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University of Cambridge Interview Questions

Updated Nov 12, 2014
Updated Nov 12, 2014
21 Interview Reviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience

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Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview

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Interview Difficulty

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Candidate Interview Reviews

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  1.  

    Senior Research Analyst Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at University of Cambridge in September 2013.

    Interview Details

    Applied through email. Recommend checking the website jobs.cam.ac.uk. Got back to me for an interview a 7-10 days post the submission deadline. Interview was then 14 days after.

    Panel of interviewers. Questions ranged from detailed questions about the post, specifics on my CV, what I would do in different scenarios with demanding clients, ability to reply quickly to emails, and future goals.

    Interview Questions
    • What aspects of the job posting do you think you will struggle with? What aspects will you excel at.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Difficult Interview
  2.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Interview Details

    Easy going, friendly interview. The key is to show you have looked into the projects and are able to answer why you like that project in particular. Ask questions, be enthusiastic! They want capable people who are really motivated. People generally dressed smart but others chose to go very casual. I would say don't go over the top but make some effort, it's a research centre after all.

    Interview Questions
    • About dark matter, orbits. Why I wanted to work on the project.   Answer Question
    Negotiation Details
    No negotiation. Standard salary
    Accepted Offer
  3.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied online – interviewed at University of Cambridge.

    Interview Details

    I had to fill in some forms online together with CV and letters of recommendation. The application was for a BBSRC studentship. There are usually a couple allocated to each department and those then get distributed to students rather than the supervisors. I was invited for an interview day where we were welcomed by friendly PhD students who were very supportive. There were about 16 people for 8 studentships and most of the students were quite nervous. Everyone had two interviews, one general one and an academic one. I had a really challenging interview at Leeds before and compared to that one, the one in Cambridge was a breeze. All the panelists were so friendly and what stood out for me was that they were rather trying to help you show your best rather than picking on weaknesses. So they would , for example, ask what I have done during a particular research experience and I just explained very roughly and showed my enthusiasm for science which I think goes a long way in the Cambridge interviews. The general/ personal interview was really there to get to know the student as a person and one of the panelists even told me that 'this and that' was very impressive. So overall, it was a very nice interview experience. i got the studentship in the end :) Also, it's interesting that far less students seem to apply to Cambridge than some other institutions. And each year after the interviews the panelists say how impressed they were with the high level of the applications.

    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
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  5.  

    Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2+ monthsinterviewed at University of Cambridge.

    Interview Details

    Looked for job posted on the website.
    Sent out a few email exchanges to register interests and to make enquiries.
    Waited for 1 month before receiving the invitation for interview.
    Skype interview because was overseas at the time of interviewing.
    Two rounds of interviews with mismatch occurred at the later stage.

    Interview Questions
    • Would you prefer to work at our lab as a PhD student rather than as a RA?   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview
  6.  

    Research Fellow Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at University of Cambridge.

    Interview Details

    Video conference

    Interview Questions
    • How do you think you can collaborate with people here?   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
  7.  

    Custodial Role Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at University of Cambridge.

    Interview Details

    I was shown a detailed list of the responsibilities that the role holder would undertake and asked how I would tackle them. General questions about my background.

    Interview Questions
    Negotiation Details
    Hours were flexible. Salary was not.
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  8.  

    Postdoctoral Research Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at University of Cambridge in August 2013.

    Interview Details

    Easy and informal start of the interview helps "break the ice". Followed by a lab tour which was very professional and essential for a candidate. Then a detailed conversation about the post-holder duties and candidate experience. The interviewer came prepared - being familiar with the candidate's background, research interests and papers.

    Interview Questions
    • Some technical questions were not easy to answer. However with relevant experience should be OK.   Answer Question
    No Offer
    Average Interview
  9.  

    PhD Student Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Anonymous Interview Candidate
    Application Details

    I applied through college or university. The process took a dayinterviewed at University of Cambridge.

    Interview Details

    First had to find a potential PhD supervisor.

    Next had to find funding for the PhD.

    Had to convince senior academics that I had a decent PhD plan and that I would be up to the task. This involved answering questions in front of a panel and explaining my research proposal.

    Interview Questions
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview
  10.  

    Resident Trainee Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took a dayinterviewed at University of Cambridge.

    Interview Details

    Application included CV, Cover Letter and Referees list.
    Interview date (already known on application pack) to close to dead line of applications.
    Had to set travel arrangements to quick.
    Referees letters asked two days prior interview.
    Friendly chat with a professor, a senior lecturer, a head of teaching personel and human resources staff.
    Key role: chat with the previous holder of the position (so 5 person interview panel), after the formal interview end. Previous holder might played the most significant role for the decision.
    Duration: 15 min formal interview, 30 chat with previous holder!!!
    Warm welcome and friendly interview environment.

    Interview Questions
    • Why choose Cambridge (really unexpected).   View Answer
    No Offer
    Positive Experience
    Easy Interview
  11.  

    Student Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Cambridge, East of England, England (UK)
    Application Details

    I applied online. The process took 2 weeksinterviewed at University of Cambridge in December 2011.

    Interview Details

    applied through UCAS, took 2 weeks

    Interview Questions
    • Hotelling model, production function, industrial revolution   Answer Question
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Difficult Interview

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