Independent School Interview Questions

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Interview preparation for top independent schools requires reflection on a student’s broad life experiences and goals. You can find a range of tips and tutorials, as well as dedicated interview questions, in our 11+ Interview Online Course & Question Bank. 

Independent School Interview Questions: Family & Friends

What do you like to do with your family and friends on the weekends?

On the weekends, I like to do a variety of things with my family and friends. Sometimes, we’ll go out to eat at a new restaurant or explore a nearby town or city. Other times, we’ll have a film or game night at home and spend the evening together, enjoying each other’s company. If the weather is nice, we might go for a hike or have a picnic in the park. I also enjoy just hanging out and chatting with my friends and family, whether that’s at home or at a coffee shop or bookstore. Whatever we do, it’s always a fun and relaxing way to spend time together and make shared memories.

Who has been the most influential person in your life so far? Why?

The most influential person in my life so far has been my grandmother. She’s a strong, independent woman who has faced many challenges in her life, but always approaches them with grace and resilience. She’s taught me the importance of perseverance, kindness, and self-care. She’s always been there for me, offering advice and guidance, but also letting me make my own mistakes and learn from them. Her wisdom and life experiences have shaped my own values and perspective on the world. She’s also taught me the importance of cherishing the little moments in life and finding joy in the everyday. Her influence has made me a stronger, more compassionate, and more grateful person, and I’m forever grateful for her presence in my life.

What is one thing that you appreciate about your parents?

One thing that I appreciate about my parents is their unwavering support and encouragement. They always believe in me and my abilities, even when I doubt myself. They’re always there to lend an ear, offer advice, or help me through any challenges I might face. They’ve instilled in me the importance of hard work, perseverance, and kindness, and I’m grateful for the values they’ve taught me. Most of all, I appreciate their unconditional love and acceptance, no matter what mistakes I might make or how I might fall short. Knowing that I have their support and love gives me the confidence to pursue my dreams and be the best version of myself.

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Independent School Interview Questions: Extracurricular

Have you ever volunteered before? If so, what did you do and how did it make you feel?

Yes, I have volunteered before. Last year, I volunteered at a local animal shelter. I helped clean cages, walk dogs, and play with the cats. It was a really rewarding experience, as I got to help animals that were in need of love and care. I felt happy to see the animals enjoying themselves and feeling comfortable in their environment. It also made me feel like I was making a difference in my community, no matter how small.

What is something you're passionate about and why?

One thing that I’m passionate about is writing. I love expressing myself through words and exploring different topics and themes. Writing allows me to unleash my creativity and share my thoughts and ideas with others. I also find writing to be a powerful tool for self-reflection and personal growth. Whether it’s writing stories, essays, or journal entries, I feel a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment when I’m able to effectively communicate my thoughts and feelings. Overall, writing is a form of art that I’m passionate about and that I hope to continue exploring throughout my life.

Do you play any musical instruments?

Yes, I play the drums and the piano. I really enjoy the drums, which I was very keen to start learning – I had to convince my parents, who wanted me to play the violin. However, they understood that I was eager to play the drums and accepted my decision. Since then I’ve reached Grade 4 already. I really enjoy that I can play such a range of music, both new and old. I also enjoy jazz and how drums feature in jazz. As well as Grade 4 in drums, I’ve also achieved Grade 4 in piano, which has given me a great background in music and melody, as well as the ability in rhythm that I’ve gained through the drums.

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11+ Interview Questions and Answers: Personal Characteristics

What excites you?

Lots of things! As I’ve said, I’m really passionate about sports. I find both playing sports and watching them to be exciting – I particularly like playing rugby and football at school and with my friends, or doing martial arts or boxing or climbing outside of school. I get most excited when I have a match or a competition to attend – I know that I will be facing pressure and enjoy that. I also get really excited watching international rugby matches, Arsenal playing football, or watching UFC, which is a martial arts competition.

Describe a situation where you showed creativity.

I showed creativity when I won my school’s short story competition. I wrote a short story about an urban fox, exploring how it felt about living in the city. I tried to make it half comedy, half serious and dramatic. I read up on the idea of pastiches and irony, and made the urban fox a character that everyone in the city would recognise – a bit of a hipster, yet dreaming of the countryside. My teachers said it was far and away the best entry, which made me very proud and eager to write more.

Describe a situation where you were fair to someone else.

One day, during break time, I was playing a game with my friends, and a new student who had just moved to our school asked if she could join in. We welcomed her, but one of my friends started to exclude her and make fun of her because she was not very good at the game; I noticed that the new student was feeling left out and upset, so I decided to speak up and be fair to her. I told my friend that it was not right to exclude someone and that we should all have a chance to play and learn. I encouraged the new student to keep playing and offered to help her improve her skills. By being fair to the new student, I was able to create a more inclusive and positive environment for everyone. I also showed my friends that being kind and fair to others is important and that we should all treat each other with respect and empathy.

How do you deal with setbacks or obstacles that may affect your motivation?

When I encounter setbacks or obstacles, I try to stay positive and remind myself that it is a part of the learning process. I look for ways to overcome the obstacle, such as asking for help from a teacher or mentor, breaking down a task into smaller, more manageable steps, or taking a break to recharge. I also try to learn from the experience and use it to improve myself and my skills. Staying motivated during challenging times can be difficult, but by focusing on my goals and reminding myself of why they are important to me, I am able to stay on track.

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