand and find out if there is anything they’d like to know and make notes of the questions you’d like to ask. You’ll always get the opportunity and it will show the interviewer that you’re actively interested in their course if you prepare a few questions to ask.
Review your interview invitation
It’s worth checking your interview invitation again as there may be something you need to do before or during your interview. For example, you may be asked to upload a picture of your predicted grades to the student portal or to prepare a portfolio for the interview. All of this will be included in your interview invitation (or subsequent emails).
Be yourself and leave a good first impression
Our interview session will likely be the first opportunity you've had to meet your course director - it's your chance to leave a good first impression. We'd like to know what you are good at, what your future plans are and what you'd like to get out of college. Paul Gibson, Programme Manager for Creative Arts, said "We want to see that you are enthuastic about the course you've applied for. We want to hear you talk about and describe what it is that you are looking forward to about studying at college".
Arrive early - even on Zoom!
Even though your interview will take place on Zoom, it’s still important to try your meeting link early to confirm that the Zoom link works (and give you enough time to contact us if it doesn’t!), test your connection and to check your audio settings. You can use the remaining time in the waiting room to review the questions you’d like to ask.
Find a suitable space for your interview
It’s really important that you find a quiet space where you won’t be distracted for your interview. If you’re constantly disrupted, you may not get the full experience and you will look occupied during your interview – which is not a good look! If you have your webcam on, you should also consider what is in frame behind you. We want to see you, not the posters in your bedroom!