More teachers are finding jobs online than ever before. And because the Internet connects the whole world together, finding a foreign teaching job is a perfect task for online interviews and job fairs.
It’s understandable if you are nervous about interviewing at or attending an online job fair. Meeting strangers and having to sell yourself on your teaching skills can be intimidating.
But ultimately, it’s all about meeting people and getting to know them. You shouldn’t have to think about getting a teaching position as significantly different from anything else in your social life.
This article is organized in two parts:
- How To Prepare For Your Teaching Interview
- Step-By-Step Process For Attending An Online Job Fair
- Tips For Interviewing At An Online Job Fair
How to Prepare for Your Teaching Interview
Almost all advice for in-person interviews holds true for online interviews. But you also have to consider the technical requirements of video calls.
Some good tips include:
- Researching the school
- Preparing your own interview questions
- Knowing your teaching style
- Discussing salary
- Testing your tech
- Dressing well
- Sending a follow-up email
Researching the school
Interviewers don’t just want to see if you can teach for them. They want to know if you are genuinely interested in working at their school.
To that end, make sure you come knowing some extra information, such as:
- Where the school is (school district).
- What they specialize in.
- What types of learners do they teach.
Preparing your own questions
Interviews are not just for schools to learn about you. Interviews are also for you to learn more about the role you are interviewing for.
A single job posting can only provide some of the information you need. Therefore, you should come prepared with a few questions about the position.
Think of intangible things, like who your coworkers are or what a typical day looks like. You can even ask about what time lunch is!
Knowing your teaching style
Teaching is as much an art as it is a science. Therefore, every teacher teaches with their own style.
Your style might be serious, funny, traditional, hands-on, project-based, interactive, disciplined, or more. Try to come up with as many words to describe it as possible.
If you can communicate how you like to teach, this goes a long way in proving your uniqueness. Some schools may hire you over someone with more qualifications simply because they think your teaching style fits their school better.
Don’t be afraid to discuss salary
Although teaching may be your biggest passion, you still show up at work because you need a paycheck. So it’s a good idea to ask what the starting salary is and how it will change with promotions.
This is especially true if the job listing you answered does not have a salary listed. However, if one was listed, you can use the interview to simply confirm the number.
Set up your tech
This is one thing that makes online interviews different. Technology can, and often does, fail.
People know this fact and can be pretty understanding if your internet cuts off suddenly. But do test your microphone and an internet connection, and keep your computer plugged in for better performance.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: dress the way you would for a typical class you will teach.
This doesn’t mean formal business attire, and it doesn’t mean shorts and a t-shirt. But a nice button-down shirt will usually do the trick.
On a related note: make sure the room where you do the interview is clean and neat. Make it look the way you would like for an online class.
Send a follow-up email
This doesn’t have to be long or detailed, but it can go a long way in helping you get a position. A little note will show that you care and help you stand out from the crowd.
Step-By-Step Process For Attending An Online Job Fair
Online job fairs are a great way to start conversations with many schools simultaneously. They can introduce you to various options, all without leaving home.
Going to an online job fair can help you get hired quickly. Fairs often offer rapid-fire interviews with multiple schools, meaning you don’t have to set up individual interviews over days or weeks.
They can also get you in front of the right people. The people at a job fair are the ones who are looking out for strong candidates.
Here’s the process for attending a Teach Away job fair.
Setting up your teacher profile
Teach Away offers several online job fairs throughout the year and in many cities around the globe.
At a Teach Away job fair, schools that have registered to attend can view the profiles of candidates who have registered to attend, about five days before the event.
After candidates have been invited (more on that later) to register for the event, they can see the schools that will be in attendance. This allows them to do their research prior to the event.
Schools can review the applications or profiles and they can send a chat request and invite candidates to their booth at a specific time during the fair.
A lot of schools don’t always have the time to do this beforehand, but some schools do go ahead and schedule chats.
If you already have a completed Teach Away profile, applying is simple: we have a one-click application that takes five seconds to fill out.
Applying and qualifying for invitation
Qualifying for one of our online job fairs requires some teaching background.
After applying to attend the event, teacher profiles will be reviewed by Teach Away’s fair organizers. If your teacher profile gets approved, you’ll be sent an invitation to register and attend the job fair.
Suitable applicants have:
- A Bachelor’s Degree
- Two years of teaching experience
- Teaching Credentials or License
Need to get credentials? Teach Away offers several flexible, alternative certification programs.
Setting up interviews with schools
In some cases, schools review teacher candidate profiles and arrange meetings before the job fair. If a school reaches out to you, all you have to do is confirm your attendance.
Otherwise, candidates can head to the event page and click on the schools they’re interested in. There’a chat button for them to click and that will automatically place them in a queue to speak with a school representative.
Chats are a maximum of 10 minutes.
If the school wants to move forward with the candidate after that, the school will email the candidate and set up a full interview for a later date after the fair.
Preparing for an Online Job Fair
Online job fairs are a lot like physical job fairs. But online!
To that end, we offer a few tips:
- Prepare your online presence
- Prepare your offline presence
- Be open-minded
Prepare your online presence
All that recruiters see of you will be online. You might only get a minute or two to talk- after that, all they will have to go on will be your online information.
Come prepared with a strong resume, and ensure your LinkedIn is current. And, of course, make sure your Teach Away profile is filled out!
More and more teachers have their own websites now, too, and this can be a great way to show how committed you are to your profession. In addition, several online services, like Squarespace and Wix, make it easy to start a website by handling all the technical stuff.
Be ‘video ready’
Meetings start off as a text-based chat, but there is a video option. It’s up to the school reps whether they use the video option, but we do recommend being ‘video ready.’
Make sure your clothes and space are clean and professional looking!
Prepare your offline presence
Like with online interviews, you want to double-check to ensure your tech is set up first. Although it may be obvious, it is worth repeating.
In theory, you could attend a job fair using your phone, but a computer with a webcam would be much more comfortable and professional.
Be ready to network
“Networking” just means meeting people and forming connections. And that’s exactly what you do at a job fair.
You don’t have to put yourself in the mindset of “Now I am networking.” You also don’t have to (and shouldn’t) engage with people simply because you think you can get something out of them.
Instead, just have conversations with people like usual. You often find out about an opportunity you never even knew existed by indirectly chatting about something else.
At a job fair, you can quickly meet a wide range of different people and schools. You may learn about opportunities you had never thought of before, so keep an open mind.
Unlike interviews, you don’t need to know much about who you will be talking to ahead of time. There will be too many people there, to begin with.
Online job fairs are great for initial contact, while interviews are better for narrowing down and honing in on where you want to teach. Teachers often turn an online job fair experience into two or three interviews and eventually into a single job.
Conclusion: Act Normal, Be Professional
Interviewing and networking at job fairs are really no different from any other kind of social engagement you might pursue. While it is more formal than hanging out at the pub, you are still just interacting with people at the end of the day.
If you have an interview coming up and want even more tips, take a look at our previous guide. And if you are interested in attending one of our online job fairs, take a look at our calendar for future events.