How to help your child prepare for 11+ interviews

Private school interviews can be a stressful experience for any child, but with a bit of preparation and support, they can be successful. As a parent, you play an essential role in preparing your child for their private school interview. Here are some tips to help your child prepare for their 11+ interviews:


1. Encourage your child to converse with adults

Many children are uncomfortable conversing with an adult – it can be intimidating and nerve-wrecking for them. You can help your child grow their confidence by asking for a favour from Uncles, Aunties, friends and neighbours to conversate with your child formally. Ask them to discuss general topics with your child including their favourite subjects at school, books they enjoy reading, recent holidays and hobbies. 


2. Practice and discuss good manners

Good manners and body language are essential elements of a successful school interview. They demonstrate respect for the interviewer and shows responsiblility and maturity, helping to make a good first impression. Finally, good manners and body language can give the interviewer a better idea of who you are and how you would fit in at their school. Discuss and reinforce rules such as always showing good listening to others, respecting others views and talking only once the other person has stopped.


3. Research the schools together

Children should have some ideas of the reasons why they would like to attend the school they are being interviewed for during the interview. This is so they can offer a pesonal answer if asked the question, ‘why would you like to attend our school?’ If your child visited the open day, remind them of their experience, what they liked about the schools and how they would fit in with the children in there. If they did not visit the school open day, explore the schools’s website with them and highlight interesting aspects of the school.


4. Give them a pep talk and remind them of their achievement

Remind them of all the things theyve achieved. Tell them how proud you are of them and that you know they can do it! Encourage your child to talk positively about themselves and their interests. Help them practice talking confidently and articulately about their strengths and achievements. 


5. Make sure they’re dressed for success

Some schools ask for children to attend the interviews in their school uniform and some schools ask for children to pick something comfortable. Help them pick out an outfit that looks appropriate and makes them feel their best. Nothing says confident like a good impression!


6. Make sure they get a good night’s sleep the night before

Getting a good night‘s sleep before an interview is important because it helps to ensure you have the energy and focus necessary to ace the interview. A good night‘s sleep will help children be alert and attentive during the interview, think more clearly, and answer questions articulately. It will also help to reduce stress and nervousness, and ensure that your child will look and feel their best.


7. Mock interview and coaching

Giving your child the opportunity to practise in a mock interview is an invaluable experience. We offer mock interviews every month in our London venue. Each interview is personalised: children will be questioned appropriate to their age and school of choice. Parents and students inform us this interview practice is invaluable: boosting confidence, reassuring anxiety and preparing them for success. A full report is also provided to parents after the mock interview with strengths and tips for improvement.

In addition, we offer one to one coaching for children just before their interviews to help them build their confidence – if you are interested in this please contact us on or 0203 488 1278.


If you need any help preparing your child for the 11+ interviews or exams, please feel free to contact us on or 0203 488 1278.