How to Prepare for a TEFL Interview

How to Prepare for a TEFL Interview

The process of applying for work can be stressful if you’re unsure of what to expect. Don’t worry though, we’ve put together a post explaining the TEFL interview process in more detail, with some insight from real TEFL employers who list teaching positions in our TEFL Jobs Centre.

Interview Platforms

Interviews for TEFL positions are likely to take place over video conferencing platforms, such as Skype, WhatsApp and WeChat.

If you are unfamiliar with the platform that an employer requests you use, make sure to set some time aside prior to your interview to familiarise yourself with how it all works. Try video calling a friend before your interview, this way you can adjust your settings and get a good feel for the platform at the same time.

Remember, with video conferencing platforms it is likely there will be a slight delay with communication, which can sometimes disrupt the flow of the interview. To avoid any awkwardness, make sure to leave a few seconds after the interviewer has finished talking before you respond – this way you will avoid interrupting.

Interview Settings

Remote interviews should always take place in a quiet setting. Avoid busy coffee shops, or anywhere where there is a high level of background noise. Think about what is behind you too, if you decide to have your interview from home, make sure to tidy around you – a cluttered room can give interviewers the wrong impression.

Interview Prep

To find out more about the interview process, we had a chat with some employers who regularly advertise positions in our Jobs Centre. Try to use this as a guide more than anything – every employer is different so interview processes will vary.

Marlene from Click China told us what she looks to find out from each applicant:

  1. Why do you want to live and work in the country?
  2. What is your career objective?
  3. What is your understanding of teaching?

If you have applied for a teaching position in a country completely new to you, let the employer know why you want to teach English abroad. Be enthusiastic – what excites you about the country and the culture? Why do you want to teach? What do you want to achieve?

Qualifications aside, Marlene told us that they also look for confident candidates with a positive attitude towards new cultures.

Mark over at Crossroads Languages told us that they tend to ask candidates about TEFL methodology, English grammar and vocabulary in interviews. If you have downloaded your TEFL course content, it might be worth having a re-read so your TEFL knowledge is fresh in your mind.

It is likely a few unexpected questions will be thrown your way, this is when research is key so be sure to research the company, the country, the culture and the industry.

The perk of a remote interview is that you can have some notes in front of you without the interviewer knowing. Try and keep your notes to a minimum using bullet points over lengthy paragraphs. You don’t want the interviewer to become aware that you are reading off a sheet in front of you – aim to be discreet.

Ask Questions

At the end of interviews, employers often ask if you have any questions you would like to ask them. This is a great opportunity to show employers how interested you are in teaching English, so be sure to have some questions prepared.

Some ideas for questions to ask:

  1. Is there a structured curriculum, or do I have more autonomy in what I teach?
  2. Is there ongoing training for teachers?
  3. How many teachers currently work in the English department?

For more inspiration, check out our blog post on 7 Questions to Ask at Your Next TEFL Interview.

Looking for CV advice? Check out our Ultimate TEFL CV’s Guide.

Get in touch! Do you have some experience with TEFL job interviews that you can shed some light on? Why not share your experience with future TEFL teachers? Email zoe@tefl.org.uk

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