Published 19th October 2015
Last Updated on
Due to the advances in technological communication, many interviews now take place via Skype. This process of selection is advantageous is many ways. Who’d want to travel six thousand miles only to receive a rejection? But there are difficulties with interviewing this way, here are some tips on how you can master the Skype interview with ease and finesse.
First of all, remember that whilst you might be sat in your kitchen, it is still an interview and you need to take a formal approach. This doesn’t mean that you have don a full three piece suit, but a smart shirt or blouse and running a comb through your hair never hurt anybody. This is still the first impression that your prospective employer will have of you, so make an effort and look the part! Also try and position yourself in front of a blank background, though this isn’t the more important thing to focus on, if you can do it, it might just give you that edge.
This should go without saying, but make sure that you are in a caLm, quiet place that has a stable internet connection. Don’t try and interview in a café or public area, as the background noise can be very prominent when using Skype. Though you can’t guarantee a stable connection, try do everything you can to avoid interruptions during the call. If you have a time delay or a bad connection, give plenty of time to make sure that the interviewer has finished speaking before you begin your answer, this probably isn’t going to be the ultimate decider about if you’re successful, but it does make for a much smoother and cleaner conversation. Another handy tip is to close all the other programs on your computer to ensure that the connection is as strong as possible.
It’s important that you treat a Skype interview the same way you would if you were conducting the process in person. Some people try to have notes which the interviewer can’t see. Avoid this. You’ll scatter around looking for an answer and lose the focus of your potential employer. Eye contact is especially important here, because it’s one of the few ways you can really connect over a webcam. Don’t throw away that opportunity, do your research before and use this chance to show them you are engaged, friendly and communicative.
The most important thing is to do your homework, make sure you are well prepared and presented, and then proceed with the interview as you would as if you were there. Stay relaxed, do your best, and you’ll have your dream TEFL job in a heartbeat.
Learning how to control a class can be one of the more difficult skills to master as a teacher. Over time you develop your own methodologies and tricks which work best for you, but to get you started here are a few hints to help you manage your class and execute a great lesson.
Firstly it’s important that you have an engaging lesson to deliver. Whilst this won’t stop problem students from playing up, it will keep a general focus in the classroom, which is a key point of classroom control. As soon as the students get bored and listless of the lesson, controlling them becomes a much trickier task. A great way to do this is my minimising teacher talk time and maximising the time spent on activities the students themselves can participate in.
In the classroom, confidence is key. Students can sense fear and if they think they can get away with things they will. From the first time you enter the classroom your body language and tone of voice need to emanate authority. Remember though, this doesn’t come from shouting or abusing your position to create your own little autocratic commune, rather a friendly but firm approach is the best way to go every time.
It can be hard, but you really should never shout in the classroom, this shows that you have lost control. This isn’t to say you can’t raise your voice to be heard above a speaking task. Clapping is also a great way to get the attention of the class if you want to draw a close to an activity or game. They say patience is a virtue; you need a lot of it to be a teacher. If the students aren’t paying attention then stand and wait until they give it to you. It can be crushingly tempting to speak above them, but eventually they’ll realise and focus their attention back to you.
Even experienced teachers who can execute classroom control perfectly can’t prevent all bad behaviour in the classroom. If you do notice instances of bad behaviour it’s important that you deal with it promptly. If not the situation will only escalate and become uncontrollable. There are several ways to do this. If they are just being a little noisy or silly you can call them out in the class in a relaxed or funny manner, but a more serious problem should be addressed with them after in private.