Shortlist Interview

Applicants are informed via email whether or not they have been shortlisted for an interview. Applicants shortlisted for an interview have the option of attending in-person interviews in specified cities, or participating virtually.

The admission interview is conducted by a panel of two members: a representative from Sciences Po and a representative from UBC. The interview involves a commentary on a press article in English. The interview is a total of 60 minutes. Applicants are given 30 minutes to review the article and prepare a text presentation. After the initial 30 minutes, applicants are invited into the interview room, where they are given 10 minutes to present a structured analysis of the article. Applicants then participate in a 20-30 minute discussion on the article, as well as other more general interview questions.

Preparing your text presentation (30 minutes)

You will receive a current affairs article 30 minutes before appearing in front of the panel. Use this time to read the text and develop a structured analysis by drawing out the key elements. Do not merely summarize the text but extract the main idea and situate it in its historical, cultural, or social context. You must do this without positioning yourself in the argued implications by taking a strictly personal perspective.

You must keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers, what is important is to demonstrate the capacity for reflection, and the sense of critical analysis and deduction. Neither is it a matter of having in depth knowledge on the subject matter but rather on being able to formulate a structured argumentation of the text.

The interview (20 – 30 minutes)

In the first 10 minutes of the interview, you will present your analysis of the article. It must be clear, structured, and must not exceed 10 minutes.

After your 10-minute presentation, the admissions committee will then ask you some complementary questions about the article and your commentary. This question period will last approximately 10-minutes.

The last 10-minutes of the interview consists of general knowledge and more personal questions regarding motivation and career objectives, academic and professional expectations, interests and extracurricular activities.

The interview aims to confirm elements assessed in the application form and to verify the following:

  • the applicant’s general knowledge
  • the applicant’s capacity to analyze and summarize the text
  • the applicant’s potential and capacity to adapt to a new environment
  • the applicant’s motivation and enthusiasm in pursuing studies at Sciences Po and UBC

Tips to help you prepare for the interview

  1. Keep up with current events. The admissions panel expects you to be well informed about what is going on in your country, your region, and in Europe. They are looking for you to take a critical approach to the news you read or hear.
  2. Prepare for the text presentation. Work on your critical thinking skills, your ability to analyse and interpret information in order to situate a text in its proper context and construct an organised presentation. Bear in mind you will have 30 minutes to prepare your presentation and 10 minutes to deliver it.
  3. Practice your public speaking skills. Have a friend, family member or teacher ask you some questions about current events, Sciences Po, UBC, and/or yourself. Pay attention to your body language, speak distinctly in a confident voice and ask for feedback.
  4. Get to know the UBC Sciences Po Dual Degree Program. The admissions panel expects you to be familiar with Sciences Po and your program of choice at UBC, the programs offered by both institutions, learning and teaching methods, and student life on the campuses you are applying for.
  5. Arrive in advance, or at least on time. Make your travel or commute arrangements well in advance. Plan to arrive at least 15 or 20 minutes early. Dress for confidence and comfort. Bring photo ID, your invitation to the interview, some paper, a pen, a bottle of water, and a wristwatch since you will not be able to access your phone during the preparation time or the interview.

And moreover, stay calm and relaxed! The purpose of the interview is both to assess whether you suit the program and study environment and to see if we are the right choice for your future plans and expectations.

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