Interview Season

Hello All
I wanted to check if there was a link to any interview prep questions on some of the top ten schools.

DC interviews well. She has had interviews with St Paul’s, Loomis and Groton. She made some silly blunders , example- mentioned Loomis accidentally at a St Paul’s interview. I’m trying to give her some questions to prepare ahead of time so she feels confident for the next upcoming ones.

Groton went great. The admissions officer kept saying to us- it’s a great match. Not sure if they say this to everyone so we aren’t trying to read too much into it.

Thank you!

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I don’t see a problem with mentioning other schools when asked about it. I wouldn’t call it a blunder.

It wasn’t that. She accidentally said Loomis when she actually meant St. Paul’s

I’ve posted many times that the two ADs who positively gushed about our son after his interviews were his two rejections. Others will also tell you to read nothing into those comments as AOs see more terrific kids then they can admit, enjoy engaging with kids, and want to encourage all to complete their applications.

There is no list of questions to prep for as the best interviews are organic and can cover any ground the interviewer and student wander into based on interest. An interview might start with “tell me about yourself” or “why are you considering boarding school,” but those are only leader questions intended to draw the applicant out into more interesting territory. They are also the easiest to answer, so make sure your child can genuinely answer why BS and why that particular school but, beyond that, the interview should just be an easy conversation. AOs are not trying to trip kids up with questions. They just want to see that the student is enthusiastic and ready for the boarding (or day) experience at their school and can hold their own conversing with an adult.

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Ah, I see. That’s a bigger mistake, but I highly doubt the interviewer is going to read much into it.

Don’t feel bad. After our son’s Andover interview, the AD (Bill Leahy at the time) was red-faced with laughter relaying how our son responded to the question asking if he had a first-choice school. Evidently, our son had replied, “Yes sir, my first choice is Exeter.” Bill said he pointed to the school sweatshirt was wearing and said, “Did you mean Andover?” Our son said, “No sir, my first choice is Exeter.” Bill guffawed and said he’d admit him just for honesty.

Kids say the darndest things. :wink:

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Haha! That’s hilarious

Silly question. Is it dumb to wear a sweatshirt from the school you are interviewing with?

I think she meant that the AO was wearing the school sweatshirt. We have been going to interviews in polo

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I wasn’t referring to her comment. It just made me think- is it a bad idea to wear school paraphernalia to the zoom interview? If my son was going in person he would wear something nice.

I would dress as nicely for a zoom interview as an in person interview (at least from waist up).

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Yes, it’s a bad idea to wear a school sweatshirt to an interview.

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This!! There’s definitely some positive influencing from the interviewers going on. It’s in the school’s interest to get as many kids finishing their applications as possible and actively want to attend the school.

Kid was interviewing last year during remote learning; every single interview started with conversations about how that was going and what was better/worse compared to regular classes. Multiple interviewers asked about favorite subjects and least favorite subjects and then probed the ‘why’. Most started with “tell me about yourself”. And there was always the "why [insert school name]? The conversations drifted various ways after that depending on what kiddo mentioned and the interest of the interviewer.

Kid did prep a response to the ‘tell me about yourself’ question and always had a list of detailed questions very specific to that school (including taking one AO to task about never having visited the school’s observatory). Some questions were quite random such as - what does your dream day look like? and if you had a superpower, what would it be? (apparently kiddo knew exactly how to answer both of those, not sure if I have a kid who can make up answers to that on the fly, or if that’s part of a teenage daydreaming).

Kiddo always followed up promptly with a Thank You email to the interviewer and noted a few key take outs as to why kid was a perfect addition to [insert school name]'s student body.

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Even if they send you a list of prep questions… that doesn’t mean that they will ask any of those questions.

VOE.

Kiddo walked into one interview and the first question was, “If you had to give a Ted Talk, what would it be about?” Kiddo said they were so taken aback they blurted out, “That’s… not what I was expecting.” They recovered after a moment and came up with a perfectly appropriate topic…

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On the flip side, kiddo1 had an interview where they talked about books the entire time. When we had our turn with the AO, he said “we had so much fun talking about books that I didn’t even get a chance to ask any of the questions on my list”. And, talking about something she is truly passionate about (reading), won a spot on their acceptance list.

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Exactly. Interviewers like to sprinkle in one or two of these curveballs. One of the interviews I was on, the interviewer asked me what I would do if I became POTUS. Another asked if I were an animal, what kind of animal I would be. You can’t possibly prepare for such questions, so it is important to just be yourself when answering them.

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My interviewer at the school I currently attend only asked me one question: “What do you love most?”

It was certainly very interesting, and while it caught me off guard, I believe it really did help me express myself far more effectively than I could have in my other interviews. It was one (of many) factors that really made me fall in love with the school.

It appears, however, that that’s his specific “gimmick,” as I spoke to some of my classmates and most of them had fairly generic interviews, but those who were interviewed by him had the exact same experience.