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Question Bank for PGCE Interviews

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by trillions, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. Hi everybody...thought I would try to start a thread going which could help others out with ideas for interview questions. So....
    If anybody can think of any interview questions they got asked at their PGCE interview share them with everybody and reply to this posting with the question and how it could be answered or shouldn't be answered!(or how you answered it). Don't forget to include whether your interview was primary or secondary and even which uni it was at if you like. Dunno about you guys but I was soooo nervous before my interview, and I'm so pleased I got a place, can't wait to start in Sept!!
  2. Or any others tips for interview - what to wear, how to appear, good ways to impress, etc. c'mon, roll in, roll in!!...
  3. What was the most difficult question you were asked trillions?

    I'm interested to know, personaly how important the presentations are at interview, for any secondary subject?
  4. My most difficult question was "how would you approach teaching a difficult concept" - that was it, no topic given or anything. I said I would try and link it in with knowledge they already have and also think of any good analogies which might make it easier to understand.
  5. What subject were you being interviewed for island_girl?
  6. Hi primary questions.

    * Obvious question - Why do you want to be a teacher?
    * What is the best lesson you have taught / observed. Why? What was the worst? Why?
    * How would you deal with a badly behaved child?
    * What characteristics do you have to make you a good teacher?
    * How do your previous studies - ie your degree help you with your teaching?

    Hope this helps!
  7. How would people deal with a badly behaved child?

    I've seen different mothods (secondary), most resulting in the child being removed from the classroom.
  8. Hiya. I had an interview at Nottm Trent for Primary PGCE in January. Here are some tips I have for others at interview:

    1) SMILE. Appear happy and confident and allow your personality to shine through.

    2) Wear clothes that you are comfortable in, but also that make you stand out. I wore a long brown suede-y skirt, a lovely brown top, and brown suede slouchy boots, with turqoise fashion beads, a brown and turqoise belt, and a brown and turqoise bag to break the brown up a bit. My interviewer/observer said to me and my group at interview "I'll remember that you're Lisa by your turqoise beads." - this is the exact effect I wanted - to stand out a bit.

    3) Any presentations which you have to do - keep to the time limit strictly!! practice, practice and practice again at home, and time yourself. Interviewers are looking for good qualities like good time management.

    4) Similarly to above, any group activities which you may have to do, pay close attention to the time limit set.

    5) In your interview, use lots of examples of your school experience in answering the questions asked of you.

    6) TAKE A PEN - I forgot and felt like a total idiot!

    Some questions that myself and other people at my interview were asked included:

    - 'if you open a bottle of fizzy lemonade, will the bottle get lighter, heavier or stay the same weight?'
    I had no idea to this but rather than admit that, or guess, I told the interviewer what I'd do in a classroom situation - I'd do an experiment with the class and find out the answer, and then explore that answer as a class.

    - 'what do you know about the science curriculum at KS 2?' - didn't actually get this one myself, but only piece of advice I'd have on this one is to either admit that you're not sure yet as you haven't done teacher training yet, or if you're reading this BEFORE an interview, visit http://www.nc.uk.net/webdav/harmonise?Page/@id=6016
    where you'll find info on the curriculum in all subjects.

    - 'explain to a 7-year old why ice floats on water' - no ideas on this one and thankfully didn't get it myself - can anybody help me out with this? Could turn it around a bit like I did with the fizzy lemonade one, and say how you'd find out (tell child to find out on Internet, etc).

    - 'explain to a 7-year old how a light bulb works' - most people have a basic knowledge on electricity. Could also turn it around to say how you'd encourage your class to find out for themselves.

    - 'explain to a 7-year old how a rainbow is formed' - didn't get this one myself either, but it's all about the colour spectrum mixing with mater isn't it? Can anybody help with this one??

    - 'what is creativity' - had this one myself. Answered it by explaining how creativity is a very subjective topic, but in my view it is when somebody makes something new, original and interesting, and in the classroom specifically I think that it relates to trying to stimulate all of the children's senses and thoughts and imagination, therefore engaging them in the task at hand and enabling them to learn better.

    - 'imagine you've got a child bullying another child on the grounds of racism - how would you handle it and why?' - For this one I said that as a teacher I would firstly try to resolve it by finding out what had gone off between the two children and why the bully had a prob with the other child, doing the usual of trying to get them to be friends, incorporating some ethnicity related issues into PSHE to try to get the bully to realise he wrong. Then I said I'd inform other teachers at the school in case they came across it whilst in the playground etc. I said if it didn't stop after that I'd involve the headteacher and both children's parents in order for everybody to work together to resolve the issue.

    - 'what 2 children's novels would you read to a year 5 class (except Harry Potter)?' - no idea what I'd do for this one!

    - 'how would you make a literacy lesson creative?' ditto!

    wowwww what a long msg!!! Hope it helps though :)
  9. My interview was going swimmingly until i was hit with:

    What improvement would you like to see be made in schools?

    Was not prepared for that one!
  10. How did you answer it JS? What do you think was the correct answer?
  11. hehehehe....what WOULDN'T I like to improve in schools..??! Better resources, better child:staff ratio, more holidays.. hehe
  12. Charvet - I got asked what I thought one of the most difficult aspects of teaching would be, and I said children who are badly behaved. he then asked me how I'd deal with this and I said that it depends from child to child - there is no 'quick-fix' to bad behaviour. You need to try to get to the root of the problem rather than skim the surface.. etc etc
    kamaljit147 likes this.
  13. How much preperation did people do for their interviews?

    I've been preping for about four days constantly now, having spent the last 6 weeks reading bits and bobs, spending time in schools etc.

    And I still feel under-prepared!
  14. oooh don't get me started on that one! My interview came right smack bang in the middle of my Jan assignment period, and I thought to myself that there was plenty of time, I'd only need a couple of days on the interview...blah blah blah. In reality, spent 2 weeks, day after day religiously preparing for it. I had to prepare a presentation and learn it 'on a topic of my own choice' - which made it harder coz couldn't decide a topic! Then, I read the TES religiously to keep up to dateon educational issues. Then I had to think of possible Qs they may ask and think of answers to them. And then I had to decide what to wear... the list is endless! Which is kinda why I started this topic, to help people who are having interviews soon. Are you primary or secondary Charvet?
  15. Secondary science, and my interview is on weds.
    I tried starting a similar thread earlier today, but failed miserably!

    I've just about got my presentation nailed - just need to memorize it!
    Got all my reasons for wanting to become a science teacher written down, I've checked out a few sources for lists of possible questions. I've been reading the NC for a while, been to a few schools, but I'm still not completely confident I can dredge up much stuff without being prompted.

    Just got to read the sheets for my written task and I'm done hopefully!
  16. I have a document that I created when I was preparing, with possible questions and how they could be answered...it is for primary but could be useful. If you'd like to have a look at it email me at
    and I'll email the document to you :)
  17. You should have mail.

    Thanks once again.
  18. I've sent it to you....if the attachments don't display properly or whatever tell me and I'll do it again
  19. Trillions, would you mind if I emailed you for a copy of your document please? I've applied for a primary PGCE and am still hoping to get an interview to get in this year (I applied late but they still have vacancies). Any help would be very gratefuly appreciated on the interview preparation front. this thread is a very good idea!!
  20. Hi Squiggle! Of course you can email me for it, feel free. If you need any more help I will do my very best to help you. Where's your interview at?

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