Whether you're applying to prep school or college, interviewing is an important part of the process. Getting an interview is the final stage of applying that not only gives the school a chance to better know you, but gives you a chance to see if the school is a right fit for you. Here are a few helpful ideas for getting through this important step:
- Do Some Research
No matter how good you are at thinking on your feet, don't go into an interview without preparation. Research the school's mission statement and values and think about how they relate to you. If you are given your interviewer's name ahead of time it can be helpful to look into their background as well.
- Anticipate Questions
While you may not be able to predict exactly what questions will be asked, you can likely anticipate some of the obvious ones. Questions like "What do you like about our school?" and "Why should we accept you?" are commonly asked in one variation or another. Even if they are not, thinking about your answers to these questions and other easily anticipated questions will help you have well-thought out responses.
- Dress Appropriately
While this may seem like a no-brainer, it's worth mentioning regardless. If your interview invitation doesn't specify a dress code it's always best to dress in your most professional attire. Some preparatory schools have specific attire they will expect you to wear, so if it is not mentioned it is a good idea to contact program directors and ask.
- Be on time
Yes, another obvious tip, but still an important reminder. If you are driving to your interview, make sure you think about where you will park and how you will get the building your interview is in. If you are attending an interview in another state, it may be a good idea to arrive the night before to avoid a hectic interview day.
- Have A Resume on Hand
Having a couple copies of your resume on hand is a good idea for many reasons. You can hand it to your interviewer at the beginning of your interview and it can serve as a talking point during your session. Even if the interviewers don't end up taking your resume, a quick glance at it before your interview will help jog your memory of notable past achievements.
- Pause before your answers
While you may be eager to answer your interview questions, take a moment to think about the question and formulate your answer before opening your mouth. This will prevent you from rambling and will help you form eloquent responses.
- Ask Questions
At the end of every interview there will be time for you to ask questions. Before your interview, think of insightful questions to ask. These questions will not only help showcase your knowledge about the school and preparation for the interview, but they will also give you a better idea of what the school is like.
- Send A Thank-You Note
While sending a thank-you note may not have too much of an effect on your acceptance, it is always polite to thank admission officers for meeting with you. Writing a personal thank you note or sending a well-written email will show that you appreciated the time the school spent with you. Seeing your name on a note and getting a subtle reinforcement of your desire to attend their school may even help your name be a little more memorable.