Typical College Interview Questions

Here is a list of typical interview questions.

1. Tell us something about your previous education and background?

2. Why have you applied for this particular course?

3. How is your previous education suitable for this course?

4. Which topics did you enjoy the most in your previous course?

5. Why have you chosen this college for your study?

6. What is your long term ambition?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

7. This course requires a lot of time commitment, how will you balance your family commitments with study commitments?

8. Who will look after your children when you are attending University?

9. What additional support will you need to complete the course?

10. What are your best 3 personal qualities?

11 What are your weaknesses and drawbacks and how will you address them?

12. There are many other people applying for the course, why are the most suitable candidate?

13. How committed are you to completing the course?

14. What are your long term career aspirations?

15. Do you have any questions for us?
“Preparation is the key to success”

PhD Studentships in the School of Maths and Physics

Computational Physics Group

The School of Mathematics and Physics is seeking an exceptional doctoral candidate in Computational Physics or Applied Mathematics for a fully-paid for PhD Studentship.

The successful candidate will join the dynamic and rapidly growing Computational Physics Group and will work on computer modelling of collective dynamics in active matter, such as large systems of self-propelling particles. Nature examples would be: flocks of birds, schools of fish, ants, groups of bacteria, etc. These systems develop coherent motion, amazing the observer by the diversity of its forms and shapes.

The aim of this project is to construct computational models to describe the collective behaviour of self-propelling particles observed in nature.

All tuition fees are included (capped at UK/EU fee level)
You will get a Stipend/Living allowance: £14,296 per annum
Starting: 1st October 2016
Duration: 42 months
Reference: CS2016MP

To express your interest, please email your CV and covering letter to Dr Manuela…

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy New Year in 2016

Wishing you and all the family a very happy successful and peaceful new year in 2016.

Happy Christmas and New Year

Wish you all a great Christmas and very happy and prosperous new year.

Best wishes


Brilliant lecture on “Brain Inspired Computing” by Dr Stephen Lynch

Why happines is a huge advantage?

When I was growing up I read a lot of books on improving myself and the importance of having goals in life. I came to the conclusion that if I set goals and achieve them then I would be happy and fulfilled. People who I respected and the success literature I read all said that I would be happy when I achieve my goals. As a child it was when I passed certain exams or learned a new move in Kung Fu or Karate since I was passionate about martial arts in those days and mainly inspired by Bruce Lee.  Until I achieved my goals I had to be serious and focused all the time on my goals. I did not allow myself to celebrate until I have achieved my goals. I also believed that if I worried about my goals enough then I was more likely to achieve them since I was focused mentally on them. I believed that happiness came after I reach my goal, however before that I have to strive, struggle, suffer and go through the pan barrier.

As a person I was considered relatively successful since I had achieved a lot of my goals. I set a hundred goals to achieve in 10 years and had only achieved 72 of them. I felt like a failure even though I was doing well in my career, finances, proud of my family and developed a whole range of new skills. People held me up as a role model in the community but I felt like a completed failure. It seemed illogical. It dawned on me that I was never ever going to be happy because as soon as I achieved a goals I would set another higher goal immediately. I set a goal to write 100 papers and as soon as I reached a 100 a set another goal of 200 and then 300 etc. I realised that goal setting was a never ending process and I should not be linking my happiness to achieving goals. As far as goals go I would never get them all done. There will always be more to aim at and achieve.

I had to shift my thinking. I had to start off with being happy and then work on my goals. I  decided to create a state of happiness, joy and gratitude before I do something. Be happy first then focus and work my goals. Therefore, I will happily achieve instead of achieving to be happy.

I had a plan on how to approach my goals.

Before working on my goal

I decided to do one of the following things prior to working on my goals.

1. I visualised and really felt as if I had already achieved my goals. I would enjoy and celebrate achieving my goals.

2. I did deep breathing exercises and meditated for a few minutes before starting on the tasks required to get closer to the goal.

3. I repeated a positive affirmation several time regarding the goal I was working towards.

4. I listened to upbeat music that would get me in a good state of mind.

5. Write down 3 things I was most grateful for in my note book.

After working on my goal

I decided to reward myself after as well so my happiness was extended.

1. Reward myself in some way by having a cup of tea or a cold drink.

2. Go out for dinner with family or friends.

3. Buy something I wanted.

4. Feel great about myself and what I had done.

5. Watch a film or sports event.

About 5 years ago I wanted stretch myself and set a goal 10x bigger than I had ever before. I decided to write 20 pages a day of  manuscript. Previously, my average had been 2 pages a day so 20 pages was an impossible goal but I reasoned even if I achieved anything more than 2 pages would make me feel like a success.

I decided to do the following things:

1. Keep my pen and writing book with me 24 hours a day.

2. Relax as much as possible during the process of writing.

3. Appreciate and really enjoy every letter that I would write.

4. Be grateful for every word or idea that came to mind.

5. Not judge anything I wrote.

6. The most important thing for me was to maintain a state of appreciation and happiness at every moment of the day.

After 10 days during this process I averaged about 17 1/2 pages a day. I felt an incredible sense of achievement and joy throughout. The period was the most joyful and productive of my career up to that point in time. My belief changed from “I need to achieve my goals to be truly happy” to I can happily and joyfully achieve anything.

This small shift in thinking has changed my life and prospective everything i decide to tackle in life. I still set challenging goals and achieve them but now I do it from a position of appreciation and joy.

Young Physicist of 2015 in Linconshire

Maths & Physics News

On 6th of July The University of Lincoln hosted  The Young Physicist of the 2015 Year evening, sponsored by The Ogden Trust. The event was co-organized by Alexander Borman from the School of Engineering and Manuela Mura from the School of Mathematics and Physics.

Thirteen students from across the county received presented to them by Helen Pollard (representative of The Ogden Trust), Professor Andrei Zvelindovsky (Head of the School of Mathematics and Physics).

The event was closed by Andrei’s lecture on Physics of Nano-structures.

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Do you want to know how to get great answers?

You brain is the most powerful computer ever developed. It has the answers to all your questions. If you want a quality life then ask quality questions. If you want to be rich, ask questions that when you answer them then you will know how to get truly rich. If you want to be powerful then ask powerful questions. Questions can be both empowering and dis-empowering.

If you have a bad experience then you must ask, how can I use this experience to create an amazing life or use it improve the quality of people’s lives. You brain will search its database and find the answers. You can ask questions that create more success, passion, happiness, pride, gratitude and commitment. Tony Robbins teaches us to ask the following morning questions. If you really think about the answers you will have an exciting, passionate, happy, joyful, loving and successful life. Do this daily and you will experience these emotions consistently and become part of your life.

The quality of our lives is dependent on the quality of our feelings and the actions we take daily. Our lives are our emotions.

  1. What am I most happy about in my life now? What about that makes me happy? How does that make me feel?
  2. What am I most excited about in my life now? What about that makes me excited? How does that make me feel?
  3. What am I most proud about in my life now? What about that makes me proud? How does that make me feel?
  4. What am I most grateful about in my life now? What about that makes me grateful? How does that make me feel?
  5. What am I enjoying most in my life right now? What about that do I enjoy? How does that make me feel?
  6. What am I committed to in my life right now? What about that makes me committed? How does that make me feel?
  7. Who do I love? Who loves me? What about that makes me loving? How does that make me feel?

Asking these questions will shift your life. Asking the right questions will change your thinking and if you change your thinking then you will change your life and circumstances.

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Albert Einstein.

If you really want to create a shift in your life, make this a part of your daily ritual. By consistently asking these questions, you’ll find that you can access your most empowering emotional states on a regular basis, and you’ll begin to create mental highways to happiness, excitement, pride, gratitude, joy, commitment and love.


  1. Get a notebook and then ask 7 questions in this chapter.
  2. Do this once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
  3. Write down the answers to each question.
  4. Think about the answers and how do they make you feel.
  5. Make it a habit to ask these questions.
  6. Make a list of your own empowering questions that may serve you better.
  7. Decide to schedule asking in your diary daily and ask yourself the questions.

Never Give – Keep Going and Aim for the Top

There is a popular saying that success is 10% talent and 90% persistence. Every time you do something towards improving a skill or increasing your knowledge then you are added to the whole. The value of persistence can be found in the principle of compound interest.

Let’s take a monetary example for illustration but the principle can be applied to any skill, field or practice.

If you start with a salary of say £1,000 per week and you decide to save 10% and you are consistent then your saving will increase exponentially. Using an interest rate of 10%.


Growth of your savings using simple and compound interest

With a skill for example you get the biggest improvement early on in you practice and the improvement curve looks like the figure on the right. You make linear improvement early on after initially learning the skill and then the improvement gets less and less or reaches a plateau. This is discouraging to most people but for champions it is not because the difference from average to good is large, from good to excellent much smaller and from excellent to outstanding is minute and from outstanding to legendary status is nanoscale. If you plot earnings then you will go up exponentially just like the curve on the left. The top 1% of the people in the field earns disproportionally more than the people who are merely good at what they do.


Earning going up exponentially (left) for tiny improvements in performance levels (right)

The thing with practice is that you must do it daily even if don’t notice any visible improvements in your skill or level of ability. I remember being in the bottom half of the class at school when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I was a good student. I did my homework and attended classes but I just wanted to get by and not get into trouble with my parents and teachers. I got good reports and teachers really liked me. I never really revised for exams or memorised anything. I just read through stuff and then turned up for exams and just did them. I had no strategy or real ambition to do well academically. I was more passionate about martial arts. I had a routine of practice each kick and punch a thousand times a day every day. I enjoyed the discipline and fantasised about being a great martial arts master. My life revolved around martial arts and I could not imagine my life without martial arts, reading about them and thinking about them constantly. I practiced because it was so much fun and so exciting. I focused on just one thing really enjoying myself. At first I was awkward but with time I got better, my movements got smoother, most powerful and faster. My timing improved so that I could defeat opponents in sparring easily. My confidence was high.

One day during a supervised practice session with multiple opponents I got kicked so hard on the knee that I got seriously injured. I was shocked because there was supposed to be no contact in the session. At the time I was devastated and thought that my life was over and I had no purpose for living. Looking back on the experience it was an incredible gift. After the initial shock and devastation, which lasted over a year, I examined my life and decided to apply the discipline that I had learned from the martial arts to my study of science and mathematics. I made three decisions.

  1. I would focus totally on what I was going to learn.
  2. I would really enjoy myself during the study sessions.
  3. I would repeat everything I did in school or the next topic on the syllabus 10x even if it was simple and easy. I would do this regardless of how poor I was or how good I was.
  4. I would study daily.

Initially I saw little improvements in my ability to learn and competency in the subjects. However, after about six months when I had built a strong basic foundation I started to improve rapidly and my confidence increased. I got some great results and my belief around learning solidified. I can learn anything by repetition. As time went on I got my degree and then a PhD and I believe to this day I continue to improve following the same principles of disciplined practice.

My journey reminds me of the Japanese tree, which you have to water every single day and never miss a day. Initial it hardly grows at all in 5 years and then shoots to 10 feet tall in just one year. If your discipline is correct then you must carry on even when improvements are slow. With time you will attain mastery.

“The time that leads to mastery is dependent on the intensity of our focus.” Robert Greene


  1. Make a list of three things that you really want to be good at and improve.
  2. Pick one thing you want to start with.
  3. Set a target level of performance.
  4. Decide on what you have to do to achieve your target.
  5. Decide on the frequency of practice. Is it daily, every other day or weekly?
  6. Mark the times and dates in your diary.
  7. Start at the exact time you have decided.
  8. Finish at the exact time you decided to finish.
  9. Keep going and trying your best until you succeed. No matter how difficult keep going and persist and persevere until you hit the target.

This is an excerpt from our book Discipline: 50 Keys to Success.

Get your copy NOW from the LINK below:

Discipline: 50 Keys to Success