More Interview Questions and Answers
Can you tell me about the best teacher you ever had?
Alternative and related questions:
Who was your favourite teacher and why?
The meaning behind the question:
You might think we're definitely into the realm of the amateur psychiatrist here. But are we? What is a teacher, if not an early form of manager or boss? The interviewer will be interested in your explanation as to why you consider this particular teacher to be the best you ever had because it'll give them insight into how you like to be managed and what kind of a person you will be to manage.
No-one forgets a good teacher. Just take a look at the dedication at the beginning of this book.
This is quite a personal question and so your answer should be personal too. Tell the interviewer in your own words exactly what you feel made this particular teacher so special, taking care to portray yourself as a serious and enthusiastic student.
It's also a good idea to slip into your answer mention of some quality you now possess as a direct result of this teacher. It's an indirect opportunity to blow your own trumpet!
For me, the best teacher I ever had was my GCSE History teacher at secondary school. While I find History interesting, it's certainly not one of my favourite subjects. I much prefer Mathematics and Science. However, through her own passion for the subject, she was able to inspire me to become passionate about it too, to see beyond the straight facts and dates and to really see history come to life. She didn't just teach what was on the basic curriculum; she went much further than that. For example, we would plough through old newspaper cuttings and write articles as if we were journalists living and working in the period we were studying. By using unconventional techniques, she really engaged her students and I consequently achieved an A grade. Even now, I find the research and analyzis techniques she taught me to be very useful in my current line of work.
Word of warning:
It should go without saying that you don't want to tell the interviewer that you never liked any of your teachers because they'll just think you have a problem with authority!
The Interview Question & Answer Book
More interview questions and answers
Talking about your current employment
- Can you tell me what you enjoy about your current job?
- What will you remember most about your last job?
- Is this the first time you have made an effort to move away from your current employers?
- How do you feel about the possibility of leaving your current job?
- How would you describe your current employer?
Talking about this vacancy
- Wouldn’t you be better suited to working in a larger/smaller organization?
- How do you feel this vacancy differs from your current role?
- What reservations do you have about your ability to undertake this job?
- Can you describe your ideal working environment to me?
- How do you feel we compare to our competitors?
- What would you say is our Unique Selling Point?
- What would be your analysis of the current trends in our industry/sector?
Understanding your career path, plans and ambitions
- What aspects of your career path would you like to have been different?
- What are your greatest regrets about the path your career has taken?
- What has been the greatest challenge you have faced in your career to date?
- What do you think are your main career options for the next five years?
- What exactly does the word ‘success’ mean to you?
Addressing problems in your career history
- Why did you only stay with this organization for such a short time?
- Why did you stay with this organization for such a long time?
Coping with stress and pressure
- Are you able to multitask?
- Can you juggle a number of different projects simultaneously?
- How do you handle rejection/disappointment/failure?
- How do you deal with interpersonal conflict?
- What does tact and diplomacy mean to you?
- What makes for a successful team?
Management and leadership
- Would you describe yourself as a good manager?
- Do you really think you’re management material?
- What is your attitude to delegation?
- Can you give me an example of a time when you had to lead from the front?
- Have you ever had to fire or lay off a member of your staff?
- How would you describe your ideal team member?
Personal and professional development
- In what ways do you intend to improve upon your performance?
- How has your current job prepared you for greater challenges/responsibility?
Interests and activities
- What book are you reading at the moment?
- What newspaper do you take?
- Are you interested in current affairs?
The amateur psychiatrist
- If you won the lottery what would you do?
- Can you tell me about the best teacher you ever had?
- If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
- What are you most afraid of?
Money, money, money
- Why aren’t you earning more?
- How much do you think you are really worth?
- How much does money matter to you?
- Would you still be interested in this job if you current employer offered a pay rise?
- Have you ever had to take a pay cut to keep your job?
- Have you ever asked for but been refused a pay rise?
Author: James Innes