Eton College and Harrow School acceptance rates need to be taken into consideration if a candidate has their eyes set on these prestigious educational institutions and the senior school interviews play a major part in whether a student gets accepted.
Interviews at senior schools such as Eton College and Harrow School are informal conversations NOT a rigorous test. The good news is that if a student has reached this stage, they have already proved themselves academically. The school in question knows that their ‘on paper’ abilities are strong. They now want to see prospective students of their school communicate articulately in what is essentially a casual setting. This is not something said to reassure parents or children – it is genuinely their approach.
This ‘interview’ is nothing to fear. Instead, it should be a source of excitement. It is an opportunity for students to discuss their interests and passions.
Below, I would like to discuss the three key areas of focus for a senior school interview.
These schools are looking for candidates who converse effectively. They want to see: confidence, clear speech and eye contact. Shyness, mumbling and looking at the floor will only stand in the way of success. The trick for students is to relax and talk with the same level of comfort with which they would address a friend or family member. Naturally, students should seek to impress but nervousness will only work against them.
No matter whether the question is related to sport, academia, people or personal interests, students are always being asked the same thing: what can you offer this school? They want to see enthusiasm for real interests. Passion is not feigning an encyclopedic knowledge of 16th-century German art. Once a student has identified what they are truly interested in, much of the battle has been won. In any walk of school life, these institutions want students to do great work when they apply themselves. The only way for them to do truly great work is to focus on the areas that they are passionate about.
This is the cherry on top of our first two areas of focus if you like! A successful candidate will not respond in a series of broken, muffled whispers. However, neither do they want to see robotic, rehearsed responses. A good response will not always come the fastest. They are looking for the maturity in a candidate to really think about what they are being asked. In addition to this, a student’s response should always include further thought. By this I mean an explanation. ‘I like football because…’ ‘I think maths is interesting because…’ Students should always look for ways to expand their responses. It’s important to not make the interviewer work and never to settle for a one-word answer.