Deciding on the right school for your child is a big decision and no doubt you’ve spent countless hours researching, downloading prospectuses, attending open days and speaking to your family and friends. Once the decision has finally been made, you feel a weight lifted from your shoulders … until … it comes time to take your child to the school enrolment interview.
At Trinity Grammar School we don’t want our parents and potential students to feel stressed about enrolment interviews. We are proud to be a non-selective school, so the enrolment interview is more about chatting with and getting to know your son as a person, and less about academic achievements, so there’s no studying or tutoring required.
You still want to make a good impression however, so here are 10 simple tips for how to prepare for an enrolment interview:
1. Ensure your application is complete
To make the enrolment interview run smoothly ensure that you have provided all the documentation that was requested at the time you applied, well ahead of the interview. Remember that if you don’t provide everything that is needed your application and interview may be delayed.
2. Be patient
As you can imagine schools get many applications for their limited places. Some people choose to enrol their child the moment they are born (some try even before they are born!), so it could be months or even years before you receive a call or letter about the enrolment interview.
3. Do some research
Read the school’s website and familiarise yourself with its approach to education, its co-curricular activities and its vision and mission statements. You don’t want to arrive at an enrolments interview and discover that your views on education and learning do not align with that of the school. The interview also provides you with the chance to ask the school questions to ensure we meet your expectations.
4. Don’t put pressure on your son
It’s important that your son gets a good night’s sleep so that he is focused and relaxed for the interview. Try to avoid putting pressure on your son by reinforcing with him that he just needs to be himself and answer the questions asked of him. Rather than focussing on what he should or should not say, remind your son to offer a firm hand shake, speak in a clear voice and make eye contact. Don’t allow him to chew gum and encourage him to sit up straight and be polite.
5. Encourage your son
At Trinity we pride ourselves on knowing each and every boy. The enrolment interview gives us our first opportunity to get to know your son and what makes him tick. We want to hear about his hobbies, likes and dislikes, extra-curricular activities, his friends and lots more. Encourage your son, reassuring him that we are friendly and just want to talk to him, and remind him to speak clearly and provide concise but well-rounded answers in full sentences.
6. Dress appropriately
Ensure you and your child are dressed in clean, smart casual or business attire. Your child may be taking time out from school for the interview, so it is acceptable for him to wear his current school uniform.
7. Be punctual
Ensure you arrive in plenty of time. It’s a good idea to allow extra travel time to give yourself five minutes or so to catch your breath before the interview. If you are running late, call the school as soon as possible and let the registrar know.
8. Practise good etiquette
Turn your phone to silent before the interview and do not check your phone during the interview. If you are expecting an important call that cannot wait until after the interview, explain this early on so that the interviewer is prepared for any interruptions. Ensure you are polite and courteous at all times.
9. Don’t speak on behalf of your son
While enrolment interviews are designed to get to know both children and parents, it’s important that you allow your son’s personality to shine. Avoid the temptation to answer questions that are directed to your son and let him take his time to give considered responses.
10. Be honest
Be yourself and answer questions truthfully. Don’t hold back any requested information as it could impact your application.
Remember that at the enrolment interview we are not judging, assessing or critiquing you or your son. We just want to get to know your son so that we can make sure he reaches his full potential and discovers his unique talents.
For over a century Trinity has guided boys to grow in mind, body and spirit and we know what boys need to truly flourish and succeed. To learn more about the Trinity difference, download our prospectus.