TEFL Job interviews like?
Can you give
me some tips? What about telephone interviews?
TEFL interviews are like interviews for just about any
other type of job, except they aren't!
Particularly if you are a beginning teacher, don't
expect trick grammar questions - or really difficult
questions of any sort.
Usually, the employer is just trying to get a feel if
you are a friendly and pleasant person. Both of these
issues are important to the employer, who is typically a
business person, running a school where it would be nice
if the customers (students) like their teachers enough
to keep signing up for more classes and earning him/her
would be unusual to have what you might consider a
really professional interview. I've had precisely two -
in fifteen years. And I have interviewed a lot as I like to
"fish" for jobs - and often apply for something if it
sounds interesting to me even if I don't have any
interest in taking it.
notions, mentioned above, of friendliness and
pleasantness, are generally what interviewers are
looking for. If you are applying for a job that
requires some experience or training, then you might
expect a simple grammar question - or a question about
your teaching philosophy, teaching methods - or how to
deal with a discipline problem. Of course, think about
these things before the interview.
typical interview almost doesn't exist. So really, you
probably can't do much to prepare, except to put
yourself in a good mood, smile a lot, dress
appropriately - and go for it.
Most teachers, at one time or another, have been asked
such oddities as, "Do you like kimchee?" or "How do you
feel about hitting your students?" Answer honestly -
you might as well hit the issues before you get there!
thing almost all interviews are looking for, is your
ability to speak clearly and understandably. Do that
purposefully during the interview. Don't try to "WoW"
them with your use of the language. You are probably
already light years ahead of their English language
skills. That's why they want and need a teacher.
They want to know that you can communicate well with
These type interviews are fairly common, for obvious
reasons. Try to speak clearly - some connections won't
be good. Be polite if you can't understand what is
being asked (which will sometimes be the case!).
Role of the Teacher in Society
Know that in many cultures the teacher is considered a
surrogate parent - and that even experienced teachers in
some countries will tell you the most important thing
about any teacher is that they "Love their students."
While this would seem an odd thing in the West - it is a
bit refreshing really. There is a nice
old-fashionedness about such thinking. From times
before pedophilia became such a fear. Before a teacher
needed two witnesses before talking to a student about a
It's okay to tell an interviewer that you enjoy
teaching, enjoy students, and have a strong interest in
their success. And, I hope you do!
to avoid this:
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