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The Admission Buzz: Ace the Interview

One of the most anxiety-inducing parts of the private school application process is the interview. (The other is waiting for an answer to your application!) Here are a few tips to help you reduce your stress and make the interview a success:

Seven helpful tips for a successful boarding school admission interview.

  • Practice a proper handshake ahead of time. Offering a limp hand is not a positive first impression.
  • Dress well. The first impression they have of you is going to be visual. Before you shake hands or voice a greeting, how you look is making an impact. Dress conservatively (khakis and polo, or a sports coat, maybe a suit if you’re going all-out) not because you’re trying to conform, but because you want them to remember your personality when you leave, not the ripped jeans and Avengers T-shirt you were wearing.
  • Arrive early. Nag Mom or Dad or Grandma or Grandpa or Uncle Mo-whoever is bringing you, make sure you allow plenty of extra time to get there. If you arrive early you can always stroll around the neighborhood or check your phone before you get out of the car. If you’re late, you’re inconveniencing the admission counselor, and that is rarely a good start.
  • Remember this isn’t just about you. You aren’t the only one being interviewed; you are interviewing the admission counselor about the school as well. This is a big investment of your time and money and the school’s teachers and resources; you both need to be sure that this school is the right fit for you.
  • Look them in the eye. Making eye contact shows you are confident and have nothing to hide.
  • Leave the phone in the car. Or leave it with your parent. Just don’t bring it into the interview, where you are going to be tempted to fiddle with it when you get nervous or your best friend sends you a message on Snapchat to see how the interview is going.
  • Remember–smile!

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