Hardest 13+ Interview Questions and Answers
Eleven-Plus Preparation Specialists
13+ interview preparation requires a great deal of thought about a student’s broad life experiences and goals. You can find a range of tips and tutorials, as well as dedicated interview questions, in our 11+ & 13+ Interview Online Course & Question Bank.
Hardest 13+ Interview Questions and Answers: Behaviour and Judgement
Imagine that a teacher has been rude to you, but not to other students. How would you proceed?
First, I would need to consider whether they have been rude to me, or whether I’ve misconstrued something. However, if I feel upset, then it’s right for me to give this due thought – as if I’ve been behaving well then there’s no reason for a teacher to have harsh words to say to me.
I would therefore speak to my parents about the issue and ask their feedback, and then speak to my form tutor or another teacher that I liked and see how they could help me resolve the issue. I would want to make sure that my schooling wasn’t impacted and this behaviour didn’t affect other students.
What would you do if you had to give a presentation, and one of the other students wasn’t doing their share of it?
I would first approach the other student, and ask them if they were happy to speak to me quickly. Then I would politely ask them if everything was OK, and if there was a reason why they hadn’t been doing the presentation work. It might be that there was a particular reason, and I could help them by being empathetic.
If not, then I would explain that I thought it important that they add more, as this will help them and also help me and the others doing the presentation. If they still didn’t input, then I would speak to a teacher.
You’ve noticed that one of your classmates is being bullied during lunch break. You are not very close with this classmate. What would you do?
Seeing someone get bullied is not acceptable, regardless of who they are or who the bullies are. Even if I’m not close with this classmate, I’d still try to help. I would initially approach a trusted teacher or adult about the issue, explaining what I’ve observed. This could be a homeroom teacher, the school counselor, or any adult in a position of authority who can address the issue appropriately.
Additionally, I would make an effort to reach out to the classmate being bullied, offering my support and reassuring them that they don’t have to face this situation alone. It’s important to stand up against bullying, even if it seems difficult.
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Hardest 13+ Interview Questions and Answers: Personal Attributes
Could you share an instance where you felt empathy for someone else? How did you respond?
I remember a particular instance in my previous school when one of my classmates lost his pet. It was a cat he had had since he was a very young child and losing it was really tough for him. I had noticed that he wasn’t his usual self and decided to talk to him. He shared with me the heartbreaking news. I felt a strong sense of empathy for him as I, too, had gone through a similar loss when my pet dog passed away a couple of years ago. So, I could relate to his feelings of grief.
I approached him and told him about my own experience, sharing how it made me feel and how I navigated through the sorrow. I listened to his stories about his pet and assured him that it was okay to mourn. I also reassured him that with time the pain would lessen, although the memories would always remain. We started spending more time together, discussing our pets, sharing memories, which seemed to bring him some comfort. Over the following weeks, I observed that he began to cope better with his loss. I believe that my empathetic approach helped him during a difficult time.”
Tell me about a time when you faced a particularly difficult challenge. How did you handle it and what did you learn from it?
In my last year at prep school, our team was assigned a major project in history – a subject that, at that time, I had found quite difficult. The project involved a comprehensive study of the Roman Empire, a topic which I hadn’t explored in depth before. The complexity of the task was quite daunting initially. But instead of allowing the challenge to overwhelm me, I chose to view it as an opportunity to extend my knowledge and skills. I dedicated extra hours to studying the Roman Empire, reading numerous books, and watching informative documentaries. I consulted my teachers for better understanding and also collaborated actively with my teammates, especially those who were more proficient in the subject.
There were times when the workload seemed heavy and the deadline was fast approaching, but we kept our spirits high and worked together, dividing the tasks effectively among ourselves. In the end, not only did we manage to complete the project in time, but we also did well enough to earn praise from our teachers. This challenging experience taught me several valuable lessons: the importance of a positive mindset in the face of difficulties, the power of teamwork, and the potential we have to learn and grow when we step out of our comfort zones.
Can you recall a time when you made a mistake or failed at something? How did you handle it and what did you learn from it?
I remember when I was part of the school’s football team. We had reached the finals of a local competition, which was a result of our hard work, determination and team spirit. However, in the last match, I made a critical mistake. In the final minutes, with the scores tied, I lost control of the ball during a crucial pass. This allowed the opposition to intercept and score the winning goal.
At first, the feeling of disappointment was quite strong. I felt responsible for our loss and the weight of that mistake was quite heavy. But, I was fortunate to have a supportive coach and team. They emphasised that football is a team sport and losing isn’t down to a single mistake, but a result of the performance over the entire match.
Reflecting on this situation, I identified that my mistake was mostly due to my inability to manage stress during key moments. I realised that I needed to work on my skills under pressure and my focus in these high-stakes situations. Consequently, I started practicing mindfulness exercises to better control my emotions and to stay focused under pressure.
This experience was a valuable lesson for me. It showed me the importance of resilience, handling stress, and coping with failures.
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Hardest 13+ Interview Questions and Answers: Knowledge & Opinion
Do you think that school uniforms are a good or bad thing?
I believe that school uniforms are a good thing, as they ensure that all students dress the same. If we removed school uniforms, there would be much more space for students to differentiate themselves from one another with their clothes, and I believe that some students would be able to show off with expensive clothes much more easily than others, and this could cause difficulties for the poorer students. However, if we have school uniforms students don’t need to worry about what they wear. Additionally, it makes it easier for teachers, as there isn’t a range of clothes – we know what is acceptable and what is not. They also associate us with tradition.
What makes someone a good member of their community?
Someone is a good member of their community if they are respectful to others, kind to everyone, and if they put effort into helping their community or those who are less fortunate. The extent to which someone might do this could vary, but for example someone could organise a charity event and invite their neighbours – this would make them a good member of the community in most people’s eyes. They should be there to support those around them if called upon – if their neighbours or those in the community are struggling, they should offer to help.
Can you think of any other languages that you know about that have affected the English language?
Yes, I understand that the English language draws heavily upon others – notably Latin and French. Many European languages have Latin roots – these are called Romance languages.
Whilst English isn’t one of them, Latin has nonetheless affected it. French has as well as it was the language of the court and nobility. We still use Latin words today – like agenda or insipid – and French words that we use include sovereign or justice.
What do you know about the government in the UK?
I know that the UK government is made up of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Commons is where MPs debate and vote on new bills, and these are then passed through the House of Lords after. The House of Lords used to be made up of hereditary Lords, but now they are mainly people that are made Lords during their lifetimes, because they have worked hard or done particularly well in politics. The government is led by the Prime Minister, and he has a Cabinet of Ministers, who each cover a particular area – like defence, or health. The main parties are the Conservatives, Labour, and the Lib Dems.
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