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Eight Steps to a Strong Boarding School Interview



1.  Demonstrate excellent presentation skills, an affable demeanor, neat appearance, enthusiastic and frank responses and interactions with boarding school personnel.

2.  Your interview begins the moment you set foot on campus. You will be observed and school personnel will draw conclusions about you even before the official interview begins.  Impress them with your firm handshake and eye contact.  Stand tall and sit up straight.  Even in the waiting area!

3.  Come prepared for the interview.  Have some answers to likely boarding school interview questions prepared.  Learn about the school.  Be able to mention two or three reasons why you want to apply to this particular boarding school and program.

4.  Give concrete examples of why you feel this top boarding school is the right place for you.  Here is an example. Perhaps you are interested in international relations with an emphasis on Asia.  You have taken some Mandarin.  You note that the school offers AP Chinese and a Model UN club whose advisor is one of the Mandarin teachers.  Perfect for your interests and aspirations.

5.  Mention why you are attracted to this particular setting or location. Be able to articulate why a boarding school model vs a day school.  What are you looking for in a school setting that only best boarding schools can offer?

6.  Be able to clearly articulate how the academic program relates to your future scholastic goals and supports achievement of these goals. An example is how the IB curriculum differs from a traditional curriculum and how the IB model, specifically, supports achievement of your particular goals for high school and beyond.

7.  Speak about several ways in which you will contribute to the learner community. In what ways will your presence enhance the quality of the scholastic experience for the entire student community?  Perhaps you have a unique perspective to share.  Have you moved a lot?  Do you speak another language(s)?  Are you notably curious or loyal or energetic?  Offer concrete examples. Perhaps you are into STEM and design thinking and you started a maker space in your school.  Maybe you brought a “little lending library” to your neighborhood.  Reflect for a moment and ask your family and friends.

8.  Finally, come prepared with one or two questions to ask school personnel. They will certainly ask, “Do you have any questions?” Demonstrate that you have taken the time to learn about the school. Ask things that genuinely reflect your interests.  Perhaps you are into musicals.  Ask if the spring musical is all-school open audition, of if you have to be taking a music elective to be eligible.  Do they have fencing or cross country or crew?  This hints at what you have to offer while showing that you have done your homework and genuinely feel that you would thrive in their boarding school program.

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