What is the most effective advice you can give to a student on how to succeed at a university application?

You can correct in class and give hints and tips, such as:

  • Be prepared
  • Don’t waffle  
  • Be positive
  • Develop rapport
  • Remember your manners

But, unfortunately, you cannot be there to correct at the time.

We all know that when put on the spot and in nerve-racking circumstances all the advice we had stored in our heads of the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ can quite easily vanish out of our minds, and we start doing all those forbidden ‘must nots’ like biting nails, tapping out drum beats, and generally making a fool of ourselves.

This is one instance where the old-fashioned way is best. IPads and interviews: the two don’t mix.  If you’re busily scrolling through an iPad, you are unable to make meaningful eye contact. A personal connection will never be made.

So, why not help students to build a file of their achievements (hard-copy evidence) which they can present professionally and which can be an extremely helpful back-up at the time of their application?