KEY has been featured in Private School Review’s ‘13 Elite Tips | The Ultimate Admissions Checklist’. Private School Review, along with Boarding School Review is a New York based leading online resource for evaluating private secondary boarding schools. This network of sites aims to help families learn about and make the best pre-college educational choices for their children.
Here at KEY, Diana Chang, formerly at Shawnigan Lake School and Queen’s University, has expanded on our feature tip and in this article, provides some additional interview tips to parents. Combining her experience in recruitment and admissions for Canadian higher education and secondary schools, she is one of our Admissions Strategist who helps support this process for our families.
The admissions process can be daunting for many. One of the most important parts is the face to face interview, which is an essential component of the application process. On top of staying calm, poised, and showing up in nice attire, here are some other things to consider.
- Research the School before the interview
You should have a good grasp of what the school offers and what sets it apart. Why is this important? When interviewers ask why you want your child to come (and they will!), you can’t just rely on generic answers like, “The school has a great reputation.” Show that you have done due diligence, research, and that the school’s values resonate with your family.
- Respect the process by dressing appropriately
You wouldn’t believe how some people will show up to interviews in jeans or casual wear. Private schools have a dress code so the least you can do is show respect by dressing nicely, too. For men, a blazer and a nice collared shirt is a must, and for women, nothing too flashy or bright.
- Start with some small talk
Create a rapport and dialogue by engaging the interviewer in small talk. An overly serious tone can make the interviewer feel uncomfortable. People love talking about themselves so if you can get your interviewer to open up about and share something personal, you are off to a good start.
- Include examples when answering questions
Anyone can answer questions but that’s not the point of the interview! You want to have a conversation and engage the interviewer. Back your statements up with stories and examples to illustrate your points.
- Ask thought-provoking questions
At the end of the interview, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. It is important to make sure that you ask the interviewer questions, and the interviewer will consider the content and tone of your questions when evaluating the interview. Simple informational questions like “Do you offer a soccer club?” are not insightful, and will show to the interviewer that you have not done your homework on the school.
- Follow-up with a thank you note
People underestimate the power of a follow-up email. We always advise clients to send an email or handwritten note that also references their interaction, whether it was something funny they talked about, or a positive memory about the interview.
Here at KEY, our mission is to walk through the admission process for our families, ensuring they are putting their best foot forward at every step of the way. On top of being presentable, polished, and poised, you want to be well prepared. Have questions or concerns? Give us a call for your one hour FREE consultation today!