March 03, 2021
School Interview Guidelines
- It is okay to take some time to pause and reflect before answering, if you need to.
- Speak slowly and give the interviewer enough time to take notes.
- Do not be late, and dress appropriately.
- Show that you are open minded, curious and self-reflective.
For video interviews:
o Be engaged – smile and look at the camera
o Have good posture if possible – keep your chin up, shoulders back, and maintain eye contact
o Sit up straight in a proper chair.
o Make sure there is good lighting. Do not sit in front of a window with bright sunshine as it will be hard for the interviewer to see you.
o Check technical connections.
o Consider what is in the background: tidy up the room and remove anything too personal.
o Have in front of you: notebook, pen, water, your CV, key facts about the school, list of questions to ask the interviewer at the end.
For boarding school interviews:
o Schools are going to be curious about what you’re looking to get out of a boarding education
o Be prepared to highlight that you are an independent individual, who can live away from family
Tell me about yourself
o DO: make your answer clear, specific, and detailed. Talk about your academics, extracurricular activities, and future interests.
o DON’T: just list personality traits, such as confidence, curiosity, and empathy. Instead, give specific examples of when you have shown these traits.
What is one achievement that you are most proud of?
o DO: think about an achievement that highlights an important aspect of your personality. This can be either a scholastic, social, personal, or extracurricular achievement.
o DON’T: just talk about getting a good grade or coming first in a competition, but talk about why this was impactful and what you learned.
What is your favourite subject and what do you like about it?
o DO: give thoughtful and detailed answers. For instance, explain why you like a specific area of the subject and how it relates to real life.
o DON’T: talk about liking a certain subject because it is ‘easy’ or you can get good grades in it.
What is a challenge that you have overcome in your life?
o DO: when focusing on challenges, be sure to explain how you’re trying to overcome or work through them.
o DON’T: just focus on the most recent event that occurred, such as doing badly on an exam. Instead, speak about a bigger challenge in your life.
Why do you want to join this school?
· DO: give specific reasons for why you’re a good fit. For example, “I’ve always been interested in community service programs, and your school gives me the opportunity to do this on a global scale.”
· DON’T: say very generic answers such as ‘because it is the best’ or ‘my parents wanted me to’.
What has happened recently in current events that interests you?
· DO: be prepared to share on this topic and have done your research in the area. For example, it could be an interest in climate change or vaccine research for COVID-19.
· DON’T: bring up a topic that you are not prepared to discuss, as interviewers are likely to have follow up questions for you.
Who is a person from history you most admire? What is a question you would want to ask them?
· DO: talk about someone whose values you admire and who has had an impact on the world in a way that you would like to aspire to as well.
· DON’T: pick someone who is only known for being famous or a politically charged individual. Try to pick someone who is well known but not clichéd.
What questions do you have for us?
· DO: be prepared to ask one or two questions, since most interviewers will ask this question. Ask thoughtful questions that indicate your interest and knowledge about detailed aspects of the school.
· DON’T: ask information that can be easily accessed on their website or promotional material.
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