After your application has been submitted, you will hear in late November or early December whether you have been invited to interview. If you have been given an interview, the College will expect you to come to Oxford for a day or a couple of days in late December. All interviewees are guaranteed free accommodation and meals by the College and there will always be a team of current students who will be around to answer any questions. At Balliol we pride ourselves on being open, welcoming and friendly and there will always be students on hand to deal with any problems and answer questions.
Most of the teaching at Oxford happens in small classes called tutorials, and your interview will be based on this model. Your interviewers are assessing your ability to think critically and your academic potential, and there are a number of things you could do to prepare for the interview. It is important to have read over your personal statement and any written work submitted, but also to have a broader knowledge of the subject which can be gained by wider reading. It is also helpful to organise a practice interview, to get some experience of talking about yourself and your subject in an unfamiliar environment.
Please wear whatever clothes you feel comfortable in. Most tutors will not dress formally, and it is not necessary for you to do so. We recommend that you bring copies of any written work you have submitted, and a copy of your personal statement, as tutors may refer to these during your interview. It’s a good idea to bring a book with you or some school or college work to do, as you will only spend a relatively small amount of your time in Oxford actually in interviews or taking tests. There will also be plenty of opportunity to spend time with other interview candidates as well as current undergraduates. You will need to bring your own personal items such as toiletries, and it is advisable that you bring a mobile telephone, along with its charger, so that the college can contact you if they need to.
After the interviews, the tutors will make their decisions based upon a range of factors including the interview, any written works/tests which were part of the application, exam results, personal statement and academic references. You will hear in mid-January whether you have received an offer or not. The offer will either be from a specific College or you will receive an 'open offer'. An 'open offer' means that your place is guaranteed, but the College you will go to has not been decided - you will find out your College after your final exam results have been published.