Simply English Learning Centre

Free Tips: Secondary School Interviews

Mary Mount Secondary School

Secondary School Interview Tips and why some children need training.

In the next few months, P.6 students from primary school all across Hong Kong will be attending interviews to compete for limited seats in top schools. Do you know what your child needs to do in order to impress their interviewers? Here are some free tips for Secondary School Interviews

Exam Results

Truth be told, the first thing that schools are looking at are your child’s exam scores for the first half of the P.6 year as well as previous years. They’re looking for consistency and other highlights that might make your child stand-out. If you have received an interview request, it means your child has performed well enough for that school’s standards and has been given the opportunity to impress school administrators who determine whether your child would make a good addition to their school.

Interview Questions Training

Children who get interview requests need to prepare for some standard questions. There are about 5 basic question types that every student should try to become familiar with and prepared for. These questions help the interviewer understand your child’s abilities in language, their personality, outlook, confidence and maturity.

  • Questions about hobbies/interests/extra-curricular activities/likes-dislikes
  • Questions about other people/family
  • Questions about the child’s performance in academics
  • Questions about personal thoughts/opinions
  • Questions that are abstract and require critical thinking

Common questions include:

  • Can you describe yourself? What are your strengths/weaknesses?
  • What are your favourite things to do?
  • What books are you reading? Do you have a favourite book?
  • Why do you want to attend our school? Why would you be a good fit for our school?
  • Who do you look up to? Who is your role model?
  • Do you think learning another language is important?
  • What are other uses for a spoon? (abstract/critical thinking question – which can be anything really)

One thing to remember is that schools are aware that a lot of their candidates will get training for interviews so it’s important for the child to learn how to respond to questions as naturally as possible. So really, what they need to do is just listen to the questions and answer them to the best of their ability.

Other interview activities

Children might also have to do group discussions or activities that require their participation. Furthermore, students may also need to do listening exercises, reading comprehension, comparisons of objects or pictures. Each school is different and each year changes so the interview formats change regularly.

How to act in the interview

Interviewers really want your child to do well. They’re looking for a genuine and nice conversation with them, so teaching your child to be polite, confident and inquisitive really sets them up for success. Your child needs to make them like them…it’s really as simple as that. Being friendly, honest, clever and confident will no doubt impress any interviewer. 

Like all skills, interview practice is important and takes time and guidance. We’re here to help if you need us

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