Navigating the private school admissions process can be a very memorable experience as it gives the student a chance for self-reflection. As you go through the process step-by-step, especially the admissions interview, you are bound to discover something about yourself that will help you to set your goals and plan for the future.
Grades, test scores (ISEE, SSAT, or HSPT), essays, and writing samples are at the heart of every application, a very important part is the admissions interview. The interview is a prime opportunity for applicants to highlight their interests and display their personalities in front of the admissions officers. The more you know and understand yourself and your goals, the better you will be able to showcase your talents and differentiate yourself from the other applicants.
Private schools are primarily concerned with accepting students that would be a great fit for the school. In the same way, parents are also looking for the school that best suits their child and their family. The interview is the best way to actually see how well-matched you and the school are.
Interview prep is an important step in acing the application process. By having professional coaches who will give you tips and advice on how the whole interview process goes, you will be equipped with the skills and the confidence to face the admissions officers and give relevant answers to their questions. You will undergo several mock interviews until you feel comfortable enough.
The admissions interview is the best assessment tool for admissions officers to get to know you more in terms of your personality, passions, and interests. They need to know how you will fit in with their school culture and environment and what role you can play to further their mission and goals. Among hundreds of other applicants, you must stand out and be impressive in the eyes of the admissions officers. Remember to be authentic and true to yourself, but be the best version of yourself during that interview.
A school admissions interview is your chance to stand out and highlight your uniqueness. But without proper preparation, you may fail to take advantage of this opportunity. Months before the scheduled interview, seek the guidance of experts who can help you with interview preparation. Familiarize yourself with the common questions and come up with reasonable answers. Practice the responses several times until you feel and sound confident. Make sure that your answers stay in line with what you wrote in your essays. Prepare at least one question that you can ask before the end of the interview.
Admissions officers are looking for future students who will fit into their system and become successful in their academic careers. That is why it is very important to differentiate yourself from the other applicants and be impressive in the eyes of the interviewer.
Do mock interviews with a friend or family member and ask them to give criticism and feedback to know what needs to be improved on. Remember, practice makes perfect. Admissions officers have already met thousands of applicants and they know when an applicant is prepared for the interview or not. You have to make a good first impression and it always comes from how presentable you look so dress to impress.
Part of your interview preparation is researching the school you are applying to and everything related to their programs. Come up with relevant questions that you can ask the interviewer to show that you are really engaged in the process and have a genuine interest to attend their school.
There are many tips on the do’s to successfully ace an interview but it is equally important to take off the don’ts to lessen your chances of committing mistakes.
Here are some tips on what not to say or do when you do your interview:
- Do not underdress.
- Don’t be late.
- Don’t memorize your responses
- Don’t be hesitant when answering questions.
- Do not look at the screen. Look at the camera.
- Do not oversimplify your answers and avoid one-word responses.