So the date for your teach abroad interview is set - it’s time to make your mark! Here are a few of my personal tips to make sure that you stand out a head above the crowd.
1. Know what position you are applying for and be ready to discuss the details.
This doesn’t mean that you need to be a subject matter expert, but a familiarity with the school or program will smooth out the process. You can also avoid embarrassment by looking up how to pronounce the country name ahead of time. Also know what topics to avoid - the last thing you want is to unwittingly offend your interviewer (for example, a Christmas lesson would be inappropriate for a school in the Middle East).
2. Talk about what you do, not what you’ve studied.
What makes your class your class? It’s easy to rattle off some education buzzwords, but being able to confidently and concretely explain how you use those practices in your classroom is interview gold.
3. Tell a brief, but personal anecdote.
Share something you’re proud of or a funny (but appropriate) classroom incident, to stand out in the interviewer’s mind and let them get to know you. While they want to get to know your teaching history, they also want to get to know you as a person. This is your time to shine!
4. Don’t be afraid of self-reflection.
There’s nothing wrong with admitting you don’t have experience in a certain area, especially if you can logically follow up with why it wouldn’t hold you back. If you get thrown by a question, it’s perfectly fine to ask for a moment to consider your answer. And if you find yourself really stuck, be honest rather than try to ramble your way through an answer.
5. Speaking of rambling, it’s a good idea to practice self-editing - more isn’t always better.
Succinct and clear answers are easier for an interviewer to process. Try to limit answers to only a few sentences unless you are prompted for more, or the topic is more involved.
6. Be willing to accept feedback.
As recruiters, we want our applicants to succeed and will work with you to help your chances. Interviewers are looking for best fit, and want to be sure that they hire the candidates most likely to succeed. If you receive coaching or notes on your responses, it is not meant as personal criticism of you as an educator, but rather an opportunity for you to refine your application.
This might seem like a lot to absorb, but that’s what practice interviews are for. Sit down with a trusted friend or colleague and work through the above tips. Try not to memorize your answers, but get comfortable speaking candidly - your interviews might try to throw you curveballs to see how you react. Wowing them with your knowledge and poise will get you that much closer to your dream teaching adventure abroad. Best of luck with your application!
Looking for more tips and advice on getting started with teaching abroad? Head on over to the Teach Away site today for more resources on teaching abroad.