If you haven’t begun your interview process yet, chances are you will soon! What many students don’t realize about the boarding school interview is that it’s actually a conversation. Doesn’t sound so bad when you put it that way, does it?
The conversation between you and your admission officer is a way for both of you to find out if the school might be a good match for you—and if you might be a good match for the school. While your admission officer may certainly ask a few questions about yourself (perhaps what is your favorite book, or something much more creative—like what three items would you take to live on a desert island,) this is also your big chance to ask the admission officer a few important questions.
Asking your admission officer questions is a great way to demonstrate your interest, thoughtfulness, and that you take your own education seriously. Below is a general list of questions that may help you to learn more about the school you may be applying to, and more importantly, whether or not you can see yourself as a student there.
1. What does a typical class look like?
Learning about class dynamics can be vital to determining if a school is a good fit for you. Find out about typical lclass sizes, and if classes are discussion-based or lecture-based, flipped classes or a combination. Do students sit in a circle or in rows? These types of questions will demonstrate that you understand your learning style and what works best for you.
2. What is the relationship between day and boarder students, domestic and international students?
Find out how much students interact with each other, and if they participate in the same classes and activities. This can give you an idea of the social climate of the school.
3. What are some special programs offered at the school that I might not find anywhere else?
Ask your interviewer about the students who are involved in these programs. See if you can learn more about how they might better prepare you for college.
4. What type of student does the school actively recruit?
Ask your interviewer what the school looks for in a candidate. What type of student best fits in their academic and social environment? This can help you determine how well you might fit in at the school, and if the school community is one in which you might thrive.
5. Do all classes take place in the classroom, or are there examples of “out of the box” learning that you can share?
Ask if classes ever take field trips or explore the surrounding campus/town as part of the learning experience. Find out if the campus itself is ever used for class activities and exploration. Asking these types of question will demonstrate that you are looking for real-world application of your studies and think outside of the box.
6. What activities do students participate in on the weekends?
This could be your home for the next four years, so weekend experiences are important. Find out if students stay on campus and hang out with friends, or if they leave campus. What is there to do in the immediate town that is within walking distance? How much freedom do students have to leave campus? Your down-time is an important part of life, so take the time to consider what a life outside of the classroom might look like.
7. Are there any faculty members or students who I can contact with further questions?
It’s always a great idea to ask for contact information of people who could offer first-hand information about classes and student life. Developing a list of contacts at the school you are applying will build connections and paint a more vivid picture of the school atmosphere.
You may have many more specific questions based on your interests and goals; don’t be afraid to ask them! Your interview is the perfect time to let your admission officer learn more about who you are and for you to learn more about the school where you may be spending the next four years. Doing so will demonstrate that you care about your future, you are inquisitive, and that you are mature enough to weigh the pros and cons of attending a boarding school.
Try to learn as much as you can before your interview so that you can be prepared. We've created this free guide to school admission interviews which you may find helpful. Download the guide for free here!