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The University of Oxford reveals 'unanswerable' interview questions

Ever wondered what questions you would be asked in an interview to get into Oxford? Now you can find out!


There has always been a lot of hype around the infamous Oxford interview and today the university has revealed sample interview questions to mark the application deadline later this week.


Economics interview: Do Bankers deserve the pay they receive? And should government do something to limit how much they get?


Engineering interview: Place a 30cm ruler on top of one finger from each hand. What happens when you bring your fingers together?

Photo: AlBakker


If you want a chance of being admitted to the University of Oxford, these are some of the kind of ‘unanswerable’ questions you might have to attempt to answer!


But rather than there being a correct answer, Oxford admissions tutors are monitoring how applicants think and respond to new or strange concepts.


Oxford's admissions chief, Dr Samina Khan explained: “We know there are still lots of myths about the Oxford interview, so we put as much information as possible out there to allow students to see behind the hype to the reality of the process."

We hope that seeing some of the less obvious questions will reassure prospective applicants that tutors simply want to see how students think and respond to new ideas – we are not interested in catching students out.”

The university claims it isn’t trying to “catch anyone out” but instead is “allowing students to shine”.

See more sample interview questions for the University of Oxford below:


  • If you could invent a new musical instrument what kind of sound would it make?
  • If you could save either the rainforests or the coral reefs, which would you choose?
  • How to pirates divide their treasure?
  • Should poetry be difficult to understand?

Think you’d be able to survive the challenging interview round? Find out more about applying to the University of Oxford here.

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About Author

Katie Duncan is Editor of Hotcourses Abroad and is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and University of Exeter graduate. Having worked at an English language school in the UK, as an educational consultant in Spain and as a reporter in the international education sector, she is well placed to guide you through your study abroad journey. Katie grew up in Australia, which perhaps explains her unusual reptile collection, comprising of a bearded dragon (Bill) and tortoise (Matilda).


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