Preparing for Your TEFL Job Interview

Preparing for any job interview can be nerve-wracking. A number of questions can run through your mind, ranging from “What should I wear?” to “What questions will they ask me?” TEFL job interviews, whether for online or in-person teaching jobs, can be particularly nerve-wracking. Mainly because you may be new to teaching and because these interviews are usually conducted remotely.

So, to ace your TEFL interview and land a great teaching job, follow our top advice below!

Prepare to talk about yourself

just as you would in any other interview! The employer wants to know if you’ll be a good fit for their school. So they’ll want to hear about your qualifications and experience. But, they’ll also want to test your dependability and adaptability. In other words, they want assurance that you won’t panic and abandon them in a classroom full of eager students with no teacher. Make sure you properly communicate why you’re qualified to teach in their schools and why you want to relocate to your selected country, as shown by the research you’ve undertaken.

Dress Smart!

It’s critical to dress properly from head to toe for your interview. Consider what would happen if the doorbell rang or if you were asked to give an impromptu demo lesson. Also, try and make as much eye contact as possible by looking at the Interviewer on the screen and not yourself. Just like you would in a face to face interview!

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

When it comes to your TEFL job interview, the phrase “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is extremely important. You can never do enough preparation for an interview! You will not make a good impression if you go into the interview without knowing much about the school or the country. As well as this do your research on common TEFL interview questions you might be asked on the day. Start preparing some answers to these question to help you not to get caught off guard! 

Be Enthusiastic!

No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t seem enthusiastic about the school or the country the want to travel to, so be enthusiastic! By exhibiting your knowledge of the country and school you’re applying to you’re showcasing how much research you’ve done, how you’ve considered whether or not you’d fit in etc. All of this shows your enthusiasm about being hired, which makes you a more attractive candidate for the job.

Test Your Equipment

Make sure you’re ready to show yourself in a professional light. Even though the interview will be conducted via Zoom, you should handle it as if it were an in-person interview. Make sure your technology is up to date by testing it ahead of time. This includes learning how to use the platform (Skype, Zoom, company platform) Prepare your computer for the interview, then check the lighting and background that the employer will see. Avoid distractions like a crowded background, ceiling fan, or a pet dog by keeping it as clean as possible. Check your interview time again, especially if you’re interviewing online and the time difference between you and your interviewer is large. 

Print off your CV for reference.

Have these three documents on hand at your laptop / computer station, even if the interview is conducted online. It is beneficial to review these materials before your interview and to refer to them as needed during the interview. Don’t bring up experiences that aren’t listed on your resume and don’t portray yourself as an expert.  To finish out your presentation on why you’re the greatest applicant for the job, recall details from your cover letter.

Now that we’ve discussed what TEFL interviewers look for in a candidate, let’s look at some of the specific questions they may ask to see if you possess the qualities they’re looking for in a potential candidate. 

Tell me about yourself.

This is a good icebreaker question since it allows you to market yourself. Be upbeat and inform the interviewer about your excellent qualities, especially those that make you a good teacher. Explain why you want to teach in that country and emphasise the care and attention you’ll provide to your new work. You can also discuss previous adventures, professional experience, and your personality as well as some of your favourite interests.

Do you have any prior teaching experience?

It will be difficult to find an interviewer who does not ask you this question. If you have a lot of experience, that’s excellent, but if you don’t, now is the time to market your TEFL course. If you’ve ever taught previously, be sure to tailor your response to the position you’re asking for.

What do you know about the country where you’ll be teaching and why do you desire to do so?

Make sure you’ve done your study and researched the country you’ll be teaching in ahead of time. Mention places you’d want to see, but don’t go into too much detail about your vacation plans. You want to mention what you know about the country where you plan to teach. But you never want the interviewer to get the sense that your primary motivation for relocating abroad is to travel.

What do you think the most significant qualities for a TEFL instructor are?

There are numerous possible responses to this question. Most interviewers will like to hear a combination of them: In your interview, you should emphasise your clear and concise communication skills, time management skills in class, creativity, passion for working with young learners or adults, compassion for new language learners, and a sense of humour and fun.

What would you say is the best way to describe your teaching style?

Most teachers have a solid understanding of how to respond to this question, especially if they took a TEFL course and were prepared for it. Reviewing the job post and focusing on the qualities given in the job description is the best way to answer this issue. If they ask for creative and positive teachers, tell them you’re both and then give them examples from your own life.

Do you have any questions that you’d want to ask us?

Not only should you prepare for the interviewer’s questions, but you should also prepare to ask some of your own! Research the company to learn everything there is to know about what they do and how they operate. By providing a valuable service, you are assisting the School in achieving its objectives. You will, however, want them to assist you in achieving your professional objectives. You can determine if the School is the best fit for you by conducting research and asking quality questions.

Remember, the TEFL job interview is also a chance for you to ask questions about the position before you accept it. What kind of students can you expect to meet, and what level of English can you expect to find? Will you have co-teachers to assist you with class management? Is there a split shift system in place at the school? 

TEFL is an acronym for teaching English as a foreign language. Simply put, TEFL teachers teach non-native English speakers to be fluent in English through TEFL methodologies. It covers a wide variety of methods depending on the age range of your students, the class size, the English level, and the students’ country’s standard methods of teaching. A TEFL course will teach you how to teach English to non-native speakers and help you gain the certification to become a TEFL teacher.

This depends on the type of learner you are. People who find the TEFL course easier are those who have a BEd, have recently studied in another sector and are in the zone, or are self-motivated to complete an online course. Unlike other courses, TEFL courses can be quite lenient in terms of repeating the tests, so it can be a little bit of a trial and error scenario. This takes the pressure off a bit and makes it a little easier. The level 5 TEFL course is significantly harder than the 120-hour TEFL course as it’s government-regulated and needs to meet certain standards from the students’ answers.

TEFL is an amazing career and opens a lot of doors for you! Because the industry is so varied, any type of person can be a TEFL teacher. Prefer to work online than abroad or in a classroom? No problem! Want to work part-time while raising a family? Absolutely! Want to travel the world with friends in your 20s while earning money? Why not! TEFL teachers around the globe are normally on western wages, meaning that between currency exchange and cost of living, you’ll be on a premium wage.

Each TEFL course is different with its own agenda on what to teach you. Both the level 5 course and the 120-hour course are your main TEFL qualification that teaches you from basics of methodologies, lesson planning, and classroom management, as well as grammar and pronunciation. These two courses will give you the qualification to be able to teach English as a foreign language. They touch on a range of topics for every scenario. There are also specialist courses that have niche subjects to help you to specialize in certain areas, such as Business English and Exam preparations. Most importantly, TEFL courses give you the opportunity to travel and work abroad or online. They give you freedom and a handy paycheck!

The 120-hour TEFL Courses are equivalent to a UK level 3 qualification. The Level 5 TEFL Course is a UK Level 5 TEFL Course. Check out this comparison chart if you’re not quite sure. Other Level 5 ESL Qualifications include CELTA and TrinityTESOL.

The minimum requirement to become a fully qualified TEFL teacher is the 120-hour TEFL Course. This course starts at entry level so you won’t need any prior training when starting the course. It’s an all-rounder and teaches you the skills you need in virtually every scenario of TEFL teaching. Of course, you can aim higher by enrolling in the Level 5 TEFL course, and there are lots of specialist courses to choose from if you’d like to go into the more lucrative, higher-paid TEFL jobs. If you have no experience in teaching, you might want to consider the 10-hour virtual course which includes teaching practice and will say so on your certificate. This will give you the upper hand against other newly qualified teachers.

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