Top Tips for the 11+ Interview

If your child has been successful in the 11+ entrance exam, they will be invited to interview. In some cases, the school will interview your child before they sit the exam – and even you as a parent.

The interview process is designed to discover more about your child and what really interests them. Interviewers want the children to succeed, but also want to ensure that your child is the best fit for their school and vice versa. The best interviews are lively conversations where the interviewer is intrigued by your child’s opinions and where your child offers them without hesitation.

Each school will have its own individual interview process. The interview may take place in a group setting, one-to-one or in pairs.


The school will want to learn about your child’s interests, school life, hobbies/interests, current affairs, reading and how they think creatively. The 11+ Interview Guide contains a list of over 60 questions covering all these areas to help your child practice for the exam as well as Do’s and Dont’s and what not to say! You can purchase a copy HERE

Many schools show a picture as a starting point for discussion. 

For example:

  • Can you describe the picture?
  • Do you like it and why?
  • How are the people in the picture feeling?

There are no right or wrong answers to these types of questions. They are just looking for a child who can express their feelings and speak, clearly, intelligently and coherently.

It is not unusual for a child to be asked to read a short passage for discussion, or to be given a maths problem to solve. Again, schools are looking for how a child approaches a problem and what their thought processes are. Giving a wrong answer does not necessarily mean a poor interview.

Your child will often be asked whether they enjoy reading and which book they would recommend. Ensure that your child is able to talk about the genre of the book (historical? science? mystery? adventure?), what their favourite part of the novel was and why, and whether they would recommend it.

Remind your child to make eye contact, smile and give a firm handshake at the beginning and at the end of the interview. Your child can practise this with you with the help of THE 11+ INTERVIEW GUIDE!