Tabor Academy, Director of Admission, Andrew McCain shares thoughts and advice on the private school interview. Tabor's a co-ed boarding & day school in Marion, MA.
McCain's suggestions can be captured in three phrases. Relax. Be yourself. Prepare.
The interviewer knows that you might be nervous, but he/she also understands that everyone is gathered together to learn about each other- parents and students to learn about the school; the school to learn about student and family.
The admission officer- through a 20-30 minute conversation- wants to get an idea of who you are.
- Be prepared to speak about your academic, extracurricular, social, and personal lives.
- Be prepared for questions regarding your classes/academics.
- Be unafraid to discuss your weaknesses- where you need to grow. The interviewer is interested in your level of self awareness.
- Be able to engage the interviewer in depth in areas/subjects in which you've professed interest. One word answers on you professed favortie topic 'probably isn't the best approach."
Parents should ask questions.
- What makes the school unique?
- Is my son or daughter a fit for the school's strength and weaknesses?
- Do you foresee any concerns regarding our child's application?
Parent's should look to get a handle on whether, or not, the school and student are a good fit for each other.
Don't shy away from discussing financial aid.
The interview is part of process but it doesn't matter when in the admission process a family visits campus for an interview- earlier, or later. in the application process whatever fits for the family. A student's application does not have to be complete before visiting campus. Always check with the school regarding what to bring to your interview
Wear the school's dress code. Follow-up your interview with a note.
Relax. Be yourself. Come with questions. Show that you're interested in and read about your potential school.