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Some schools use interviews as part of their selection process at Eleven Plus. Although this may sound intimidating to a child of ten or eleven, it is really little more than an opportunity for the school to gauge a child’s confidence, social skills and interest in joining the school. Many schools using interviews ask that the student brings something with them to talk about, typically a favourite piece of work from Year 6 or some other personal item, and then base the interview around this. Other schools will interview students in large groups of eight or ten, by asking them to take part in a group activity of some sort. This allows the school to gauge the children’s social skills and ability to work with a group.
Simple matters like shaking hands, making eye contact whilst doing so and not sitting until being invited to do so will go a long way. Beyond this, the child is likely to be asked why they want to join the school, to which a respectable answer would be an awareness of the school’s history, approach and achievements.
Conversation will probably involve a student’s favourite subjects at school and extra-curricular interests, at which point it will definitely help to heavily push achievements in sport and music.
Schools do their best to conduct interviews as informal chats and whilst they understand that your child may be nervous, it is helpful if your child can maintain a conversation by providing answers with a good level of detail. Appearing enthusiastic, interested and confident also helps hugely. Usually the questions asked will be based on previous answers given by the child, rather than the interviewer going through a set list of standard questions.
Typical questions include:
Read our guides to London’s best schools. From the interview process to scholarship advice.
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