Materials Interviews

The best place to start is Oxford's official information on preparing for interviews. But after you've looked there, read on to hear some students talk about their Materials Science interviews.

Interviews are different for everyone but generally just think before you speak, be polite and nice, and just relax. The tutors will probably be just as nervous as you. The interviews often have a mathematical and a deduction/thinking part.

Jeremy, Teddy Hall, student from 2012
Rebecca Wang

Question 1: Periodic table. I was given a blank periodic table and asked to fill in as many elements as possible. It initially seemed like a cruel memory exercise but instead it was clear that they were testing your ability to logically reason and work out where to place elements in the table due to their physical/chemical properties such as radioactivity, reactivity, state, density etc.

Question 2: Diffusion of Solids. I was given an equation to describe the diffusion of carbon through iron, and the different variables were described to me. I was then asked to sketch a graph of how the rate of diffusion (D) varied with temperature (T). After I had completed this, I then progressed to draw a straight-line graph of this with a logarithmic scale (which involved some algebra to manipulate the equation). The tutors then asked why a higher temperature would increase the rate of diffusion and suggested drawing a diagram of the iron lattice to help me work it out.

Question 3: Identifying the materials science behind everyday objects. The other tutor passed me a drawing pin and asked me to identify the material (metal, non-ferrous, etc) and an explanation of how it was manufactured.

Rebecca, Trinity, student from 2014

<<  Return to Materials