Top 12 Teacher Training PGCE Interview Questions + Answers

Go to Blog Home | By: Joe McDermott | Updated: 26 March, 2024 | Category: Interview Advice, Interview Questions And Answers

Teacher training PGCE interview questions

Looking to get into teacher training and get your PGCE or QTS qualifications? Having succeeded with your application, the next key step is getting through the interview. This article will help guide you with teacher training interview questions plus how to answer them successfully.

Becoming a teacher is a rewarding and brilliant career choice and you may have a multitude of reasons for choosing it, each deeply personal and often interconnected.

The first step to becoming the great teacher you want to be involves getting onto a teacher training program where you will get qualified teacher status (QTS), a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE), or both. Once qualified you will be a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) and this article is designed to help you succeed in both your teacher training interview and your first interview as a NQT.

Teacher Training Interview – What to Expect

When preparing for a PGCE teacher training interview, it’s essential to know what to expect so you can prepare adequately. A PGCE interview is not just about assessing your academic capability but also your potential as a teacher.

Here’s what you can typically expect in a teacher training interview:

Introduction and Welcome: The interview usually begins with a brief introduction. You may be interviewed by one or several members of the faculty, including lecturers and practicing teachers affiliated with the program.

Personal Statement Discussion: Be prepared to discuss your personal statement or any written application materials you’ve submitted. You may be asked to elaborate on your experiences, motivations for teaching, and understanding of the profession.

Teaching Scenario Questions: Expect to answer hypothetical questions about classroom management, lesson planning, and how you would handle certain teaching scenarios. These questions assess your problem-solving skills and educational philosophy.

Subject Knowledge and Passion: You’ll likely be asked about the subject you wish to teach. Be ready to discuss why you are passionate about this subject and how you plan to engage students who might find the subject challenging.

Group Task or Presentation: Some interviews include a group task or a presentation. You might be asked to prepare a short presentation on a teaching topic or participate in a group discussion. This assesses your communication skills, ability to work in a team, and understanding of educational topics.

Written Task: There could be a written component to the interview, such as a short essay on an educational issue, a lesson plan, or a grammar and punctuation test. This evaluates your written communication skills and your ability to organize your thoughts coherently.

Classroom Observation or Interaction: Depending on the institution, you might be asked to participate in a classroom observation or interaction with students. This is a chance to demonstrate your interpersonal skills and how you engage with learners.

Current Educational Issues: Be prepared to discuss current issues in education, such as inclusion, the use of technology in teaching, or changes in the curriculum. This shows your awareness of the broader educational landscape.

Any Questions for Us? At the end of the interview, you’ll usually have the opportunity to ask questions. This is your chance to learn more about the program, its expectations, and how it fits with your career goals.

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PGCE Teacher Training Interview Questions and Answers

Interviews for PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education) programs are designed to assess your suitability for a career in teaching.

Here are some common questions you might encounter, along with insight into what the interviewers might be looking for in your answers:

Why do you want to become a teacher? Why do you want to teach?

This is the number one question at this stage of your teaching career. They will be looking for your motivations and reasons for choosing teaching. Above all they will want to see passion for the profession, a desire to make a difference, and an understanding of the challenges and rewards of teaching.


There are three main reasons why I have chosen teaching as my career. Firstly, I have been inspired greatly by teachers I have had myself, who had such passion and interest in teaching and who helped me immensely as a pupil, encouraging me to be the very best that I can. I realised that teachers can have such a positive impact on children’s lives and decided very early that this was what I wanted to do. Secondly, I believe I have the skills which make a good teacher, I can communicate with pupils of all ages, I am well organised and excellent with planning and in fact, my current Head Teacher commended me on my creativity and ability to make my class material as stimulating as possible. Finally, I enjoy the process of teaching and the rewards that comes from seeing my pupils do well.

Talk us through your experience working with children or young people?

They want to see if you bring experience which might be relevant. A good answer will talk through examples such as volunteering, mentoring or coaching. This might even be your own family experience perhaps helping younger siblings or relatives with homework, play or other supervised activities. Show that you have the skills to engage with children or young people and highlight the insights you’ve gained from these experiences.

How would you handle a difficult student or classroom situation?

Without having the experience, you would treat this as a hypothetical question. They are trying to see if you have envisaged what your actual daily work might look like and what types of challenging situations you may have to deal with, Your approach to classroom management, problem-solving skills, and ability to maintain a positive learning environment will be under scrutiny.

What would you say are the most important qualities of an effective teacher?

The key skills to be a good teacher include an ability to plan and organise, to be committed and enthusiastic and to have patience. Show your skills with your answers and detail how you will use them in the classroom.

How would you make your subjects interesting especially to lower prior attainment students?

With this question your interviewer is looking for you to show creativity and innovation along with fresh thinking. When answering you need to show an ability to use a range of tools and techniques, especially ICT in the classroom to keep pupils interested and engaged.

It is an ongoing challenge to make all subjects interesting and accessible to young people especially those with different skills and diverse needs and there are many resources available to help.

For example, your answer could refer to bringing unusual objects into class in order to stimulate debate, maintaining balance in terms of activities, creating a sense of excitement about a particular subject, using innovative props, games, wall charts, role playing, and being genuinely interested yourself as this will be picked up on by the class.

Some practice in presenting difficult subjects, for example to young people on work experience, or experience of teamwork, perhaps through working with young people in a voluntary situation, will be useful to you and you should mention this in the interview.

What subject do you want to teach, and why?

Perhaps a little early to make a choice however they will want to see some career planning and thought, If you have a clear choice outline your passion for that particular subject and understanding of its importance within the curriculum and students’ broader educational journey.

How do you keep up with educational trends and changes in the curriculum?

Commitment to professional development and a proactive approach to staying informed about educational research, policy changes, and best practices.

Describe a time when you had to work as part of a team. What was your role, and what was the outcome?

Working in a school involves being art of the team. Talk through an example which shows your ability to collaborate effectively with others, contribute to a team, and learn from the experience.

How do you plan to use technology in the classroom?

Your competence with educational technology and how you intend to integrate it into your teaching to enhance learning.

How do you plan to address the needs of students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)?

A top tip prior to the interview is to review the SEND Code of Practice. This sets our four principles as for teaching children with special education needs as follows

  • communicating and interacting
  • cognition and learning
  • social, emotional and mental health difficulties
  • sensory or physical needs

Your answer should show and understanding of inclusive teaching practices and strategies to support all learners, including those with SEND.

Why should be select you for this teacher training program? or What skills in particular will you bring that will make you an exceptional teacher?

Both of these questions can be answered in the same way. This is a chance for you to really sell yourself, summarising the skills and qualities you will bring to job and to the teaching profession. It is a chance for you to talk about the passion you have for teaching, the enthusiasm you have for providing quality education and the interest you have in your pupils.

Sample Answer:

Firstly I believe I have the skills needed to be a good teacher. I am creative, I have good communication skills, highly organised and I am good with children. Secondly, personality wise I am committed, enthusiastic, flexible and approachable and finally I have a wide range of experience working with children in primary schools and in after school clubs that has given me both a solid grounding in what is involved in teaching and also confirmed my belief that this is the career for me. For example, I have just completed a 3 day placement helping out in my local primary school working with the KS1 class, an experience I found extremely rewarding but which also gave me a good insight into the amount of work involved.

How to Prepare for Your Teacher Training Interview

No matter how confident you are of getting the post, we always advise to prepare in advance.

Research:  Carry our research about the particular course you are applying for and the college.  Know the specifics of the program, the curriculum, and the school or university’s ethos.

Think about your motivation:  Be clear about your reasons for applying and for wanting to become a teacher. Think about your motivations for teaching, your educational philosophy, and examples from any teaching or learning experiences you’ve had.

Acquire Education Sector Knowledge: Be up to date on current educational trends, issues, and the curriculum for your chosen subject.

Rehearse and Practice: Rehearse potential questions and answers, and consider how you would present yourself in a group discussion or presentation. Complete a mock interview with the online InterviewGold system where you can practice with relevant questions. 

Remember, the PGCE interview is as much about finding a program that fits you as it is about proving your suitability for a career in teaching. Show enthusiasm, be honest, and let your passion for teaching shine through.

How to Pass Your Teacher Training Interview With Confidence

pass your teacher interview

Arriving at the interview with the view that you can just talk through the application will not work, especially in the current environment. The secret to success in any interview is proper preparation and to make your interview preparation really easy I fully recommend InterviewGold for Teaching and Education interviews.

InterviewGold is the leading online interview skills training system which has helped thousands of candidates win jobs. It is tailored for interviews in the Education sector and includes interview questions, model answers and expert advice.

See how InterviewGold can help you get your teacher training post.

About the Author |
Joe McDermott is CEO of Anson Reed the UK's leading interview coaching specialists and founder of the successful InterviewGold online interview training system. Since 2006, Joe and his team of top interview coaches have helped thousands of clients win jobs and in this blog they offer their expert advice - all to make sure you get your top post.