The ESL Interview Process
A lot of the questions asked in an ESL interview will be similar to any other interview. They want to make sure what you wrote on your CV / Resume is true, and if you would fit in with the school culture. I would also say try to stay positive and smiling. They want to make sure the students have a positive experience with a foreigner as this will help immensely with their confidence in practicing the language.
Taking a TEFL / TESOL course will give you the answers to any more technical/ teaching oriented questions.
Here at for Teach Recruiting, we Recommend the My TEFL program.
Something I suggest you do anyway as it will give you a better idea of if this is something you want to pursue and can potentially give you a slightly higher beginning pay because you have it. Something else to note, China for instance now requires you to have a TEFL / TESOL anyways on top of the other basic requirements of being from a Native English Speaking Country, no criminal record and have a Bachelors Degree from a Native English speaking country.
As previously mentioned an interview for an ESL position is very similar to any other type of Interview. Think of it more as a conversation between you and the interviewer. They just like you want to make sure you will be a good fit for the program/school. They are wanting to know more information about you just as you should be wanting to know more information about the position. Only so much can be found out about a person from the resume, just like only so much can be known about a position from a job listing.
Communication is Key
Being a good communicator is a key component in just about any type of position but can be even more important when you are a teacher. Then you add on to the fact that you are potentially being interviewed by a non-native English speaker and will be working with and teaching non-native English speakers, non-verbal communication skills become even more important.
Video Call Interview Tips
Many interviews for Teaching English abroad will be done online through video calls through software such as Skype. Do not overlook the minor details here. You should still be dressed appropriately as if the interview was still taking place in person. Make sure you are in a quiet room where you will not be disturbed, example make sure the door is closed and any dogs, cats, babies, and roommates have been taken care of beforehand. I would also recommend using a set of headphones with a built-in ambien microphone as this will ensure good sound quality for both you and the interviewer. Finally, have an appropriate background, you don’t want the interviewer to see you dressed nicely but have a room that could use a cleaning in the background.
Possible ESL Interview Questions
Many of the questions asked in an ESL interview will be the same as with any other position.
Such as ….
What do you know about the Company / School / Program already?
Describe your strengths and weaknesses…
Where do you see yourself in a few years?
Can you give an example of a challenge you faced in the past and how did you overcome it?
These are questions that can be expected in an interview for almost any type of position and you should be appropriately prepared for them.
For some more interview questions that may occur specific to Teaching English Abroad, they might include.
Have you ever traveled before / Lived abroad, can you tell me about your experience?
What qualities do you think are important to have to be an Effective Teacher?
How do you plan on Managing a classroom of students whose native tongue is not English?
Are you fluent in any other languages?
How would you approach disciplinary problems?
What is your teaching philosophy?
If you have had previous teaching experience most of these questions shouldn’t be a problem for you. However, if you are new to the education field, this is where getting your TEFL / TESOL certificate will greatly come in handy. As most TEFL / TESOL programs will help you if not give you the answers to these questions.
Finally, to Nail the Interview
To finally nail the interview, make sure to have your own questions prepared. As with any interview you want to get as much information as you can get as well. This will not only allow you to be more comfortable in your decision-making process but let the interviewer know that you came prepared. Do your research and make sure you are not asking any questions that could easily have been answered by simply looking at their website or even double checking the job listing. While yes you asked a question but now you will look like you didn’t do any research.
Last but not least, make sure to send a follow-up email thanking them for their time. This should be done within the hour after the interview.
Do you have any tips for someone going through the ESL interview process? Anything more that you would like to know? Leave a comment down below or send us a message on our Contact Page.
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