5 Tips to Acing an ESL Interview (Skype or In-Person)

30 Jan 2020 | Theodore

When working as an ESL teacher, most of the time our interviews begin first over Skype, or one of the many other video chat applications. However, the idea of doing a video Skype interview is daunting. No worries, I have you covered.  Below are some tips that you can use in a Skype interview or in an in-person interview. While each company looks for something different, below are the tips that would assist you in acing all of them. Ready?

1. Showcase your personality

Whether you are pensive, imaginative, quiet, or high energy, it takes teachers of all different types. Your personality is a major selling factor. While doing an interview talk about some of your hobbies or things that make you stand out. Do you like sports? What about engaging in local culture? Do you like RPG (role playing games)? Do you like anime or Marvel? Show case it. Interviewers are looking for small clues that can help you stand out.

2. Come prepared with a quick lesson idea

Most recruiters (if they are reputable) and companies/schools will ask for you to demonstrate your ability at coming up or demonstrating with a lesson plan. Particularly in East Asian societies (HK is no exception) where plans may need to change last minute, it is smart to have some quick ideas that you can adapt and fall back on. So have a general lesson idea that you can translate to other situations (including games, warmers, and lesson idea). It should take no more than 5 minutes to explain.

3. Ask questions about the company

Seriously. Ask what the company stands for and what they are looking for in their teachers. If you are looking to be a long-term teacher, it is best for you to demonstrate your willingness to grow and develop as a professional. By asking questions you are showing that you have researched the company/organization (i.e. their about page), what they expect out of their teachers, and what makes them different from other recruitment agencies/schools. It will make you stand out.

4. Be passionate

Going off the first point, showcasing your personality is one thing but showcasing your passion is another. Whether you want to be a teacher for one year or for 50, having the ability to share your passions with your interviewer will go a long way. Why? Well, if you are passionate about let’s say My Hero Academia (♡), this can translate into some awesome lesson ideas (superhero day where students create their own superheroes or you can go over onomatopoeias and how comics do it, etc.). And since passion is contagious, your students will be excited to learn more about it and to participate. Another easy thing to showcase your passion is about why you want to teach (e.g. to reach new communities, to save up money for a year while experiencing local culture, help lower income communities, to assist refugees, etc.)

5. Have all the requirements needed

Bit of a downer, but before you go to the interview make sure that you know all the requirements being asked of you, from the application process to being an actual teacher (i.e. you have your TEFL certificate or are in the process of obtaining it and if you need to work weekends/nights). Show that you know the job requirements and if you don’t meet all of them explain to them why you should be considered (sometimes it’s up to the agency or school, sometimes not). Show how prepared you are for the job as this helps the interviewer better understand you as a person.

If you want to be an ESL teacher but don’t know how, click here. There are so many benefits with being an ESL teacher, no matter where you are placed. What are some things you uniquely bring as a teacher?