I had a lot of questions this evening about applying for Hibernia and other post grad courses. I will answer them here instead of on instagram as I prefer typing on a laptop than on my phone!
The most important thing is to write an excellent application and to know it inside out-in English and Irish! They will base some questions off this. I have sample questions here which are still relevant: https://www.muinteoirvalerie.com/hibernia-interview
I would say there is no right or wrong time to apply just make sure you feel confident enough in Irish to be able to hold a conversation. I went to so many conversation classes to prepare for my interview and it made the biggest difference- more than all the studying I could have done. I also learned off loads of sample answers for generic questions. I know some say not to learn off answers and don't if your Irish is strong enough, but I found it just gave me a huge confidence boost at the time and made me feel secure knowing I had learned stuff off by heart which I could tweak where necessary. That is just what worked for me at that time. Know your tenses inside out and pronounce them clearly - there will be lots of switching between tenses so be prepared and do not use the wrong tense. If you were unsuccessful in Irish the first time round, use it as a learning experience- where did you fall down? What did you feel was your weak point? Just keep speaking, listening, reading and writing Irish! Immerse yourself in it as much as possible. The examiners are looking for a high level of Irish.
Classroom experience is not a necessity. It may help you feel more confident and may help you expand on certain questions as you would be speaking from experience but it is not a necessity.
The interviews for post grad courses are not easy and there's a lot of competition! If you put the work in though and prepare as fully and as much as you can, then hopefully your hard work will pay off.