옥스포드 학부 지원자들 보시면 좋을 정보(옥스포드 면접 SAMPLE)라 가지고 왔습니다.
지원서 접수 후 시간이 꽤 지났네요. (더 일찍 지원한 학생들도 많겠지만) 이제 남은 수순으로 인터뷰가 있습니다.
다들 잘 준비하고 있겠지만 반갑게도 올해 옥스포드가 ‘인터뷰 질문들의 샘플’을 공개했네요.
잘 참고하시고 준비해서 좋은 결과 거두기를 바랍니다.
Interviews at Oxford
“면접은 주로 텍스트 지문(학생들이 지원한 과정에 연관된 몇가지 기술적 논쟁이나 문제들의)의 구절에 기초한 아카데믹한 대화라는 점을 강조하고 싶다. 그러나 면접이라는 게 대부분의 학생들에게 워낙 새로운 경험이기에 지원자들이 낯선 환경과 처음보는 사람들로부터 질문을 받는다는 것 자체에 이미 큰 걱정을 하고 있음을 알고 있다.
그래서 학생들에게 도움을 주고자 몇 가지 예시들을 공개한다.
모든 질문들은 분명한 목적이 있고 그 목적이란 학생들이 그들이 지원한 학과에 어떤 생각을가지고 있는지, 새로운 정보와 낯선 정보들에 어떻게 접근하는지를 알아보기 위함임을 강조하고 싶다.
어떤 교육적 배경과 기회를 기존에 가졌든, 면접은 이미 학생이 알고 있는 것을 확인하고자 하는 자리가 아니라 관심영역과 관련 학과 과정과 관련한 본인의 능력을 보여주는 기회로 사고해야 한다. 면접관들은 지원자의 실제 능력과 잠재력을 보여줄 기회를 제공하고자 하는데, 따라서 학생들이 최대한 편안하게, 자신감있게 대화에 참여하여 본인의 지식을 활용하여 새로운 문제를 접근하게 하도록 유도할 것이다.
대부분의 면접이 학생들이 자신들의 학과 과정에서 마주하게 될 소재들과 관련한 것들이거나 본인이 자기소개서에 언급한 영역 범위에서 이루어진다는 것을 명심해야 한다. 대부분의 면접관들은 면접토론에 앞서 몇 가지 내용들을 제공하는데 예를 들어 텍스트 지문이라던지 이미지, 질문과 관련한 실험결과 사례 등이다. 이런 제공받은 내용들에 대한 명확한 관찰 결과라던가 논점등을 뽑아내어 응답을 시작하는 것이 종종 가장 훌륭한 접근이다.
문제를 빨리 해결하는 것보다, 이런 정보들을 어떻게 활용하고 거기서 어떤 부분을 얻어내는가 하는 것이 더 중요하다.
가능한 최대한 많은 정보를 공개하여 학생들에게 현실감을 주고자 한다.”
(Dr Samina Khan, Director of Admissions and Outreach at Oxford)
Preparing for an interview
We recommend that you:
•think about some basic questions that may be asked at the beginning of an interview and how you might answer them. For example, tutors may ask why you have chosen this particular subject, and why you want to study it at Oxford.
•read widely around your chosen subject, including newspaper articles, websites, journals, magazines and other publications.
•take a critical view of ideas and arguments that you encounter at school or college, or in the media – think about all sides of any debate.
•be prepared to show some background knowledge of the subject, if you are applying for a course not normally studied at school or college, such as Medicine, Law, Biochemistry or Oriental Studies. However, you will not be expected to have a detailed understanding of specific or technical topics. For example, you may be asked what role your subject plays in society.
•re-read your personal statement, and any written work that you have submitted, thinking about how you might expand on what you wrote.
•organise a practice interview for yourself. This could be with a teacher or someone else who is familiar with your subject, but preferably not someone you know very well. This will help you to get some more experience of talking about yourself and your work in an unfamiliar environment.
•remind yourself of the selection criteria for your chosen subject (you can find this on the relevant course page).
Sample questions and answers
Modern Languages (French)
Interviewer: Helen Swift
Q: What makes a novel or play ‘political’?
Helen: This is the sort of question that could emerge from a student’s personal statement, where, in speaking about their engagement with literature and culture of the language they want to study, they state a keen interest in works (of whatever type they mention, such as a novel, play or film) that are ‘political’. We might start off by discussing the specific work that they cite (something that isn’t included in their A-level syllabus), so they have chance to start off on something concrete and familiar, asking, for instance, ‘in what ways?’, ‘why?’, ‘why might someone not enjoy it for the same reason?’. We’d then look to test the extent of their intellectual curiosity and capacities for critical engagement by broadening the questioning out to be more conceptually orientated and invite them to make comparisons between things that they’ve read/seen (in whatever language).
So, in posing the overall question ‘what makes this political?’ we’d want the candidate to start thinking about what one means in applying the label: what aspects of a work does it evoke? Is it a judgment about content or style? Could it be seen in and of itself a value judgment? How useful is it as a label? What if we said that all art is, in fact, political? What about cases where an author denies that their work is political, but critics assert that it is – is it purely a question of subjective interpretation? And so on. The interviewers would provide prompt questions to help guide the discussion. A strong candidate would show ready willingness and very good ability to engage and develop their ideas in conversation. It would be perfectly fine for someone to change their mind in the course of the discussion or come up with a thought that contradicted something they’d said before – we want people to think flexibly and be willing to consider different perspectives; ideally, they would recognise themselves that they were changing their viewpoint, and such awareness could indicate aptitude for sustained, careful reflection rather than a ‘scattergun’ effect of lots of different points that aren’t developed or considered in a probing way. Undoubtedly, the candidate would need to take a moment to think in the middle of all that – we expect that ‘ermmm’, ‘ah’, ‘oh’, ‘well’, etc. will feature in someone’s responses!
Interviewer: Chris Norbury, The Queen’s College
Q. About 1 in 4 deaths in the UK is due to some form of cancer, yet in the Philippines the figure is only around 1 in 10. What factors might underlie this difference?
Chris: This is a typically open question, with no single ‘correct’ answer, which aims to stimulate the sort of discussion that might be encountered in a tutorial teaching session. The discussion could take any one of a number of directions, according to the candidate’s interests. Some candidates will ask useful clarifying questions, such as ‘Where do these data come from, and how reliable are they?’, or ‘What is the average life expectancy in these parts of the world?’. Some candidates will seize on the idea that various aspects of the typical lifestyle in the UK are inherently unhealthy, which can make for an interesting discussion in itself. Others, especially if they appreciate that life expectancy in the Philippines is substantially lower than in the UK, will realise that other causes of death are more common in the developing world, and that this is the major factor that gives rise to the difference alluded to in the question. This probes selection criteria including problem-solving, critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, communication skills, ability to listen and compatibility with the tutorial format.
Interviewer: Ian Phillips
Q: What exactly do you think is involved in blaming someone?
Questions like this help draw out a candidate’s ability to think carefully and precisely about a familiar concept, evaluating proposals, coming up with counter-examples, disentangling considerations, and being creative in proposing alternative approaches. Obviously the notion of blame is an important one in moral theory but insofar as blame is an emotional attitude it also brings in issues in the philosophy of mind. Debates about the nature of blame are going on right now in philosophy so the question is also partly a prompt for doing some philosophy together – which is exactly what we hope to achieve in a tutorial.
With a question like this we’re not looking for a right answer but instead whether the candidate can be creative in coming up with examples and suggestions, and can think critically and carefully through their implications. So, for example, many candidates start out by suggesting that for A to blame B, A would have to think that B had done something wrong. Many might also make the point that B needn’t actually have done anything wrong. We can use this opening suggestion to consider a simple theory of blame: blame is just thinking that someone has done something wrong. When this is put to candidates, most recognize that blame seems to involve more than this. This shows their capacity to evaluate a proposal, and we’ll typically ask them to illustrate their verdict with a counter-example: a case where someone thinks someone has done something wrong but doesn’t blame them. Candidates will then be encouraged to offer and test out more sophisticated proposals about the nature of blame. Some might suggest that blame involves a more complex judgement than just that someone has done something wrong. Others instead might argue that real blame requires feelings of some kind on the part of the blamer: anger, or resentment, for example. And again we can put these proposals to the test by looking for counter-examples. Good interviews will often generate all kinds of interesting and revealing discussions that show a candidate’s ability for analytical thought: for example about self-blame, cases of blame where the blamer knew the blamed had done nothing wrong, and indeed cases of blaming something inanimate (such as a faulty printer or phone).
Interviewer: Rebecca Cotton-Barratt, Christ Church
Q: Imagine a ladder leaning against a vertical wall with its feet on the ground. The middle rung of the ladder has been painted a different colour on the side, so that we can see it when we look at the ladder from the side on. What shape does that middle rung trace out as the ladder falls to the floor?
Rebecca: This question tests whether you can do what mathematicians do, which is to abstract away all the unimportant information and use mathematics to represent what’s going on. I’d initially ask the candidate what shape they think will be formed, and then ask them how they can test this hypothesis. They might initially try sketching the ladder at different stages – this is fine, but ultimately what we want is something that we can generalise and that is accurate (you can’t be sure that your drawing is that accurate, particularly when you’re making a sketch on a whiteboard and don’t have a ruler). So eventually they will fall back on maths, and try to model the situation using equations. If they get stuck we would ask them what shape the ladder makes with the wall and floor, and they’ll eventually spot that at each stage the ladder is forming a right-angled triangle. Some might then immediately leap to Pythagoras’ Theorem and use that to find the answer (which is that it forms a quarter circle centred on the point where the floor meets the wall).
This is a fun question because the answer is typically the opposite of what they expect because they think about the shape the ladder makes when it falls (which is a series of tangents to a curve centred away from the wall and the floor). A nice extension is what happens when we look at a point 1/3 or 2/3 up the ladder.
Interviewer: Kate Watkins, St Anne’s College
Q: A large study appears to show that older siblings consistently score higher than younger siblings on IQ tests. Why would this be?
Kate: This is a question that really asks students to think about lots of different aspects of psychology, and we guide students when discussing it to think about both scientific factors such as maternal age (mothers are older when younger siblings are born – could that play a role?) and observational analysis about how birth order might affect behaviour and therefore performance on IQ tests. It’s a great question because students begin from the point they are most comfortable with, and we gradually add more information to see how they respond: for example, noting that the pattern holds true even taking into account things like maternal age. This can lead them to think about what the dynamics of being an older sibling might be that produce such an effect – they might suggest that having more undivided parental attention in the years before a sibling comes along makes a difference, for example. Then we introduce the further proviso that the effect isn’t observable in only children – there is something particular to being an older sibling that produces it. Eventually most students arrive at the conclusion that being an older sibling and having to teach a younger sibling certain skills and types of knowledge benefits their own cognitive skills (learning things twice, in effect). But there isn’t really a ‘right’ answer and we are always interested to hear new explanations that we haven’t heard before. What we are interested in is the kinds of reasoning students use and the questions they ask about the study – what it takes into account, what it might not – that tells us about their suitability for the course. And of course it doesn’t matter if you have a sibling or not – though depending on family dynamics, that can add an interesting twist to the conversation!