During the course we always cover interview practice, namely how to pass the 11+ interview and what to do to stop yourself from being a nervous wreck. You see, even the brightest of children find interview preparation hard.
In fact, I'll be bold and say that smarter children tend to underperform in the interview.
Well, there are several reasons which I'll go into in another article.
But for now, I want to focus on one of the most important reasons why children fail their 10+ and 11+ interviews.
The importance of this dawned on me during the summer course when two of our brightest pupils admitted that they'd passed their 10+ exam but didn't do well enough in the interview section to be awarded a place at one of London's most competitive schools for boys.
So what did they do wrong?
They didn't elaborate.
What do I mean by that?
They gave short, blunt and overly concise answers which might not sound like a bad thing but when an interviewer wants to get to know you, expanding your answers is vital.
You cannot give one word answers and expect to impress someone who is interviewing hundreds of children. You just can't.
Now, this isn't to say that you should ramble, it's simply that you should give answers that show enthusiasm and character.
For example, a commonly asked starter question is "what's your name?"
A child might think that replying "Jo" is fine but it can come across as being a bit blunt and cold. So instead, my tutors and I coach our students to respond with someone that shows warmth and character such as:
"My name is Jo and it's a pleasure to meet you sir."
By simply elaborating the child has now shown warmth, friendliness and excellent manners.
This is just one example of the many things that students get wrong when answering interview questions.
I absolutely love teaching interview skills so I could ramble on about this topic all day.
For now, take a few moments today to explain how important elaboration is to your child and get them to practice answering simple starter questions.
I'all share some more of my best tips very soon so stay tuned.