Updated: Apr 23, 2020
We at Bennett are still doing what we love to do – helping families search for best-fit schools as they plan a move. In some ways, everything looks different these days, and in others, things remain the same. Families are still moving and need to find new schools. Schools are still looking for new students to fill their classes and add to the community.
A vital part of the application process to independent schools is the interview. It’s a chance for prospective students to demonstrate their interest in the school. More importantly, it’s an opportunity for the admission officer to get a sense of who your child is and why he/she would be a good fit for the school. For right now, families and students don’t have the option to sit for an in-person interview. But, thanks to modern technology, they do have several cyber options.
Here are some tips on how to best prepare for a virtual interview:
1. Choose a room that does not have distracting visual effects. Sit in a comfortable chair, preferably one that does not swivel and which has a back support. Position yourself close to the camera. Casual clothes are fine. Try to relax and smile more.
2. Test out your audio and visual before the interview. Make sure you can be heard and that the camera angle makes it easy to see you.
3. Don’t forget to greet the interviewer before the interview and to sign off at the end with a friendly and polite good-bye.
4. Be sure to talk about your different strengths and interests in academics, sports and personal hobbies. Mention awards received and years of experience. Don’t apologize.
5. Be sure to provide details and not just facts; just as your writing teacher always says, “show, don’t tell.” So, give yourself color and life as you describe your passion for ancient History, your many years of playing piano, your recent interest in the violin, and your strong bonds with your local community.
6. Highlight your community service/ involvement such as you offering Math and computer tutorials to younger kids.
7. Do research on each school. Bring up pertinent questions when asked that demonstrate that you have explored the school’s program.
8. It is fine to have some notes, but don’t rely on them too much. Refrain from memorizing answers. Be spontaneous. Be genuine. Be yourself!
9. If you do have technical difficulties – your internet goes down, or your computer battery dies – don’t panic! Call or email the admission office to explain what happened and reschedule.
10. After your interview, be sure to drop a note of thanks to the interviewer, and use this as an opportunity to ask a last question or to make a final comment. If you can refer to something you learned from the interview or have been thinking about since, all the better.
With best wishes,
The Bennett Team