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19 Aug

Oxford Law (Skype)
<p>In this section, you’ll hear from an Oxford alumnus about his Skype interview for Law.<br>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Briefly Tell Us About Your Interview</strong></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>So unlike quite a lot of my peers I did not fly over to the UK to have my interviews. At the time I was not aware that people who flew over to take the interviews in person would normally have at least two interview opportunities. In contrast, I only had one Skype interview. Having said that, I think there were advantages to doing the interview via Skype. For example, I did not have to leave my home country so there were no issues regarding jet lag or having to adjust to the climate. Everything was very familiar to me. So at the end of the day I think students have to think about whether the extra interview opportunity is worth making a trip to the UK for.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Interview Process</strong><br>&nbsp;</p><p>So if you choose to do a Skype interview, the process is quite straightforward. You’ll receive an email telling you the location of the Skype test center.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>When I arrived at the Skype test centre, I was given around 40 minutes to read an actual judgment of a legal case. This will be the focus of the discussion during the interview itself. While reading the judgment, I was given some writing material and found it very useful to jot my thoughts down.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>After that, I was invited into a room with a computer and the administrator at the test centre help me to dial the college that I was applying to.<br>&nbsp;</p><figure class="image"><img src=""></figure><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>What was the Actual Interview Like?</strong><br>&nbsp;</p><p>There were three interviewers in the screen before me. These were the tutors at the college that I was applying to. If you fly over to the UK, you normally get 1 or 2 tutors in an interview but since Skype candidates only have one interview, sometimes all the tutors appear so that they can determine whether you’d be a suitable candidate.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>There were very few general questions about why I wanted to apply to Oxford. I remember a warm up question which related to an experience that I talked about in the personal statement. It was something I had prepared for so that was not too difficult and it only took about 5 minutes.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>A large part of the interview focused on the case I read. I was asked to give a brief summary of the case and because there were a few judges who gave their opinion in the case, I was asked which judge I agreed with the most. From that point on, the tutors tried to challenge my opinion. They would give counter arguments supporting the other judges’ opinion and ask me if that changed initial view. From time to time I would also get hypothetical scenarios, and the tutor would ask if this made a difference to my initial answer and if so, why. For subjects like Law, the tutors are really not too interested in whether you have the “correct answer”. They are more interested in your arguments.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>What Went Well In The Interview?</strong><br>&nbsp;</p><p>I came out of the interview feeling devastated. It was only after I started my undergraduate degree that I realised most of my peers felt the same way after the interview. In contrast, students who came out feeling that the interview was a breeze often didn’t get accepted.<br>&nbsp;</p><p>The most important thing to realise is that the interviews are meant to be challenging. The tutors are looking for students who can take a stand and defend their position in the face of criticism. There were some moments in the interview where I felt really cornered by the tutors, but I also felt quite strongly about my initial viewpoint so I argued back vigorously. Not giving up so easily probably helped me score some points.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Having said that, there can also be times when the evidence to the contrary is too strong. At this point, it would be very sensible for a candidate to acknowledge the fact and say “well I think my initial position may not be as defensible as I thought”. Of course, when to fight and when to concede is really quite a balancing act. You’ll get better at this over time and with more practice. But I’d say that a good rule of thumb is not to concede at the first sign of objection.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>One last point to mention is that the Oxford law degree is actually affect a BA in Jurisprudence (it is not an LLB). The syllabus places great emphasis on the philosophy of law; deep questions about the nature of law (for instance, does the law have any necessary relationship with morality?) as well as its role in a society.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p><p>At the time of my application, I had my own thoughts about the law and at the end of the interview I was asked if I had any questions for the interviewers. So I took the opportunity to ask some questions which were related to jurisprudence. On hindsight, the questions are pretty silly but I think they nonetheless had the effect of signalling to the interviewers that I was a candidate who had interest in the law and had spent time thinking about the subject in greater detail.</p>