Scholarship interview preparation – Patricia Woodhouse, Headmistress, Malvern St James Girls’ School gives her expert advice.

05 Sep 2013

How can you prepare your child if they are due to go for an interview as part of a scholarship application – what questions should be expected?

As Headmistress, I always look forward to the interview part of the scholarship process; it presents a more personal opportunity to get to know the girls applying for scholarships, alongside the more formal examinations. In my experience, too, these interviews are at best a very enjoyable experience for both myself and the girls.

There are several ways in which parents can help their son or daughter to get the very best out of this important experience.

It’s worth visiting the website of the school to find out if they have any specific guidance. Here at Malvern St James, for example, we have a list of top tips on our website for scholars (

Prior to the interview, encourage your child to read newspapers and watch the news so that they are aware of current issues, world events and key world figures. They will doubtless appreciate informal conversations with you on such topics as they arise.

Your child should be ready to provide examples which illustrate their commitment and dedication to their chosen scholarship area, whether that be sport, drama, music or academic.

You can also help your child to think and speak about the interests they have, both in and out of school. I will often ask potential scholars how they may wish to develop their interests in the future.

On the day, simple things like wearing a smart uniform and jacket with polished shoes reflect a positive, personal attitude. A strong hand shake, good eye contact, and speaking clearly demonstrate self-assurance and clarity of thought.

Above all, be honest and be themselves; they should go into the interview knowing that we are very interested in what they have to say. It is also an opportunity for her to test out the Headmistress!

Patricia Woodhouse, Headmistress, Malvern St James Girls’ School


Malvern St James School