The admissions interview

Tips for when you and your child meet schools face-to-face

Find a list of schools  

Most independent schools will want some face-to-face time with prospective students. Depending on the age of the child and the school itself, this might be a formal interview or could be something less official. "In terms of the interview itself, it's very much a dialogue," Kenny says, referring specifically to Upper Canada College's interview process. "It's a very open conversation—there are no set questions that really have a yes and no answer, it's about us digging deeper and probing and allowing the students to feel comfortable in the interview process so we can get to know them better."

And while every school will look for something different from the interview, what Kenny says she looks for are several characteristics, including intellectual curiosity and a love of learning, as well a sense that students are interested in getting involved in the community and can both get along with their peers and feel comfortable in the company of adults.

At Upper Canada College, up until Grade 3, Kenny adds, the parents are in the room during the interview - in fact, it's not even called an interview but is instead referred to as a family visit. From Grade 4 on, interviews are held one-on-one.

"They're nervous. It's natural to be nervous," Kenny adds. So what can parents do to help your child prepare for the interview, to maybe take away some of those nerves?

"I would do a bit of rehearsal," says Winberg. "If you have a very young and shy child... you'd better prepare them for it, because that could just cause a kid to clam up and not say a word."

It might help to put that shy child - who may not have experience talking to other adults - in front of a neighbour or family friend who they don't know well, she says, just to get them used to the idea of conversing with a stranger.

And don't be afraid to call the school ahead of time to talk about the interview and what might be asked, Winberg adds. Finally, while practice may be helpful she also suggests knowing when to stop - don't practice to the point where they'll sound rehearsed. "And not to the point of causing them anxiety," she adds.

—Lisa Van de Ven
Find Private Schools:

In the spotlight:

Latest Articles

December 14, 2018
Daycare and childcare
The approach of daycare and childcare centres in Canada

November 29, 2018
Unionville Montessori schools
Find the top Montessori schools in Unionville, Ontario listed below.

November 29, 2018
Brantford Montessori schools
Find the top Montessori schools in Brantford, Ontario listed below.

November 26, 2018
Montessori schools in Montreal
Find the top Montessori schools in Montreal, Quebec

November 21, 2018
Taking the Astro Pi Challenge
Branksome Hall students win tournament after coding experiment runs on the International Space Station

Disclaimer: Information presented on this page may be paid advertising provided by the advertisers [schools/camps/programs] and is not warranted or guaranteed by or its associated websites. See Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Our Kids ™ © 2019 All right reserved.

Sign up to receive our exclusive eNews twice a month.
You can withdraw consent by unsubscribing anytime.
verification image, type it in the box
Our Kids From Our Kids, Canada’s trusted source for private schools, camps, and extracurriculars.