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Confidence building tips for a school interview

So you would like to know how to get through your interview … and get into your next school? Here are our education consultant’s top tips to help you not only look and sound confident but also how to deal with those inevitable nerves when going through the private school admissions process.

Our expert team is on hand to support your child and family when it comes to the school’s admissions process. If you’re looking for further support, get in touch with us today.

  1. Dress to impress - school children should wear their formal school uniform; adults should wear lounge suits (or equivalent); ensure footwear is appropriate (eg black leather shoes) - not trainers! - and polished and shoelaces are done up; ensure shirt is tucked in and buttons done up; if wearing a tie, make sure that the top button is done up and the knot is pulled up and central between the collar wings.

  2. Make a positive first impression - you never get a second chance to make a positive first impression; when your interviewer meets you for the first time, stand up, look them in the eye, smile and make a firm handshake; say something respectful, cheery and bright (eg “Hello. Thank you for having me.”). If you are being introduced to a panel of people, do the same for each one.

  3. Use positive body language - when asked to sit down, use the following tips to sit with a relaxed, open body position: put your bottom to the back of the seat and put your back to the top of the back of the chair (this will stop you slouching); place both feet flat on the floor either together or a little apart, with your knees directly above them; interlock your fingers and place your hands in your lap; now look up, look your interviewer in the eye and smile to show you are ready.

  4. Avoid negative body language - never cross your legs (if you have to cross anything, cross your ankles); never cross your arms; never, ever cross your legs and your arms at the same time; this is defensive body language, intimating you are trying to keep them out.

  5. Maintain positive body language

    1. Open body position - see point 3 above

    2. Eye contact - a really important part of communication; when listening, always maintain eye contact with the speaker; not only does this show respect, it will also ensure you listen to the question carefully; when speaking, try to look your interviewer in the eye (at least every so often) and if there is a panel interviewing you make sure you engage with them all.

    3. Smile – don’t forget to smile at your interviewer and even laugh when they say something funny; smile or laugh when you say something funny! This will also release endorphins which will make you feel better!

  6. Try to relax! - when the stakes are high, we all get nervous. It’s how we deal with those nerves that count. When nerves start to build, try using the ‘hoover/hairdryer’ technique: adopt a relaxed body position (see point 3 above); close your eyes; take a long, slow, deep breath in through your nose (like a hoover); at the same time your shoulders should rise; hold it for 3 seconds; blow all the air out, hard, through the mouth (like a hairdryer); at the same time your shoulders should drop and relax; you should feel the stress and tension leave your body. Repeat if/when necessary (but no more than twice in succession as you may faint!).

Our private school admissions advice

Our education consultants understand how nerve-wracking attending interviews can be. As an important part of the private school admissions process it’s vital your child comes across well to secure their place. In the next blog of this series, we will be offering tips to help your child sound confident!

For any further advice on private school admissions, please get in touch with our team.

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