Private School Interview Tips

By ,September 11, 2019

Trying to impress the admissions staff at a private school interview? Well at Pre Uni College we are aware that private school interviews can be competitive and a daunting experience. Succeeding in the interview is important so children can gain entry to their first-choice school.  With these following tips your children will surely create a favorable impression with the admissions staff.  It will definitely help your children to put their best foot forward!

How to succeed in a private school interview

Passing the private school interview isn’t as easy as it may seem. Private schools routinely interview children after entrance exams to assess whether they are suitable for the school. Some even interview the parents too! Indeed, they may see it as an opportunity to ‘weed’ out as many candidates. By this they simply remove students that don’t pass the standards of the school. So, it is really hard to say whether you will pass or not. Part of the reason for the interview is to identify children who have an advanced understanding of concepts or those who have a natural ability or ‘spark’.

You must be thinking what if my child didn’t perform quite so well in the exam? Well the interview is also an opportunity to assess students who did not get 99% in their exam. This is because schools are looking for a good balance of children too. The interview is simply an opportunity for the admissions committee to see a window into your childs personality, his or her extra circular interest and unique passions. Those they believe will fit into the environment.

How do you prepare for the school interview?

There’s a wealth of information online, past papers to study and of course hundreds of tutors to choose from. But when it comes to the big interview, information is much scanter. This is because interview questions are not always technical and things you can review from test paper and book. The questions can be spontaneous, random, situational and even personal!

At Pre Uni college we want your child to succeed in all aspects of life. Therefore, we are offering some advice that will surely get you and your child ready for the big day! Good luck!

Top 7 school interview tips for success:

  1. Avoid drawing attention to any learning issues

Making the perception that your child really wants to excel and can be the best they can be possible is the goal. We all know, that no child is perfect! However, instead of stating any learning difficulty that your child has, let the test scores and transcripts speak for themselves! Rather focus on enhancing any strengths that will increase their chances of getting into schools. This can be anything from captain of a sports team or to volunteering in the neighborhood. Everything counts!

  1. Practice, Practice, practice

Mock interviews are the key to succeeding in an interview. Your child needs to have a mock interview with an adult. The goal is to give rich and informative answers to questions and keeping the conversation going.  As with a job interview, your children will almost certainly be asked why they want to go to that particular school. Make sure they have an appropriate answer prepared rather than answering ‘because my Mum wants me to’ or ‘I’m not that bothered”.  Other standard questions they may be asked include, what is your favorite subject at school and why? Who is your favorite author? So, make sure cover these in a mock interview setting.

  1. Cultivate hobbies and interests

Most schools will be looking for well-rounded individuals, who has plenty of interest outside of the classroom. This shows they haven’t spent all hours being tutored for the entrance exams! So, if your children like to spend their spare time playing chess, have them think about what it is they like about it. Similarly, if they play Sunday League football, they should be prepared to answer questions about where they play, how the team is doing etc.

On the day of the interview day:

  1. Dress appropriately

The spotlight is on your child and you throughout the duration of the entire interview! Therefore, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. That being said, thinking of wearing a tee and shorts? This is definitely something that needs to be avoided. Many schools will encourage students to wear their own clothes for an interview, rather than school uniform. However, do check beforehand if you are unsure. As with a job interview, it is best to look too smart, rather than too scruffy. Your children can look smart by choosing a clean, well-ironed casual dress/suit.

  1. Sit upright, sit still

There is nothing worse than someone constantly moving around and slouching while you are talking to them. This is especially true for a teacher who will be wondering how your children will behave in a classroom in a one-hour lesson if they are constantly fidgeting during a short interview! Also, your children should be aware of their body language. If they look away, it may appear as though they are inattentive or uninterested. Children should show interest with an open and positive expression. This can be done by simply having a smile on your face!

  1. Ask Questions

At the end, interviewers will always ask if the applicant have any questions. Having some questions prepared will make your child seem interested and interesting. Not having questions gives the opposite impression. You can ask them questions like ‘what is your school philosophy or vision?’ or ‘What type of student are you looking for?’.

  1. Stay calm!

It is obviously a nerve-racking situation but it’s important that children try to remain calm and articulate their answers as best as possible. This doesn’t mean talking too much and rambling. However, nor does it mean ‘yes’, ‘no’ answers.

Before the interview, ask your children to inhale through their mouth for four seconds and then exhale for four.  This will act as an immediate stress alleviator and help keep them relaxed.  Drinking water to stay hydrated is also a great advice.

Finally, your children can make the best impression possible by relaxing and just being themselves. They have much to be proud of both personally and professionally. The admissions staff, being the experienced professionals, they are, will look at the entire package, and make their final judgment on that basis.