Congratulations on being invited for an interview! This is an important stage in successfully getting a place on a teacher training course.
These tips can help you prepare for a successful interview.
It could be an interview for a course that leads to qualified teacher status (QTS), a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), or both.
The exact interview process will vary depending on the teacher training provider.
Confirm your interview date
The provider will email you with an interview date. If you can’t make it then you may be able to ask for an alternative.
Once the date is agreed you should receive a confirmation email from the provider. Check this carefully to make sure you know exactly what to expect.
Most providers ask for some type of presentation. Others may require maths or English tests to be completed in advance.
Prepare what you need to know
It’s a good idea to check the provider’s website to understand more about them and what appeals to you. You can refer to this information at your interview.
Take some time to find out about the teachers’ standards(opens in new window) and the national curriculum(opens in new window).
Consider some possible safeguarding scenarios and how you might address them. Make sure you’ve read the statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding children(opens in new window).
Get ready for common teacher training interview questions
The exact questions will vary from provider to provider but there are some common ones that you’re likely to be asked. It can help to prepare some clear answers to these in advance:
why do you want to teach?
what can you bring to the profession?
what are your interests and how could you bring these to the classroom?
what are some of the challenges faced by teachers today?
Consider what interviewers are looking for
Providers want to see the qualities that will help you to be a good teacher. During your interview, consider how you can show:
your passion for teaching
a professional approach
your personality when presenting
confidence, energy and enthusiasm
how you’re up to the challenge of teaching
an understanding of what’s involved in being a teacher
Show you’ve got the right skills
Providers will also be expecting you to demonstrate you’ve got relevant skills, including:
how you reflect on your own performance
how you tailor information for a range of audiences
the level of your English and maths skills
the strength of your subject knowledge
Many providers will ask you to do some form of presentation as they want to see you have the energy and passion to capture pupils’ attention. Remember this is a chance to sell yourself and prove your commitment.
Prepare your own questions
It’s good to have some questions of your own to ask. This helps you get more information and shows your interest. You could ask:
how much time will I spend in school?
how many schools will I get practical teaching experience at?
what kind of schools will I be placed at?
what is the split between exams, coursework, group work, and presentations?
how will this course help me to get a teaching job?
The most important thing is to try to relax and be yourself. With some planning, and preparation, you’ll be in a strong position to answer confidently and show you can handle a classroom.