Interview Questions for School: What They Are and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 27, 2022 | Published August 17, 2021

Updated November 27, 2022

Published August 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Related: Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers: Use the STAR Technique

In this video, Taylor, an Indeed Evangelist, shares example responses to common behavioral interview questions and explains how to use the STAR Method, a strategic storytelling tool.

Interviewing is essential in the admission process into a private school because it allows the interviewer to assess your confidence and body language through your responses. A high school interview may be the first interview a student attends, so feeling prepared can make the process easier. Understanding which questions and how to provide strong responses can help you impress the admissions team. In this article, we explain what a high school interview is, explore the different types of interview questions for school you can expect, and provide sample answers so you can practise structuring an effective response.

What is a high school interview?

A high school interview is typically conducted for students applying to join a private school, as the public school system relies on students' addresses to determine where they study. These school interview questions aim to test their confidence and assess their reactions in specific situations. Interviewers ask a mixture of questions to evaluate a student's academic experience, personal characteristics, and abilities.

Types of school interview questions

High school interviews generally involve the following types of questions:

General questions

An interviewer uses this question format to determine your background, personality, and thought processes. Some examples of general interview questions for school are:

  • How would you describe yourself?

  • What are your hobbies?

  • Why are you interested in joining our school, and what are you hoping to achieve?

  • What would you say are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

  • Tell me about your family and how you interact with them.

  • What is your favourite subject, and why?

  • What is your least favourite subject and why?

  • What makes you stand out from other students?

  • Which extracurricular activities are you interested in?

  • What does education mean to you?

Situational interview questions

Situational interview questions are hypothetical scenarios to evaluate your reactions and see how you would handle such a situation. Some examples of situational interview questions for high school include:

  • What would you do if you had two assignments with clashing deadlines?

  • How would you handle conflict with a classmate?

  • What is the biggest problem you have had with a course, and how did you handle it?

  • How would you resolve a mistake that you made and no one else noticed?

  • How would you go about a topic you don't fully understand?

  • What's your biggest educational accomplishment, and how did you achieve it?

  • Describe a situation where you didn't do too well in a course. How did you deal with the experience?

Questions about experience and background

This set of questions helps an interviewer determine whether your thought process and values align with that of the school. Some interview questions for high school that fall under this category are:

  • After high school, what do you think you might study in college?

  • What talents and gifts can you offer to the school?

  • Who are the people you consider your role models, and why?

  • Are you in any position of leadership at your current school?

  • How do you handle stress and pressure, especially at critical periods like exams?

  • Have you taken part in any volunteer programs? If yes, what did you learn?

  • What experiences have you had that you feel prepared you to attend this school?

In-depth questions

The interviewer uses these questions to gain a deeper insight into who you are, how you think, and your values. Some questions that fall under this category are:

  • How do you measure and evaluate your success?

  • At what point do you think you have achieved success?

  • In your current school, what do you like, and what do you think could change?

  • How do you handle disappointments and setbacks?

  • Have you ever had issues communicating to people in positions of authority, like your teachers and counsellors? If yes, how did you resolve these issues?

  • If you could meet one famous person in the world right now, who would it be and why?

  • If your closest friend asked you to share your answers in an examination, what would you do?

  • Have you ever had conflicts with classmates at school? If yes, how did you handle such conflicts?

  • Depending on the number of years you spend in this school, what do you plan on achieving?

  • If you had one wish, what would it be and why?

Related: What To Wear to an Interview as a Teenager (With Tips and FAQs)

School interview questions with sample answers

When answering high school interview questions, always keep in mind that the interviewer is interested in the content of your responses and your ability to be calm, confident, and engaging. Here are some commonly asked interview questions for high school, tips on how to answer them, as well as sample answers:

What is a major obstacle that you've faced, and how did you overcome it?

Interviewers or admission officers would want to know about some obstacles you have overcome to evaluate your perseverance, determination, and problem-solving skills. An ideal answer describes a scenario where you faced a problem that needed a significant effort on your part before being solved. The obstacle can range from school to home or even an extracurricular activity. Keep your response brief and focus on the positive results.

Example: “A year ago, I joined the basketball team. Sadly, suffered a thigh injury in training. Initially, it seemed as though I wouldn't be able to play for the rest of the year. However, I went to see a physiotherapist, and we came up with a rehabilitation plan to help my thigh heal faster.

It took a lot of dedication and perseverance through the pain. Fortunately, I was able to return to training and even scored the final three-pointer shot to win the semi-final game. I was proud of my recovery, but mostly just happy to be back on the court with my teammates.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of so far?

Considering that it is an interview in an academic environment, your first thought would be to talk about an educational accomplishment. However, the achievement doesn't need to be related to an academic area. It could be that you made a difference with your community service, received an award at an art exhibition, or that you've written a song. An excellent answer shows how passionate you are about your achievement and reveals what motivates you.

Example: “I was part of the arts club in my previous school. The school held an art exhibition every year, and the program included a competition to create an artwork that went along with what the theme was that year. I took part every year, but finally won the first place award. The hard work and patience paid off, and my work got a lot of recognition.”

Do you think you have ever demonstrated leadership? If yes, tell us about it.

An excellent answer to this question highlights a situation where you took up the initiative to lead a group of people. It could have been in the classroom, or your sports team, to even your team on a lab project. Apply the STAR interview response method, which helps you to describe the situation, the task you handled, the actions you took, and the positive results.

Example: “During a team presentation on our lab project, one of the test tubes fell out of a team member's hands, and we weren't able to showcase the results of our experiment. Most of the team felt upset and blamed that person. I knew I had to step in so that situation wouldn't affect our performance in the next project.

So, the next day, I told the team to come over to a corner of the classroom to talk. I reminded them we could only excel if we work as a team. I let them know that the mistake could have happened to any of us, and we should learn from the experience instead of blaming someone. The teammate who had dropped the test tube felt a lot better, and it helped the team continue to work efficiently together in future projects.”

Related: Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

Apart from school-related activities, what do you do?

Most interviewers are looking for versatile students. Prepare to talk about an area of interest to you aside from your academics, be it drama, music, or sports. Your answer can include one or several of your hobbies and extracurricular activities. Highlight whether you can bring any of those activities to the school by joining a club or sports team.

Example: “I have always been interested in music. I can play four instruments well, and I recently started learning to play the saxophone as well. I take music classes online, and most recently, I performed a flute recital at the local theatre as part of the summer music festival.”

Now that we've explained what a high school interview is and explored the different types of school interview questions you can expect, you'll be better prepared to practise structuring an effective response.

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