11 Plus Interview Questions and How to Prepare

11 Plus Interview Questions and How to Prepare

The interview stage of the 11 Plus exam process holds immense importance, especially for admission into top grammar schools and independent schools. It allows schools to gauge a child’s awareness, character, and suitability for their institution beyond academic performance.

Unlike standardised exam papers where there’s a clear right or wrong answer, school interviews allow students to express themselves, their interests, and their future aspirations.

This article aims to equip children and parents with essential knowledge and strategies to excel in the 11 Plus interview and make a positive impression during the interview process. 

So, let’s dive in and ensure your child is well-prepared for this critical step in their academic journey.

What Are the Basic 11 Plus Interview Questions?

Common types of interview questions asked in a typical one-on-one 11+ interview session include:

Personal Questions

These may include inquiries about the child’s interests, hobbies, and personal achievements.

Problem-solving Questions

Students might be presented with hypothetical scenarios and asked to propose solutions.

Creative Thinking Questions

These questions encourage children to think outside the box and showcase their imaginative abilities.

Scenario-Based Questions

Students may be asked certain common questions on how they would react or handle specific situations, testing their decision-making skills.

Whilst not as common, some school interviews may include academic questions or current world events to see if the child is a good match academically and socially with the school.

What Are the Best Answers to 11+ Interview Questions?

11 Plus Interview Questions and How to Prepare

Preparing for the 11+ interview involves crafting thoughtful responses that showcase your personality, interests, and suitability for the school’s environment. Here, we’ll explore strategies for providing the best answers to common interview questions and ace the interview process.

Personal Questions

Question: Can you tell me about your current school and what you enjoy most about it?

Response: “Sure, I go to XYZ School. I like trying different subjects and joining clubs like debating and music. The best part is the friendly atmosphere and learning from my teachers and friends.”

This response highlights the student’s engagement in both academics and extracurricular activities in their school, showcasing a well-rounded personality and positive attitude towards learning. It also gives them a chance to talk positively about their current school.

Question: What is your favourite subject in school, and why?

Response: “Mathematics is my favourite subject because I enjoy solving problems and finding patterns. It challenges me to think in new ways and feels great when I figure out tough concepts.”

By expressing enthusiasm for a particular subject and providing a few personal reasons behind it, the student demonstrates passion, analytical skills, and self-awareness.

Question: Describe a character from a book or movie you admire and why.

Response: “I really look up to Atticus Finch from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ He always does what’s right, even when it’s hard. He’s brave and stands for fairness and honesty.”

This answer shows that the student can look closely at characters in books, talk about their beliefs, and find important lessons in stories. It also shows the ability to describe characters in meaningful language and indicates their reading level.

Question: What do you like to do in your free time?

Response: “I like playing the piano and being outdoors, hiking or taking pictures. Music lets me express myself, and nature helps me relax after a busy school week.”

The student reveals their well-rounded nature by discussing their hobbies and interests and demonstrating a healthy balance between academics and personal pursuits.

Problem-Solving Questions

Question: If you were given a million pounds, how would you choose to spend it?

Response: “If I had a million pounds, I’d use some for my education and future goals, donate to causes like poverty or global warming, and save some for later. I want to make a positive difference for myself and others.”

A good answer like this shows that the student can think carefully about money and understand how it affects society. It also reveals their caring nature and sense of duty to help others.

Question: If you could invent something to make the world a better place, what would it be?

Response: “If I could invent something,  I’d invent a renewable energy system using solar or wind power. It could help fight climate change and create a brighter future for everyone.”

This answer is a good indication of the student’s awareness of global issues, forward-thinking mindset, and commitment to positively contributing to society through innovation and technology.

Creative Thinking Questions

Question: If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?

Response: “If given the opportunity, I would love to meet Marie Curie, the pioneering scientist known for her groundbreaking research on radioactivity. She faced challenges as a woman in science but still made amazing discoveries. I’m inspired by her intelligence and determination.”

This answer displays the student’s appreciation for curiosity and determination, underscoring their fascination with historical figures who have made substantial impacts in their fields.

Question: If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

Response: “If I could have any superpower, I’d pick teleportation so I could help people in need all over the world. Whether it’s responding to emergencies or assisting communities, I believe it could make a big difference.”

This answer illustrates the student’s creative imagination and desire to do good, along with their thoughts on how their hypothetical superpower could positively influence society overall.

Scenario-Based Questions

Question: What would you do if you witnessed someone being bullied at school?

Response: “If I saw bullying at school, I’d step in and support the person being bullied. I’d try to stop the bullying by talking to the bully and getting help from a teacher if needed. Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected.”

Answers like this show that the student cares about others, can speak up confidently, and wants to make their school a better place by helping their classmates when they need it.

Question: How would you handle a disagreement with a friend?

Response: “If I had a disagreement with a friend, I’d talk to them calmly and listen to their side. I’d share my feelings too, and we’d try to find a solution together. I believe communication and understanding are key to resolving conflicts and strengthening friendships.”

This answers the student’s ability to get along with others, understand emotions in great depth, and solve problems when people disagree, showing how important it is to talk and understand each other when there’s a problem.

Preparation Tips Before the 11 Plus Interview

Preparing for the 11+ interviews for grammar and independent schools requires thoughtful strategies as you would in preparing for the exam. Here are some effective tips to help your child shine during the 11+ interview:

Research the School

Before the interviews, take the time to research the school’s history, values, and ethos. Understand what makes the school unique and how your child can align their interests and values with the school. This knowledge will demonstrate a genuine interest in the school and its community. Discuss all this with your child prior to the interview. 

Practice Mock Interviews

We strongly recommend practising mock interviews with parents, teachers, or peers as an interviewer to simulate real interview scenarios. Use sample interview questions and focus on articulating your child’s thoughts clearly and confidently. Refine their answers based on feedback.

Develop Communication Skills

Work on improving both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Practice speaking clearly and fluently, and pay attention to posture, facial expressions, and gestures. Maintaining good eye contact shows that a child is attentive and engaged, which are essential for a successful interview.

Cultivate Critical Thinking

Engage your child in activities that stimulate critical thinking, such as solving puzzles, analysing literature, or discussing current affairs. Develop the ability to think analytically and express ideas coherently. This will help your child respond thoughtfully to interview questions and showcase their intellectual curiosity.

Also, be mindful of your child’s health. Eat healthy foods and have a good night’s sleep before the big day.

Dos and Don’ts During School Interviews

Now, let’s outline essential dos and don’ts to keep in mind during the 11+ interview, ensuring your child presents themself in the best possible light.


Show Enthusiasm and Interest

Demonstrate enthusiasm for learning and genuine interest in the school and its programs. Express eagerness to contribute to the school community and maximise its opportunities. Stay calm, positive, and interested throughout the interview session.

Be Honest and Authentic

Be genuine in your responses and avoid exaggerating or fabricating information. Answer questions in detail and share experiences and achievements that reflect your true interests and values. Authenticity resonates with interviewers and creates a good impression. 

Maintain Good Posture and Eye Contact

Sit upright and maintain good posture throughout the interview. Make eye contact with the interviewer to convey confidence and sincerity. Active listening and attentive body language show respect and engagement.


Avoid Memorised Responses

Whilst preparing for common interview questions is essential, avoid memorising scripted responses. Authenticity is key, and rote memorisation can come across as rehearsed and insincere.

Don’t Rush Through Answers

Take your time to formulate responses thoughtfully and articulate them clearly. Pause briefly before answering questions to gather your thoughts and ensure your answers are well-structured and coherent.

Refrain From Negative Body Language

Avoid negative gestures such as fidgeting, crossing arms, or avoiding eye contact with your interviewer. These gestures can convey nervousness or disinterest and detract the child from their overall presentation.

Master the 11 Plus

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Frequently Asked Questions

Whilst specific 11+ interview questions at Eton School may vary depending on the interviewer and the individual candidate, they generally aim to assess a student’s intellectual curiosity and suitability for the school’s academic and extracurricular activities. 

Here are some typical questions that may be asked during an 11+ interview at Eton School:

  1. What subject do you find most challenging or engaging in school, and why?
  2. Can you describe your greatest achievement or accomplishment that you’re proud of?
  3. If you could meet any historical figure or a favourite author, who would it be and why?
  4. How do you spend your free time outside of academics? Do you have any hobbies or interests or extra-curricular activities?
  5. Can you discuss a current event or world issue that interests you? 
  6. Who is your role model, and why do you look up to them?
  7. What are your future career aspirations?