How to Ace TEFL Job Interviews

Job interviews are nerve-wracking enough, and TEFL job interviews can be even worse as they can make or break your dream of living and working abroad as a TEFL teacher.  Interviews vary according to the institution you are applying for; it can either be a face-to-face or via phone or Skype.  Whatever type of interview you have, here are just a few tips to help you ace it and remember: if it doesn’t go to plan there are plenty more TEFL jobs in the sea!

1.  A smile goes a long way!

… it really does!  First impressions are really important in any interview, so by showing that you are cheerful and polite in an interview, you are demonstrating that you have the perfect attributes to become a great TEFL teacher!

2.  Present yourself well

It’s really important to be well-presented at your interview, as not only does it give a good impression if you’re dressed smartly, but it is actually vital that you dress appropriately in some traditional cultures.  This shows you are culturally aware and can adapt to living in a different culture.

3.  Speak clearly

Speaking slowly and clearly is really important in TEFL job interviews.  It is very likely your interviewer’s first language isn’t English, so you need to make yourself understood.  A lot of interviews are done on Skype or over the phone, so it is even more important to speak slowly.  If your interviewer can’t understand what you’re saying, how will your students be able to?!

4.  Prepare, prepare, prepare!

The good old saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is really relevant to your TEFL job interview.  If you go into the interview not knowing much about the school or country, it’s not going to go down well!  It is always worth thinking of some questions you are likely to be asked, and then think about how you would answer them.  Here are a few questions you may be asked in your interview:

Do you prefer to use text books or your own materials?

How would you settle a group of lively students at the beginning of the class?

Is this your first visit to xxxx?  How will you adjust to life in another country?

Which levels do you prefer to teach?

Have you ever taught before?

Do you prefer to teach adults or children?

You don’t need to have an answer prepared for every possible question, but having a think about a few likely questions before an interview will undoubtedly come in very handy!  In some face-to-face interviews you may need to give a short practice lesson, so prepare for this as well!

5.  Show an interest

No one is going to want to hire someone who doesn’t appear to be interested in the school or country; so make sure you sound interested and demonstrate some knowledge of the country.  By showing you know about the place you want to head to, you are demonstrating that you would fit in well there and you’re not going to do a runner when you get homesick!

6.  Ask questions!

Don’t be afraid to ask questions!  It shows you’re interested in the role.  There are loads of questions you could ask, but don’t ask too many as it will turn into an interview for the interviewer!  Here are some things you may want to ask:

How large is the school, how many teachers are there, and are there any other English teachers there?  Have any English teachers been there longer than one year?

What is the dress code/working hours/climate/local life like?  Are there any activities I can be involved with during after-school hours?

How long is the contract for?

With thorough preparation, being appropriately dressed and showing that you are enthusiastic and friendly, you should be able to land that dream TEFL job!

What are your tips to ace those TEFL job interviews?  Let us know in the comments section below!

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