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How to Impress at Your Teacher Training Interview


Your teacher training interview is an exciting and important step. If you do well, you can successfully receive a place on a teacher training programme.

Interview processes vary depending on the teacher training provider, but these general tips will help you to prepare (and impress).

Come prepared

Your interview invitation will let you know what to expect and mention anything you should prepare.

Some providers ask you to create a sample lesson plan, others might ask you to present a short lesson. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to work on any assigned tasks and have your documents ready to share on the day.

Interviews work both ways, so it’s also good to prepare some questions of your own that you’d like to ask.

Do your research

Read up on what’s going on in the world of education. This helps to show your knowledge of the sector and interest in keeping up to date with the issues facing it. Tes, The Guardian Education, and Schools Week are reliable resources.

Resources like the national curriculum and teachers' standards will give you a wider insight into key terms within teaching, what is taught in schools and the expected practice and conduct of teachers.

Safeguarding is crucial in education. Make sure you’ve read at least Part 1 of the statutory guidance for schools on safeguarding children and think of some safeguarding scenarios and how you would address them effectively.

Tailor your research

As well as your wider research, dive into the specifics of the programme and training provider you’ve applied to.

Each provider is different, so tailoring your research will help you understand exactly what their ethos is, what they’re looking for, and what it is about their offering that appeals most to you.

Think about what the interviewers are looking for

To get to this stage, you’ve shown you have the right qualifications. The interview is your chance to show you have the skills and qualities to be a great teacher.

Each provider will have a slightly different set of qualities you'll need to train to teach, but generally, you’ll want to show:

  • Professionalism
  • Confidence and enthusiasm
  • Passion for teaching and your subject
  • Resilience and that you’re up for the challenge of teaching
  • A good understanding of what being a teacher involves and what makes a great teacher

But don’t forget to be yourself

It can be tempting to overthink the questions you are likely to be asked and pre-rehearse your answers. But this can make you sound a bit robotic and doesn’t reflect your true personality.

We recommend spending time to reflect on why you want to teach and your career and achievements so far. Then, write down any key achievements, obstacles you’ve faced and overcome, and the qualities you can bring to the classroom.

Think about how you can use these when answering a range of questions. Your answers will be more natural this way.

Mention relevant experience

If you’ve worked with children before, your interview is the time to highlight your experience. It could be formal experience gained in schools or tutoring a sibling or a family friend – any experience is valued.

Teaching is a welcoming and open profession, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t have examples of working with children. You can transition into teaching at any career stage, and interviewers value diverse experiences.

Think about relevant life experiences that you could link to teaching, such as:

  • Working with people from a range of backgrounds
  • A presentation you delivered successfully
  • Managing others professionally

Read how United Teaching graduate Hannah changed careers and became a qualified teacher.

Show passion

A teacher’s job is to inspire and engage the next generation, so it’s important you can speak about your subject in a compelling and genuine way.

Your passion should go beyond your subject, too. Showing enthusiasm for teaching and education more broadly will show you have a genuine interest in the profession.

Test your tech

Not all interviews take place in person. If your interview is taking place virtually, you should double-check that your software is up to date, you have access to the online platform being used, and your Wi-Fi connection is stable.

Get the basics right

Remember, your teacher training interview is just that – an interview. The same standard expectations apply.

Make sure you are:

  • Polite
  • Punctual
  • Prepared
  • Well spoken
  • Smartly dressed
  • Mindful of your body language

Follow all of these steps, and you’ll be in a strong position for your interview.

Good luck!

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