CELTA Course Interview: How is it and is the focus on grammar?

CELTA Course Interview


Hello everybody this is Steve once again, from celtahelper.com and this time I have another question to answer. It’s about the CELTA interview, which I know is a hot topic for many of you ’cause it’s quite a stressful experience and you all want to know exactly how it’s going to go down. And all the different things about it.

Now, I had a question from Nishita who asked me the following:

What do they mainly look for at the CELTA interview? Is it all about grammar?

Now, I paraphrased her words a little bit so I hope that’s okay. But, basically let’s have a look at this in detail.

Now, my CELTA interview, when I did it back in 2007, was actually a group interview. And I say group, there was only two of us.

We went to the CELTA centre in person. For the interview, we sat down with one of the trainers and talked about the CELTA pre-interview task to start off. And the task had the various grammar exercises on it.

Then we had to talk about our experiences and what our motivations were for the course,and why we thought we’d be a good fit.

They were trying to gauge whether we had the willingness and the ideas, the awareness really to get on the course.


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CELTA Course Interview – My Experience

So, it wasn’t too intense for me. It wasn’t bad, I think now many places have added a few more activities on, but it was okay. And it wasn’t that formal – I say that because cause people are always asking things like “what do you have to wear for the CELTA interview?”.

I just went in quite casual clothes but the man with me wore a suit, and I felt he was overdressed. So maybe somewhere in between would be best for more most – semi-casual.

Now, if you’re not able to attend in person, the other type of CELTA course interview is on Skype, likely. And I didn’t do this but I’ve had a look around and spoken to people about it.

They said that their first part of the interview was getting to know them and having the experience chat (as expected). And then conversation went on to discuss what they wanted to do with a CELTA, why they’re doing it, etc. So very similar.

These could all change depending on which centres you do it with of course as they could be quite different depending on where you go.

The Importance of Grammar in CELTA Course Interview

The next part was grammar and the answers in a few cases were typed into the chat box on Skype so, sorry, not the answers, the questions I mean. So you had to respond or the person, the people who did it had to respond instantly in the chat message, or, spoken as well.

So it was all, they couldn’t prepare it, it wasn’t based on the task as such. So they had to answer in real time. And there weren’t any further tasks.

And another one I heard about actually in person, another CELTA interview, they actually had a long task in advance then they had to talk when they arrived about their experiences and their background and all the rest of it. Their motivations, the standard stuff.

Then we had to talk about some of the grammar exercises on the task. And they also had a free writing exercise. So I suppose that’s to gauge the English language level. Right, now, this person was a native speaker but I’m not sure always why they give a free writing task. It could be, yeah, but it’s an interesting idea.

Tips for the CELTA Course Interview

So there’s lots of different ways that the interview could go down but the main thing is to remember that it is not all about grammar. It’s as much about your motivation and your awareness as a teacher. So don’t think you have to have that perfect grammar.

Also, they are expecting you to be a novice in terms of grammar and teaching so you don’t need it to be perfect. Don’t worry if you get something wrong, at least try to explain things. Just make sure you’re giving clear explanations ’cause that is a huge help.

Cause it shows then you’ve got the ability to be a teacher. And if you’re a non-native speaker, it’s not such a major concern because, well, if you’ve given them your English language certificate or whatever beforehand, then that should, if you’re at the right level you know you’re at the right level.

Other CELTA Course Requirements you Need to Know

ome people I know like British Council will always ask for an IELTS certificate beforehand. Some people won’t have this, but if you are one of these people who doesn’t fall into that category but you have the high enough level. Just going by instinct should be fine and should carry you through.

And just remember it’s not about making mistakes, it’s about explaining. And it’s about how you come back from any mistakes you make as well if you do. And just being yourself, giving them a true impression of who you are.

So that’s my thoughts on the CELTA interview. I hope that I was clear. A little unclear in parts perhaps, but if you have any questions, just leave them below in the comments and I will get back to you.

So, talk to you soon and thanks for listening.


and IH London co-operated to launch a jointly produced online blended CELTA course: CELTA Online. CELTA focuses on teaching adult learners, but many of

CELTA Course Entry Requirements and Eligibility

CELTA Course Entry Requirements & Eligibility for all accredited courses: ELIGIBILITY You must be: at least 20 years old (when the course begins) have a standard of education that allows entry to higher education in your country competent in written and spoken English (C1 level on the Common European Framework).   COURSE FORMAT Seminars …

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Stephen Beale

After taking the CELTA back in 2007, I have since gained over 11 years' experience of teaching English in various countries. I have also worked in EAP for several years and like sharing what I've learnt along the way here.

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