French Graduate Admissions: Tips for the Interview

Have you applied for a master’s programme at Sciences Po via the French procedure*? If you successfully pass through the first phase of the application process – results of which are announced from 23 March 2020 onwards – you will move on to the second phase of the application process: the interview. This final stage of the admissions procedure will take place between the end of April and the start of May 2020. 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! That is why we’ve laid out some simple guidelines to help get you onto the home straight.

*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 profile will fit with the educational style of the university.

Carefully reread your cover letter, CV, and any other elements included in your application. You should be able to provide an overview of all 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 all 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 for that 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 of 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

Be sure to arrive on the premises well in advance, so that you have time to calmly locate your room and begin your interview free of stress.

Don’t forget to bring the necessary documents: your interview confirmation letter and ID will be required in order to access the building.

In line with France’s Vigipirate regulation, security measures operate on all Sciences Po premises. Interviewees should be sure to pay attention to the university’s security requirements and advice.

Find out more

Subscribe to News from Sciences Po

FEMPO: Period-Proof Underwear Made in Sciences Po

FEMPO: Period-Proof Underwear Made in Sciences Po

FEMPO are the first period-proof underwear made in France. When Fanny Abes, at the time a third-year student in Vancouver, met Claudette Lovencin, the idea for the product was born. They are now both Sciences Po graduates. We met with them to speak about their career paths and business.

More
Ecological Transition: Sciences Po Launches a Three-Year Action Plan

Ecological Transition: Sciences Po Launches a Three-Year Action Plan

In the face of a climate in crisis and a planet experiencing profound ecological disruption, Sciences Po has set itself an ambitious three-year action plan. This plan will form one part of the much wider Climate Action: Make It Work initiative, launched in 2015. It responds to the institution’s obligations as both a place of study and work and a centre for teaching and learning, in Paris and across the six regional campuses.

More
Support for Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal

Support for Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal

Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, both researchers at the Sciences Po Center for International Studies (CERI), were arrested in Iran in early June 2019. Since then, they have been held in detention without valid legal grounds. On 31 January, 2020, the CERI organised a conference, "Captives Without Cause", aimed at contributing to the mobilisation for their release and raising awareness on the various issues (diplomatic, political, intellectual and human) linked to their detention. Many researchers, but also public figures familiar with the issue of arbitrary arrests and hostage situations were present.

More

"Rethinking International Relations"

Betrand Badie is the author of Rethinking International Relations, a thought-provoking book in which he argues that there has been a shift in the major IR paradigms and that ignorance of such transformation is a cause of conflict and instability. Professor Badie answers our questions on his understanding of the discipline, on its transformations, on issues of power and nostalgia…

More
Social Sciences Through the Prism of Gender

Social Sciences Through the Prism of Gender

PRESAGE, Sciences Po’s Research and Educational Programme on Gender Studies, was created in 2010. With the triple aim of promoting gender-related research, developing the university’s curriculum, and disseminating knowledge within the field, PRESAGE was among the first cross-cutting, interdisciplinary research programmes dedicated to gender studies in France. Meet its founders, Hélène Périvier et Françoise Milewski, both researchers at the Paris-based Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques (OFCE). 

More
Xiaorui Zhou, 2020 Rhodes scholar

Xiaorui Zhou, 2020 Rhodes scholar

Sciences Po undergraduate student Xiaorui Zhou is one of the four Chinese students to become a 2020 Rhodes scholar. This prestigious scholarship allows outstanding students to spend two years at the University of Oxford pursuing a postgraduate degree. Xiaorui is currently completing her double degree with Sciences Po and the National University of Singapore (NUS), majoring in History and Middle Eastern studies. She aspires to pursue two Master’s degrees at Oxford next year: one in Women’s Studies, and one in Contemporary Chinese Studies. Interview.

More