Shortlist Interview

The Admissions Interview is a defining feature of Sciences Po undergraduate programs, providing candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate their critical thinking, public speaking skills, and their motivation for the program beyond what can be conveyed in a written application.

The interview is a primary criterion of evaluation for admissibility, and should be approached with a similar level of diligence as you devoted to the supplemental application to be successful. Candidates are judged primarily on their ability to contribute substantive insights to the conversation; while demeanour and poise are important interview skills, they cannot compensate for specious contributions. Making the interview shortlist means we already feel confident in your abilities on paper—engagement in the interview itself is where candidates distinguish themselves beyond their baseline academic record.

Interview format and logistics

The admissions interview is conducted by a panel of two members: one representative from Sciences Po, and one representative from UBC. The interview lasts a total of 30 minutes, during which the panel will evaluate the applicant for their ability to form cohesive arguments, engage on topics related to contemporary events of the region of focus of their first-choice geographic minor at Sciences Po, and the alignment of their motivation and intellectual ambitions with the program’s learning outcomes.

Interviews are scheduled to match the student’s time zone to the best of our ability, but generally speaking, one panelist will be on the Paris time zone, and another in Vancouver’s: all interviews generally take place between 6AM and 12PM Pacific time; all times will be specified in 24-hour format.

  • Candidates may request to reschedule, but should provide a rationale for doing so; the program cannot guarantee its ability to accommodate such requests.
    • Requests to postpone an interview until after the dedicated period (ending in early March) will not be considered, nor will requests for an interview to take place after 8PM/20h Paris time.
    • As the logistics of the interviews are managed by the UBC team, note that inquiries regarding the day’s interviews cannot be addressed until after 6AM Pacific time, and may not be received until the start of the Vancouver workday.
  • Candidates are required to have their video on, and are responsible for arranging a quiet space with consistent internet access for the duration of the call.
  • Candidates must make their own Zoom account under their own name to be allowed into the interview room at their assigned time; candidates following the Zoom link through a parent’s or guardian’s account, or as a guest, will not be recognized nor be considered for a rescheduled time. (UBC’s Zoom license covers access for all users.)

Preparing for the interview

As a spontaneous conversation, there is limited capacity to rehearse your specific comments beforehand, but you can prepare for the nature of this conversation in a few ways.

  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 (of residence and of your first-choice minor), and in Europe and Canada. They are looking for you to take a critical approach to the news you read or hear. The interview is not a pop quiz regarding front-page geopolitics, but you should have some background on the major issues of the day.
  2. 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. Of particular importance is how you introduce yourself in the interview—the first impression you make, and among the only components you’re able to specifically rehearse. (Brevity is an asset in a self-introduction.)
  3. 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.

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.