Interviews for private schools - what to wear?

(21 Posts)
BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Wed 23-Jan-13 17:25:56

Please be gentle even though I'm clearly being ridiculous, because I'm feeling wretchedly worried and guilty that I've let DD down by not prepping her enough for the exams and only applying for uber-competitive schools with no less selective fall-back position. All my life I've displaced worry about stressful events into the search for the Perfect Outfit, and this is no exception, except this time it's for DD.

She didn't do brilliantly in the exams (she's from a state school and wasn't tutored or specifically prepped - we spent our prep time on the grammar VR/NVR) but she's got a couple of interviews. I'm really proud of her, so what can we do to ensure she makes the best possible impression at interview?

Do we go "perfect Alice In Wonderland girl" or "funky outgoing state school Londoner?" Or just "look at our lovely money"? (ironically DD has loads of expensive label stuff, all of which came from charity shops - her most expensive outfits were the ones we bought new from Next and H&M).

And what about DH, who's taking her? I'm guessing they want him to be intelligent, well-educated, supportive and wealthy, all of which he is but doesn't normally look grin. Would we get extra brownie points for both going?

Re the interview itself the maths problems are what they are, and I'll prep her for "is this your first choice?" (For the ones where it isn't, and we'll watch Newsround every day. What else?

lastSplash Wed 23-Jan-13 17:30:14

School uniform.

therugratref Wed 23-Jan-13 17:30:26

Mine had an interview today and wore his state school uniform. Most children were in school uniform

ariane5 Wed 23-Jan-13 17:36:02

You are not being ridiculous at all and very well done to your dd for getting interviews!

I would just go with something smartish yet comfy to wear for your dd.I wouldn't buy anything new as she may feel nervous and 'not herself' so probably best to go with a favourite outfit.

I don't know if it would be better for both you and your dh to attend the interview but it certainly can't do any harm.

Best of luck smile

lastSplash Wed 23-Jan-13 17:36:40

Interview prep: talk to her about what she liked about the school, music, sporting and other interests and achievements, favourite and least favourite school subjects, Newsround and newspapers a good idea. What did she think of the exams? How would your friends describe you?

Have a think about the things she'd like to talk about / let them know, and think about ways to bring the conversation round to those.

Do a practice run with you and one with someone she doesn't really know.

Good luck!

hatchypom Wed 23-Jan-13 17:37:40

School uniform no question and smart shoes, socks, hair it shows respect.

happygardening Wed 23-Jan-13 17:39:47

School uniform for your DD my DH (a complete scruff bags) wheels out his increasingly tight fitting once in a life time purchase expensive suit whenever we've been to these things. I doubt it makes any difference but usually the teachers will be dressed in suits and it seems polite to be the same.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Wed 23-Jan-13 17:40:02

It is a sign of how insane the entire process has driven me that I never thought of that. Even for Saturday interviews? I guess it would make things easier, and reduce the issue to clean shoes, a haircut and a sweatshirt with no holes or paint stains.

LIZS Wed 23-Jan-13 17:40:59

If weekday school uniform , if Saturday I think you have the choice but iirc dd went smart casual.

happygardening Wed 23-Jan-13 17:41:45

I know this sounds ridiculous but practice shaking hands firmly, looking someone on the eye and smiling and saying "nice to meet you" or something similar (your DD not your DH).

happygardening Wed 23-Jan-13 17:44:26

My DS when at prep went to various senior school open days etc at the weekend uniform was de rigueur.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Wed 23-Jan-13 17:49:06

Many thanks everyone, and that's a great idea about hand shake practice happy - I am aware that some of the local preps line up to shake the teacher's hand politely at the end of each day - this is not the practice at DD's current (very good, but very mixed intake) school.

DH has just bought himself a new suit.....it is machine washable hmm

twoterrors Wed 23-Jan-13 18:19:51

Don't worry. No-one will care. For a Saturday interview, she should wear clean, comfortable normal clothes. If school uniform is easier, then go for that. And don't worry about who takes her either. She's done well to get interviews, just encourage her to smile and be positive and talk about stuff that interests her if she can. They are really good at drawing children out IME. The only prep I'd really do is just run through stuff like holidays/books/films she has enjoyed, so if they ask a direct qn, her mind doesn't empty completely (mine does usually). And the first choice thing - I'd encourage her to be positive about the school, and say you are all waiting to see what offers she gets, or something like that.

This is assuming you are talking about normal, academically selective but not uber posh London independents.

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Wed 23-Jan-13 18:31:03

Very academic but not posh - the children seemed relatively normal to me on Open Day. I don't think they're going to recoil in horror at the news she doesn't ski grin.

BooksandaCuppa Wed 23-Jan-13 18:39:00

yy to the handshake thing - and make sure she has an answer for 'What book are you reading at the mo/last read' etc and which subjects she enjoys, at a minimum. Ds was asked that at all the state schools we were shown around (not an interview, obviously, that's illegal, but at the appointment with the D Head) as well as the independent he's gone to.

Not that you should be that bothered about 'impressing' a private school head, just that it's a nice thing to be able to do (shake hands and make small talk!)

BooksandaCuppa Wed 23-Jan-13 18:41:02

Oh, if she's wearing uniform and has any 'badges' that she wears (prefect/eco council/music awards) make sure she can answer questions about them.

Kathy420 Fri 25-Jan-13 23:19:36

Anything small. If you've got it, flaunt it sista!!

newgirl Sat 26-Jan-13 13:16:31

No uniform on a saturday!! No no no. At st albans high school they even say girls can wear own clothes. She will feel like a prat.

Plain jeans, boots, nice jumper perfectly fine.

OldBeanbagz Mon 28-Jan-13 16:19:11

Has your DD had her interview yet?

My DD went in her school uniform to hers last week but took her blazer off the minute she walked in the door so that the guy interviewing her couldn't tell it was too small for her because i'm too tight to buy a new one for 2 terms.

I put my only smartest pair of wool trousers on but my DH wore jeans hmm (I drew the line at him wearing a hat).

We can't have come across too badly because they offered her a place smile

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Mon 28-Jan-13 18:07:02

Not yet beanbagz - wish us luck, and congratulations to your DD. We did a visit to the hairdresser at the weekend and I've got until Friday to make sure her least scruffy school sweatshirt and trousers are clean (along with DH's jeans and best casual shirt).

OldBeanbagz Tue 29-Jan-13 08:55:35

Good luck to your DD for Friday!

I was really surprised that they told us on the day, it certainly made my week smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now