While working with a tenth grade client recently, I suggested that we take thirty minutes some day before his boarding school interviews to polish his presentation a bit. That opportunity occurred yesterday, and most of the recommendations I imparted could certainly never be considered profound. However, in their simplicity, they may deserve recounting here.
First things first. Don’t appear for your interview chewing gum. Don’t wear blue jeans. Avoid clothing with advertising or any kind of message, political or otherwise. (Labels should be on the inside!)
Entering the admissions office, hold the door for your parents. When the admissions officer enters the room to greet you, stand up, then offer your hand for a firm – but not excessive – handshake, all while making eye contact. It sounds more difficult than it is. Really.
On tour, keep in mind that anything troubling you choose to mention to the tour guide will find its way back to your file. (“Are they tough on drugs around here?”) Be sure to have scoured the school’s website before the interview, so that you can ask questions that are significant when it counts most. (The adage that there is no such thing as a dumb question simply isn’t true.)
The word “like” is appropriate in some conversational applications, but it was never intended to be used as a way to fill space with noise. Overuse of the word “like” has become a plague of the young and suggests other terms, like “nit wit.” If you possess the ability to turn off such word usage when need arises, consider doing so during your interviews.
Finally, one-word answers won’t earn many points for you in an interview. Questions asked are designed to provide you with opportunities to tell your story, so take full advantage of that occasion. Good luck!
Carter P. Reese Informed Educational Solutions firstname.lastname@example.org