A few eleven plus children may be setting off to interviews in the next few days. Some parents may care to prepare their children for what could, possibly, lie ahead. Naturally some parents will feel that their child can cope with anything. Other parents may not approve of their child being offered a few points. For the rest of us, however, some gentle suggestions.
The interviewer may ask your child about the school that he or she is in – and about the facilities that your child’s present school offers. Remind your child that not all interviewers know everything in the world! Your child could be asked about favourite subjects, or about least favourites preferred teachers – and why.
Your child may also be asked about the amount of preparation that has been done before the interview. Has the school been visited before? Has your child been shown the prospectus or the web site? Are their any relatives who may have attended the school?
The interview may then go onto why your child wants to go to that school. What is the motivation? What homework will the school require?
Then come the most subjective part of the interview – your child’s ability to project his or her personality. “Sit up straight. Do not slouch. Hands on knees. Feet neatly crossed. Smile. Then smile again. Do not mumble. Speak up!”
Some does and don’ts:
Please try not to over prepare. You do not want your child to try to regurgitate answers learnt by heart. These answers have the potential for your child to stutter and try to remember exactly what he or she was told.
Remind your child that he or she should not pretend to know the answer.
And finally, suggest kindly but firmly, that he or she should not remain dumb. Children who talk too much can be accommodated – as too much chatter could be nerves. Single word answers are un-necessary. A `Yes’ or `No’ is not good enough. “Answer in threes. Three sentence answers, please, dear.”
“I want to go to your school because my grandfather went here. I like the look of your science lab. I want to be a scientist one day.”
By the way – prospective parents should not wander through the school grounds kicking aimlessly at stray plants. If you do happen to see any rubbish pick it up – someone may be watching you too!