During the admissions process, parents and student applicants will be asked to participate in an interview. This might be with someone from the admissions office, a teacher, or even a student if you’re applying to secondary school. It’s natural for parents and students to feel somewhat anxious about this step in the admissions process. Don’t let that anxiety get in the way of a successful interview, and even more importantly, don’t miss the opportunity an interview provides for you, the applicant family, to learn more about the school.
The admissions process is a reciprocal one. The school is looking to see if you’re a fit for them, and you’re looking to see if they are a fit for you. You want to make sure you accept a space at a school that is a match for your child and your family. So parents, when you are interviewing, ask questions. This is your opportunity to get the information you need to make your choice, and to also exhibit that you are thoughtful about the process. Gathering the information you need to make an informed choice shows the school that if you are accepted, you’ll be a supportive partner in their policies and decisions.
What are some of the questions you’ll want to ask? Consider homework policy, diversity of the student population and faculty, and how discipline is handled. If you’re applying to secondary school, inquire about the college placement process. Come with a list of questions.
Needless to say, you’ll be answering plenty of questions too, which brings me to the student interview. Professional consultants are a bad idea. As admissions professionals, we know within two minutes if someone is not being him or herself. Allow your child to act naturally. Alleviate their anxiety by telling them to be themselves in the interview. Schools are not looking for one certain type of student. Do you have a quiet or shy child? Don’t worry! Schools are looking for a diverse student body and no school is striving build a class comprised entirely of extroverts. In my view, the bottom line is that if a school doesn’t embrace your child, then that’s not the school for you.