The interview offers an admissions committee a window into your child’s personality--his or her academic and extra-curricular interests, unique passions, and other skills that matter to your son or daughter. Keep in mind that the interview can be as short as 10 minutes for a younger child and up to 45 for the high school candidate. The interviewer is focused on evaluating your child’s academic potential and overall personality by engaging them in a guided conversation that centers on your child’s current school experience, particular strengths--academic, as well as, athletic, artistic, service, leadership, and other special interests.
For example, let's say you had 6 schools which really appear to be a good match for your requirements and your child's needs. Then you must eliminate 2, preferably 3 schools from that larger list. Especially if you have selected schools located at a distance from where you live. Visiting 6 schools away from home will be both time-consuming and expensive. So, make that short list of 3 schools to actually visit.
The visits will take one of these forms:
The way an open house works is that the school advertises that it will be open on a specified date and time. For anybody who wants to look around. The admissions staff will be on hand to answer questions. It's a wonderful way to walk around and see the facilities. The downside is that you won't necessarily get to see any classes. Those kind of logistics can
become a bit complicated...
1. Write a good essay.
"Essay?" " Write?" I can just imagine what you are thinking about what your child will do on this part of the application. However, why not do what you always do: plan ahead. Download the Candidate Statement portion of the school's application. Print out a couple of copies. Then, starting in July or August, though you can do it any time, of course, have your child work the questions and think about the answers. That way, when it comes time in December and January to complete those parts of the application, she'll will be able to write confidently, clearly and concisely.
"But her spelling is atrocious. She texts all the time and doesn't spell or capitalize according to the rules." That is a very real concern that you should have. And it's another reason why she needs to do a couple of dry runs before the real thing. While I don't suggest that you correct her work for content, I strongly suggest that you remind her how important it is to follow the rules of good grammar and syntax. Teach her the skill of mirroring the context or person she is dealing with. It's a valuable life skill as you very well know. Again, don't attempt to write the essay for her. Why? Because when you go for...
Let test scores and academic records speak for themselves. Blurting out that your son has a slight learning difficulty could nix your chances of his getting in. On the other hand if he has been diagnosed with dyslexia or ADD or some other learning difficulty, then you need to be applying to a school which has qualified staff and programs in place to address those learning issues. But your son's B grade in mathematics or his lack of prowess in fine arts are not deal breakers at most schools.
2. Don't brag about your child's accomplishments.
An oblique reference to your daughter's field hockey abilities is far better than bragging. After all, the admissions staff can read all about her accomplishments in the application. (You did make sure to include all that sort of thing, didn't you?) On the other hand, if she is indeed a very talented athlete, make sure you have her current coach...
Many private schools send their admissions staff overseas to major cities in countries where they have a substantial applicant pool. Ask for details of visits in your area. While you will have to rely on the school's video and web presentations of its school life and activities, at least you will have a live person to whom you can pose questions. If English is not your first language, this meeting with school officials will give you a deadline to meet. After all, you are planning to attend school in a country where English is the instructional language used in most classes. You will be expected to have your interview in English.
Interviews With Local Alumni
Just like many universities and colleges do, private schools also will arrange an interview with an alumnus or alumna who lives in your local area. This is a quite common practice for meeting candidates who live here in the United States. Remember that most schools are looking for qualified candidates who may not have considered applying because of financial constraints. If you cannot afford to pay the school fees, chances are that you cannot afford to...