Secondary School Interview Questions

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Interview preparation for secondary school requires reflection on 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+ Interview Online Course & Question Bank. 

Secondary School Interview Questions: Personal Qualities

How would you describe yourself?

I would describe myself as hardworking and kind to other people. I’ve put lots of effort into each class at prep school, and I’ve got very good marks in all my subjects. I work hard at things outside of school as well – I make sure to put lots of effort into the sports that I play and into my hobbies. I’m a prefect, and was selected because I treat all other students fairly and kindly. I know that if you were to ask any of the students or teachers at my school, they’d say just the same – that I work hard, am honest, and can be trusted. 

What is your greatest weakness?

My greatest weakness is that sometimes I don’t divide my time up well enough. For example, if I have three lots of homework to do, I might spend a very long time on the first set, as I want to make it as good as I can. Then I will realise that I don’t have as long as I would like to do the other sets, and have to stay up late to finish them. However, this is something that I am working on, and I’ve been getting much better recently at planning my time and being organised as well.

Are you good at being part of a team?

Yes, I believe I am. I really like working with other people, whether it’s playing sports or doing school work and projects. I think that working with other people allows you to unlock your potential, and it means that you can all support each other. I was made co-captain of the A team for football this year, which means that I have been part of the team, playing well with others, for almost four years. When I have to do a presentation or project with other pupils in my year, I make sure that I do my fair share of the work, and that we all understand what we need to do to make it a success. 

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Secondary School Interview Questions: School

How do you think your teachers would describe you?

I think that they would describe me as a very good student who is kind to others and an important part of the year. I put a great deal of effort into my classes, so any teacher that you asked would know me to be a hard worker. I treat everyone else with respect, both students and teachers, so they would comment on that as well. I spend my free time playing sports and taking part in different activities, so hopefully they would talk about that as well.

How do you make sure that you do your homework well?

I ensure that I set enough time aside for all my homework, and try to begin it the same day that it was set, so I can understand whether or not I know the content and can manage it without help. If it’s difficult, and I realise that I might require some more help, then I will make sure to go to the teacher, ask a friend that knows the topic well, or ask my parents if they are available, and get an explanation so that I can do the work. I make sure to leave enough time to do this for each set of homework, unless it’s due in the next day – then I simply have to work hard and do my best.

If you were made head teacher of your school, what changes would you make?

If I was made head teacher of my current school, I wouldn’t change much – I really like my school and enjoy studying there. However, I would want to make it easier for all of the pupils to get access to sports space and equipment when they wanted it – so I would transform some of the unused space next to school into a grass pitch that could be used for football and rugby, and perhaps put a tennis court at one end as well. I wouldn’t change any of the teachers, as they are all passionate and kind to the students as well.

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11+ Interview Questions and Answers: Interests

Can you quickly explain the rules of your favourite sport?

Yes – my favourite sport is rugby. The rules are that each team has 15 players on the pitch. There are backs and forwards. The forwards – there are eight forwards – drive the game by rucking and mauling – which involve heavy physical contact to either get the ball or a teammate with it forward – and also take part in scrums, which are competitions to get the ball. The forwards are generally bigger than the backs, so can also break through enemy lines easily. I play wing, which is one of the backs. The backs are faster, and play out in the open – they pass the ball and try to use pace and skill to get around the other side. 

What books do you like to read?

I really like reading fiction, as I believe that a good work of fiction can teach us in just the same way that a work of nonfiction can. In particular, I like reading books by JRR Tolkien, who I find to be a very compelling writer. At the moment, I am reading The Grapes of Wrath which is by John Steinbeck. It’s about a poor family in the Great Depression in America, and their journey to get to California to escape that poverty. I also recently very much enjoyed reading Of Mice and Men, which is also by John Steinbeck. It focuses on two labourers in America, one of whom has severe learning difficulties, and the difficulties that they face.

How do you spend a typical weekend?

I haven’t had Saturday school at my prep school, so I’d normally have breakfast with my family on Saturday morning. My parents don’t work on the weekends, so we normally have some family time. On Saturday afternoon I’ll often have a game, which I’ll always look forward to. Afterwards I’ll spend some time with my friends, and maybe go over for a sleepover. Then on Sunday we’ll do something as a family – often go for a day trip somewhere, or go for a walk outside of London. I find that a really nice way to relax. On Sunday evening I’ll make sure I’ve done all my homework and get ready for school on Monday. 

What’s your favourite film?

My favourite film is L’illusionniste, which is an animated film based on a script by a famous French writer and actor called Jacques Tati. It’s slow-moving and very beautiful, and tells the story of an illusionist who moves from Paris to Scotland, and his adventures and attitude to magic. It’s sad and touching, but also uplifting in some ways.

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