As 2017 rolls on at an ever-quickening pace, we realize that it’s not long until private school admissions deadlines once again rear their head. More and more private schools are turning away from admissions testing for k-entry students, and relying more on interview processes, not just for the student, but for the whole family. With this in mind, how best to approach this somewhat unpredictable appointment?
A family interview can of course be a daunting concept - we all know how difficult it can be to feel that your family is under scrutiny! The best response - play the situation to your advantage, focus on the strengths of your child and of your family, build upon those strengths, and be prepared. Always remember that the school director is simply trying to piece together not only your child’s personality and how they might fit with the character of the school, but how you yourself as a parent or caregiver can contribute to the school’s
ethos and goals, and to what extent. Some schools look for parents with a more hands-off approach, some not. Do your research! Make sure that your aspirations for your child fall in line with those of your top schools.
In almost every case, children will experience an interview with a teacher or the director separately from you. Try to keep your child relaxed and at ease, and let them know that it will be a fun experience. When it comes to the family portion of the interview, allow yourself to feel at ease, and try to be as honest as possible. If you begin to tell a little white lie, you never know when y
our child might speak up and correct you!
Remember that this process is all about your child - don’t be afraid to ask the school any questions you may have - you are not the only one being interviewed! Most schools will appreciate your interest in their administration, and should recognize that you are looking for the best relationship possible. Opening up a dialogue early on will make it easier to ask questions further down the line and ensure there are no surprises should you be accepted.
We all know how stressful the admissions process can be, but the family interview doesn’t have to be a joyless experience. Take your time, be honest, be inquisitive, and allow your child to do the same! Ensure that the school is right for you and your child, and the rest will follow.