Getting ready for a private school interview can be daunting for many, most of whom might never have been in an interview situation before. We’ve compiled some common questions students can expect and how parents can help them put their best foot forward.
What does your student bring to the table?
An independent school interview is really not the time to be modest. The primary goal of an interview, after all, is so that school administrators can get a sense of how new students will fit into the campus’s unique culture.
According to the website of the Gordon School, an independent school in Rhode Island, questions prospective students can expect include discussions of their interests inside and outside of the classroom. Popular questions include “What academic classes are your favorite and why?” “Do you hold a leadership position at your school?” and “Are you involved with sports?”
It’s important for students to give a window into their other interests. Questions like “What did you do this past summer?” and “Do you read outside of school? If so, what types of books do you like?” provide an opportunity to show off personality.
Be prepared for some curve balls
The Boston Private School Search blog notes that admissions officials like to get a little creative with their questions. “What would you change about your current school?” is a popular question, as are questions like “Who are your heroes?” and “If you could have dinner with any three people (dead or alive), who would they be and what would you ask them?”
Think about strengths and weaknesses
As with any interview, students are most likely going to be asked about their likes and dislikes, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Was there a semester where they struggled a bit academically? They should practice a way to explain it that doesn’t blame anyone or make excuses.
Other popular questions are “Did you ever have trouble communicating with a teacher or coach? If so, what did you do?” and “Have you ever gotten a grade you did not think you deserved, and what did you do?”