An in-person interview is like taking a trip to the dentist - a necessary evil. The build up is the worst part, the actual appointment is usually over far quicker than you expected and it’s a huge relief when the ordeal is over!
As Placement Coordinators at Teach Away, our aim to help you secure your dream teaching job abroad and to make sure that your interview is as successful - and as painless - as possible. Here are a few simple tips to keep in mind to help you ace that teaching job interview.
Do your homework.
It’s important to do the right research on the school that you’re interviewing with. Have a look at the school’s website. What’s their mission statement? What curriculum do they offer? Doing this will help you figure out the type of teacher they might be looking for, and how you can present yourself as a strong candidate.
This will also help you to gauge the types of questions you’re likely to face during the interview. While they will be focused on finding a teacher who’s capable of delivering quality lessons, each school has a unique set of values so it’s equally as important that they find the right fit.
Brush up on any country and regional customs as well, and be sure to touch on these to show that you’re enthusiastic about working there. Check out the individual country pages on Teach Away for more information on each particular country.
By the time you reach your face-to-face teaching abroad interview, the interviewing panel will have already seen your application and employment history. They’re already considering you for the position - the hard part is already over!
When you’re answering questions, include specifics that set you apart from other candidates. Don’t forget to cover points that aren’t on your resume, too. Sure, you can teach awesome lessons, but what else sets you apart? What are your hobbies and interests? Do you engage in extracurricular activities? Can you include examples of how your teaching has improved the success rate of your previous employers and, more importantly, how have you positively impacted your students’ lives?
You can guarantee that the interviewing panel is looking for a candidate with excellent subject knowledge and the ability to thrive in a culturally diverse environment. Expect to answer questions on how adaptable and flexible you are. They’re looking for someone that can cope with culture shock, too. You could be asked to explain how you would teach a certain subject point and your teaching style, so brush up on your content knowledge in advance. You already know your stuff, but a recap will help you to better recall, for example, the fun way that you used a raw egg and a boiled egg to illustrate kinetic energy!
Don’t forget, an interview for a teaching job abroad is also a chance for you to find out whether the job is right for you. Gather as much information as possible so you can make an informed decision if you do receive a job offer.
Find a quiet room and rehearse your answers out loud. This will help you shape your responses in a thoughtful way and avoid any mental blocks. When you answer the first few questions confidently during the interview, your natural nervousness will subside.
It’s the night before the interview. You’ve prepped hard - and you have the qualifications and experience the school are looking for. Your interview outfit is clean and ironed and your route to the interview site is mapped out. Last-minute cramming is only going to impact you negatively.
The best thing that you can do at this point is rest, watch a movie, go for a walk, do something that occupies your mind and will help you get a good night’s sleep. You should be well rested and fresh. If you look stressed or tired, it, you risk making a weak first impression. You want to be alert and engaging - just as you are in your day-to-day school life.
Take time to reflect.
Every interview has its highs and its lows, and we know interviews can be painful to relive. However, once the interview is over, quickly jot down any questions that you can remember and how you answered them. Did any of your responses fall flat? Be critical and honest with yourself on what went right - and what went wrong. Success is not always guaranteed and you can still find positives from the experience so you can be better prepared for your next teach abroad interview.
Finally, remember that your Placement Coordinator is always here to help. They have plenty of experience in facilitating interviews and should have plenty of advice for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for any hints or tips they might have up their sleeves.
Looking for advice from teachers who’ve been there, done that when it comes to interviewing for teaching jobs abroad? Feel free to swing by our forum and ask your questions!