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Your interview

Check if you need a Student route (formerly tier 4) visa to study in the UK and how to apply.

Processing times for visas is taking longer than normal. Please apply for your visa as soon as you can.

Prepare for your interview

You may be interviewed as part of the visa application process. An interview can take place at the visa application centre when you submit your application or any time between then and you receiving your visa (by phone or face-to-face). There is no way of knowing whether you will be selected for an interview.

You can find detailed information about the interview process on our visa interview page.

There is no need to be worried about the interview. Use our guidance to prepare and make sure you think about what you want to say in advance.

Questions at your interview

The questions in your interview will help your caseworker decide if you are a 'genuine' student and if you are planning to come to the UK in order to study the course you have been offered.

The interviewer will ask you questions to check that:

  • You have carefully thought about your study and why you want to come here
  • Your English is good enough for you to study in the UK so you will be expected to answer the questions without an interpreter.

Always tell the truth! You should never lie at any point during your visa application.

If you don't understand a question, you can ask the interviewer to repeat it. They understand that English might not be your first language and won't mind repeating the question. Most importantly, try to remain calm and answer the questions clearly and slowly. Don't panic, as this makes it harder for you to speak clearly.

We have created a flyer and an infographic preparation guide to help you think about the kinds of questions you may be asked and the best ways to prepare.

  • Example questions to prepare

    • Your institution
      • Why do you want to study in the UK?
      • Why did you choose your institution?
      • Where is your institution?
      • How big is your institution?
      • What other institutions did you consider?
    • Your course and your future career plans
      • Why did you choose this course?
      • What other courses did you consider?
      • How will you be assessed?
      • What modules will you study?
      • What do you want to do after graduation?
      • How will this qualification help you?
      • How much are the tuition fees?
      • How long is your course?
      • What qualification will you receive when you graduate?
    • Living in the UK
      • Where will you live?
      • How will you pay for your studies/living costs?
      • How much will your accommodation cost?
      • Are you planning to work while you are in the UK?

Length and format of your interview

  • The interview will probably last 10 to 20 minutes and can be done by video conference with an interviewer in the UK, by telephone or face-to-face at a visa application centre, a High Commission, or an Embassy
  • The interview is not recorded, but your answers are written down. The transcript is attached to your file and sent to the caseworker with the rest of your documents
  • No decision is made at the time of the interview. The transcripts are assessed at a later stage by the caseworker.

We strongly recommend that, when the interview is over, you ask for a copy of this transcript and check that it is an accurate record of the interview. If you feel the transcript is inaccurate or leaves out something important, please contact our international student advice team for more information.

Second interviews

It is unlikely you will be asked back for a second interview. If you are, this is probably because the interviewer is concerned about something you said during your first interview. You must contact us immediately to let us know. We can supply additional support and guidance.

A second interview is your last chance to convince the interviewer that you are a genuine student. Make sure you prepare well and can answer the questions fully.

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