Your interviews will most likely be held with one or two specialists, and will be about half an hour in length. You will be expected to solve problems on a whiteboard, or on a piece of paper at a table. The structure of your interviews may differ slightly at Oxford or Cambridge.
At Oxford, you will most likely have two interviews across one day. The interviews will incorporate both maths and physics questions. People often get one maths question and one physics question, each containing many individual parts. The style of questions will be similar to the long-answer questions of the PAT.
At Cambridge, your interviews may be more diverse. You will have at least one interview of the style described above, where you will go through problems with a tutor. However, you may also have a more personal interview, where they try to get to know more about you as a student and your ambitions. They will not guarantee more than one subject-based interview at Cambridge, whereas you will have a couple at Oxford.
You may have a pre-interview test on top of the ENGAA. This will most likely contain short maths questions, and you will take your completed test with you into the interview. You will then discuss and solve any remaining questions in the following interview.
At some colleges they also do group question-and-answer sessions, where you can ask questions and the admissions tutors can get to know more about you. The system differs from college to college, so it’s worth checking what your college does before you go for your interview.
It is important to remember that, although the interviews will be tough, you will not be left to drown in deep water. The interviewers will want to give you advice and guide you through. Part of the process is watching how you respond to their tips. Make sure you listen to them, and don’t think they are trying to take you off the correct path!
For more of an idea what to expect, take a look at our example Engineering interviews, complete with notes and annotation.