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What to expect at your interview

A trainee teacher interview
Before being accepted on an initial teacher training (ITT) programme, you will be asked to attend an assessment interview.

Your interview is an essential part of the application process for all initial teacher training (ITT). Interviews usually take place over a full day, but may take as little as an hour. You will be asked about your experience of working with young people, your commitment to teaching and your relevant knowledge and skills.

What to expect

The format of the interview varies between ITT providers and subjects. Your interview could be a one-on-one or a panel interview, and you may have tests and tasks to complete before you arrive.

You may also be required to participate in a 'recruitment exercise', which may include any of the following:

  • a group task, discussion or presentation
  • a further individual interview
  • a written test

What to say

Your interviewer(s) will be looking for you to demonstrate a number of qualities. You should therefore try to tailor your answers and contributions to reflect these qualities. They are:

  • a commitment to, and understanding of, primary or secondary education and the role of the teacher
  • good personal, intellectual and communication skills
  • a positive attitude towards children and working with children
  • an enthusiasm for, and understanding of, your subject(s) and teaching in general and clear and accurate spoken English

How to prepare

As with any interview, the key to success is preparation. Make sure you research the course and institution you're interviewing for thoroughly, as well as the issues surrounding education and teaching in general. Policies and practices change quickly, so your knowledge needs to be up to date.

Think carefully about your reasons for applying for the course and your interest in becoming a teacher.

Many training providers expect to see evidence of applicants having classroom experience so consider spending some time in a classroom before your interview. Whether working or observing, this experience should enable you to speak with authority in the interview.

Contact your ITT provider for additional information on your assessment interview.

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