This September Naomi will start 7th grade, our little girl is a big girl now!
Part of being a big girl is preparing to go through interviews for middle-school.
The interview is just one of the steps for the admission process, but it is definitely an important and stressful one.
I did lots of research to help Naomi to be ready (as ready as 12 year old, interviewing for the first time ever, could be).
Our personal experience
Some of the schools Naomi applied to, only required an essay and one of them required an interview.
Naomi wrote 3 different school essays for each school. She wrote about herself, her likes and dislikes, her plans for middle school, her hobbies, her family, etc.
A couple of days before the interview I thought it would help Naomi to get prepared if she had an idea of the kind of questions she would be asked. I found a couple of websites with lists of questions and I asked Naomi to answer in paper a couple of those questions.
On the day of the interview, she was a bit nervous (which is more than normal). On our way to the interview we tried to keep her calm, we reminded her that, there were no wrong answers, the goal of the interview is just for the school to get to know her.
For this interview the parents were invited, so we were there, probably as nervous as her (at least me) the interviewer was great and made Naomi feel very confortable, she was nice and friendly, so this gave Naomi lots of confidence. The interview went on for over an hour.
Most questions were addressed to Naomi and a couple to my husband and I. Naomi was fully in charge of the situation and did amazing.
Both my husband and I were incredibly proud of her, she was super confident and poised, she really surpassed our expectations. I believe the reason why she did so well, is not only because she was prepared but because at all times she was herself.
Help your kid be ready and relax by practicing a couple of days ahead of the interview but mostly remind them to be themselves! Think that the person conducting the interview has seen and heard tons of kids before, they are looking for that extra sparkle, the one that you can only give if you are really, truly yourself!
Here are 10 Tips to help your kid prepare for the interview
- Research as much information as possible about the school, this will help you get an idea of what their evaluation criteria is. This will also help you answer questions like; why do you think our school is a good fit for you? (popular question)
- If possible talk to another parent or kid who has gone through the process.
- Create a questionary of possible questions and let your kid answer, you can coach them afterward on how to best structure their answers. (sample questions below)
- Ask your kid to list their top 5 qualities i.e social skills, team player, organized, Math skills, languages, etc.
- Ask your kid to write his favourite subjects and least favourite ones and explain. (this is a tricky question, better to be ready to answer).
- Practice with your kid, so they are more confortable during the interview. (Chances are this is the first time they are being interviewed)
- Advice them to pause and ask for clarification if they don’t understand the question (Tell them it is ok to pause and think about your answer).
- Don’t try to memorize your answers, tell them to be honest and be themselves (don’t over do it).
- Remind them that, there are no bad answers.
- Prepare your own questions (at the end you will be asked for your own questions).
- Talk about yourself
- Describe your family
- What do you do on your spare time? (favourite thing aside sports and extracurricular activities)
- What are your top qualities?
- What do you enjoy most about school?
- What is your favourite subject?
- What is your least favourite subject?
- Describe a typical day after school
- Describe your favourite teacher
- How would your teacher describe you?
- What seems challenging to you at school?
- Describe a challenging situation you’ve overcome?
- Why do you want to attend this school?
- How did you hear about our school?
- Are you part of any clubs at school?
- Which clubs would you like to be part of at our school?
- What do you want to become?
- If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
- Talk about your extracurricular activities
- Describe your best friend
- How would you handle a problem with a friend?
- Talk about your favourite book
- Who is your favourite book character?
- If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be? (yes, they asked her that question)
Bonus advice (during the interview):
- Firm Handshake
- Eye contact
- Seat Straight
- Be clear when you talk (practice voice tone)
- Smile and be polite