Getting Ready for the Interview

The prospect of a long summer holiday is welcome and deserved at the end of the academic year. Relaxation is key. This is the time to be with family and friends, enjoy the sunshine, follow major sporting events on TV, read, start mini projects you haven’t had the time to do, and go to cinemas, museums and galleries.

Whether your child is ending Year 5 and about to embark on the Year 6 marathon of school entrance exams and interviews, or about to enter the final GCSE or A Level year, planning how you use the weeks ahead is important. Do all of the things listed above but don’t forget that time is on your side right now so start thinking about the preparation that is needed to be in the best position on the return to school.

For those who will have an interview, whether 11+, 16+ or University entrance, now is also the time to start thinking about the topics that will help your child to shine at interview and in personal statements.

Three simple focus areas will help you: past, present and future. 

1. Past: What has your child done? What’s on the list of achievements that shows how they might be a ‘good fit’ and demonstrates why they deserve the place? Examples at 11+ might include acting in school plays, being part of an orchestra, involvement in an after school club or playing in a sports team. At 16+ this is more likely to include some academic activities such as the UKMT competitions or being a keen member of the debating team. 

2. Present: What is your child doing now? What makes them interesting to talk to? This might include the book they are reading, a podcast series they are enjoying or activities they will be doing over the summer. The holidays are the perfect time to get involved in anything that is not directly related to school work.

3. Future: What is your child going to do? What are their hopes, dreams and fears. This might include plans for future study, ideas about a dream job or thoughts about the challenges facing the world.


In the last two years, I have conducted over 250 interview chat sessions with children, helping them to secure places at the top London independent day schools and boarding schools across the country. From recent feedback, here are 10 questions that are commonly asked at interview so that you can practice at home:

  1. Why do you want to come to this school? 
  2. What is your favourite subject? 
  3. What hobbies/interests do you have outside school?
  4. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
  5. If you could meet one person from history who would it be?
  6. How would you explain a computer to a person who lived 200 years ago?
  7. If you could wake up tomorrow with a superpower, what superpower would you want to have?
  8. If you had unlimited money, what would you do with it?
  9. Should footballers earn more than nurses? 
  10. Is it considered stealing when you read a whole newspaper or magazine in a shop?


Click here for more information about my interview sessions.

And with any interview session booked before 1 September 2023, I am giving away one of the books I have written for free. Choose between Revision Fun for Clever Kids, Maths Fun for Cool Kids or, soon to be released Word Fun for Whizz Kids. Contact me to book your session.

Don’t forget: the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.