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The interview

If you are shortlisted for interview you will have already gone through an incredibly competitive process.

The interview was much more enjoyable that I thought it would be - it was an incredibly engaging two-way conversation with people interested in you, your work and your plans. Make sure you're clear about your reasons for coming to Cambridge and can highlight how you in particular fit with the main criteria of the scholarship programme.


You will be invited for a 20-25 minute interview and, depending on where you are, you can either attend in person or choose to be interviewed by Skype.

There are four broadly subject-based interview panels:

  • Arts
  • Biological Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • Social Sciences

Each panel usually consists of a representative of the Trust and two academics - and may include a Gates Cambridge alum. Each interview has four main sections:

1. Welcome and introduction

  • The Chair will introduce the panel, set out the format of the interview, and provide any other essential information to allow for a productive session.

2. Gates Cambridge

  • What you know about the Gates Cambridge Scholarships
  • Your motivation for applying
  • Why you think you could be a Gates Cambridge Scholar
  • Your thoughts on the opportunities and responsibilities that a prestigious, full-cost scholarship at one of the world's leading universities brings

3. Academic and career plans

  • Your academic work to date - can you convincingly communicate your passion for, and the importance of, your chosen subject?
  • Your proposed degree at Cambridge - why you want to do it and why you believe Cambridge is the right place for you to study.
  • Your career plans - can you convincingly link your application for both a Gates Cambridge Scholarship and your proposed course at Cambridge to your future career plans?
  • You may also be asked probing intellectual or ethical questions, to which there are no 'right' answers.

4. Final thoughts and any questions you might have.

  • A chance to add anything further you would like the interview panel to consider, and to ask any questions you may have.