Interview questions for teacher training

Gill Kilvington from the University of Hull helps you to prepare for your postgraduate teacher training interview with a list of typical questions, covering areas ranging from why you want to teach to your choice of degree subject.


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At interview, recruiters for postgraduate teacher training courses will be looking for recent examples from your classroom experience to illustrate your answers to their questions. Your previous employment, voluntary work and hobbies may also be relevant, where they link to teaching, skills and education.

Give full answers to questions, bringing in your experience and knowledge of current issues in education. Prepare answers which evidence the skills required, such as good communication, professional working relationships and the ability to accept and act on feedback. Be ready with examples around what you've learned, such as when planning lessons, organising the classroom, assessing learning and adapting to the needs of different students. Don't be afraid to state your views, practical solutions or novel ideas.

Here are some typical examples of interview questions for teacher training, to help you prepare.

Interview questions: reasons for wanting to teach

  • How do you know teaching is the profession for you?
  • What are you looking forward to about teaching as a profession?
  • What qualities make a successful teacher?
  • Do you have any special skills that would contribute to your role as a teacher?
  • Why are you interested in teaching this subject and age group – what appeals to you?
  • Why do you want to do your teacher training with us?
  • What sorts of schools would you like to work in, and why?
  • What key stage are you interested in and why?
  • Why should pupils learn your subject? (secondary)

Interview questions for teacher training: school experience

  • What classroom experience do you have?
  • What have you learned from your experience in schools and/or what skills do you bring from your previous employment?
  • Give an example of a successful and not so successful lesson you observed during a school visit or have taught. Why was it successful/not so successful?
  • Tell us about a time when you helped a child in the classroom. Were you effective and, if so, why do you think this was?
  • What contributions could you make outside your preferred subject area or age range?
  • How do you view your own school experience?
  • Who was your favourite teacher and why?

Interview questions for teacher training: your degree

  • How is your degree subject relevant?
  • Why did you choose your degree subject and what inspired you?
  • Give an example of how you would make your degree subject interesting to pupils.
  • How does your degree apply to primary teaching?

Interview questions for teacher training: education and equal opportunities

  • How do children learn?
  • How would you deal with discrimination issues? Give an example of when you have done this.
  • Schools are diverse and you will be in multicultural settings. How have you prepared to teach young people from a range of backgrounds, cultural and otherwise
  • How would you help all pupils achieve their potential?
  • How would you go about creating an inclusive learning environment?

Interview questions for teacher training: safeguarding

  • What is a teacher's responsibility in keeping children safe?
  • How would you contribute to making this school a safe environment for the children? Can you give some examples of this from your experience?
  • Give an example of when you have had a safeguarding issue in school and tell us how you dealt with it.
  • How would you respond if a child disclosed...?

Interview questions for teacher training: motivation/discipline

  • What would you do if a child refuses to participate? What classroom behaviour strategies have you seen demonstrated in a classroom?
  • How would you motivate a class of Year 9 students that had no interest in your subject? (secondary)?

Teacher training interviews: general questions

  • Describe a situation where you had to use your initiative.
  • How do you overcome challenges?
  • How do you handle pressure and how will you handle the stress of this profession?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What difficulties are you likely to encounter as a teacher and how would you deal with them?
  • Do you have any hobbies or interests that could be useful for extracurricular activities?
  • What do you know about current educational issues?

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