Chemistry interviews

Interview information

This information is for students applying to start university in September 2021. (Information for students applying for 2022 entry will be available in autumn 2021.)

We interview all students who apply for our BSc Chemistry with a Preliminary Year of Study, as well as students who apply for other courses who have non-standard educational backgrounds. In the interview you will be asked some Chemistry questions at the appropriate level for entry to the course to which you have applied

Interview dates 

We will be running interviews on the following dates: 

  • 2 March 2021 
  • 4 March 2021. 

You will initially be invited to sign up for the date of your choice, and we will get in touch closer to the date with the time of your interview, which will be between 11 am and 4 pm. Please let us know if you have any time constraints within those periods. 

Interview format 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year's interviews will be hosted remotely via the Zoom platform. The formal interview will last approximately 20 minutes, with two assessors. 

Responding to your interview invitation

You must respond to your interview invitation within two weeks of receiving your invitation by email. We will know you have responded if you:

  • register to attend an event;
  • add your details to the ‘I cannot attend’ option;
  • or contact our Events team to discuss options if neither of the above are appropriate.

If you have not responded to your invitation within two weeks, we will assume you no longer wish to pursue your application at Bristol, and your application will be made unsuccessful.

If you can't attend

If you can't attend an interview on any of the dates available, please select 'I cannot attend these dates' on the registration form so we can contact you. We only have certain dates available for interviews. We will do our best to offer you another slot, but cannot guarantee this.

If you cannot attend any of the interview dates given, you can select the 'I cannot attend at all' option, but please be aware that this will mean your application will then be made unsuccessful. You must attend an interview as part of the selection process.

Preparing for your interview

Equipment you will need

Please have a pen and paper ready as you might be asked to draw diagrams or write equations. Please use a dark felt-tip pen so that it will be visible on camera.

Familiarise yourself with the Zoom platform

You will be able to join the session using your internet browser (we recommend Google Chrome). Alternatively, you may wish to download the software to your desktop and sign up for a free account in order to get to know the system before the interview. There are some helpful tutorials available here.

Check your internet speed in advance

Do an internet speed test to ensure yours will be at least 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps (up/down) for high quality video. If your internet speed in your preferred location is lower than advised, your interview may be at risk of disruption, so we would advise choosing a new location such as a quiet room at your school or college. 

We have prepared a template Interviewee support letter (PDF, 89kB) you might like to use to request interview space at your school or college. We suggest logging onto your Zoom invitation a few minutes prior to your interview start time so you can test your audio and video. 

Choose your location

You should choose a quiet, comfortable location for your interview where you will not be interrupted. If you are not using a desktop computer, make sure that you can comfortably hold or position your device securely to avoid it falling over during your interview. 

Please position yourself so you have a neutral background. Ensure you are well-lit – sitting with a window in front of you is ideal. Try to avoid sitting with a window directly behind you. 

You may find that using a set of headphones is useful to reduce the amount of background noise and improve your overall sound quality. 

Bringing ID

You must present photo ID at the start of your interview. We will just need to see it when you join the interview to verify that you are the candidate we have invited. If you do not have photo ID, you will not be allowed to take part in the interview. 

Examples of suitable photo ID include (but are not limited to):

  • Passport
  • Driving licence or provisional driving licence
  • College photo card
  • NUS photo card. 

On the day

Ensure you have all the materials you need and your photo ID ready when you set yourself up for your interview. 

Please set up your computer in plenty of time and join the Zoom link at least five minutes before your interview start time. One of your assessors will admit you when they are ready to begin. 

The interview will start with some internet connection and sound checks, followed by your ID check. 

Please make sure you have set up in a quiet room, and have informed anyone you live with not to disturb you during the interview. This includes anyone using streaming services or other activities that could impede your internet connection. 

Once the interview has finished, the assessors will let you know, and the call will be ended promptly. No feedback will be given at this stage. 

If there are any problems with the connection during the interview, you will not be penalised. We will make every effort to get back in contact with you to continue the interview. If we cannot overcome these problems at the time, the interview may need to be rescheduled to a later date. 

After the interview

We aim to contact you with the outcome of your interview within three weeks. In some cases, this decision may take a little longer. We will endeavour to update you as soon as we can via email. 

Support for a disability

For advice on studying with a disability contact our Disability Services team on +44 (0)117 331 0444 or

If you have a disability that will prevent you from undertaking on online interview, or any difficulties engaging with an interview in this format, please contact us at to let us know. We will review your circumstances with appropriate colleagues at the University to advise whether any reasonable adjustments may be available to you.

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