The Private School Interview: What is it Really For?

by NYC Private Schools on November 5, 2008

Hand ShakeThe actual parent interview during the NYC private school admissions process is, next to testing, the most harried time of all. Before you go into the interview itself, take some time off to truly contemplate what the interview is actually for.

The interview is designed to help you and the admissions officers better understand your child, the school, and if the two are a good fit. If your child and the school are not a good fit, you definitely need to do some soul-searching about your reasons for helping them apply there in the first place.

During the interview, you will be a part of a two-way process where the admissions officer will ask you questions, and you will ask the admissions officer questions. Please don’t get so caught up in thinking that your job is to try to answer the questions the right way… 50% of your job is to ask the right questions of them. You’d be surprised at home many parents forget to ask any questions in the interview, and how badly it reflects up them and their child’s chances of admission.

Before the interview, write down all of the questions that you have for the school admissions officer. You will not have time to ask them all, so writing them down beforehand will help you narrow down and focus on the ones that really matter. Study that list and cross off questions that reiterate the same idea, only with different words. (We all do that when we are focused on one theme!)

Your questions will probably settle into different sub-areas: Education, School/Staff, and School/Family relations

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