It may come as a surprise, but not all international schools hire off of a Skype interview. Some schools are very particular about meeting teachers in-person before making a job offer.
Throughout the year, our partners will hold interview sessions in major cities across the world to find the top talent for their schools. Teach Away’s Placement Coordinator Sam Nicholson gives us an inside look at how this hiring process works!
Where do interview sessions normally take place?
Sam: In-person interview locations vary, but in our experience, they are primarily focused in the UK and US and sometimes India.
In the UK, it’s almost always London or Manchester and, depending on the program, Dublin. In the US, it’s primarily New York and Houston. Some other cities that schools have had interviews include Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto (Canada). In India, sessions will typically take place in New Delhi and Mumbai.
How do I score an invite to an interview session?
Sam: There are two ways to get invited to an in-person interview. The first is to apply directly yourself to whatever school you’re interested in. The second is to go through Teach Away: our team will complete a pre-screen with you and submit your application to the institution. As we try and curate high-quality candidates, the school would likely be more willing to approve you for an in-person interview if you went with Teach Away first.
Who will be interviewing me?
Sam: The interviews are usually conducted by representatives from the school in a panel format with about 4-5 representatives who are very experienced in recruiting international teachers.
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Who covers the cost of traveling to the session?
Sam: The cost of travel and accommodation is always paid for by the teacher.
Is attendance mandatory to secure the job?
Sam: Attendance is mandatory, and it is not possible to secure a job with an international school that requires in-person interviews without attending one of their sessions. Exceptions won’t be made, even if you’re strongly qualified for the role!
What are my chances of being hired after attending a session?
Sam: This varies depending on how many vacancies the school has and how well the interview itself went. We have had many candidates placed in international schools through Teach Away, and the hard part is getting approved for an interview in the first place, so if all went well at your actual interview there is a solid chance the school will be interested in hiring you!
How should I prepare for the interview?
Sam: The best way to prepare would be to brush up on your subject knowledge if your in-person interview requires a test (which you will be informed of in advance) as well as preparing a lesson plan that highlights one of the more successful lessons you’ve taught. You are usually required to demonstrate a short snippet of the lesson and then explain the entire plan and why you think it’s a good lesson.
How long does it take to hear back after an interview?
Sam: Usually after completion of your interview it takes 2-4 weeks to hear back. The school will send us a list of recommended candidates who will likely be getting offers and we reach out to let you know if you were approved or denied. At that point, if everything is in order, you will be sent an official offer and then the process of collecting documents for your visa begins.