Interview tips for the ESL teacher

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After qualifying as a fully pledged ESL teacher, your next stressful experience will be your job interview. Here are ten tips to help you get that ESL post.

1. Make sure that you are punctual. You should arrive about five to ten minutes before the interview because there may be some formalities to dispense with prior to the interview.

2. Make sure that you are dressed in an appropriate manner: male ESL teachers should be dress in a jacket, trousers, shirt and tie, and shoes – not trainers. Female ESL teachers should dress in a suit dress, and matching shoes and handbag: the matching shoes and handbag will make a pleasant impression.

3. Make sure that you have washed properly and that your hair is properly combed. Aftershave and perfumes should be applied sparingly. It should be noted that bodily cleanliness is particularly important with some S.E. Asian employers, e.g., Japanese and Korean ESL employers.

4. When you are called into the interview room – smile and greet the interviewer(s). Make yourself familiar with the basic elements of savoir vivre of the country in which you are applying for the ESL post (before the interview), and try to utter the salutation in the interviewer’s language. For example, if you are applying for a post in Japan – you would normally bow instead of shaking hands: visit http://www.wikihow.com/Greet-People-in-Japan

5. Make yourself familiar with the basic cultural elements of the country in which you are applying for the ESL post: you could very well be asked if you know anything about the country you are applying to. If this question is met with a ‘wall of silence’, you can be guaranteed that you will no longer be the number one most popular potential ESL teacher.

6. Prepare yourself – before the interview – for the ‘stereotype’ questions that you will be asked, for example: “Why do you want to teach in country X?” “Why did you become an ESL teacher?” “What are you future plans?” “What are your strengths and weaknesses as an ESL teacher?”

7. Irrespective of whether you are a male or a female ESL teacher, you should project an image of a knowledgeable, confident, reliable, and honest ESL teacher.

8. If you have to talk about yourself or your experiences – don’t talk too much. Alternatively, if you are asked whether you would like to ask any questions – avoid interrogating the interviewer.

9. If you have to make a closing statement – keep it brief, e.g. “I should like to thank you for considering me, and I am very keen to work and gain experience at your school in your beautiful country.”

10. On departing, don’t forget to use the appropriate form of valediction.

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