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You think your interview was bad? Read our top five interview horror stories

And yet they still got in??

cambridge interview interview

The Cambridge interview provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to converse with leading academics, explore previously undiscovered depths to your subject – and if you’re one of the five students I spoke to, make an absolute tit of yourself while you’re at it. Here we’ve compiled the five most embarrassing and cringe-worthy interview experiences for your (reading) pleasure…* Strict anonymity shall be upheld, to protect the dignity (or what’s left of it!) of some very special students who really made an impression at their interview.

This classics student who had a ‘cracking’ time at her interview:

In the midst of what I can only imagine to be a scintillating discussion of the Percy Jackson series (an amazing read, would recommend), a Classics student dropped a 3,000 year old pot, chipping it in the process. Surprisingly, the academics didn’t hold her damaging an artefact, that is- quite literally – older than Jesus himself, against her, but perhaps learnt a vital lesson: don’t give priceless artefacts to nervous interviewees!

The MMLer who was ‘lost in translation’:

When tasked to translate an unseen French text, this Modern Languages student took a slightly more abstract interpretation. This student mistook the extract as depicting the second coming of Christ, when in actuality it detailed an incestuous relationship between two siblings- an easy mistake to make!

The History student who fell head over heels at her interview:

An unassuming history student naively assumed she had completed her interview relatively unscathed; her dignity intact. Upon leaving the room, however, she fell down two entire flights of stairs. Indeed, there is nothing more humbling after a Cambridge interview to bomb it down an historic staircase.

A thirsty Law student exercised his right to drink:

This Law student was previously assured there would be a glass of water for him during his interview; as a prop to appear pensive and thoughtful, or to be used to delay the answer of a particularly tricky question on Tort Law. Suffering from a nerves-induced dry throat, he proceeded to down an entire glass of water mid-way through the interview. Only later did the student realise that the water was not for him, but his interviewer! One can only imagine his excellent drink-downing abilities only strengthened his application, as it demonstrated just how well this student would fit in at Wednesday Cindies!

A History student was left Misérables over the French Revolution:

A musical-theatre loving History student was in for a rude awakening when she realised, a week before her interview, that Les Misérables wasn’t actually about the French Revolution, but the Paris Uprising of 1832. This wouldn’t have been such an problem, she admits ‘if [she] had actually read any of the Revolution books on [her] personal statement’. She was left dumbfounded upon realising the Revolution was less about Jean Valjean, the barricade and (admittedly excellent) musical numbers, and more about a long and protracted national struggle. In the end, however, she credits her ‘amazing bullshitting ability’ for ‘pulling through’ when it mattered.

Header image: Emily Hyde, images created on