Nailing Your Private School Interview: What to Know and How to Prepare
Keep in mind that the primary purpose of your interview is to make a connection between you and the school. You need to focus on WHY it is a good match. How are you a good fit for the school and why is the school right for you? Everything you say and do in your private school interview should relate back to the idea of how the school is a place where you will thrive.
Research the school:
Before your interview, research the school to learn about its mission, values, curriculum, and extracurricular activities. It is important to share specific things you like about the school and to let the school know why you like these attributes. This will help you show your enthusiasm and interest in the school. It will be evident that you have done your research.
Dress appropriately for the interview. It's important to make a good first impression. No need to wear party clothes, but it is important to show that you are taking this seriously by wearing business casual attire. Wear comfortable shoes! There is nothing worse than when your feet hurt and you can’t concentrate on anything else. Be sure to wear shoes that are flat or have low heels. You will most likely do a lot of walking while you are on campus.
Practice common interview questions:
Practice answering common private school interview questions such as "Why do you want to attend this school?" or "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" By being prepared ahead of time, you will feel more comfortable during the actual interview. Remember to make connections between yourself and the school and WHY it is a great FIT.
Highlight your achievements:
Be sure to talk about your academic and extracurricular achievements. Although it is hard to share accomplishments, it is important to differentiate yourself from other applicants. You can think of this as sharing information not boasting. Remember, if you don't tell them, they won't know!
Show your passion for learning:
Private schools often look for students who are passionate about learning and are committed to their education. Be sure to convey your enthusiasm for learning and your willingness to take on challenges. Give specific examples of recent projects you have done.
Be confident and positive:
Display confidence and positivity throughout the interview. Smile, make eye contact, and use positive language. Be sure to have a firm handshake at the beginning.
At the end of the interview, ask any questions you have about the school. Your questions should be specific and personal. For example, if you are a swimmer, you should ask about the swim team. This shows your interest in the school and your desire to learn more. It is also another way to create a connection between your skills, values, interests and what the school offers.
Send a thank you note:
Be sure to mention something specific you learned/talked about at the interview. Make your thank you note as personal as possible.
Remember, the interview is your chance to showcase your qualifications, share WHY the school is a perfect fit, and make a positive impression. Use these tips to help you prepare and perform your best. Contact Lisa Marfisi for help with additional ways you can shine during your interview.