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The School Interview - Tell your story

Ahh.. the dreaded school interview. How do I best prepared my child? What type of questions do they ask? What will they ask the parents? Will they test my child in English or Putonghua, or both?


School interviews at top international school can be extremely stressful for both the student as well as the parent. It's important to start honing interview skills at a young age to teach them how to think and answer in an articulate manner.


Please beware, anything you write on your applications are fair game - they will look at your application and ask specific questions, so please be honest and truthful on all your school applications. For example, do not try to overstate your child's Putonghua ability if it is not up to par - it will only look bad if they are tested on it during an interview.


International schools are looking for students with strong English language ability as well as well-roundedness. This means not only do they look for good academics, but they also value athletics and the arts as well. It's important for your child to be able to communicate their personality to the school in their own unique way. These schools interview hundreds of students for a very limited amount of space - so it's very important to be able to communicate your traits and personality in a very succinct way. Here are a couple of questions that are most often asked during school interviews:


1) Tell me about yourself (i.e. intro, family, academic interests, hobbies)

2) Have you read any books lately? Retell the story to me in your own words.

3) What subjects are you good at? What subjects aren't you good at?

4) How do you plan to improve your grades at your next school?

5) Why do you wish to study at an international school, or this school in particular?

6) How would your friends describe you?

7) How will you contribute to the school? Why should I accept you?

8) Where do you see yourself in this school?

9) What have been your biggest challenges?

10) Tell me something about current events that interest you.

11) What do you want to be when you grow up? How do you plan to achieve this goal?

12) Give me an example of where you had to be creative to solve a particular problem


Some schools also interview the parents, so it's also important to mentally prepare for them as well. Most schools will ask general questions about your relationship with the child (i.e. how pro-active are you in their education at home), and what you can do to contribute to the school (i.e. fundraising!). They may also ask you why you wish to apply to their school - remember to keep your answers authentic.


Good luck!

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