Common Interview Questions for a Teaching Course

Each university will have its own format for interviews so to find out exactly what to expect on the day it’s best to talk to the universities you’re applying to directly.

The interview, in addition to your personal statement, is your chance to prove to the admissions tutor that you’re worthy of a place on their course. When you’re up against hundreds of other applicants with the same academic record as you you’ll need to make sure that you have a strong personal statement and that you’re confident in your interview.

Good preparation is the key to being confident in your interview. If you know you’re well prepared then you’ll be able to walk into the interview and convince the interviewer(s) that you’re the right person for their course.

Group interviews

Interviews for teaching courses are often in a group setting so you’ll be interviewed with other candidates.

In a group interview it’s important to make sure your voice is heard, but don’t talk over other candidates. Interviewers are usually good at ensuring that everyone gets a chance to speak but don’t be afraid to speak up first or give a contradicting view point to everyone else.

A group interview could also involve some element of teamwork – including being put into pairs and having to answer such as “What qualities does a good teacher possess?” You might then have to feed your answers back into the group.

You may also have to do workshop based tasks – for example, creating a television advert about why teaching is a good career option.

Again, be confident enough to take the lead but try not to dominate the group or overshadow other candidates.

Individual interviews

You could be given an individual interview as well as, or instead of, a group interview.

This might be on a one-to-one basis with an interviewer or in a panel interview setting. The panel could include an admissions tutor, a senior student, and/or someone from the faculty.

It’s important to read through your personal statement as you could be asked to expand on it during the interview. Also be prepared to answer the obvious questions such as “Why do you want to become a teacher?” and “Why do you want to study at this university/school?”

Both an individual interview and a group interview could involve needing to give a short presentation to the group.

Common interview questions for a teaching course

To give you a better idea of what to expect during your interview, here are some common interview questions for a teaching course.

Remember, if you’re taking a BA or BSc with QTA you’ll also be asked questions that relate to the subject you’re studying as well as teaching related questions.

Basic questions

  • Why do you want to become a teacher?
  • What skills, qualities and attributes do you think a good teacher has?
  • What are you looking forward to about being a teacher?
  • Why do you want to study here?
  • What motivates you to teach – your subject or working with children?

Questions about your teaching skills

  • What makes you think you’ll be a good teacher?
  • What skills could you bring to a school?
  • What skills do you feel you need to work on?
  • What did you gain from your classroom experience?
  • What skills would you need to create a stimulating learning environment?

Questions about education/the National Curriculum

  • How do you feel your degree is relevant to the National Curriculum?
  • Do you think that the National Curriculum is a good idea?
  • Which current educational issues are concerning to you?
  • Which current educational issues have interested you, and why?
  • What are the important issues facing schools at the moment?

Questions about class discipline/motivation

  • How would you motivate a class with no interest in your subject?
  • How would you react to a pupil refusing to participate in a lesson?
  • What makes a good lesson?
  • Could you control a classroom of 32 14 year old pupils?
  • Do you think you have the ability to work with difficult students?

Questions about primary school teaching

  • How do children learn?
  • Who is your favourite children’s author, and why?
  • How would you decorate your classroom – including which colours you would use and why?
  • Do you prefer key stage 1 or key stage 2, and why?
  • How would you go about trying to include different methods of teaching for an uninteresting subject?

Questions about secondary school teaching

  • What differences are there between university and school education?
  • What would you do with a class of disinterested 15 year olds to keep them motivated?
  • Reflecting on your own GCSE experience, what teaching methods will you use?
  • How would you place students in the classroom? Do you think this has any relevance to learning experience?
  • How would you use the things you have learnt in your degree in the classroom?