Private school interviews can be a nerve-racking experience for both students and parents. However, with the right preparation and mindset, it can also be an exciting opportunity to showcase your child’s strengths and make a lasting impression on the admissions officers. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and advice to help your child excel in private school interviews and increase their chances of admission.
What should my child wear to private school interviews?
The first step to making a great impression is dressing appropriately for the interview. It is essential to research the school’s dress code and follow it accordingly. This demonstrates that you have done your homework and are genuinely interested in the school. If the dress code information is not available or the school does not have a formal dress code, it is important to look presentable.
Avoid wearing jeans or leggings, as they may give off a casual vibe. Instead, opt for neat and comfortable attire that reflects professionalism. A coat and tie or a formal dress are not necessary unless your child feels more comfortable and confident in such attire. Remember, the key is to strike a balance between looking polished and feeling at ease during the interview.
Practice your introduction
First impressions matter, so it’s crucial for your child to practice their introduction. Simple gestures like shaking hands, making eye contact, and introducing themselves confidently can leave a positive impact on the interviewer. Encourage your child to mention any preferred nicknames during the introduction to add a personal touch.
By rehearsing these introductory steps beforehand, your child will feel more comfortable and natural when meeting the interviewer. Practice builds confidence, and starting on the right foot can set a positive tone for the entire interview.
What questions are they going to ask?
It is natural for your child to feel nervous about the questions they might encounter during the interview. However, it’s important to remember that the interview is not intended to be intimidating or a test. The interviewer genuinely wants to get to know your child and assess their suitability for the school.
To alleviate interview anxiety, encourage your child to practice answering questions about themselves and their interests. This will help them feel more prepared and confident during the interview. However, it is crucial not to coach your child on what to say. Genuine responses and reflections are valued more than rehearsed answers. Emphasize the importance of having an enjoyable conversation rather than striving for perfection.
If your child wants to get an idea of potential interview questions, we have compiled a list of practice questions in our article, “Practice Questions to Feel Good About Private School Interviews.” This can serve as a helpful resource to prepare for the interview.
Prepare questions for the interviewer
Remember, interviews are a two-way street. While the admissions officer assesses your child’s suitability, the interview also provides an excellent opportunity for your child to learn more about the school and determine if it aligns with their interests and aspirations.
Encourage your child to prepare questions tailored to their specific interests. Inquire about academic requirements and opportunities, extra-curricular activities, residential life, weekend events, honors programs, and anything else that piques their curiosity. Demonstrating genuine interest and engagement during the interview shows the admissions committee that your child is enthusiastic about attending their school.
Treating every school as a first choice by conducting thorough research and asking thoughtful questions is an effective way to express your child’s interest and increase their chances of being accepted.
What should we bring to the interview?
While you typically do not need to bring additional documents like transcripts or completed applications to the interview, it is still a good idea for your child to come prepared. Encourage them to bring a notebook containing the questions they have prepared. This helps them recall their questions, even if nerves might make them momentarily forget. Having a notebook also shows the interviewer that your child is organized, prepared, and genuinely interested in the interview.
Remember to ensure that all required documentation is submitted before the application deadline. The interview itself is an opportunity for your child to further express their interest and personality, so focus on making a positive impression through genuine conversation rather than relying solely on documents.
Follow up with a thank-you note
Sending a thank-you note after the interview is a thoughtful gesture that can leave a lasting impression on the admissions officer. It demonstrates appreciation for their time and allows your child to highlight specific aspects of the school that stood out during the interview.
Consider having your child send both a handwritten card and an email. While handwritten cards are rare nowadays, they hold a special touch and show sincerity. On the other hand, emails are more convenient for the interviewer to respond to quickly. Sending both ensures that your child’s gratitude is effectively conveyed.
Encourage your child to reference key points from the interview in the thank-you note, indicating their enthusiasm for experiencing these aspects at the school. Additionally, the follow-up email provides an opportunity for your child to ask any additional questions that may have arisen after the visit, further engaging the interviewer in meaningful dialogue.
Is there anything else to keep in mind?
Above all, it is important to remind your child to enjoy the experience and have fun during the interview process. Exploring new educational opportunities should be exciting, and this mindset will help them relax and present themselves authentically. Encourage them to be themselves, ask questions, and take in all the information as your family considers the possibilities.
By following these tips and guidelines, your child will be well-prepared to make a great impression during private school interviews. Remember to remain supportive throughout the process and trust that your child’s unique qualities will shine through. Good luck!
Conclusion: Private school interviews provide an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their abilities, interests, and personalities. By focusing on appropriate attire, practicing introductions, preparing for questions, engaging with the interviewer, bringing thoughtful questions, sending thank-you notes, and enjoying the experience, your child can make a lasting impression and increase their chances of getting accepted into the private school of their choice.