15 PGCE Interview Questions and Answers in United Kingdom (U.K.)
PGCE Interview Questions – Being a teacher can be one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world but getting those first jobs teaching can be a nerve-wracking experience.
As a teacher, it is up to you to pass on appreciated skills to your students, but when it comes to learning how to nail that interview for your dream career.
Interviewing for a job as a teacher is quite similar in lots of ways to interview for any other job. You need to do your research before time and practice your answers before you get to the interview.
In this article, I will list out 15 PGCE interview guides which can be of help to you, when needed.
15 PGCE Interview Questions And Answers
1.Why Do You Want To Be a Teacher?
You need to demonstrate that teaching is your first choice, not a plan B. Talk about your motivation and emphasize your passion for teaching.
Provide good examples from your time in school and the specific teaching elements that you find satisfying. Avoid broad responses such as ‘I have always wanted to be a teacher’.
2.Why Do You Want To Work In Our School?
Think about why you would be a good fit to work or study in the school you’re interviewing at. Talk about why you’re interested in their school specifically, mentioning what you know about its ethos, values, demographics, educational goals and objectives, initiatives, or extracurricular activities.
3. How Will You Manage Challenges At Work?
Interviewers want to hear that you’re aware of the challenges in your PGCE, teacher training or NQT year and have the stamina and dedication to cope.
Perhaps describe how you successfully managed a demanding situation. This could be your experience of studying and working at the same time, the experience of preparing lessons and managing a teaching caseload would be especially relevant.
4. What Experience Do You Have In Schools?
Look beforehand at the experience the school is asking for and emphasize where you have it. Your interview is where you can give more evidence to support your CV and application.
Draw on your past experience of working or observing in a school. Describe the school and reflect on what you learned, as well as what most interested or surprised you.
Experience in other settings and with different age ranges than those you’re applying to teach in, such as nurseries, youth clubs or play schemes, is also relevant.
5. What Are The Core Skills And Qualities That Pupils Look For In Teachers?
Match the skills you have with those you know the school is looking for, as outlined in the job description or person specification. Key skills looked for in teaching interviews include:
- passion for teaching/the subject
- good communication and organization
- critical thinking
- sense of humor
- ability to communicate new ideas and concepts
- Liking young people.
Draw attention to your assets, however obvious some of the points on this list might seem, by giving examples of when you’ve successfully demonstrated them.
6. What Qualities Do You Have Which Would Make You An Effective Teacher?
Reflect on a teacher you liked at school, university, or have worked within the classroom. Analyze the qualities that made them successful these might include:
- subject knowledge
- a range of teaching methods
- an ability to hold the attention of the class
- Encouraging children to think rather than being told.
Tell your interviewers about the qualities you have which they’re looking for. This isn’t the time to be modest, talk positively about your achievements, thinking carefully about the words you use. For example, use the term assertive as opposed to bossy, or calm instead of laidback.
7. How Would You Evaluate [the lesson you just taught] And What Would You Do Differently Next Time?
This is a crucial question. Don’t just describe the lesson talking about what could have gone better as well as what was successful. Be prepared with some suggestions of what you would change with hindsight.
Acknowledge that you probably don’t know the pupils very well. By asking if you can have a seating plan or list of the pupils’ names before the lesson, you’ll impress your assessors.
Consider the progress of individuals in the lesson, remember some of their names if you can and give the panel some suggestions of what your follow-up lesson would be.
8. If I Walked Into Your Classroom During An Outstanding Lesson, What Would I See And Hear?
Give a full list, as your interviewer may have a checklist to see how much you mention. Demonstrate your passion for high-quality teaching but limit your response time to two minutes.
If you have a portfolio with you, show any examples of children’s learning and positive feedback you’ve received.
You could take certificates, resources you have made and examples of lessons; these are all things which will help you remember the outstanding things you’ve done.
Tell them about a behavior management strategy you have used to help engage an individual learner or group.
You could talk about how you’ve successfully handled a disruptive pupil or student. Give an example of a situation where a strategy you used has been effective in the classroom.
Talk about the effective behavior management strategies you’ve come across or heard about.
Give an example of when you have improved teaching and learning in the classroom and how you knew you had been successful.
Don’t be shy when talking about where you have improved teaching and learning, as this is something your interviewers really want to know about.
9. Can You Give An Example Of When a Pupil Refused To Cooperate In Class?
This is likely to entail some follow up questions:
- What did you do?
- How did your actions affect the situation?
- What would you differently next time?
Your interviewers want to get a sense of you as a teaching professional. This could be where you mention good working relationships with parents and careers, school policies, working together as a staff team or your behavior management strategies. Be prepared with a good example of where you have made a difference and any successful results.
10. Why Should We Appoint You, What Would We Be Missing Out On By Not Appointing You?
A related question is ‘what are you bringing to the role of a teacher?’
Don’t be modest in putting across your strong points during the interview. You might start with, ‘As you can see from my application…’ and then lead into a quick rundown of your qualifications and relevant experience.
If you haven’t already, present your strengths and how you’ll utilize them to enhance the quality of teaching in their school.
11. What Are Some Of The Current Issues In Education?
Be ready with a few specific examples of topics you have heard about recently. Consider how they impact teaching and learning, always using examples from your experience where you can.
You could refer to a discussion in the staff room, a news report or something you have heard about in your training.
Often this may be something which is putting pressure on teachers at the moment. Keep up to date with at least one issue which relates to your subject or age group.
You may then be asked a follow-up question around your opinion on this topic. Discuss how this would impact teaching and learning and if at all possible, illustrate your point with examples from your recent experience.
This might lead to additional questions specific to your personal statement or application, designed to give selectors a sense of you as an individual. Your answers should be authentic interviewers will easily spot a textbook answer. Relax and be just yourself.
12. Are You a Flexible Teacher? If So, Explain How.
Yes, I am a flexible teacher. I can deal very effectively with people and students from all backgrounds and socio-economic groups.
In teaching, I am completely aware that students have different learning rates and styles. Some are fast learners and some are slow learners, some learn best in an auditory manner, others through actions or visual media.
Still, others have specific learning disabilities. I am flexible in the sense that I address these differences and make it a point to respond to their different needs.
In my teaching, I make use of different learning strategies so that my instruction will be interesting and motivating to students.
I use lecture, discussion, hands-on activities, cooperative learning, projects, manipulative, role-playing, debates, reports, technology, and others. (Choose the ones appropriate to the subject and/or grade for which you are applying)
13. What Ways Do You Assess And Evaluate Students?
In assessing students, I make use of different methods. I use formal and informal assessment procedures to promote social, academic, and physical development.
The usual assessment that I use is written quizzes and examinations. Throughout the semester, I also grade and assess students on their class participation such as recitations, reports, group activities, and seat work.
14. What Would Your Master Teacher Or Cooperating Teacher Say About You?
My master teacher would say that I am incredibly energetic in teaching because I love what I do! She would say that I am the type of person who also goes the extra mile to help my students learn and comprehend their lessons regardless of their abilities. She would say that I also try to teach values that are important in life, including the value of discipline.
15. Finally, Is There Anything You’d Like To Ask Us?
This would be a good time to find out about the school’s induction process if it hasn’t yet been mentioned – this is particularly important if you are an NQT. Who will mentor and support you?
Prepare a couple of questions to ask at the end of the interview. Some of the best types of questions focus on processes in the school, such as:
How is PSHE delivered?
What is your vision for the future of the school?
What key developments do you have planned?
With some advance preparation and practicing of your answers, you will be able to handle yourself confidently. Think clearly and leave the rest knowing you’ve told them all they need to know.
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