Having an interview for a TEFL related position can be a bit daunting, just like any other interview, although if you are prepared for the most likely questions there should be no need to worry. Unfortunately, we cannot predict exactly what an individual interviewer will ask, but in most cases they will cover a similar range of questions that are designed to determine if you would fit into the current workforce and have a positive impact on the students.
What common questions can I expect in any TEFL interview?
The interviewers main purpose will be to get some insight into who you are as an individual. To do this they will use questions such as: What do you see as your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in 2/5/10 years time? What are your hobbies? As most teachers will be applying for jobs outside of their own country you should also expect to answer questions about living and working in a new and unfamiliar environment. Here you might need to answer questions such as: Have you travelled abroad before? What cultural differences did you encounter and how did you deal with them? Why do you want to work in this school/country? In these situations do not be afraid to use a bit of flattery towards the country or school as this can be the perfect way to make a good impression.
What work related questions will I be asked in a TEFL interview?
Another area that is certain to come up during any interview is your previous work history. You should be prepared to answer questions on your past responsibilities in the workplace, things you have learned from previous jobs, why you left your last (or current) job, and how any previous teaching experience has shaped your teaching outlook. If you are an experienced teacher you will likely be asked about the age and language levels you have taught. The course books you have used in the past. Your experience with using teaching aids such as interactive whiteboards, videos, homemade materials etc. Those without previous teaching experience might find they are asked about things they should have covered during their TEFL training, such as the difference between teaching an individual and a large group, teaching a class with mixed language abilities, or how to cope with a disruptive student.
Are all TEFL job interviews different?
As TEFL related jobs are available all over the world, it is inevitable that the content of every interview is likely to be different. While many will be held in person, an increasing number are completed via phone or webcam which ensures a slightly different atmosphere. The length of each interview is also hard to predict as some can be wrapped up in 15 minutes or less, while others may go on for over an hour. You might even be expected to conduct a trial lesson under the watchful eye of the employer. To avoid being put on the spot, make sure you check if this is expected well in advance to give yourself time to prepare. Ultimately, if you arrive on time, look professional, and are well prepared for the most common questions, you should be in with a great chance of landing the job.