Here, we’re going to run through some of the preparations you can take before your sitting your interview.
Research the School
Before your interview starts, you should have found out what type of school and class you’re interviewing for.
As mentioned in our TEFL course, not all schools offer the same types of class. You’ll find cram-schools, business English classes for adults, public high schools, and kindergarten classes. With each of these, recruiters will be looking for slightly different traits – for example, people who are good with kids, people who can demonstrate some basic knowledge of different exams which exist, or people who can bring a background of professional work experience to their class.
Similarly, different schools will have different structures. If you’re teaching at chain school then they’ll likely have an established teaching method which they’ll want new teachers to adapt to. Smaller schools might have fewer resources, and may be looking for teachers who can work more independently.
By first researching the school, you’ll be able to make some notes of key aspects which might be good to mention during your interview.
Check out these two scenarios below. First consider which traits would be good to highlight, then click on the boxes to reveal our suggestions:
Chain schoolPreparing students for examinations
– Mention “Looking to join an established organization.”
– Mention “Experience working with a regional department/franchise”
– Research exams in XXX location.
Independent SchoolTeaching kindergarten class
– Mention “Great with children.”
– Mention “Looking forward to bringing my creativity to the lessons”
– Mention “Able to make my own flashcards and class materials”
Prepare for Questions
It’s also good to consider what questions you’re likely to be asked during the interview. We’ve split these down to the following three categories below, and included some examples.
Take your time and try to answer honestly. If you aren’t a good fit for the company, it’s better to know before you land in that country. You could also try looking online at ESL forums, many of them will have information on common interview questions and suggested answers.
Be Prepared for a Panel
As a final piece of preparation, you should be open to the possibility that your interview might be conducted in front of several people – not just the recruiter who you’ve been talking with.
Schools sometimes do this as a way of seeing how you react to pressure and how well you speak to a group. While it might be daunting if you weren’t expecting it, it’s actually good practice for when you’re standing in front of a class. Just remember to look at whoever is speaking, but address your answer to everyone in the group so they don’t feel as if you’re excluding or ignoring them.