When looking for a new teaching job, the interview process for English/ESL teachers generally follows a straightforward format (depending on the employer). For example, one employer may have the following process when hiring new teachers:
Advertise job → Have interview → Recruit new teacher
The above order of hiring teachers is highly general, and one can assume that this company does not have many requirements for new teaching applicants. However, you may find that other employers place attention to other aspects of the hiring process. For example, another employer may ask for proof of certain documentation before scheduling an interview and will also carry out a thorough reference check. This ensures that they waste no time interviewing an applicant who is not eligible in the first place. Therefore, their hiring process could look more like this:
Advertise job → Request scans of necessary documents → Have interview → Have demo lesson → Carry out thorough reference check → Recruit new teacher
Apart from the document requirements, the above employer also requires applicants to perform a demo lesson before getting hired, in order to assess an applicant’s teaching abilities. Teaching applicants should ensure they are as prepared as possible to have the best chance of being hired. One cannot guarantee how potential employers are going to facilitate their hiring process, so it is best to be prepared as much as possible (within reason).
Below are various tips you can implement during your own interviews which may assist you with getting hired a lot sooner and easier!
Make sure that you have revised any key terms and themes of teaching English as a second language that you have covered in your TEFL/TESOL course. This is because many employers will ask certain questions in their interview process to test whether you know the ins and outs of teaching English as a second language.
Two examples of these questions could be: How do you handle classroom management when teaching classes of over 30 students? OR Which teaching methodology do you think is most beneficial for auditory learners?
This obviously comes down to the interviewers themselves and when they are available to carry out their interviews. However, scheduling your interviews around the same days and times will make it easier for you to set yourself up for success. It will be far easier for you to get in the necessary mindset for a fixed period of time instead of having sporadic interviews throughout the week.
Before starting an interview, always ensure that you have a good idea of who the employer is and what they offer. This will help you have a good idea of where they are coming from in the interview and you will be able to separate yourself from many applicants by showing that you have gone the extra mile to learn more about them.
For example, you could say to your interviewer, how many of your 5 campuses offer English conversation clubs? This would show the employer that you have done your research and know what you are talking about and makes a great first impression. You are not merely looking for a money-making job, you are willing to go the extra mile, regardless of how insignificant it may seem to you!
This goes without saying – ensure that you look smart and professional for your interviews and you will find that you actually feel sharper when having your interview. Not only is it important to look professional to make a good impression on your potential employer, but it is also important for you to feel sharp mentally and “in the zone”.
Regardless of how the interview process differs between potential employers, teaching applicants should always ensure that they adapt to whatever process is required in any given circumstance. Remember that although most employers have a certain set of requirements and standards when hiring new teachers, at the end of the day, they are looking for teachers with a good attitude who will be an asset to their company as an enthusiastic and hardworking teachers.