ITTT FAQs – Job interview tips for teaching English abroad

As with any profession, to secure a job as an English teacher abroad you will generally need to attend an interview with a prospective employer. Many of us find the interview process to be a nerve-wracking one, but with proper preparation you should be able to sail through the interview and into your dream job and with the following tips we are here to help you.

The global market for EFL teacher covers many countries and types of employers. In some cases it is usual to complete the process from your home country with an interview held over the phone or Skype. However, in many of the more popular destinations, employers prefer to hire their teachers via face-to-face interviews on the school premises. Although each interviewer will have their own criteria for choosing the right person, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances.

It is said that it only takes 7 seconds to form a first impression so it is important to get the basics right to avoid losing the job before the interview has even started. The first rule is: don’t be late. Many potential jobs have been lost due to bad timekeeping. When you arrive, introduce yourself and don’t forget to smile. Politeness can go a long way and a smile demonstrates confidence, positivity and an outgoing nature. These traits will be noticed by your interviewer before you have sat down.

One of the major things an employer wants to know is whether you are serious about teaching and will see out your contract. Be enthusiastic about the position, school and country you are in and you will help allay the employer’s fears and hopefully land the job.

You should always dress appropriately in a professional manner no matter where in the world you are teaching. For men a suit is the best option but a collared shirt with tie is also acceptable. For women, a business suit, smart dress or knee-length skirt and blouse are recommended. Long hair should be tied back and tattoos and piercings should be discreetly covered.

During the interview the employer will be looking at how you would perform in the classroom so speak slowly and clearly using ht same language you would use with your students. Although most teaching jobs will require you to use only English in the classroom, learning a few basic phrases of the local language will help you make a good impression in the interview. Brushing up on the local culture is a good way to avoid making social errors in the interview and shows that you are serious about the country you have chosen to work in.

Although it is not possible to predict exactly what will come up in an interview, you can be sure that you will be asked questions about teaching practice. You should be prepared to answer questions about lesson planning, teaching methodology and classroom management. You may also be expected to teach a demonstration lesson as part of the interview process.

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