February 3, 2015, by James Jupe

Teacher training interviews…what to expect

By Julie Callaghan, Senior Careers Adviser

If you are reading this post, you might have an interview for teacher training coming up or perhaps you have just completed your application and are thinking ahead to the interview stage. Whether you are applying for a PGCE, School Direct, a SCITT or other routes into teaching, and have passed the application stage, then unlike many other postgraduate applications, an interview will follow. This is a government requirement.

Before you go

Research and read about any live issues that might have an educational focus. These may be curriculum changes, changes in qualifications, SATS etc. Have a look at the Times Educational Supplement, and listen to the news. This will help you perform better both in any written task and the interview itself. Like any interview the higher education institution or school will be keen to test out your motivation and interest in the career to which you are applying.

What can I expect when I get there?

There will be a written task about an educational topic related either to secondary or primary education. Watch your spelling and grammar! Express yourself clearly and produce an organised and coherent piece of work.

A group task will often be used. It could be about wider educational issues or teaching itself.

  • Try and be as participative as possible without dominating.
  • Remember that the assessors are seeking evidence of your ability to work well with others and build alliances. A school requires a good team spirit.
  • Children need to be listened to and so do colleagues, practise your listening skills, but don’t be afraid to get your point of view across.

Presentations typically form part of this type of assessment day and you are often asked to teach part of a lesson.  You may receive instructions before the event or even on the day.

  • If you have been given some time to prepare, consider your audience carefully, be creative but not over ambitious.
  • Timing is crucial, so keep an eye on the clock and don’t have too much material to deliver.
  • How you come across is as important as what you say.
  • Think about your voice projection and personal impact.
  • You may feel nervous but smile and focus on your students.

At the interview

Assuming you have got to grips with some of the key current educational issues, you should feel confident about your chosen career area. The selectors are looking for:

  • suitable interpersonal and intellectual qualities
  • commitment to, and understanding of, secondary or primary education
  • ability to relate knowledge within teaching and learning

The interviewer will be seeking reflective responses about your classroom observations in a school. The range of questions is likely to explore your:

  • experience of working with this age range (particularly for primary)
  • current studies and their relevance to the curriculum
  • your reflective and evaluative skills
  • understanding of classroom management

Remember, you will be always asked to articulate why you want to teach!

Want to know more?

We are delivering two teacher training interview workshops on Wednesday 4 February and Monday 9 February — sign up on My Career. There’s more advice on the Get into Teaching website including interactive interview practise.

If you have any other questions, book an appointment to talk to a careers adviser. Good luck.

Posted in Postgraduate Taught Students