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Ecole Polytechnique France

Diato12Diato12 2 replies1 threads New Member
Can anyone give any tips for bachelor interview for Ecole Polytechnique Paris ?
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Replies to: Ecole Polytechnique France

  • LouisJenrelLouisJenrel 2 replies0 threads New Member
    Sure; I took it last year and got admitted.

    For the maths part, one thing I noticed was that there were about 2/3rds of the questions where the answer seemed stupidly simple - hardly requiring any thought - and one third of them where I plain out didn't find the answer. This is simply because the interviewers don't care about what final answer you give: all that matters is to show your reasoning, and show that you're not blindly applying some formula you memorized from your classes. For example, if you're asked to differentiate or integrate a composition of super simple functions, don't just whip out the chain rule, state some arguments justifying WHY you can do whatever you're about to do, and ultimately try to show the interviewer that you understand that mathematics isn't just manipulating symbols and formulas (you do, right?), and that you have some idea of what you're fundamentally doing. If you succeed in doing this, you'll get more points than someone who say computes things faster or has rote-memorized more things than you, but fails to do so.

    For the personal questions part, the admissions team mean it when they say they want to hear about who you are and what you like to do. Saying you like learning programs written in Assembly code by heart in your free time would surely be academically impressive, but (apart from being hard to believe) that wouldn't tell the interviewer how interesting of a human being you are (if anything, it would do the opposite). Don't feel the need to make up hobbies that have to do with the double major you want to pursue if you have none, but instead, try to implicitly let on as to how the different skills (problem solving, rigor, strategy, perseverance, creativity, whatever) that your hobbies involve can be ported over to the academic world and would make you a good candidate for the program.
    Also, be prepared for the interviewer to either ask lots of specific questions about some seemingly mundane thing you said, or act like they don't care about some long explanation they asked you to give. Keep in mind that this has nothing to do with your chances of getting in, and don't let it set you off if it happens, just go along with it. Another bit of info you might want to know is that the person interviewing you will almost always be a teacher of teaching assistant at Polytechnique, but your video will be recorded and watched by the administration and/or admissions team later on.

    And one final tip, a more technical one, is to not go out of your way too much to make yourself look nice in the video if it makes you uncomfortable: I remember I had set up my desk, lighting in my room, and posture in an extremely awkward way, which I would never adopt to skype with friends or family, and was almost disappointed to see my interviewer just had his laptop on the side of his desk, and hadn't even bothered making sure his face was completely in the frame. Someone else I know who took the interview said their interviewer was actually walking down a hallway with his laptop during the first part of the call.

    Hope I could help, and best of luck with the interview!
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  • Diato12Diato12 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you so much for answering ! Btw How many questions were you able to answer in the maths section ?
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  • ailenateailenate 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Thanks a lot! What about general scientific knowledge questions?
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