Are you eligible? Congratulations! There is one crucial step left: the Sciences Po Paris orals.
General advice to prepare for the Sciences Po Paris orals
- Sleep well (no kidding?)
- Do a mock interview, a mock oral, with a friend, a relative, a professional or a stranger. Everything can help you.
- Reread your cover letter, which you will have carefully saved. Reread your entire file to identify the weak points, that’s what we’ll be scratching at. Emphasize your strong points.
How to dress for the Sciences Po oral?
- Dress like a Sciences Po student. Act as if you were already there. Don’t overdo it, just the right amount. Jeans and a nice shirt/blouse for example.
What attitude should you adopt for the Sciences Po oral?
- Relax. That’s easy to say. But in your attitude, be comfortable enough not to give the image that your life depends on it, that you will be very affected if you don’t get in (which will be the case, whether you get in or not). Convince yourself that you have a plan B that is just as good. Don’t show why your life depends on this oral, but do show why Sciences Po depends on people like you.
Typical Sciences Po Paris oral questions
The jury’s personalized questions about the candidate:
The jury will have prepared your oral (if they weren’t slackers). They will know your strengths and weaknesses. Your good grades, your bad grades. Your lack of involvement in associations. (So you don’t help people?)
Classic questions to prepare for the Sciences Po Paris oral exam:
The jury will probably first ask you to introduce yourself. Prepare your answer to this type of question:
- Introduce yourself / Tell me about yourself / Go ahead
- Describe yourself.
- How would your friends or colleagues describe you?
- Describe your friends.
- Do you have any enemies? Who are they and what have they done to you?
- If you had one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
- Describe your personality.
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- If I asked your friends what your greatest weakness is, what would they say?
- You are on your deathbed. What do you regret?
- You are on your deathbed. What have you done well so far?
- What personality trait characterizes you the most? Illustrate with a fact.
- What behavior or feeling compels your admiration for a living, former, or imaginary person? Why or why not?
- What event would you have liked to experience? How would you like to experience it? In what place?
- How do you react to difficulties? Why do you do this?
- What are your main qualities/flaws?
- What are you most proud of?
- Do you have an ideal?
- Do you have a fictional or real person with whom you sometimes identify?
Questions to fuel the interview :
- What questions would you not like to be asked?
- What newspapers do you read?
- What behavior or feeling compels your admiration for a living, former or imaginary person? Why or why not?
- What is your language level?
- Do you have an ideal?
- Do you think you had a good interview?
- What grade did you expect for your high school diploma?
- How do you see yourself in 20 years?
- What does success mean to you?
- What do you want to learn?
- Is life good for you?
- What type of activities do you feel you do best?
- Have you traveled abroad?
- What new goals have you set recently?
- What does personal balance mean to you?
- What event has been a turning point in your life?
- What internships have you already completed?
- What do you plan to do with your vacation?
- What are you going to do when you leave this room?
- What is your favorite country? Why aren’t you there?
Questions about your student and professional background :
→ 100 points on whether Sciences Po is right for YOU
- Why this type of study?
- What profession do you want to do?
- Do you really think you are capable of knowing your future profession now?
- Do you really think you can be accepted without having an idea of your future profession?
- What were your favorite subjects?
- What were your grades?
- What did you miss in your studies?
- Are you applying to Sciences Po because you like law/history/languages etc? Why don’t you go to law school / history / languages?
- What will you do if you are not chosen? And if you are chosen?
- What other applications do you have?
- Why do you want to join our school / What attracts you to us?
- What can you bring to us?
- What criteria do you use to choose your future school?
- What studies would you like to do? Why do you want to go to school?
- Why did you choose the S, ES, L section?
- What is your personal struggle?
- Where would you like to go in your 3rd year?
Questions about your ability to work in a team:
- Do you enjoy teamwork?
- Do you prefer to work alone or in a team?
- Give a personal example of a successful team effort or action.
- Wouldn’t you do better at a presentation if you were alone rather than with someone else?
- You make a decision. What do you do if one of your colleagues questions it?
- What do you do if someone makes a decision you don’t agree with?
Questions about Sciences Po :
- Is Sciences Po for the undecided?
- What is the history of Sciences Po?
- Why Sciences Po and not elsewhere?
- Do you know the name of the director of Sciences Po?
- Do you really like all the subjects at Sciences Po?
- What will you bring to Sciences Po?
→ Is Sciences Po on the left or the right?
Questions about your hobbies:
- What do you do outside of work?
- Do you play sports?
- What are your hobbies?
- What do you read?
- What have you been reading lately?
- What are your favorite movies?
- What is your favorite music?
- Which museums do you go to?
Questions about your qualities and faults:
- What are your main faults?
- What are your main qualities? / What are your strengths?
- What do you bring to the table that makes you different from the other candidates?
- What is your main success?
- What is your main failure?
- Name three situations in which you have failed.
- How do you react to difficulties? Why or why not?
- How do you compensate for your weaknesses?
- What are the obstacles you have encountered in your assignments?
- What do you think are the main qualities of successful people? How do you rate yourself in these areas?
- What kind of character frustrates you the most?
- What are two of your character traits that you could improve?
Closing questions for the Sciences Po Paris interview :
- Do you have a question for us?
- Rate your performance in this interview
- What question do you think we should have asked you?
- What are you ready to do to get into Sciences Po?
- Surprise us
- You are not accepted. You have one minute to change our minds.
Questions specific to the year 2023 for the Sciences Po Paris oral
Questions on current events to master for the Sciences Po Paris 2023 oral:
You will obviously need to know everything about the war in Ukraine. The management of the Covid crisis continued to raise questions, especially outside of France. Still linked to international issues, the Winter Olympics in Beijing or the soccer competition that has just ended the year 2022 in Qatar can be the subject of questions. In France, the re-election of President Emmanuel Macron was an obviously much commented political event, and you are also likely to be asked about it as well as about the controversial topics that marked the electoral campaign.