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School Interview Preparation Tips

School Interview Preparation Tips
By Anne Murphy, Director of ITS Educational Services Ltd

The first few months of each year can be an extremely stressful time for many parents. Yes, the dreaded interview season for 2013-2014 has kicked into full speed. It is the norm, for some children to attend 2-3 interviews a week. It’s not just the private international schools who conduct interviews, local and international kindergartens and pre-schools interview potential students also.

So how can parents help their children to do well in the interview and what can you do at home to help your child? Here are some useful tips!

Sharing and Interacting: Younger children may be asked to play with other children on the interview, so tell your child ahead of time what to expect and to follow rules for polite behavior. Play games at home with your child that requires taking turns and sharing.

Don’t stress yourself out—or your child: Admissions staff and teachers are far too familiar with the child who is on the brink of tears on interview day because his parents have talked far too much about the interview – and the child is thus feeling the stress on the day. Be sure to give your child a big hug before the interview and remind yourself that you are looking for the right school — not one you have to campaign to convince that your child is right for.

Stimulate curiosity: Make your child alert to their environment or a new setting. Do not dismiss queries as sweet-nothings. Give satisfactory answers to his/her questions. This will make your child respond to others’ queries and investigations.

Develop social etiquettes: Habits like greeting visitors, shaking hands with new adults, saying hello to mom/dad’s friends, wishing a Happy Birthday to a relative, will help your child do well in the interview. Be sure your child remembers to say thank you and to shake hands at the end of the interview. Shy children may need practice looking their interviewer in the eye.

Avoid over-coaching
Teachers also recognise students who have been coached for the interview. Your child should be natural and should not make up interests or talents that aren’t really innate. Interview preparation classes in a fun setting where a child is enjoying interacting with new children and socially being engaged are the most appropriate(contact ITS for details). These classes will help your child feel at ease and not feel intimidated on the day of the interview because familiarity will kick in.

Get the basics clear: There are some basic concepts which need to be made clear to the child. Like the child’s name, parents’ name and sibling(s) name. Your child should know where he/she lives and the name of their current school.

For Reception and Primary 1 entry: the child must be able to name colors, fruits, vegetables, some birds and animals. Knowledge of alphabet and numbers is welcome. He or she should be able to identify a few modes of transport. Simple nursery rhymes should be memorised.

Contact ITS Educational Services if you would like your child to attend our fun and stimulating interview preparation classes.

Dulwich College Singapore

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