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  • Parent Interview Do’s & Don’ts

    To help ease the anxiety of private school admissions, here are some handy do’s and don’ts for the parent interview

    By New York Family

    Parents applying their child to nursery school and independent on-going schools can expect face-to-face interviews with the admissions team for schools that they’re serious about (though every school is different and the process can vary). This can be a daunting process, but it’s an essential one—and it’s just as much about you determining whether a school is a good fit as it is about the school evaluating you. To help ease the anxiety, here are some handy do’s and don’ts for the parent interview!


    • Be on time
    • Be yourself and be genuine
    • Be honest about your child’s needs & your family’s values
    • Do your homework by researching the school ahead of time
    • Ask meaningful questions that speak to your goals for your child’s education
    • Know what you’re looking for in an education philosophy and be able to articulate it
    • Assume that every interaction you have with the school is being observed—so be respectful and pleasant to every staff member you come in contact with
    • Share any relevant concerns that you have
    • Write a sincere thank-you note afterwards
    • Stay organized and keep track of each school’s requirements regarding the interview process


    • Be late
    • Brag, show off excessively, or display a competitive attitude
    • Ask too many questions that you could likely find the answer to on the school’s website
    • Dominate the conversation or turn the interview into an interrogation
    • Make comparisons to other schools
    • Feel too intimidated to ask questions or share genuine concerns
    • Insist that your child is the absolute perfect fit and simply must go to the school in question
    • Use skeptical, disapproving, or unimpressed body language
    • Use your cell phone—at all

    Our sources for these lists include: Michael Luft, Preschool Director, 14th Street Y Preschool; Carolyn Wilson, Director of Advancement, AltSchool; LaNette Hodge, Director of Admissions, BASIS Independent Manhattan; Jason Morrow, Headmaster, The British International School of New York; Andrew Hume, Director of Enrollment, The Calhoun School; Elizabeth Carey, Director of Admissions, Grades 7-12, Dwight School; Martine Lala, Director of Admissions, Lycée Français de New York; Marielle Lopez, Director of Admissions, Metropolitan Montessori School; Ashley Warren, Director of Admissions, Montclare Children’s School; Matt Bateman, Director of Content and Strategy, Polis Montessori World School; Robin Aronow, Founder, School Search NYC; Erica Papir, Educational Consultant, Smart City Kids; Hope Mueller, Principal, St. Ann, The Personal School; Carrie Berger Rosenthal, Jessica Anub & Candace La Douceur, Directors of Admissions, Twin Parks Montessori Schools; Kate Bailey, Head of School, Wetherby-Pembridge School.


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