An interview is an opportunity!
The first thing to remember when it comes to getting ready for an independent school interview is that the interview provides two opportunities – the second of which is often forgotten in a fit of nervousness. One, it will give the school you are considering an opportunity to get to know more about you than can be learned on the pages of an application. Two, it gives you the opportunity to know the school.
Keep in mind that an independent school interview is not used as a time to “trick” you. In fact, you probably know the answers to many of the questions that you will be asked. It’s not a perfect scenario, but an interviewer will do their best to get to know you in the time period allotted. This means that, in the broadest terms, they will try to understand how you spend your time – both in school and outside of school and they will try to discern what you enjoy the most and what you just tolerate in your life. Most will also provide an opportunity for you to share anything that might have been missed during the course of your conversation. It’s important that you remember that you should be yourself and be proud of your accomplishments. It’s best to think about the interview from the perspective of an application reader (should you choose to apply to the school). The interview commentary will provide them with another window into who you are. What are the things you want to be sure to highlight about yourself? What are the things about you that you want to explain in greater detail? What are the things that have occurred in your life that you wish had a different result?
As a long-time admission person, I am often surprised how many students that I interview forget that there is an important second piece to the experience– it is your opportunity to learn more about the school. The person that you are meeting with has a wide range of knowledge about the school. They are expecting that you will ask them about the things that are important to you as it relates to their school – use the opportunity! I am most impressed when I see that a student has taken the time to actually write down the questions that they would like to have answered. It shows that they cared enough about their experience at my school to prepare ahead of time.
Best of luck!
Dean of Enrollment Management
Noble and Greenough School