As many of our students focus on preparing for their school entrance interviews, we wanted to reflect on the critical skills gained through proper practice – and how a good interview technique can stand students in great stead throughout their academic careers, and beyond.
School entrance assessments are often the first time that children are faced with a formal interview, and we’ve worked with children as young as four – with many top schools now requiring interviews from a very young age. It’s understandably daunting, and as children grow older they can feel the pressure of expectation even more keenly. That’s why it’s important to tailor the approach for both the target school – and the age of the student. We have a bespoke set of interview preparation tools that we personalise for every child, in order to create a supportive, dedicated space that’s right for the student, and meets the expectations of their upcoming interview panel. But most crucially, this tailored approach gives each child the confidence to be themselves, and even begin to enjoy the preparation process.
Practice makes perfect
Whether it’s practicing question sets or honing interview technique, we revisit every element of the interview to build critical confidence for the big day. For interviews that involve a presentational element, we will work alongside students to shape their content, and share strategies to help present it in the best possible way. Recreating interview conditions as closely as possible builds familiarity and helps to reduce anxiety. While targeted breathing exercises equip children with the tools to tackle any last-minute moments of stage fright on the day.
Mind – and body
Practicing different questions, finetuning answers and studying the individual personalities of each school is critical. But as much as we focus on preparing the mind, it’s also important to think about body language. We convey so much through the way that we carry ourselves – and just a few tweaks to how we stand, sit or move can help ensure our students make an impact, for all the right reasons. From practicing a firm handshake to maintaining eye-contact, we have a whole host of top tricks up our sleeve.
Beyond the interview
While our interview practice is highly targeted – shaped by our experience preparing students for many leading schools and universities – the benefits of a good technique don’t end on interview day. From public speaking and job interviews to securing positive relationships and winning first impressions, the skills we cover will continue to deliver for our students.
A few top tips to get you started…
We have a raft of practice questions in our preparation toolkit, but here are a few of our more unusual prompts to really get you thinking: – What is the point of going to school? – Can you tell me about a time you were embarrassed or disappointed? – If you could solve any problem in the world, what would it be? – If you found a million pounds, what would you do with it? Even when the interviewer throws a curve ball, there are lots of ways to bring questions back to your own, unique experience. For more practice questions and tips on showcasing your strengths, get in touch to book a session.