To test applicants ability to think laterally, interviewers at Oxbridge are asking questions designed to surprise interviewees.

It is because many students are now applying with similar A level scores and differentiating between them is becoming ever more difficult.

Here are some examples:

  • Are you cool?
  • At what point is a person dead?
  • Put a monetary value on this teapot.
  • Of all 19th-century politicians, who was most like Tony Blair?
  • How does a perm work?
  • What percentage of the world’s water is contained in a cow?

Maybe it is a new trend. I did an interview myself recently where I was very surprised by some of the questions.

At one stage the interviewer asked suddenly:

  • Would you describe yourself as a control freak?

and then followed it up about 5 minutes later with:

  • Would you describe yourself as having the ability to bullshit when necessary?