How School Interviews Have Changed and How They Will Look Moving Forward

Ravenna Team

October 21, 2021

    While most aspects of the traditional school system have remained the same over the past several decades, it is no secret that a digital shift within school offices and classrooms has occurred in recent years. Specifically, there has been a significant change in the way private schools conduct admissions interviews. These interviews now consist of more than just a conversation — they often require students to prove they meet a certain standard.

    For example, it is now a common requirement for prospective students to take an entrance exam to qualify for admission. In these situations, students must achieve specific test scores in a range of subjects, including math and science. Additionally, they may have to provide examples of projects or other work samples that showcase academic skills. To be considered for a spot at a private school, students have to be able to keep up with the academic standards of the institution.

    As most institutions have an increasing online presence, prospective students and families can do heavy research in preparation for an interview. Even if it is their first time hearing about your school, a simple web search gives them enough information to form opinions and prepare answers that will appeal to your values as a school. This effort can show a candidate’s initiative and interest in your school, which means you’re likely interviewing students who really want to be there.

    Arguably one of the most significant changes to school interviews has been the ability to do interviews virtually. Over the past few years, video interviews have become more common. Despite being a major shift in the way schools recruit applicants, virtual interviews are an effective way for schools to reach new students. Keep reading to learn how virtual interviews have changed school interviews and what the future of school interviews could look like.

    The Digital Transformation of School Interviews

    Even before COVID-19 forced schools to transform the way they use technology, educational institutes had already begun to implement new technological trends. The pandemic helped accelerate technological trends in schools as teachers and administrators looked for ways to keep schools operating digitally. As digital solutions were adopted to continue schooling, new teaching and administrative techniques and duties emerged.

    When conducting private school interviews in person was no longer a viable option due to COVID-19, school administrators began shifting to virtual interviews. This shift has streamlined the process for both administrators and families going through the application process. In the past, scheduling interviews could take up significant amounts of time — and for students applying from other states, it could be an immense hassle.

    Both video calls and admission management software can help make interviews more efficient with simplified scheduling and quick interviews, both of which allow administrators to put more focus on creating connections with students.

    Simplified Scheduling

    Prior to virtual interviews and management software, scheduling an interview was a time-intensive process — administrators and prospective students and families could engage in a long correspondence trying to find a time for an interview that fits everyone’s schedules. Going back and forth via email can push back a meeting time even more. With a system that allows administrators to create interview availability schedules, scheduling interviews is simplified for everyone.

    Fast and Convenient Interviews

    Additionally, virtual school interviews can help your staff streamline their day. Without travel or wait times, virtual interviews can happen much quicker than face-to-face interviews. This aspect makes them a more convenient option for families lacking transportation options. Plus, staff members that have a busy day can quickly jump from interview to interview or move on to other tasks instead of spending time traveling back to the office.

    Stronger Focus on Connecting With Potential Students

    Because of the nature of virtual interviews, they tend to be slightly less formal than in-person interviews. This casual approach allows candidates to be more relaxed and open up more in the interview. As a result, you can put a stronger focus on actually connecting with students and their families, giving you a better sense of them as a student and person. When an interview is a bit more relaxed, you’re more likely to see if a student will be a great fit at your school.

    The Future of Admission Interviews

    As students shifted to online classes and remote learning amid COVID-19, administrators looked for new ways to interview prospective students to continue growing their institutions. Although schools are generally comfortable with the way interviews occur traditionally, shifting to virtual interviews will likely have a lasting impact on the future of private school admission interviews.

    There are many benefits of digital private school interviews. When completed online, the interview process is significantly simplified and more convenient on both the administrators’ and students’ ends. Essentially, virtual interviews allow you to reach a new set of prospective students that may be unable to do an in-person interview for any number of reasons, including how far away they live and lack of transportation. This change can truly broaden your school’s horizons.

    Overall, technology will continue to alter the way school interviews are conducted and the way school offices operate. The future of private school interviews will likely be comprised of a combination of in-person interviews and virtual interviews. As a private school administrator, you may consider utilizing automated interview processes and management techniques — like one-way interviews and admission management systems — as the future of admissions offices evolves.

    Employing One-Way Interviews

    As technology in the education industry becomes increasingly advanced, administrators are looking for more ways to streamline the interview and admission processes — one way of doing so is through one-way interviews. This type of interview is a way for administrators and staff to take control of their schedules.

    In a one-way interview, a prospective student will receive the list of interview questions that would be asked of them in a normal interview. Then, the student will record a video of themselves answering the questions and send the video back to the admissions staff. After reviewing the video, the staff may decide to continue through the interview process with an in-person meeting or offer admission.

    On the administrative side, interviewers can gain some of their time back without having to spend so much effort scheduling interviews. With a set of pre-recorded interview answers, admissions staff can easily watch the interview videos when it conveniently fits into their days. Ultimately, it also helps narrow down what can be an overwhelming process. When hundreds of students are applying, streamlining the process becomes key.

    This process is beneficial for prospective students because they have the opportunity to prepare answers for the exact questions they have to answer. As a result, they’ll likely feel more comfortable since there’s no added pressure of a traditional interview. With less stress and the ability to prepare interview answers, students will be able to produce more impressive and high-quality answers for even the most difficult interview questions.

    Implementing Admission Management Software

    The future of private school interviews may also lie in the hands of admission management software. These systems offer your staff a way to operate all your admission and enrollment processes online. Often, they include interview management features that combine with other admissions features. This connectivity allows your staff to take prospective students through the process of application to interview to admission to enrollment.

    This software typically comes with more features than you may expect. In addition to managing interview schedules and processing applications, many systems feature marketing and outreach tools. A school can use these tools to nurture leads and communicate with prospective students and their families and keep them interested through multiple personalized touches. Some admission management systems, like Ravenna Solutions, will track data and analytics to help focus your enrollment efforts.

    Integrating admission management software with your old system will allow for easier file sharing and storage. With more efficient ways of sharing data and documents, staff members will be able to collaborate and make admission decisions easier than ever. It is also possible to share paperwork with families via the management system, allowing both staff and families to keep track of pending documents and signatures.

    More educational institutions like private schools will likely begin utilizing admission management systems because of the ability to streamline processes into a single system. These systems’ simplicity makes them ideal for admissions offices because they make the many aspects of the admission and enrollment processes simple to manage.

    The Benefits of Virtual School Processes

    As technology develops, administrators are finding that there are more efficient ways of conducting interviews and other admissions processes. Using admission software solutions offers several benefits for private schools, making many office tasks more efficient. Some of these benefits include:

    • Less paperwork: This software allows office staff to digitize most aspects of the interview process, including paperwork. There are many files and contracts associated with a private school interview, making organizing paperwork and keeping track of documents a challenge. With a digital system, all paperwork is processed and stored virtually, eliminating the piles of physical paperwork on your desks.
    • Save time: Arguably one of the most significant benefits of virtual interviews and digital administration processes is the time your staff will save. In general, virtual interviews cut back on time spent scheduling a meeting time and commuting to a location. Additionally, admission software allows you to automate certain processes, like personalizing outreach emails, segmenting applicants, assigning tasks, and more. The automation of these tasks gives your staff more time to complete work and meet with prospective students and families.
    • Boost efficiency in the office: With more time to complete additional tasks, you’ll see a boost in efficiency among your office staff. A private school admissions office is a busy place where a substantial amount of work needs to be done for a successful school year. Therefore, high levels of efficiency can help your staff be more productive and successful. Even manual tasks become streamlined with interview and admission software.
    • Respond to applicants faster: Because admissions software systems are centralized applications, they offer the ability to communicate with applicants and their families digitally. The right admissions software will also let you generate and send decision letters to families. Therefore, contacting and enrolling students becomes much more accessible, as everything is located in one place.
    • More effective communication: Communication throughout the interview and admission process is vital to creating and maintaining a good connection with students and families. Using admission management software helps you determine where each applicant is at in the admissions process and helps you tailor messages to align with each student’s recruitment progress. This ability helps keep the entire system clear and straightforward.
    • Increased collaboration: The solutions Ravenna offer encourage collaboration among staff members through document and file sharing. The ability to securely share documents with a specified number of colleagues, like an admission committee, allows your staff to make faster and better enrollment decisions.

    How Ravenna Solutions Can Help Streamline Private School Admissions

    The interview and admission management processes will continue to see changes in the coming years — and it is all for the best. While change may not always be easy for some, your school, office staff, students and families will all benefit from the implementation of an admissions management system like Ravenna Solutions, offering the best efficiencies to private schools with students ranging from preschool to 12th grade. With our solutions, you’ll be able to give students and their families an enrollment experience like no other.

    As administrators, Ravenna can help you do the following and more:

    • Nurture leads
    • Process applications
    • Interview management
    • Manage financial aid
    • Read and share files
    • Track enrollment data
    • Enroll students
    • Collect tuition

    Ravenna can help you improve the enrollment experience for families with features like:

    • Explore Ravenna schools
    • Apply to multiple schools
    • Review, sign, and submit documents electronically
    • Monitor application statuses
    • Schedule interviews and events
    • Pay fees and tuition

    Former K-12 administrators created Ravenna to simplify admissions processes at schools like yours. With Ravenna, schools can process tasks fives times faster with convenient and helpful automation features, spending 67% fewer hours on manual tasks. To start streamlining your interview processes, contact our support team today or request a demo of Ravenna features.

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