The private high school application process is a multi-faceted and crucial stage in the educational journey of students. One of the key components of the process is the personal interview, which offers admissions officers the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the applicant’s personality, interests, values, and aspirations. This makes the interview an essential aspect of the private school admissions process, as it allows schools to assess the applicant beyond the traditional metrics of test scores, transcripts, and extracurricular activities.
As such, it is imperative for applicants to be well-prepared for the interview, as a great interview can significantly impact the admissions decision. One of the most effective ways to prepare is by practicing answers to common interview questions. In this article, we provide a comprehensive list of typical questions and suggestions for answering them in a clear, concise, and academic manner.
Common High School Interview Questions
The following are some of the most commonly asked interview questions by private high school admissions counselors:
Can you tell me about yourself?
This is an introductory question that requires a clear and concise response. A good answer should include the applicant’s current grade, a brief description of what they enjoy about school, two to three major extracurricular activities, and the reason for their excitement about the particular school.
What are your strengths?
In response to this question, the applicant should reflect on what their teachers and coaches would say about them. The answer should highlight specific examples of their strengths, such as effective leadership, good communication skills, or problem-solving abilities.
What are your weaknesses?
This question is a common interview question and can be challenging to answer. To approach this question, the applicant should discuss a specific area they would like to improve and the steps they have taken to work towards that goal.
The answer to this question should focus on the applicant’s interests and activities that demonstrate their civic and creative engagement. Emphasize activities that involve socializing, pursuing intellectual or creative pursuits, and engaging in physical activities.
What extracurricular activities interest you?
This question consists of two parts: the first part asks about the extracurricular activities the applicant is interested in, while the second part asks how they plan to continue these activities in their new school. It is important for the applicant to research the school’s extracurricular offerings and discuss activities that align with their interests.
What is your favorite subject and why?
This question is a near certainty in a private school admission interview, as it offers insight into the applicant’s desired high school experience. The applicant should provide a detailed explanation of why a particular subject is their favorite and describe specific aspects of the subject that they find interesting.
What subject do you find the most difficult?
The applicant should approach this question in a similar manner as the question on their weaknesses, acknowledging the subject’s challenges and discussing their strategies for improvement. It is important to be honest while avoiding negative language that reflects poorly on their abilities.
This question presents an opportunity for the applicant to demonstrate their problem-solving skills. The answer should include a specific example of a time when they faced difficulty in a class and describe the steps they took to overcome the challenge.
Can you tell me about your family?
The admissions counselor is seeking to understand the impact of the applicant’s family on their life. The answer should highlight the applicant’s relationships with their family members,
Can you tell me about your educational background and achievements?
Why did you choose this school?
What are your hobbies and interests?
How do you deal with challenges and difficulties in your studies?
Can you share a situation where you showed leadership or teamwork skills?
What do you want to study in the future?
What do you hope to gain from your education in this school?
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
What do you do when you are struggling in a class?