Owning the Interview

Navigating the boarding school search process can be intimidating. Admission Offices have “officers.” They conduct interviews and collect files. But, when you step onto the campus of your choice for your first visit or tour, remember that the folks in that office are on your side.

Boarding school admission offices adhere to high professional standards. Their goal is to help you find the right school match for you, even if a different school is a better fit. They consider the mission and programs of their schools thoughtfully and look for students who can contribute to and benefit from their schools the most. They are also great resources and should be able to recommend other schools that may also suit your needs.
In your boarding school search process, I challenge you to consider the admission officers you meet as allies. If the idea of an interview makes you nervous, come prepared with your own great questions. It’s OK to bring your own notes into the interview, too. It’s OK to take notes yourself— in fact I’ve always been impressed by applicants who take the time to write down the things we discuss that might help them form important decisions later on.
Here are a few more helpful interviewing tips:
Don’t underestimate the power of sleep.
Get your regular amount of sleep the night before.
Be sure you eat a good breakfast.
It is really hard to interview well on an empty stomach!
Know the school you’re interviewing with as well as you can.
A telltale sign of an applicant who is just going through the motions is one who starts talking about programs that aren’t even offered at that particular school. Oops!
Draw connections.
Are there any similarities between your current school and your new school that make you a good match? If you’re looking for something totally different talk about why you need a better community, greater challenge, or an opportunity to be on a robotics team, etc.
Know your weaknesses and be prepared to talk about them.
You are likely to be asked not just about your strengths, but also about the areas you’d like to improve in. Know your weaknesses, too. A mature, self-aware student can articulate these points. Are you doing anything right now to improve on those areas? If you are taking action, let your interviewer know. Those details don’t show up on school transcripts.
Get the most out of your interview.
Ask for feedback when you are done. Again, this gesture demonstrates maturity. And— you might get some helpful pointers for your next school visit!

I hope this entry proves valuable. As always, don’t hesitate to be in touch. We’re happy to help.

—Linda D’Arco
Associate Director of Admission

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