Due to Covid-19 restrictions this year our interviews for 2021 entry will take place via telephone. Below we share some top tips and some FAQs.

Top tips for your telephone interview

We know that speaking on the phone may feel daunting, please be reassured our aim is to give you the same experience as we would face to face. If you feel nervous, take a deep breath and if there is something that is unclear, just ask the interviewer to give some further details or clarify what they mean.

2. Be prepared
You'll get a letter telling you when to expect our call. It's a good idea to make sure you are prepared. Remind yourself of your course choices and why you feel that these fit your ambitions. If you still need to firm up your final selection, note any questions you have - this way your interviewer can help with these. Remember, it is your chance to ask us questions too -so if there is anything at all you want to ask, please do!

3. Make sure you answer calls from an unknown number
Our call will display as unknown/withheld. It is really important that you answer your phone - we interview thousands of students, so not answering means you will then be awaiting a slot when our interviewer is able to try again. 

4. Move to a suitable location
Make sure you are somewhere quiet. Let your family know you will be expecting an important call, and agree a quiet space you will be able to use, and not be disturbed.

5. Smile!
Sounds obvious, but smiling even though you can't see us makes a difference to your mood and tone.

6. Run through some questions
Our questions are very much designed to make sure you are on a study programme that matches your academic and career ambitions; there are no 'trick' questions. If you are nervous it may help to run through some typical questions such as 'why have you chosen these courses?', 'why did you apply to HNC?' and 'what do you want to get from this course?'

7. Be yourself
Try not to get too stressed - we want you to be yourself. The interview is important, but we want to know about you too! This is why we use some of the interview to ask about you and your interests and hobbies.

8. Don't panic if you don't know what you want to do after HNC
It is normal not to be 100% decided about what you want to do after HNC - we ask this question to ensure your courses match your ambitions. If you are unsure what these are, we can make sure your programme of study has the flexibility you may need. It's really important you are honest in response to this question, and remember it is OK to tell us that you are not yet fully decided.

9. Listen carefully to the next steps
Your interviewer will explain what will happen next at the end of the call. All applications go through a checking process, and then a letter is issued detailing the outcome of your interview. If you have received a verbal offer of a place, it is critical that you accept it, as detailed in your offer letter. It's really important that you follow these next steps.

10. Ask your questions

It isn't just your interviewer who can ask the questions! We encourage you to ask any questions you have - the interview is your time to find out more too, and we're always happy to help


1. What if I expect the grades on my reference to change?
Interviews will be based on the information confirmed in your application form, and these reference grades will need to meet the entry criteria for your chosen course(s) in order for us to offer a place on these. We understand that following the cancellation of exams and uncertainity about summer grade arrangements these are difficult times. Therefore if your grade references change significantly after interview and this would then change what you want to study, you will be able to contact us with this evidence and we can review your course choices. Your school will be able to update us too. In all cases, your grade references must meet the published minimum entry criteria for your courses - visit the 'courses' section for these.

There is no need to contact us with new grade information if it doesn't mean you want to request a change to your study programme.

As always, offers are based on you acheiving the required grades in summer.

2. What happens if I miss the call?
Our interviewers will attempt to call you back on the same day. We are unable to leave telephone numbers for you to return calls, and all calls will come via an unknown/withheld number.


3. How long until I get a decision?
In most cases we are able to give a verbal decision.  Your interviewer will let you know if your application may need to be reviewed by a senior member of the team and what will happen if this is the case. All offers are confirmed in writing. If you have a conditional offer, this letter will confirm the subjects you have chosen and the grades you will need to be awarded to enrol on these. It will also tell you about accepting your place, and how you will be able to access our online Campus, HNC @ Home from late April.


4. Why is accepting my place so important?
We are an oversubscribed College, and accepting your place effectively 'reserves' your place with us until enrolment when GCSE results are published.If you do not accept your offer it will be withdrawn and we will be unable to re-offer you a place. Therefore it is critical that if you want to come to HNC, or want us to be an option, you must accept your place. It is important to remember that if you need more time to choose the right college for you that you can accept offers from more than one provider. This does not put you at any disadvantage and Colleges are not allowed to tell you that you can only accept one of your offers. Your letter will explain more.

5. What is HNC @ Home?
Your interviewer may have told you about HNC @ Home. This is our online Campus for you. We are very aware that due to the pandemic you have had less opportunities to engage with College and the experience we offer. Our online Campus aims to bridge that gap! All applicants will be given a unique log in (around mid - late April) and this will give you access to subject based activities to help you prepare and explore your subjects further, you'll be able to join live Q&As with students, sample enrichment tasters, join competitions and take a more detailed look at life at HNC - all from home! Our aim is to help you prepare for your future in a fun and engaging way!

Click here for more general FAQs about our application process


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