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Boarding School Interviews Decoded

Preparing for your interview to boarding school may seem intimidating, but it’s easier than you think. Take it from me, a former admission rep ... The number one rule? Be yourself.

You need to determine if the school to which you’re applying is the right fit for you, and they need to make sure that you’re the right fit for them: academically, athletically, artistically, and personally. The interview is the perfect place to do just this, for both you and the school.

Know what you want. Going into an interview having no clue what you want in a school is a problem. Do some research ahead of time, and figure out the type of school you want, and if the schools to which you’re applying fit this profile. If you’re a quiet, artistic type, then you may want to attend a smaller school that offers a wide variety of arts classes, rather than a large, sports-focused school.

Bring a resume. Quite often, interviews end and you suddenly remember five things you wanted to share. Before you go to your interview, create a resume that outlines your academic, artistic, athletic, and personal interests and achievements. This is a great way to make sure your interviewer (and those who read your admission file) knows what kind of student and person you are, and why you might be a great fit for the school.

Have a conversation. The interview is a chance for you and the admission officer to get to know each other- sitting quietly with your hands folded will not help you. Similarly, talking non-stop and never letting your interviewer speak is also a bad idea! This should be a back and forth discussion, so it’s a good idea to know what you want to share about yourself in this interview. Your resume can help here.

Ask questions. Be prepared to ask your admission officer questions about the school, and go more in-depth on the aspects of the school you have already researched. Have a few questions ready to go to ask about academic offerings, athletics programs, arts, residential life, or activities. Listen to what your interviewer says, and ask follow-up questions if you don’t feel like your question was fully answered.

Be honest. Tell them what your academic strengths and weaknesses are, and discuss your learning style and academic interests. You may need certain additional academic support from a program like Cheshire Academy’s Roxbury Academic Support Program. If you’re a transfer student, you may need specific courses to graduate. Or, you may be interested in earning an International Baccalaureate Diploma, a program that is only offered by select schools, including Cheshire Academy. Honesty doesn’t end with academics either-be honest about your artistic and athletic abilities to make sure the school has the programs you want. Tell your admission officer about your lifestyle needs; proper health and wellness routines are essential to your success in school, and you want to make sure the school can support you. Surprises once you’re enrolled are only going hurt your chances for success.

Say you're interested. Show your interviewer that you know something about the school, and let them know you want to attend. Tell them what you like best about the school, and why you think you're a great candidate for admission.

Remember, not every school is right for every student, and not every student is right for every school. The boarding school interview is a great way to find out how well you and your potential school match. Be realistic about your needs and wants, and you’ll find a great school where you can be successful!

Stacy Jagodowski

Written by Stacy Jagodowski

Ms. Jago joined the Cheshire Academy community in August 2013 as the director of strategic marketing and communications. Prior to coming to Cheshire Academy, she spent six years working in communications offices at both colleges and private school, as well as five years in admission at both boarding schools and day schools.

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