interview tips

College interviews are the chance for you to tell us why you’d be a great asset to the course. You can use it as an opportunity to find out more about the course, get a good feel for the college, and ask us any questions you may have.

Likewise, for us, it’s a great way to find out more about you, get an idea of what you want to do in the future, and to make sure the course is right for you.

Our interviews aren’t designed to catch you out - but they are important. This is your opportunity to shine and tell us how great you are. So being under prepared may mean that you run out of things to say and not give the best account of yourself.

So to help you avoid this, here are our top tips for helping you get interview ready.


Don’t be late

The old saying goes - first impressions are lasting impressions. Being late gives a bad first impression. Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to get to your interview. It is better to be 20 minutes early than 20 minutes late. Plan how you’re going to get there and allow enough time in case of traffic or any delayed trains. That way you’ll have plenty of time to refresh yourself with what you’re going to say, rather than be flustered when you arrive.

Dress appropriately

“What should I wear?” is a question we get asked a lot. You need to look like you’re taking this seriously so try to dress in something smart, but also something you’re comfortable in. Smart jeans are ok – a vest and board shorts are a no. Another tip: If you have chosen a course that will require you to dress smartly, such as Business or Travel and Tourism, then you should make the effort to wear a shirt and smart trousers / skirt.

Remember to bring the important documents

We will have sent you a letter to let you know what important documents you need to bring. So make sure you double check you have these with you for your interview. If you’re studying an Art-based subject then we may have asked you to bring a portfolio of your work too. Forgetting these things will make you seem a bit unorganised.

Smile and be friendly

Even if you’re feeling a little nervous before your interview, smiling and being friendly will help to calm your nerves. Shake hands and make eye contact with your tutor when you meet them and things will work out just fine from then onwards.

Don’t be afraid to talk about yourself

We’re inviting you in for an interview to find more about you. Don’t be afraid to tell us why you love the subject you’ve chosen, where you’re hoping it will take you in the future, why you’re looking forward to studying with us, and what interests and hobbies you have.

Be yourself

We want to meet the real you and we’ll probably be able to tell if you aren’t being genuine. You don’t have to make up an elaborate reason about why you want to study your chosen subject or make up an unusual hobby to try and impress us. If you enjoyed the subject at school, then tell us. If you like to bake cakes at the weekend, then we’d love to hear about it. And if you have any questions – make sure you ask us!

Don’t stress

Above all, try not to stress about the interview. The process isn't designed to catch you out. We’re excited to meet you and we really want to offer you a place on the course. We’ll be asking you questions about you, and you’re the best person to answer them - so this is going to be easy!

Good luck with your interview, we know you’ll be fine. But if you do need a little more help or advice before your appointment, then feel free to call our admissions team who will be happy to help: 030 300 39699


Just before you go…

...we may or may not be able to give you a few hints to what tutors may ask at your interview. We can’t give you too many clues, but why not prepare a few answers to questions like:

Why would you like to study here?

Show us that you’ve given some thought as to why you've applied. Perhaps you really enjoyed the Year 10 Taster Day or maybe you thought the facilities were great during our Open Evening, whatever it is, include this in your answer.

What are your career ambitions?

If you have an idea about what you’d like to do in the future then that’s great. But don’t worry if you don’t know yet. You won’t be the only one. So it’s fine to be honest and say you’re not sure – but you could include something like: “I’m not sure at the moment, but I see this course as a great stepping stone to helping me decide what I want to do next”.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

This is a question that you may come across quite a lot in the next few years. You may be asked during your college interviews, most likely at university interviews, and most definitely during job interviews. You might be able to come up with a few strengths quite easily – hardworking, reliable, and so on. But what do you say when it comes to weaknesses? You don’t want to list all the things you’re bad at, but you could mention a few things that you would like to improve. For example, you may tend to go a little off topic when having a group discussion, but this is something you want to improve on.

Do you have any questions?

If you Google ‘interview tips’ almost all of the results will advise you to ask a question at the end of the interview. As we said in our opening line, use this as an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. This could be to find out what work experience opportunities are available, whether you will get to go on any course related trips during the year, or it could be about enrichment activities.


This month our 5 of the best is celebrating a day that you probably won’t have heard of: Gingerbread House Day.

Traditionally observed each year on December 12th, this day is often over-looked and sits in the shadow of Christmas Jumper day which is 13th December. But this year, we thought we’d give it the love it deserves.

So why not order a round of gingerbread lattes, carry on reading, and then get ready to bake. (There is even a hashtag for you to share your creations: #GingerbreadHouseDay.)


1, The Origin

Root ginger was first cultivated in ancient China, where it was commonly used as a medical treatment. From there it spread to Europe via the Silk Road, and Henry VIII is said to have used a ginger concoction to help him avoid the plague.

Gingerbread first appeared in Europe in the 10th century, and Queen Elizabeth I is said to have started the trend of decorating gingerbread biscuits as we know them today.


But gingerbread houses didn’t become popular until the 16th century, when the Brothers Grimm wrote the story of Hansel and Gretel. Can you imagine what 12th December would be like if it wasn’t for that edible house?


2, The Recipe

Now we know why Gingerbread houses are so popular, it’s time to make your way to the kitchen and start baking your own. Gingerbread is essentially flour, sugar, and of course ginger. Mix well, roll out, cut, and bake.

gingerbread house

Ok, there is slightly more to it than that, so to get you started read the BBC Food recipe and method here:


3, The Kit

So once you’ve made your dough, you’ll need to cut some shapes. We’ve trawled the internet and high street to find you the best deal for a 3D Gingerbread House Baking Kit.

gingerbread kit

Aldi came out on top and for £3.49 you can get:

1 x Wall cutters

1 x Roof cutter

1 x Front & back cutter

3 x Chimney shapes cutter

1 x Door cutter

1 x Window cutter

1 x Christmas tree cutter

1 x Snowman cutter

1 x Gingerbread figure cutter


4, The Wonderful

Making gingerbread houses is serious business. Each year people spend weeks, if not months, decorating their houses. So to give you a little inspiration why not check out these wonderful creations:

red gingerbread house

santas gingerbread house

life size gingerbread house


5, The Biggest

…and once you get really good, you’ll be able to challenge for the Guinness World record.

The record for the biggest gingerbread houses has stood since 2013 when a group of Texans built a 22ft house using thousands of pounds of flour, sugar, and ginger. They used 23,000 pieces of candy to decorate it and it is packed with more than 36 million calories. People could actually visit and go inside. It was that big.

 Lauren Lothian Luke Southby

NHS nursery apprentice, Lauren Lothian, and NHS volunteer, Luke Southby, were rewarded with hospitality treatment at Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium last weekend by club lounge sponsor, Sussex Skills Solutions.

Hard work and a commitment to learning have paid off for Lauren and Luke. The pair received hospitality treatment at The Amex Stadium, home of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club (BHAFC) during their home game against Leicester City on Saturday 24th November.

Sussex Skills Solutions, the apprenticeship and training provider based out of East Sussex College, offered four hospitality tickets to their lounge at The Amex to wacth Brighton’s Premier League match.

East Sussex College Childcare apprentice, Lauren, won two of the match-day tickets in an internal competition run through her employer, the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. Sussex Skills Solutions then extended two more tickets to the NHS, in recognition of Luke completing 10 years of voluntary service. In a special gesture by BHAFC, Luke was also presented with a signed home shirt prior to the game.

Cara Mitchell, Nursery Business Manager, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Luke has been a valued member of the NHS for the past 10 years, having been a Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust volunteer in the kitchens at the Hilltop Nursery [Brighton General Hospital] and now Butterfly Nursery [Hove Poly Clinic]. He has become a valued team member is an asset to the nursery."

“Luke has a passion for football and already attends Sunday Adult disability league football sessions run by Albion in the Community. He was very excited about going to see the Albion play at The Amex. We are delighted to give him this opportunity in recognition of his dedication and a massive thank you to the Club for hearing Luke’s story and presenting him with a signed shirt.”

Luke now works on the nursery bank for a couple of hours per week in a supported employment placement.

NHS volunteer Luke Southby

Lauren Lothian, secured her apprenticeship after a four-day work placement at the Hilltop Nursery at Brighton’s General Hospital. “The placement was part of my course on The Prince’s Trust programme,” Lauren said: “I’d never thought of a career in childcare but after four days at Hilltop Nursery I had the most amazing time with the children and staff. I was lucky to then be told there was a vacancy for an apprenticeship at the nursery. I applied straight away and was happily successful."

“Since being here I’ve done lots of important training and been involved in so many different events within the NHS, and I am pleased with where my career is heading.”

Lauren is about to finish her Level 2 qualification as a Nursery Nurse after 18 months. She now hopes to work toward her Level 3 qualification at Hilltop.

Jill Durrant, Widening Participation Lead at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Working with Sussex Skill Solutions over the last two years has allowed us to build up a close working relationship. They have been very supportive and knowledgeable in relation to recruiting and developing our apprenticeship team. It’s been a massive learning curve due to the apprenticeship levy but Sussex Skills explained things clearly and the tutors have been very supportive of Lauren and all the other apprentices.”

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