15 Must Ask Interview Questions for Private School Students and Parents

minute read
March 21, 2023

Admissions interviews are an important process in selecting students for private schools. These interviews are an opportunity for the school to get to know the student and their parents, and an opportunity for the family to learn more about the school. The average acceptance rate for private schools is approximately 85%, and a well-conducted admissions interview can help both parties decide whether the school is a good fit for the student. An increase in enrollment can also help to increase the school’s budget or funding opportunities . In this blog post, we'll share 15 must-ask private school admission interview questions for school administrators.

Before beginning the private school admissions interview, make sure that your prospective families understand the private school admissions process. Be sure to communicate the materials that are required for the application to be considered complete, the timeline for both admissions and decisions, and what factors are considered in the final decision. Share information about your assessment and interview process if you utilize those tools , what types of assessments may be used and how the results impact your admissions decisions

The Private School Admissions Interview Process

The admissions interview process shouldn’t be overwhelming for either party, it should be an exciting time to share more about your school and its accomplishments, communicate your school’s mission, vision and expectations, and learn more about a potentially new student. These interview question and answer sessions with the parents and prospective student will help you determine who is a great fit for your private school on academic, extracurricular and personal levels, while also helping you to evaluate if their core values are aligned with your school’s.

Don’t be afraid to ask a similar question in different ways or one where you feel they may have answered it already. Sometimes asking different questions from different angles can result in different responses, and it can allow you to learn more about the student.

Best Questions to Ask in Your School Admissions Interview

1. What led you to consider our school for the student?

This is a great opening question to start the conversation and gain insight into the family's motivation for applying to the school. The answer can reveal what the family values in education and what specific qualities they are looking for in a school. It can also help you understand what they already know about your school and programs offered, and help guide what information you should share.

Another benefit to asking this question is the potential to gain insight into the success of your school’s communication and marketing strategy . Pay attention to the information the family already knows and ask where they heard about you. Did they find the website to be a helpful resource, or were they frustrated because they couldn’t find the answers to some of their basic questions?

2. Why do you want to attend a private school?

This question is an opportunity to dive deeper into the family values and learn more about their situation. Have they recently moved? Are they looking for an alternative to their current school district? Is there a specific quality about your school that is of interest (sports, arts, etc.)? Don’t pressure the student or their parents to say negative things about their current situation, but instead emphasize the positives that come from private school education. Benefits like adaptive learning, smaller class sizes, more face time with teachers, and more in-school resources can help you communicate the areas where your school excels.

3. Can you tell us about any previous experiences your family has had with private schools?

This question allows the school to understand the family's familiarity with private schools and their expectations for the admissions process. It can also help the school address any concerns or misconceptions the family may have about private schools. This may also be an opportunity to communicate the admissions process, expectations, deadlines and other important information, especially if it differs from any past experiences. Asking this early in the interview process will help you to address any concerns that the family may have about a private school education.

4. Tell us a bit about the student’s academic background and achievements.

By asking this question, prospective families have the opportunity to discuss their child's academic strengths, challenges and achievements. It helps the school understand the student's academic potential, how they might fit in with the school's academic culture, and if any considerations or adjustments will need to be made to help overcome any challenges.

This is also an opportunity to identify any areas, special activities or classes, or other opportunities where the student may get to learn more, experience something unique or otherwise grow. Private school education can in some cases offer unique experiences or opportunities that other educational institutions cannot.

5. What are the student’s interests and hobbies?

Similar to the above question, this question can help the school get to know the student on a personal level and identify potential areas for involvement in extracurricular activities or other aspects of school life.

6. What is the student’s favorite subject? Why do you like it?

Asking this question helps you to further dial in the student’s interests, but also assess their investment in their own education. Your school may want to attract passionate, high-achievers who take initiative in their learning opportunities.

7. What are your child's career aspirations?

Understanding the student's long-term goals and interests can help the school and student tailor the educational opportunities in support of these goals. It can also help the school identify potential areas for enrichment.

8. What are your family's values and how do they align with the values of our school?

This one is important in helping you to decide if not only the student is a good fit, but also the parents. Learning and understanding family values will help to determine if the school’s mission and culture are aligned with the family. It can also help the parents assess whether the school is a good fit for their child and their family.

Many successful students have support outside of their school network. Will your staff and teachers be able to work with the family when any issues arise? Will they be able to work together for the best interests of the students?

9. Can you tell us about any special needs or considerations that the student may have?

This question allows the family to discuss any special needs or accommodations that the student may require. It helps the school understand how it can best support the student and ensure that they are successful in the school environment.

10. What are your expectations for your child's education?

Expectations can differ from student to student or family to family. This question can help the school understand what the family is hoping to achieve through their child's education and how the school can help them meet those goals.

11. How does your student handle new situations or challenges?

Whether it’s enrolling in a new school, making new friends, or navigating any change, asking this question upfront can help you learn about the student's resilience and ability to adapt to new situations. It can also help you to identify early on in the admissions process potential areas for support and guidance and give you the opportunity to discuss with their family down the road.

12. Tell us about your student’s social skills and relationships with peers?

This question can help the school understand how the student interacts with others and their social strengths and weaknesses. Are they outgoing and social? Are they quiet and reserved? Will the school need to give extra attention to ensure the student transitions successfully and feels included in the school’s community?

13. How do you envision your child contributing to our school community?

For many prospective families, one of the biggest benefits to private schools is the inclusion in a strong community. Selecting students and parents that see value in this is important in maintaining the health of the school and the tight-knit family feeling. Include alumni references that align with what the parents hope their child will gain from your school.

14. Tell us about any challenges or obstacles that your family has faced in the past?

Again, each family, circumstance and student is unique. Showing a genuine interest in the student during the interview process can help a prospective family feel more at ease with their private school education decision. This question allows the family to discuss any challenges or obstacles they have faced, how they have overcome them, and any areas where they may have questions, concerns or need additional resources to ensure their student’s success.

15. Do you have any questions for me?

Giving the student and their family time to ask their questions is important! While you are in the school interview process to learn more about a potential new student, the student and their parents are also hoping to learn more about you and your school. Opening the door for questions gives the family the opportunity to ask for more information, clarification or anything else that they may have thought of in the interview process. Make sure they leave with your contact information in case they think of any additional questions after the interview is over.

private school interview questions for students and families

Benefit of Private School Interviews with Prospective Families

While private school interviews can be time-consuming, they can be of great benefit to your school. Not only can you learn more about your students and their families, but you can also evaluate parts of your marketing strategy , communicate your school’s mission and ultimately select students that will be a great fit for your school.

Solved Consulting offers resources for private school educators, from technology solutions like websites, apps and data solutions, to professional development opportunities and school marketing strategy development. Contact our team to discuss your school’s needs today!

SOLVED Shorts Logo

Mini Clips