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Our interviews for 2024 entry (or deferred entry in 2025) will take place online.


The decision on which interview format to use rests with the colleges and they have consulted widely on the benefits of both in-person and online methods taking into account a range of views, including those of teachers and students. With three years’ experience of carrying out online interviews, admissions tutors are now adept at using both forms. Both formats lead to the same fair assessment of a candidate’s ability and potential for the course that they are applying to. Technical support will continue to be available to those selected for online interviews.


Interviews usually take place during the first three weeks of December, though some may be in early January. A small number of candidates may be invited to a further interview in January after the main interview period. If you decide to apply, keep this time free of any unbreakable commitments.

Although interviews take place towards the end of the application process, it’s important to remember that they aren’t a ‘final hurdle’ and that performance at interview alone doesn’t determine the outcome of an application.

Interview format

For the majority of subjects there will be two interviews of 20-30 minutes each. For some subjects there may be a single interview of no more than 45 minutes. Interview panels will consist of a mix of subject specialists and generalists. See What do interviews involve? for further information about interview question styles.

Your invitation to interview will confirm:

  • what you need for your interview
  • what platform we’ll be using (Zoom)
  • details of how to access your interview on the day
  • the number of interviews and times

The aims and content of your interview will be the same as if it was in person. You can find out more about Cambridge interviews on the What do interviews involve? and How should I prepare? pages.

What will I need?

All applicants will need the following:

  • a quiet location, free from distractions
  • a device with a webcam and microphone (make sure your device is fully charged/plugged in and you’ve tested the webcam/microphone in advance)
  • a good internet connection (close down any unused applications and ask others to avoid using the internet so that your connection is as strong as possible)
  • pen and paper
  • photo ID

You do not have to be in your school/college for your interview; you are welcome to choose a location that suits you best. This could be your home, a friend’s house, or a parent’s place of work, for example.

In addition to the above, some applicants (usually those who have applied to a Science/Mathematics course) will need to be able to share their workings with interviewers. Ideally this could mean having a tablet and stylus available, but there are other equally good ways of doing this such as a pen and paper.

What if I don’t have access to the required technology?

If you don’t have access to a device with a webcam and microphone, please contact us after you receive an invitation to interview.

What if the technology goes wrong or the internet connection is lost during my interview?

Don’t panic! If you lose your connection or encounter technical issues, try to reconnect to the interview. If you can’t get back into the interview, please contact the Hughes Hall admissions office. It’s useful to have a phone and our admissions office contact details to hand, in case you need to do this.

What should I do to prepare and set-up?

You should ensure that you will have access to the equipment you’ll need for your interview (see above). It’s important to do this in advance so that you can notify us if you won’t have access to the required resources.

You should also test the video conferencing platform that you’ll be using for your interview. Your friends, family or supporters may be able to help you with this.

What if I need special adjustments?

If you have a disability, Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD), long-term health condition/injury or other particular need, the colleges will make every effort to meet your requirements, but make sure you tell us well in advance of your interview. If you have declared a disability on your UCAS application then you will receive a form from us to let us know of any adjustments you require at interview; otherwise please contact us via the admissions office.

Feedback, appeals and complaints

We are happy to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates; to request this please contact us at ugadmissions@hughes.cam.ac.uk.

If, however, you are dissatisfied with the feedback and wish to appeal or complain formally, this will be normally made to the College that you applied to. The University provides information on how to lodge a formal admissions appeal or complaint, which can be found here.

Updated 06.07.23