Private schools often conduct interviews to determine whether a student – and their family – will be a good fit for the school. Like a job interview, school interviews can be a bit nerve-wracking. Luckily, you can prepare for the interview so that you walk in feeling confident.
So what should you and your child know before the interview? Here are four essential tips:
1. Be Mindful of Bragging
As a parent, you are naturally proud of the accomplishments of your child. While it's perfectly okay to be proud, you must be careful not to brag during the interview. Remember, the admissions staff will already know all about the accomplishments of your child – so you don't need to bring them up needlessly.
However, if your child does have some accomplishments that aren't easy to identify, feel free to explain exactly what it entails. Just be sure to do so gracefully. If you aren't sure how to bring up accomplishments without bragging, don't worry. A simple question related to your child's accomplishment should do the trick. For example, if your child excels in computer skills and has won awards, you could always ask about the school's computer program.
2. Dress The Part
Another helpful tip is to dress the part. Like a job interview, you need to dress professionally for the interview. If you're not sure what to wear, take a look at how the teachers dress. You could also look at the dress code for help. Slacks and button-down shirts are very common, so make sure that you and your child both dress the part.
3. Ask Questions
You should also make sure you ask questions during the interview. While it is important to for the admissions staff to get to know your child and your family, it's also important that your family gets to know the school. You might want to ask about discipline policies, subject availability, health and nutrition, or even religious questions. While you shouldn't bombard the interviewer with questions, do sprinkle some in so that you can decide whether the school is actually a good fit for your family.
4. Follow Up
Finally, make sure you follow up after the interview. It is always a good idea to send a follow up card or note. In the note, make sure you thank the school and staff for their time. If you liked something about the school, include that as well. Don't go overboard; just a short and quick thank you note is all you need to follow up.
While private school interviews might be a little nerve-wracking, they don't have to be. With these tips, you can walk into your interviews cool, collected, and confident.