Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.
Dead Poets Society

Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.
Albert Einstein

Try a mock interview for teacher training, answering typical questions and also getting tips on how you should answer. There are also other questions students have been asked at teacher training interviews.


TEACHERS obviously need to be good at TEACHING, INSTRUCTING and MAKING PRESENTATIONS, but they also need to have good LISTENING skills to understand the problems a pupil may be having. They need to be able to ANALYSE (for example) the reasons why a potentially bright student is not making progress, to have good WRITING skills, and be able to PLAN the next term's work.

Selectors will be looking to see how you can talk about and demonstrate these skills at your interview. The sort of evidence you could offer includes:

Before you arrive ...

Teaching interviews tend to be relaxed. You may get a group interview: this is extremely common for primary and becoming more common at secondary interviews. You would be asked to discuss a number of topics in a group of perhaps six to eight candidates. Sometimes you will get a written test - this is common for primary courses and your spelling, handwriting and grammar will all be under observation.

See our Teaching Interview Reports for more on this. Also see our Teaching Careers page and Example Teaching Applications

Mock interview for teacher training

There follow some of the questions that might be specifically asked of students at interviews for teacher training courses. General interview questions are not asked here, so you might also like to try the general or multiple choice interviews as well for standard interview questions that can be thrown at any candidate, also our answers to 150 common interview questions.

Click on "First Question" to begin. Think carefully about how you would answer, then click on "Show Answer Tips" to get an idea of how you should be answering.


Other questions students have been asked at PGCE Interviews:

If you have been to an interview or assessment centre recently please fill in our interview report form to help other students.

Basic questions

About your skills

Questions about your classroom experience

About the National Curriculum and Educational Issues

About Equal Opportunities

Class Discipline/Motivation

Extra-curricular activities

Primary Questions

Secondary Questions


The Top 10 questions teachers are asked at job interviews


Post-compulsory teaching interview (Christ Church)

Tests given to candidates. See our example tests

Non-cognitive Assessment Tests (NCAs)

The Department for Education's 'Training our next generation of outstanding teachers: Implementation plan', (November 2011), stated that initial teacher training (ITT) providers will have access to a range of high quality tools to assess non-cognitive skills such as self-organisation, adaptability and emotional resilience which have been identified as the most important for teachers as part of selection for entry on to ITT courses.

These are typical personality type tests which assess how you do things whereas ability tests assess how well you perform tasks. They help the selector find out your style and way of doing things. Sensible organisations will use the questionnaire in conjunction with your application form and interview to make decisions rather than in isolation. It is unwise to try to fake the answers as these questionnaires usually have some internal checking where the same question is asked with different wording early and late in the test to detect dishonest answers. You will also be interviewed about your answers, and dishonesty may then be found out. Ultimately, there is little point in pretending to be the kind of taecher a course is looking for if you are not right for them. Find something else you will enjoy doing!

NCAs are typically used to inform the interview process so candidates should normally take the assessment before interview. Teacher training course providers don't have to use NCAs and if they do, they are allowed to purchase these from a range of recommended test designers which for 2012 are the following where you can find example questions:

(Taken from the Department for Education page on NCAs)

For example, the Pearson TalentLens questionnaire is completed online, contains 80 questions and takes 20 minutes to do. You can see a Pearson example report at It assesses the following skills:

Group exercises. See our teamwork page

Presentations. See our page on presentation skills

Tips from PGCE interviewees


Back to the mock interviews menu or Answers to 150 common interview questions