Boarding School
The Interview

After reviewing the student's application and supporting documentation, should the need arise for any additional materials an admissions officer may request the same from the student and/or parent accordingly.

 

Moreover, once a student's application is complete, admissions might request for an interview with the student. While all schools prefer an on campus interview in person, geographic and logistical limitations often necessitate either a telephone interview with an admissions officer or an alumni interview with a past graduate of the boarding school in question. 

 

​(i.) In-person Interview

The in-person interview is almost always conducted on campus. The interview is usually preceded by a campus tour and coordinated by a school official. Very often, schools will see to it that an honor student (often called a "school ambassador") assist in the tour and address any questions the student might pose.

 

Admissions officers use the in-person interview to assess the student's appearance, attitude, and manners. The main purpose of such interview to assess whether the student is a good fit for the school, its traditions and ideals, and its contemporary student body.

 

Once the tour is completed, the student will hold any number of interviews with an admissions officer, a school administrator, and, sometimes, even an ESL program coordinator.

 

In all such interviews, the interviewer will pose questions such as: reasons for applying to our school, your development background, academic achievement and ability, extracurricular activities as well as future plans and aspirations at your new school.

 

Should the student be accompanied by a parent, then school administrators will seek to interview the parents separately in English. Such interviews typically last 30 minutes. This is an opportunity for the parents to not only share their background and learn about school policy but also to convey their  strong desire to enroll their child in the school.

 

(ii.) Alumni Interview

Alumni interviews are arranged when a student is unable to attend an on-campus, in-person interview. These interviews are often conducted by school alumni but may also be conducted by currently enrolled students or their parents. In short, the interviewer is an individual trusted to best represent the admissions committee  and accurately assess the student's suitability to the prospective boarding school in question.

These interviews are no different in character or quality to the on-campus interviews discussed above. The admissions committee has simply delegated their authority to a third-party. As such, the interviewer has a responsibility to report back the findings from his or her interview as well as any recommendations regarding the student in question.

 

(iii.) Skype Interview

While most elite boarding school rely on alumni interviews when the student cannot attend an on-campus interview, some schools prefer to retain direct control of the admissions interview and require instead a video conference using VOIP services such as Skype, WhatsApp or WeChat. 

  

As with other interview formats, Skype interviews are typically requested once the admissions committee has fully reviewed the student's application and seek to follow up. In this regard, the content, aim and object of a Skype interview is no different than the other interview formats. As such, a student must be fully aware of the contents of his or her application as well as prepared to address any potential questions arising out of the same.

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Students and school officials decide in advance on a mutually acceptable date and time for the interview. However, in the case of the U.S., due to the 13 to 17 hour time difference, Skype interviews tend to be held either late at night or early the following morning. While school officials tend to initiate the Skype call, sometimes students are expected to call. In either case, the student must be ready at least 15 minutes ahead of time to take or make a call.

 

​These interviews are moderated by one or more school administrator and typically last 20 to 30 minutes in duration - though in some cases, interviews can stretch much longer.