So you want to teach English as a Second Language? You want to be an ESL teacher. You find a job ad for an ESL teacher position at a local agency. You meet the qualifications and submit your resume. You are contacted for a job interview.
Are you ready?
Job interviews can be uncomfortable for most people. You have to express your interest in the job position, state your work experience, skills, and educational background, and make a good impression for the employer. For ESL interviews, the same requirement applies with one exception, you have to show your teaching skills before being considered for a teaching position.
Are you nervous yet? Don’t be J
There are some dos and don’ts in how to approach a job interview (in general), but particularly for an ESL job interview.
First things first: Prepare, prepare, prepare!
|Always be confident when|
going on a job interview :)
NOTE: It is UNPROFESSIONAL to arrive to an interview late. If that happens due to unforeseen circumstances and you informed the employer, there is a chance he/she may still see you that day. Without prior notice, it looks irresponsible on your part.
Why do I need to make extra copies of my resume?
Employers are busy people and often times may not make a copy of your resume. In some interviews, you may be interviewed by more than one person so being prepared is a plus!
You arrived to your interview. You may feel nervous. You may even feel excited. Either way, you want to walk in with a confident demeanor.
· Arrive to the interview at least 15 minutes before your scheduled interview
· Turn off ALL electronic devices (cell phones, Mp3 players, etc.) BEFORE entering the place of your interview
· Check your appearance before entering the interview (Example: look in a mirror and check your makeup (Ladies), hair, or tie (Men) to make sure nothing is out of place
· Take a deep breath
· Always greet the first person you see at the interview. This can be the security staff, the person at the front desk, or the employer himself
· Extend your hand to shake the employer’s hand (In some cultures, the gesture may vary. Always show respect no matter what)
· Address the employer by “sir” or “ma’am” or by their last name (Mr. So and So/ Mrs. So and So) unless otherwise specified
· Give eye contact, sit comfortably, and speak clearly
· Be respectful
· Do NOT arrive to the interview late
· Do NOT turn off your cell phone or electronic devices in the presence of the employer
· Do NOT ignore the security staff or person at the front desk
· NEVER say “Hey, what’s up, or Yeah, I’m here to see…” ALWAYS greet with a “Good morning/good afternoon, Hello”
· Dress in casual attire (t-shirt, jeans, party dress)
· Chew gum
· Don’t address the employer appropriately
· Fidget, look around, talk too fast or interrupt the employer while he/she is talking
· Be rude
TIP: Always remain respectful to the employer. Some employers are not professional and may not show you the same courtesy. Never become disrespectful to an employer.
TIP 2: It is wrong for inappropriate questions to be asked on any job interview such as your age, marital status, and family, religious or political views. If an employer ask you such questions, politely ask them not to do that. If he/she continues and you feel uncomfortable, stop the interview and leave.
Remember: A job interview is about the JOB and not the personal background or lifestyle of the individual.
How is an ESL job interview different from a general job interview?
Both types of interviews are similar, but for ESL interviews the focus is on previous teaching experience, teaching style, ways of implementing a lesson, time management, classroom management, student assessment and testing, and the interest of the job position.
New ESL teachers: If you are a new ESL teacher and don’t have a lot of teaching experience, you can express your interest in teaching, any volunteer or internship experience that showcases your leadership skills, tutoring, or work experiences that highlight your ability to help others.
The Demo Lesson
Employers will ask potential ESL teachers to do a demo lesson. Rarely, they will not ask for a demo lesson, it depends on the agency. Some agencies will want to see evidence of your teaching qualifications in the form of certifications, degrees, or licensing.
A demo lesson is a short lesson presented to an employer that shows how you implement a lesson, how you engage students/gain their interest, how you explain a certain concept, and your overall teaching style. It’s also an opportunity to show your personality and/or creativity.
· Employers will either give you specific instruction on what kind of lesson they want you to do, OR give you the option to create one on your own
· Employer will let you know the English level the lesson should focus on
· There’s a specific amount of time the lesson must be done (example: 10, 15, or 20 minutes)
· The lesson will be presented in front of the employer (the person interviewing you along with other staff members) or an actual class
· The demo lesson is usually scheduled, but sometimes it can be impromptu.
TIP: Always ask questions if you are not sure how to do the demo lesson. Questions can include the type of materials that can be used (textbook, props, handouts), will a whiteboard and markers be available for use, and the age group of the students. This is important in how you prepare for your lesson.
Interview skills takes practice, but with these tips and believing in yourself you CAN pass the interview and become an ESL teacher. Good luck! J
Check out my video of me "acting out" an ESL interview on my YouTube channel