Can you tell me about the best teacher you ever had?

  | James Innes

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.

Your answer:

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 analysis 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

The Interview Question and Answer Book

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