You may engage in a UK credibility interview if you are applying to study in the United Kingdom (UK) from a high-risk nation, like Nigeria. Only genuine students who are likely to complete their course are granted a Tier 4 visa to study in the United Kingdom. The credibility interview is an important component of the university’s decision to grant you with a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) letter, which you’ll need to apply for a visa.
Studying abroad is a major commitment, and the university wants to make sure you’ve done your homework before making such a significant decision. Even if you are not required to do the credibility interview, practising for it can help you prepare for your visa interview.
While the UK credibility interview can be frightening, here’s how to prepare for it and pass it with flying colours!
Why Do I Have to Complete a UK Credibility Interview?
Individuals posing as students have previously arrived in the UK with the intention of working rather than studying, according to UK universities. They either do not register for university or register but do not attend classes once they arrive in the UK. A university uses the UK credibility interview to establish whether your ambitions to study in the UK are genuine.
When Will the Credibility Interview Take Place?
The admissions staff of the university will contact you to set up an interview:
- Following the issuance of a conditional offer,
- Based on the university’s availability, six months prior to the course start date
If you are unable to attend the interview for any reason, please notify the university as soon as possible so that it can be rescheduled.
The UK credibility interview is a one-on-one interview between you and a representative from the university admissions office that lasts 20 to 30 minutes. The questions will differ according on the university, but we’ve given some examples below. It could be one of the following, depending on COVID-19 restrictions:
- Calling or using a video platform like Skype or Zoom
The institution will inform you of the approach they will utilise ahead of time.
The institution can also assess your communication abilities during the credibility interview. With this in mind, talk clearly and succinctly, but do not hurry your responses. You might ask the interviewer to slow down or repeat their question if you believe they are speaking too rapidly.
What Does the University Want to Know?
- In general, the university is interested in learning more about you:
- The history of immigration in the United Kingdom and other nations
- History of education and future intentions for study and post-study
- Situations personal and financial
- And your fluency in English language
Why did you come to the UK and why did you choose that particular university?
How to Prepare
Here are a few pointers to help you ace the credibility interview in the United Kingdom:
Avoid generic responses
Avoid giving evasive responses. Make sure you talk about the course and how it relates to your objectives.
As a Tier 4 Visa holder, be aware of your responsibilities.
Before the interview, go over your responsibilities as a Tier 4 visa holder. The UK Council of International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has this information.
Recognize the Program’s Content
Your responses should indicate your understanding of the program’s content, including course module names. Review the course material in case the interviewer brings it up.
Avoid bringing up the subject of dual intentions
Avoid mentioning your ambitions for living and working in the UK after you graduate, even though the UK plans to establish a post-study work visa in Summer 2021. It could be a warning sign to the university that your objectives aren’t sincere.
Communicate the importance of the course
Demonstrate why you chose to take the course and how it will help you achieve future success. Consider it a job interview and create a five-year career plan that includes seeking a profession in your own country.
Describe how you plan to financially support yourself
It’s critical to discuss how you’ll support yourself financially while studying in the United Kingdom. You’ll need to know how much money you’ll need each year, as well as the cost of your housing and other living expenditures. Although a Tier 4 visa allows you to work part-time, you should not rely on that income to cover your living expenses. If a family member intends to help you, find out how they make a living and how much money they make each year.
While each university’s questions differ, the following are some common questions asked during the credibility interview:
- Could you please tell me a little bit about yourself?
- Why did you choose the UK over your native country or another nation to study?
- Why did you choose this university over others?
- What is the university’s location?
- What are the components of your course?
- What is the minimum number of credits needed to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree?
- What are the costs of the course you want to take?
- Who is going to pay for your studies?
- Can you tell me how much you’ll have to spend on living expenses?
- What is your parents’ annual income?
- What have you been up to during your time off from school?
- What are your plans after you finish your education in the United Kingdom?
- Have you ever been denied a visa before?
- What are the university’s facilities like, and how does the university rank?
It’s time to get your hands dirty with some roleplaying! Let’s take a closer look at a few of the questions above, offering both “excellent” and “poor” answers.
Q. Why did you choose the UK over your native country or another place to study?
“I heard the UK is a nice location with kind people,” There, I am able to communicate in English. I’ve always wanted to visit London, and I’m a big fan of Premier League soccer. In addition, work options for graduates in my nation are limited.”
“I’m studying engineering, and the United Kingdom has a high reputation for teaching engineering degrees.” Because of my UK degree, I should be able to find a good job in my native country and have a bright career once I graduate. I’ve always been fascinated by British culture, and I’m looking forward to visiting the UK’s galleries and museums.”
The difference is that the first response is far too generic. “In my country, job options for graduates are restricted,” says the final statement, which is a significant red flag. It signifies that the student intends to stay in the United Kingdom after graduation. The second response, on the other hand, concentrates on the specific course and how it will assist the student in obtaining a decent career in their native country.
Q. Why did you choose this university above others?
“This university was recommended to me by my cousin, and he stated it was excellent.”
“In my nation, this university is well-known, and its reputation will help me find a fantastic career when I return.” The degree programme has a high national ranking, and the university has an excellent teaching reputation. I looked at other universities [insert names here], but their course modules aren’t as relevant to my future objectives.”
Students frequently claim that they know someone who attends the university and that this is why they wish to go. Instead, focus on the university’s reputation and how studying there will help you achieve your goals in the future. Also, explain why this university was better than the others you evaluated.
Q. What do you plan to do after you finish your studies in the United Kingdom?
“I’m going to try to get a job in the UK since I don’t want to go back to my native country.”
“I’m a business student who wants to work for a huge corporation like [name(s)].” Business Analytics is one of the topics covered in one of my classes. When I return to my home country, I want to work as a business analyst. The income for this post is around £1,200 per month, compared to around £700 for a standard graduate job.”
The first response implies that the student intends to stay and work in the United Kingdom after graduation. The second response particularly identifies a huge multinational in the student’s home country where they see themselves working, how their course will assist them in obtaining that position, and how much it pays.
Q. What have you been up to during your time off from school?
“I’ve been looking for work but haven’t been able to find one, so I’m remaining at home.” Now I’ve decided to study in another country.”
“Since graduating, I’ve been working in a bank in an entry-level position.” However, I believe that obtaining a degree from the United Kingdom will allow me to go farther in the field, which is why I want to study there. I want to go back to the same company and receive a promotion when I graduate.”
The student cannot provide a good explanation for how they spent their study gap in the first response, and the institution may have grounds to think that the student will stay in the UK after graduation. The second response illustrates the student’s professional experience obtained during their study break. It also demonstrates that they have done extensive research on the programme and how studying in the UK can help them achieve their professional goals in their home country.
Q. What are the university’s facilities like, and how does the university rank?
“The amenities are excellent, and the ranking is excellent.” It’s a lot better than the university where I grew up. When I come, I’m looking forward to seeing the facilities.”
“In The Guardian university league tables, the university is placed 20th, while in the Times Higher Education league tables, it is ranked in the top 50.” Furthermore, the business school where I will study is AACSB, EQUIS, and AAMBA approved, making it one of the best in the UK. They just spent £25 million to upgrade school facilities, including the library and sports arenas. For their facilities, they now hold a five-star rating from QS.”
The second response, as you can see, is far more explicit and thorough regarding the university’s rankings and facilities. This information is frequently available on the university’s website. Alternatively, Google News can be used to find recent news about the university, such as upgrades to its facilities, inclusion in top university rankings, and so on.
After the Credibility Interview
You will pay your deposit once you have passed the UK credibility interview. Around three months before the commencement of your degree, the university will send you a Confirmation of Acceptance to Study (CAS) letter, which will allow you to apply for a Tier 4 student visa.
You will pass the UK credibility interview with a little practice and preparation, and you will be one step closer to realising your dream of studying in the UK!