School interviews are an important part of the 11+ entry process. Schools are looking for students who are articulate, intellectually curious and enthusiastic.
Interviews often include a handful of questions from each of the following categories:
- About you
- Extra-curricular interests
- Academic questions
- Brain teasers
We have included some examples of these questions below. The interviews are usually conducted by one teacher and, for 2020-21, 11+ interviews are being conducted online.
- Describe yourself in 3 words.
- Why are you interested in our school?
- What is your favourite subject?
- If you were a headteacher, what would you change at your current school?
- Describe a situation that you have found difficult and how did you resolve it, find a solution?
- What is your favourite book?
- Tell me about your hobbies outside of school
- Explain a current event that interests you
- Describe a situation when you have demonstrated: good teamwork skills/ creativity/ thoughtfulness.
- What is your biggest achievement?
- Read this poem out loud and identify one literary technique
- Give a synonym/ antonym for: unusual, exuberant, wise
- How much greater is 1cm2 than 1mm2?
- A cuboid has side lengths of 4cm, 3cm and 4cm. What is the volume of the cuboid?
- What do plants need to grow?
- If I borrow a million pounds, am I a millionaire?
- What is bravery?
- Is there more happiness or sadness in the world?
- What is more important, being right or being nice?
- I have streets but no pavement. I have cities but no buildings. I have forests but no trees. I have rivers yet no water. What am I?
Before the Interview
- Before the interview, write down a list of all your achievements and use these examples in the interview
- Visit the school website and write down three specific things that you like about the school (e.g. facilities, extracurricular offering, arts/science focus, school values)
- Use materials and resources on the school website to give you an idea of what is expected
- Prepare 1-2 questions to ask the interviewer. Unprepared students may be thrown off if asked at the end of the interview ‘Do you have any questions for us?’
- Conduct a mock interview with a friend, parent or tutor
During the interview
- Make a good first impression! When meeting the teacher, be sure to smile, shake hands and make eye contact
- Body language, speed and clarity is important. Answers should be no longer than around 15-20 seconds
- The interview is opportunity to showcase your personality, curiosity and academic drive. Making a good impression involves showing interest in the school curriculum, extracurricular activities and current affairs
- For brain teaser questions, consider the wording – these questions don’t have a right or wrong answer. Rather, the interviewer is testing how you think
Our team of 11+ specialists have in depth knowledge and experience of the application process at top independent schools. We conduct mock interviews, tailored to your school choices, and 11+ English/VR and Maths/NVR preparation lessons. Please contact us for more information.