A few months ago I received an email from one of my viewers asking this simple request: “Could you please upload a video on how to behave with the visa officer during the interview questions and provide answers, tips and tricks, please?” My viewer and reader didn’t clarify if he was interested in a UK or US visa so I thought I might as well upload videos for both. Lots of you were interested, so I thought I should write a blog post about them, too. This article is related to a UK Visa and it is for you only if you plan to study in the UK (not if you plan to work there).
First of all, I’d like to tell you that the visa officer who is going to interview you is an experienced officer who really knows his job: so, tricks don’t work here. What I can give you is some general advice on what s/he expects to hear in order to give you that visa. I believe that the majority of UK Visas that have to do with studying are usually granted.
Well, the good news is that things are pretty easy. If you have all your required documents with you—these documents depend on your country of origin and your unique situation, so you should ask the embassy in your country for what is needed—and you can communicate well in English providing reasons why you’d like to study in the UK, then you will most probably get the student visa! However, note that you must have been already accepted by a university there: this is a requirement.
Overall, beware of how you look: you should be decently dressed. See it like a job interview. You are not going to go to a job interview with your pyjamas and messy hair, are you? (If you are, stop reading this article immediately: you have more important issues to solve first).
During the Interview
It will greatly help if you are calm and organised in your answers. During the interview if you don’t hear a question feel free to ask: “Could you repeat the question, please?”. If you don’t understand a question or its meaning, you can also say: “Could you rephrase the question, please?”. In the rare case that you can’t follow because s/he might talk too fast, you can ask him/her: “Could you talk more slowly, please?”
Questions and Answers
They will probably ask you first:
– What’s your name and date of birth?
So you will answer for example,
– My name is Umiko Tanaka and my date of birth is the 3rd of January 1995
The next question will probably be:
– Where will you be studying?
– I will be studying at City University; a BA programme on Economics
– When does the course start?
– The course starts on the 15th of October OR
– The course start date is the 15th of October
Obviously then, they are going to ask you some details regarding the course of your choice, for example:
– What is the course of your choice and why did you choose this course?
As you can understand, the answers here depend on the programme of your choice, so you should be able to talk about it a little bit and be ready to give reasons why you chose it. I would advise you not to memorise ready made answers. Experienced interviewers can understand that. You should practice your answers many times by yourself until you know what you’ re talking about, ok? An example answer would be:
– I will be studying Economics at City University and I chose this course because having a degree in Economics will help me find a job in the future as a degree like that will give me the skills and expertise to pursue a career as an economist in the future
They will most certainly ask you:
– Why did you choose this particular university to study?
And you should be clear about that, too:
– Upon research, I came to the conclusion that this university is one of the best in the field of the studies I’m interested in and as I found out it has a very good reputation.
Of course you can change that according to your own specific situation, right? If you know more information and want to add more advantages about the specific institution of your choice in terms of something else it offers or its location etc. by all means do so.
They may also ask you a more general question:
– Why did you choose the UK for your studies?
Again, you may have your own personal reasons but an example answer could be:
– UK has a very good reputation in higher education worldwide and more specifically, the programme of my choice is thought to be one of the best in the world.
They are not going to ask you all the questions that I give you here, just some of them but it is wise to be very well prepared for all of them. An important issue for them is your residence. So, they will probably ask you:
– Where will you be staying during your studies?
– I intend to rent a room along with fellow students from my country of origin, India. OR
I intend to stay with friends and relatives that already live here OR
I intend to stay in the accommodation provided by the university
– What are your future plans after completing your studies?
– I intend to pursue a Master’s Degree and further develop my skills OR
I intend to apply for jobs in the field of Economics and start putting my knowledge into practice
– Is this the first time that you apply for a visa?
In this case, well, you answer the truth. They also might ask you some information about the town you are going to live in, so be prepared to know some things about it too, by saying why you like it there. For example,
– I like it very much because it is a big international city full of opportunities and people are helpful and friendly.
They may ask you different questions but more or less they will be around the same topics. They may also ask you about your IELTS score so remember to say your overall bandscore and if they ask you if you were weak in one of the sections-for example, writing- provide solutions of how you intend to solve that, maybe by attending some extra classes.
Overall, remember to provide clear and concise answers. Be confident and show that you know what you are talking about. Good level of English in terms of speaking, reading, and writing is essential. Be prepared, calm, and if you’re already accepted by a university in the UK you have nothing to fear! I wish you the very best of luck!
Here’s the video if you prefer that instead: