Just as every student is unique and special in their own way, so too is every school different and distinctive for the benefits they offer.
Some schools are bigger and provide students with the ability to meet lots of new people, others are smaller and more intimate. Some schools offer many sport options while others have a stronger focus on the sciences. For every student, there is a perfect school and it’s important to be matched with the right school for you. Getting into that perfect school means you have to ace the admission interview.
Here are some tips that will help you ace any admission interview.
First Impressions Count
You must dress neatly for your interview. Your outfit shouldn’t be too loud or over the top. Your shoes should be neat and sensible. Make sure your hair, nails, face and teeth are clean and fresh. When you speak, make sure your voice is loud and clear. Pay attention to your tone, especially when you are reading aloud or reading a story.
Look at the people you are talking to. Making eye contact is a sign of confidence. Don’t look at the ceiling, floor or walls, as that appears that you are distracted or disinterested. Don’t fidget either.
Posture! Posture! Posture! Sit up straight during your interview with your hands on the table or your lap. When you are talking, especially in group discussion, try to use your hands a little and make gestures. Nothing too wild and crazy but some animation will be well received as it shows enthusiasm and confidence.
Be uniquely YOU!
If you’ve found the school of your dreams and managed to secure an interview, you will want to make sure that you perform your best and stand out from the crowd – in a great way!
You can do this by confidently showing the interviewer who you are and what makes you special. The interviewer will ask you personal questions and this is a good time to show a little personality. They may even ask you to talk about yourself in a personal presentation.
Introduce yourself. Include your age and where you are from. Discuss your previous schools and your hobbies. Talk about your favourite subjects at school and why you like them. If the conversation allows, tell them about your favourite book too and what it was about that you liked so much. If you play sports, it’s a good time to mention this and what position you play or why you enjoy it.
Interviewers will want you to 'sell' your good qualities so mention your strengths and be sure to tell them if you have received any awards or accolades. This is the time to explain who you are and what makes you unique and special. You are interviewing the school just as they are interviewing you, so let them know why you have chosen their school and why you hope your application will be a success.
Once the interviewer has gotten to know you a little bit, they will move on to the work part of the interview. In many cases, that will include reading a passage out loud so they can assess your reading skills.
When you are asked to read aloud, be sure to read smoothly and at a moderate pace so you can read every word clearly. Pause at meaningful breaks within sentences or paragraph and always pay attention to the grammar. If there is a comma, pause. If there is a full stop, take a longer pause.
Just as you spoke loudly and clearly when you introduced yourself, you will need to read in a loud and clear voice too. Interviewers consider the voice quality of what they hear and not just the content. When you are reading, they are alert to both intonation and voice quality.
Read with expression. You may have to vary your tone in order to catch the attention of your audience. Remember, interviewers will have listened to countless hours of readings and a monotone is hard to listen to. Make sure your reading is lively and interesting so the interviewer enjoys listening to it.
Many interviews will include picture descriptions. You might be asked to describe a picture.
Make sure you look at the image carefully. Take in all the details. Don’t get too confused by the characters’ relationship or activities in the pictures, just notice what they are doing. Pay attention to the quantities of different items as you may be asked to recount how many flowers/jugs/pots are in a picture.
Identify the characters, their settings, what activities they are engaged in and if you can see clearly, what feelings they are displaying. Tell the interviewer what the theme of the image is, example: birthday party or picnic. Be precise. You don’t need to use difficult vocabulary to describe the image. Just speak clearly and use words that you know are appropriate and make sense. Use about 2-3 sentences to describe each part of the picture. You can use words like 'this picture / photo shows…' or 'in the picture / photo, we can see…'
When describing where things are in the image, use prepositions like 'in the upper left corner' or 'at the top' or 'in the upper right corner.'
Some interviews require students to make a personal presentation. If this is what your interviewer asks of you, keep these tips in mind.
You will be given a topic and some preparation time so make sure you use this time well. Make a list of points for the topic and think about the main points you want to focus on. Prepare the structure of the presentation by organising your points and presenting them in a coherent and logical way. You’ll be given a strict time limit so make sure your presentation fits into that time frame. If the time allowed is 3 minutes, try to make a speech of around 2 and a half minutes. It is better to under-run than over-run. Interact with your audience. You are speaking to the audience, so try to look at them, make eye contact and use your hands and face to show expression.
Projecting confidence in a school interview can be just as important as showing your best grades or skills. Practicing to speak with confidence, can improve your performance in the interview as well as calm your nerves.
Let us help you
If you are interested in learning more about how to ace an interview or what schools we partner with or even how to choose the right school for you or your child, please contact our admissions consultants on 2383 0300.
"I am glad to be in ME because teachers here are so nice and professional. ME Education helped me from the beginning to the end of the process. They helped me with the admission interview and application process, I am now grade 1 in Harrow International School and I had a great time in Harrow, thank you ME!"