Advice for High School students

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Best foot forward

My name’s Patrick and I work with school students, like you, to help with the Early Admission process. A good interview is a key part of receiving Early Admission and it’s much more relaxed than you might think. Interviews can be nerve-wracking if you don’t know what to expect, but that’s not what we’re about at UOW. After being involved with Early Admission for nine years, I’ve come up with my best advice to help you do well in your interview and have a really successful experience.

Pat O'Connor



Be yourself 

The first thing is to be yourself. You might hear this advice a lot, but when we say be yourself, we mean it. The interviewer really wants to know you so they can do their job. The interviewer’s role is to get to know you and determine if the degree you’re interested in is the right fit. Your job is to give them something to work with: be passionate, be enthusiastic. It’s not about selling yourself to us, it’s about being as genuine as possible.


Be interested

We know you have a lot of choices when it comes to universities. It’s important in your interview that you come across as knowing why you chose UOW in particular, and why that degree. This is how you show an interviewer you’re serious. They’ll often ask you about your HSC subjects. This allows you to talk about your passions and interests. This is your chance to shine because you can talk about something you’re doing well at, and how this will fit in with the degree you’ve chosen and how you’ll fit in at UOW.


Be prepared 

Do some research about UOW and the area you want to study. Ask questions that show you’ve done your homework. It’s one of the best ways to show the interviewer you actually want to study here, that you’re not trying to get into uni ‘just because’. In fact, coming across as uninterested or indifferent is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your interview. To prepare for your interview, think about why you want to go to uni. What are you interested in? What are your plans?


Be interesting

Everyone is interesting. Often it’s just a case of opening up a little. Talking about extracurricular activities can be a good way to break the ice and give the interviewer a clearer idea of who you are. You may have done something at high school, or maybe it was something outside school, maybe a community or sports club. We want to know what makes you tick outside of studies. University’s not just about finding your thing academically – but also socially. It’s about being able to give back to UOW and your classmates. How you spend time out of school gives us a good sense of what kind of person you are, and what you’ll bring to UOW.


Be flexible

We run a number of different interview formats – some one-on-one, some with small panels or group interviews. Some interviews will be longer than others, too. Don’t worry if you have a different type of interview to your friends. Our academics and faculty staff run the interview style they believe will be most effective for the study area, and no matter the format, you’ll have your chance to shine.


How to get your interview right 

Read the instructions carefully

Supply all the information requested as part of your application. This includes a ‘Verification of Academic Results’ document that will be emailed to you if you’re shortlisted for an interview. This document must be signed by a school representative, so be sure to get this done before the end of Term 3. If you have questions, email us at 


Prepare and be punctual 

This includes knowing where your interview is being held on campus (the online map is great for this), what you need to bring, and having it ready ahead of time. Make sure you arrive on time, too. If in doubt, aim to be early.


Dress for the occasion 

You should treat your Early Admission interview like a job interview. You don’t have to wear a suit or formal business attire, but smart, neat clothing is strongly recommended.


Stay focused 

Think about why you’re passionate about studying the degree or degrees you’ve chosen at UOW. Give the questions some thought and try and make every answer demonstrate to the UOW staff why you would make a great UOW student.


For more on applications, course criteria and key dates, visit UOW’s Early Admission page.

Last reviewed: 23 August, 2017