When it comes time for your admissions interview, we have tips to help you nail it. Just remember to be prepared, and more importantly, be yourself!
7 Tips for a Better Boarding School Interview
- Understand the Importance of the Interview
The admission officers want to meet you and ask questions. It’s an opportunity for everyone to see if there’s a match. You do not need to have completed an application for a school to visit and interview. Each school has different application processes and can accept a number of applications, so check with each school to understand which application(s) they accept. Applications are typically weighted equally, so if you complete one of the required applications, you should be fine. If you’re unsure, ask the admissions office.
- Anticipate Interview Topics
Be ready to explain unusual situations, such as low grades, school changes or absences. Addressing these topics directly and honestly is best for everyone.
- Dress Appropriately
A great first impression should be a priority. Dress appropriately. That means wearing a suit or a sport coat for males, or an appropriate dress or dress suit for females. Research each school you plan to visit and see what their dress code is and mimic that. If the school’s dress code is casual, boys can wear pants and a shirt, and girls should be fine with pants, skirts or dresses. Jeans are probably not the best option even if the dress code is casual.
- What to Bring
Ask each school before your interview what materials they would like to see. Most schools are only interested in meeting you during the interview. However, if you have a portfolio of strong work, by all means, bring it to your interview. Schools want to know about your special interests and talents. If you’re a writer, painter, photographer or musician, the school wants to know. Always carry an extra copy of your transcript in case the person interviewing you doesn’t have it in advance of your meeting. Be prepared to speak about your academic life in detail. You’ll be asked questions about your current course load and your strengths and weaknesses. Give thoughtful answers to questions about your classes, family, friends, interests and hobbies.
- Getting to Know the School
You will be able to meet and talk with students and faculty as part of your tour and interview. Make every effort to speak with students and faculty, observe classes, eat a meal in the dining hall, tour the dorms and attend an athletic event. Develop a general feel for the school and how everyone treats one another.
- Pace Your Interviews
Don’t schedule several interviews in a single day. Take your time and enjoy your visit. Get to know the school while you’re on campus.
- Be Yourself
Schools will expect that you may be a bit nervous, so just be yourself. Behave respectfully and honestly. Remember, this might be the boarding school that you want to attend!