The journey of getting to University is made up of different stages: attending open days, choosing the University you wish to study at, completing an application form, and for some courses – being interviewed.
The content of each interview varies between Universities, but for Primary Teaching, they follow a similar structure.
At the University of Worcester, all candidates for the Initial Primary Teacher Education (with QTS) course are gathered together and given a detailed and very interesting talk about the course and a student’s perspective of it.
You will sit a literacy test (it isn’t as scary as it sounds), and you simply have to answer the question that is posed – with your best handwriting!
For me personally, I got very worked up at the thought of my interview, and the pressure I put on myself, in hindsight, was completely unnecessary.
My first tip, therefore, would be to remain calm and relaxed, and do not let the nerves get the better of you.
The whole purpose of a University interview is for members of staff to see the person behind the writing, they want to know you, but this is made difficult if you are extremely nervous.
Some candidates will be joined by a current student on the interviewing panel, and there is a strong student presence during the day which has been put in place to make candidates feel more relaxed and willing to ask questions.
My second tip for surviving a University interview would be to do some reading around educational changes.
This does not mean sitting for hours on end with a stack of newspapers – the internet and apps are useful tools, but you might be asked to discuss any changes within education during your interview, so it is better to be as prepared as you can.
One important aspect to remember is that the members of staff who interview you do not want to hear a regurgitated news article; they want you to have your own opinion – and don’t forget, you can be critical.
More often than not, at a University of Worcester interview for Primary Teaching, you will be asked to share any experiences you have relevant to your career choice.
Utilise this time and tell the interviewers what you have been up to, what you have learnt from it, and how it will help you in your professional practice as a teacher.
Interviews are brilliant for expanding on any points that you have made in your personal statement, and you might be questioned by the interviewers so make sure you are ready.
Professionalism is key when attending interviews for this particular career, you not only need to look the part but try to carry yourself in a way that would portray an individual who was committed to teacher training.
Do not be afraid to ask any unanswered questions you might still have – the interviewers and current students don’t bite and have probably been asked the same questions many times before!
I try to attend every Interview Day as a current student, and have spoken in front of candidates about my experiences in addition to hosting and interviewing, so, in my opinion, the day is all about you, and there is nothing to worry about!
If you recognise me from this blog, please don’t be afraid to come and say hello!
I also regularly blog for educational publisher Critical Publishing. See their website www.criticalpublishing.com for further details!