Phone interviews are not usually the norm for jobs in western society, so when it comes time for an interview with a potential new employer who is calling from half way across the world, many people are clueless as to what to expect. Here are some tips that will help you get through what should be the easiest part of landing a teaching job abroad:
1)Make sure you are ready for the interview. You will most likely be in a different time zone from where your new employer is calling, so make sure that you have your interview time in synch. I hear a lot of complaints from teachers who leave their number on their resume and have directors call in the middle of the night, either because they don’t consider the time difference, or because that is the only time they have to call you.
2)Don’t ask about money. As mentioned, the interview should be the easiest part of getting a job abroad as the school has already gone through your credentials and seen your picture; once you get to the interview stage, it pretty much means that you are the person they want. The biggest mistake that people make is asking about how much money they will be earning or other benefits that they will receive. Schools want to hear that you are interested in teaching, so leave the money questions until the end of the conversation.
3)Ask about the job. Again, schools want to know that you will be a good teacher, so ask plenty of questions related to the students, the curriculum, the class sizes – anything related to teaching and you should be fine.
4)Make yourself understood. Directors of schools can sometimes have poor English skills (this is not necessarily a bad thing, as they are running the business side to things at the school, and will usually have a head teacher who can speak fluently). For some people, this is the first real conversation with someone who has poor English skills, so remember to slow down, be clear and make yourself understood.
5)Be personable. This is probably the most important thing that you can do in your interview. Schools are looking for someone who will be good with their students and someone who is easy to get along with, so make them know that you are that person. If you are too quiet or too pushy, you will give them the wrong impression; so be polite and personable and you will do just fine!