French Graduate Admissions: Tips for the Interview

You applied for a Master’s programme at Sciences Po via the French procedure* and have been pre-selected? Congratulations! Next step: the interview. This final stage of the admissions procedure will take place remotely between 19 April and 30 April 2021 (from 13 April for the Journalism School only). For many students, the interview can be the most stressful element of their application: what kind of profile are we looking for, how can you demonstrate your motivation, how best defend your ideas? Preparation is key! We've laid out some simple guidelines to help get you succeed in this final stretch.

*Candidates who apply via the international procedure are not subject to an interview.

1/ Start by rereading your application form

The aim of the oral exams is to determine your reasons for applying to Sciences Po and to judge how well your project will fit with the educational style of the Master.

Carefully reread your cover letter, CV, and any other elements included in your application. You should be able to provide an overview of prior experience and your professional plans going forward: your academic career, internships, as well as any other extra-curricular experience, such as volunteering, political or social involvement, and other related activities. The interview panel will want to hear about your interests and any elements of your personality that may distinguish you from other candidates.

2/ Get to know the course structure and professional prospects of your future Master

In choosing your Master’s programme you should be making a considered and realistic decision about your future career plans. Interviewees must be able to show that they know what direction they wish to head in and to present their reasons concretely and with conviction. That’s why it is vital that you get to grips with the structure of your course and the content you will be studying if you are accepted. This Master should hold no surprises for you!

3/ Take an interest in current affairs within your chosen domain

Students at Sciences Po must have a keen interest in the contemporary world and its major issues. The members of the interview panel will be looking out for your knowledge and curiosity for current affairs in the professional universe that you wish to enter, be that law, journalism, public affairs and so on.

Some more practical advice

This year, all interviews will take place remotely, via video conference in front of a two-member panel, and will last 20 minutes.

You will be able to access the interview dates and times a few days before the interview period. It is up to you to register for the time slot that suits you best among those proposed for the chosen Master. The earlier you register, the more likely you are to get the slot you want!

On the day of the interview, do not forget good practices: log in 10 minutes beforehand to make sure that everything is working properly, and start the interview in a relaxed way.

Good luck!

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