Questionable Questions and Topics in Private School Interviews

by NYC Firm Schools on July 8, 2009

The parent conference that is required for many private school admissions is, for many, a trial, an obstacle and an object of dread. For every one of the excellent and well thought out questions and answers that a parent has planned out and rehearsed, there are two questions and answers that seemingly pop out of nowhere, unbidden, and most likely unwelcome.

Every school administrator is accustomed to the fact that both parents and students are nervous and anxious during an interview. This is expected, normal and taken into consideration. The problems that surface are when parents and students ask questions that can be deemed inappropriate or rude by the school administrator.

Questionable Questions and Topics

  • Direct questions about specific students already enrolled in the school are often an inappropriate touch point during an interview. The advent of the Internet has put many, many stories about schools and their students available for all to see. This does not, however, make it appropriate conversation during an interview. For legal reasons, a school will most likely not be able to comment anyway.
  • Financial woes can be a tricky touch point. If you have researched your child’s potential schools already then you probably already have a good idea as to which schools are in financial trouble and which aren’t. Inquiring about the financial health of the school due to economic concerns is okay, but make sure you word it carefully.
  • Referencing reality programs as a reason for attending a NY private school will most likely not win you or your child any extra points during an interview. The purpose of a private school education is the education, not the entertainment factor.

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