Interviews at Edge Hill

Not every course requires an interview but Primary Education is an example of a programme that does. I remember how nervous I was beforehand, mostly because I did not know what to expect. It has all become a bit of a blur now but I will try my best to recall what I can about Edge Hill’s interview process! You can access some useful information here. 

How should I prepare?

Research – make sure you know enough about the university. Have you been to an open day or campus tour? Why have you chosen Edge Hill University? What about their Primary Education course appeals to you?

Work experience – make sure you have had enough experience in a classroom environment. It is not too late to ask to spend time observing lessons, perhaps in your former primary school.

World of education – it is SO important to stay informed of current educational issues.  The Times Educational supplement and BBC education news are good starting points!

What should I bring to the interview day?

Portfolio – although a portfolio is often not necessary, I found it really useful to bring to my interviews. By having a small file with a few pictures from different work experience, it allowed me toeasily access things to talk about. Not only did it support my discussions, it looked organised to the interviewers. It shows them that you are already thinking about meeting the Teachers’ Standards.

Certificates / Qualifications – these can be photocopies. Ensure you have all the evidence you need to demonstrate your abilities and past achievements.

Potential Questions

  • Why have you chosen Edge Hill University?
  • Why do you want to be a primary school teacher?
  • Why do you want to teach primary insteadof secondary?
  • What current issues in education are important to you?
  • How will you be a creative teacher?
  • What experiences have you had of working with children with special needs?
  • What skills do you have?
  • What are your strengths / weaknesses?

Subject Knowledge Tasks

As well as having a campus tour and an individual interview, I also took part in maths, science and English written tasks. These were marked out of 20 and I received my feedback when I got my letter of confirmation in the post! An important piece of advice I can offer is… research phonics!

Good luck!

Although it might seem a bit daunting, you’ll be absolutely fine! During the interview just be yourself and relax. The interviewers at Edge Hill are lovely so try to think of the interview as a chat, rather than an interrogation! Wishing you all the best.

Teacher Training: The Interview Process

Happy holidays! So, I promised a blog on the interview process for teacher training – and voila!

Just a reminder, if you want information on auditions, check out Ellie’s post: here.

Edge Hill was my second interview of the lot, which was completely nerve-wracking, as it was my first choice of university! Surprisingly, it was the interview that I was least nervous about when I arrived on the day! I was put right at ease straight away with friendly chatter from the lady interviewing me; the whole thing was really more of a conversation than an interview!

Let’s start from the beginning. I arrived on the day, wearing a dress and posh shoes, feeling all fancy, armed with various certificates and references from head teachers I had volunteered with. I waved goodbye to my parents, and was brought into a massive lecture theatre in the Health and Social Building (below).

Fun fact: This is also the place you will graduate!

We ran through the day’s events: an optional campus tour, the skills tests and then finally, the interview. If you already know about the professional skills tests, you might be a little bit confused as to why we were doing some more! We were told that the tests weren’t a pass/fail, but rather to influence our targets for the upcoming September. A lot of what we do on the course is about setting ourselves targets, reviewing them, and making new targets, so in hindsight this makes a lot of sense! So these tests are separate to the general skills tests you’re required to take to become a teacher – sorry! If you are worried about those tests, there are practice papers online, which I found really useful.

By the time I had arrived at Edge Hill, I had passed my skills tests, so I wasn’t too concerned with how they were going to go. My big worry was the presentation I had to give, using a stimulus, about a lesson or activity I would teach. People came in with all different kinds of things – shapes, books, puppets! I chose The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr, and spoke about how I would teach a lesson on healthy eating. I also talked a little about differentiation, which basically means the ways in which I would include all learners, no matter their ability. I presented this in front of another applicant, a lady in the Education team and a local headteacher.

Written and illustrated by Judith Kerr; this was my stimulus for my 5 minute presentation

Then, when that was done and they had finished asking questions, I was whisked away for the ‘real’ interview, which was more of a conversation than anything else, about the experience I had and what I had learned from it. Edge Hill are really great, and within two weeks, they had emailed me feedback about how I had performed both in my interview and in the tests they had given, which then helped me set my targets for September.

For me, the most important thing for my interview was having done work experience. This is important for your personal statement, but it was during the interview that I was really able to show what I had learned from those experiences.

My advice: Be yourself!

Interview Mayhem

There are so many deceiving misconceptions with regards to interviews. The general assumption and expectation is that you’ll arrive, check the clock every few seconds – counting down the moments until it’s your turn, breathe in, breathe out and then most likely have a panic attack, go home feeling doubtful and then possibly cry a little over your likely failure at such a large opportunity.

Wait… what? That’s not how it goes?

Of course not!

Firstly, understand that if the university wasn’t interested in you in the first place, you wouldn’t have even been called to interview! duh. You’re already a star in the sky, this is your opportunity to prove just how worthy you are, and just how great of a decision they’re going to make when they decide to take you on (which they obviously will because you’re clearly amazing). Numbers drop substantially when you consider all of those that firstly apply, get accepted for interviews, and then actually get a place. So if you’ve received invitation to an interview, stop reading for a moment and give yourself a pat on the back.

Next, seize this opportunity. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately and are organised. When considering the ‘grading criteria’ during an interview, both of these play a vital part and are nearly just as important as what you’re about to ramble on about to your interviewer.

The person interviewing you isn’t going to be half as critical as you think. They’re here to support and make sure they see the best within you. They understand and know you’re going to be nervous! It’s likely that more than half the applicants attending an interview day probably haven’t even endured an interview before in their lives – they know this! They’ll never base their assumption of you on your nerves. It’s normal, often uncontrollable and hey, quite frankly a natural occurrence considering the situation you’ve been put in. I promise they wont base their assumption of you on this.

It’s likely, like I did – you’ll receive an interview day guidance booklet (super helpful, make sure you give it a good read!). It will inform you of such things like the day’s general outlines, what to bring with you, when you’ll get your answer, what to do on arrival, how the interview will run and just generally really useful information.

For me, the BA(Hons) Primary Education course with QTS consisted of knowledge tests (Maths, English & Science), and me having to bring in a child’s book, discussing it generally e.g positives/negatives, why I chose it, how I could incorporate it into my lessons and the children’s learning. Then followed by a few scenario based questions which they weren’t expecting perfect answers for. Like any human, I struggled with a lot of these! My interviewer was super helpful, he either knew where I was coming from and would use further questioning techniques to help me speak my ideas out a little better. Sometimes he’d even answer with me! Sharing his ideas to promote mine. This helped trigger in-depth discussions which I felt really helped him see where I was coming from of which perhaps the questions alone wouldn’t have allowed me to speak about. My interviewer felt like more of a newly found friend than someone testing me. And with there being multiple other applicants having their interviews spread around the room, there was no deadly silence, just a pleasant smile to greet me which never seemed to leave his face.

Long story short, if you’ve got an interview coming up, I’m almost certain you’ll do great! I wish you all the best of luck.