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interview questions

itsgregitsgreg 13 replies4 threads New Member
edited January 2009 in Prep School Parents
Using my son's account, I'm asking for help from experienced parents -

We are new to the scene. There are three interviews (2 on campus, 1 alumni) coming next week. I am all stressed out, as this first batch includes our first and second choice for now. Please, if you could share your experience - how the process is like, what questions they ask, and what questions you should ask, etc. Thank you in advance for your help!
edited January 2009
18 replies
Post edited by itsgreg on
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Replies to: interview questions

  • creative1creative1 1613 replies44 threads Senior Member
    This topic comes up frequently, so I would recommend a search on this thread using the search tool in the upper right hand corner.

    Here are some threads from the past year that might be helpful:
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/prep-school-admissions/362843-interview-process.html?highlight=interview

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/prep-school-admissions/447486-interview-questions.html?highlight=interview
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  • itsgregitsgreg 13 replies4 threads New Member
    Thank you. I was thinking about doing a search and not sure where to start. The links are very helpful.
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  • neatoburritoneatoburrito 3373 replies76 threads Senior Member
    Also, there is a thread called "useful links" that has a link to the Eaglebrook school's placement page. Loads of good stuff about the interview there.
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  • Linda SLinda S 1540 replies30 threads Senior Member
    The St. George's web site also has an excellent page about interviews.
    Go to the admissions section and look for it on their site - it applies to all schools.
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  • itsgregitsgreg 13 replies4 threads New Member
    Now, could you also share what questions the child should ask in the interview? The St. George's web site's "questions to ask" don't seem to be the best questions you can ask as a student.
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  • D'yer MakerD'yer Maker 3348 replies73 threads Senior Member
    The admissions interviewers are going to be very engaging, so there's no need to get stressed out -- especially since that will only be counterproductive. Most kids leave their interviews feeling very good about the school and their chances. So I would relax.

    Still, it's a good idea to know what you want to know more about. Why not have a conversation with your son about each school...and see what he knows and find out the things that are important to him. This will actually help you, too. But your conversation can help identify the kinds of things he might want to find out from the admission officer. Not necessarily in the form of scripted questions, but interest areas or mysteries that he might want to talk about or learn more about regarding that school or boarding school in general. And, remember, a question is really just one type of "conversation starter." Sometimes, a statement or observation will suffice. For example, "I noticed that the chapel looks really small," can be the starting point for conversations about school size, how the school runs its chapel services, the school's history, etc.

    There's no need to break into a sweat when the admission counselor says, "So...do you have any questions for me?" If it's too awkward or feels too contrived to come up with a question on the spot, consider making an observation. Since you'll both have just completed a tour, that should be a cinch for both of you. And a change of inflection transforms most statements into a question, if ever you or your son feel compelled to deliver a question or two to your interviewer.
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  • Linda SLinda S 1540 replies30 threads Senior Member
    There are the St. George questions - I bolded the ones I think most students would feel comfortable asking - or asking a variation of.
    Questions you might want to ask our tour guide or Admissions Associate:
    How do your students perform at college?
    How much homework is there on a typical night?
    How accessible are telephones and computers?

    How often do advisees meet with advisors?
    How many families live in each dorm?
    What is it like living in a seaside town?
    What percentage of students are on financial aid?
    What is the percentage of Students of Color on campus?
    Why did you choose St. George's School?
    How many students take AP courses?
    If you could change anything at St. George's, what would you change?
    How long do the faculty stay? What is the average tenure?
    What percentage of faculty live on campus?
    As D'yer said, we looked at each school and my son knew some things - or some things simply came up during the toru. For example, at Loomis you'll see a SPOON everywhere with game results on it...My son asked what the significance of the spoon was (long ago story between Loomis and Kent and a stolen spoon or something). But it was something he saw on the tour and was curious about.
    You could ask about Study Hall and free time. Is study hall mandatory - how is it structured? How much free time is there?
    Also, if your child is interested in sports AND drama for example - they could ask if you can do both in the same "season."
    You could ask about the clubs, what do most kids do on weekends?
    Things that interest the student about the school.
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  • itsgregitsgreg 13 replies4 threads New Member
    Thanks for the great advice, d'yer and Linda. I was afraid that asking things like how much homework to be assigned might raise some concerns. Besides he's not really interested to know about that. He decided he'd focus on the questions about the extracurricular activities and teams. I try not overrehears him - just ask him to think about some possible questions the interviewer may ask so he can organize his thoughts in some way. He seems comfortable answering most of the common questions. Hopefully it would work out well.
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  • Linda SLinda S 1540 replies30 threads Senior Member
    If he's interested in sports and activities, have him ask about that - you don't want it to sound rehersed or have him be uncomfortable.
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  • benevolent4thembenevolent4them 1135 replies19 threads Senior Member
    It's important not to be too rehearsed. Interviews are very casual and there is never a incorrect answer. Read the prospectus prior to the interview and create some good questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the school.
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  • itsgregitsgreg 13 replies4 threads New Member
    Just a follow-up: We completed two interviews. They went well. As a matter of fact, my S was so sure that one of them would definitely admit him once he completed his application that I had to say "NO, S, not necessarily". Sounds familiar? My overall feeling is that the importance of the interview is somewhat overrated. It seems parents are making way too big a deal of it, and the interviewers are playing with that zeal. When they say "you are excellent" (with a lot more words of course) without even looking at your grades, test scores, essays and how well you can play the piano, it means the interview went great at the most. I am just trying to figure out a safe way to "cool him down". Any suggestions?
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  • Linda SLinda S 1540 replies30 threads Senior Member
    The interview is only one part, but I tend to think it is one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle. No, they haven't SEEN the grades, but in my son's case, they asked him what they were and what his SSAT scores were, so they were basing their remarks on that information.
    I would do what you are doing, tell him that a great interview doesn't always mean you are in. I would also remind him that the school has nearly 2 months more of interviewing so they'll be seeing a lot more kids that are equally impressive.
    But overall, congrats and him feeling comfortable, that is important.
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  • neatoburritoneatoburrito 3373 replies76 threads Senior Member
    We came out of our son's interview with the same impression, itsgreg. What we told our son was that it meant that he had as good of a chance as probably 75% of the other applicants. Some will have the same strengths, others will have different or more strengths.

    I have tried to instill in my son that these schools are in the enviable position of hand picking their students from the very best. Convincing them that he is one of the very best via the entire application package is all that he can do. Just because someone wants Cherry Garcia doesn't mean that Chunky Monkey isn't just as good and sometimes the vanilla is just the rich creaminess that you want to go with the fresh strawberries that you already have. I don't know if the Ben and Jerry's analogy will work for your son, but it helped mine understand that beyond proving you are a nice kid with something to offer beyond an above average intellect is about all you can do. You're top shelf ice cream regardless of whether school A wanted you or not. There are a lot of flavors out there....equally ultra-premium.

    As corny as this may sound, I think that it may help him if we end up with disappointing (not necessarily bad) news on March 10th. We'll probably make a trip to Ben and Jerry's either way!
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  • PhotoOpPhotoOp 1181 replies13 threads Senior Member
    Just another example - my daughter had a really great interview at a school that turned her down - and terrible interviews at two schools that each accepted her.
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  • itsgregitsgreg 13 replies4 threads New Member
    Linda S, I sent you a private message. Please check it out when you get a chance.
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  • PA-CPA-C 922 replies38 threads Member
    Neato Burrito, I absolutely loved this quote from you! Thank you ! I intend to share this with my son when letters come out.

    Quote from Neatoburrito: "I have tried to instill in my son that these schools are in the enviable position of hand picking their students from the very best. Convincing them that he is one of the very best via the entire application package is all that he can do. Just because someone wants Cherry Garcia doesn't mean that Chunky Monkey isn't just as good and sometimes the vanilla is just the rich creaminess that you want to go with the fresh strawberries that you already have. I don't know if the Ben and Jerry's analogy will work for your son, but it helped mine understand that beyond proving you are a nice kid with something to offer beyond an above average intellect is about all you can do. You're top shelf ice cream regardless of whether school A wanted you or not. There are a lot of flavors out there....equally ultra-premium."
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  • charpmike35charpmike35 24 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Except for Devry college. Its a little too much like ice cream for my taste,(pun intended). If you have the money your in so no one post any threads asking if they have what it takes to go to Devry.
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  • mpiczmpicz 2341 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Devry college as in Devry in atlanta??
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