When applying to study abroad, one step in the process is often an interview with Campus France, which is necessary to validate the study project for the authorities in charge of student visas.
However, not everyone is a natural speaker or a catwalk star.
It is natural to be anxious before an interview, whatever it may be. It is even a good sign: it means that you take things seriously, that you place a high stake in the event.
If you can’t eradicate it, you can still reduce stress to an acceptable and even beneficial level. It is quite mathematical: the more prepared you are, the less stressed you are.
Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Tip number 1: Be yourself
Nothing is worse for your interlocutor than to have the impression of hearing a rehearsed speech, words written to please him. This often lacks spontaneity and can play the counterproductive role of making him doubt your sincerity.
You don’t need to pretend anything, just say who you are, what you want to do and why. Do not try to embellish your reality – it is not necessary: if you are admitted, it is because the school believes in your profile and in your ability to succeed in your study project in its ranks.
The sincerity you exude during the interview will also be reflected in your dress, your posture and the way you interact.
You already know this, but it’s always good to keep it in mind: “everything happens in the first few seconds”. It is therefore important to be well dressed (Editor’s note: understand here in an appropriate outfit, so probably not a tailcoat or cargo shorts…), to stand correctly (Editor’s note: and yes, the posture also informs on your person thus do not stand too stiff, nor too relaxed) and to show the politeness which is appropriate (Editor’s note: even if one wants very much to speak, it is always better not to cut the word and on the contrary, too many silences can create a real discomfort).
To sum up: be sincere and balanced, no exaggeration – either way.
In short, if you are interested in the business world in general, but do not know much about the professions or sectors of activity, you can choose to start a Business School type program, which will allow you to make professionalizing choices at various stages of your training (finance, human resources, communication, entrepreneurship, specialization in a sector such as luxury, sports, etc.)
If you are initially interested in technology and digital in general, you can choose to start a course such as a computer engineering school, which will also allow you to choose a specific path at different times (web, digital communication, programming, IS consulting, etc.).
So don’t worry if your choice of study project remains unclear a few months before your baccalaureate: the right orientation can be the one you make in two stages – once you are more familiar with the possibilities of the job market.
At FIGS Education schools, there are many generalist programs that allow you to approach your professional project in several stages and not risk being locked into your career path too early.
Visit our website to discover them and do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your project and your possibilities: we are here for you!
Tip number 2: Know what you’re applying for
“I saw the light so I came in” is exactly the impression you don’t want to leave with your interviewer.
This may sound like common sense, but in my experience, too many student applicants think they know the course or school they are applying to, without having done any research beforehand.
About the school: How many students are there? Is it located in several cities? What characterizes it compared to others? How long has it been in existence? Does it offer a rich student life and if so, what are the main activities? Do the buildings offer services such as access to an information library, incubators for future entrepreneurs? Is there any alumni network?
About the courses: How are they organized – are there modules? Semesters? How are the evaluations done? Is there a right to make a mistake if you miss a module? How are the courses organized: in lecture halls? In small groups? Are all the subjects oriented on the subject of study or are there different teachings, for example in the arts?
Between websites, different accounts on social networks, today, all this information is widely and easily available to everyone, no matter where they live on the planet.
Your interlocutor will find it hard to understand that you are not aware of these elements, which could mean a cruel lack of interest in the course or even worse, a hidden pretext for another project.
Tip number 3: Have a coherent career plan
A coherent career plan does not mean a fixed career plan. It is quite normal, at certain stages of one’s studies, to still have vague ideas about one’s future career choices.
On the other hand, whether you already know exactly what you want to do or not, what matters is to be aware of the paths that lead in the direction(s) you have chosen.
For example, if you want to work in a company, without really knowing what position you would like to hold, but knowing that you are attracted to management, it is coherent to go to a business school.
On the other hand, if you want to become a corporate lawyer, choosing a school of international relations will have a hard time convincing anyone of the relevance of your project.
A coherent career plan requires a minimum of prior research on the professions and their access routes. Beware of regulated professions or those that require you to go to specific schools. Targeting them without knowing the academic access routes could put you in a bad position.
To summarize: be yourself, know your school/program and demonstrate a well thought-out professional project.
And if, despite these few tips, stress still takes too much of your energy, why not try the small exercises to cope with stress attacks, which can be mobilized very easily and discreetly at the moment you need them: abdominal breathing, finger yoga, positive visualization, etc.
Believe in yourself as we believe in you. Sincerely.