7 ways to ace your interview for a teaching job abroad

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Well done- you have secured an interview so you must be feeling extremely proud and positive! You can either be invited for an interview in person or more likely online via Skype or Zoom. In most cases, it will be online. You may have one – two interviews depending on the school. The online interview may be with one or two members of staff, such as the head teacher, deputy head teacher, head of department, etc.

From your CV and cover letter, the head teacher has been impressed with your educational/ academic qualifications, skills and experience, so now wants to ask you further questions, not only on your duties, but to also see if your personality and educational beliefs would be compatible with the school and possibly the culture of the country. This means some questions will most likely relate to your personality and the rest will relate to the school. Here are 7 tips to ace your interview…

1. Take some time to prepare your answers to these popular interview questions:

  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are the three most important characteristics an international teacher needs to have?
  • What does your classroom look like?
  • Why should we choose you over the rest of the candidates we’re interviewing? / What skills can you bring to our school?
  • Why do you want to work at our school?

2. Once you’ve prepared answers you’re proud of, rehearse them, so you can be sure to include all the information, key words, all spoken in a confident, clear and enthusiastic manner. The more you reflect and prepare what you want to say, the more confident you will feel for the interview.

3. Decide on where to carry out the interview- choose a well-lit, clean, and tidy room with excellent wi-fi signal.

4. Make sure you have the house to yourself during your interview. Allow at least an hour for the interview. If this isn’t possible, use a quiet closed-door room, and make certain the other people in the house know not to disturb you while the door is closed – put a sign on the door as a reminder to them. Other distractions are children, pets, your phone phone or doorbell ringing.

5. Check and double-check your Internet connection, webcam, and microphone.

6. Have a copy of your CV in sight, in case you have to refer to dates.

7. It is still a formal and professional interview, so dress appropriately, sit up straight, maintain eye contact, and avoid being too informal.

Interview preparation is key to minimising nerves and having a successful and memorable interview that convinces the school that you are the best fit for the job. A good start is by implementing the 7 tips above.
My name is Sorcha Coyle and I’ve been teaching in the Gulf (Qatar and Dubai) for the past 9 years. I also run Empowering Expat Teachers, whose mission is to empower future and current expat teachers to lead personally, professionally, and financially rewarding lives. If you haven’t already, join the supportive EET FB group here and follow me on IG @sorchacoyle_eet for lots of research, CV, and cover letter tips!
If you'd like more exclusive discounts, plus details of my weekly free live trainings on IG and Facebook (to empower you personally, professionally and financially), and international job postings, sign up to my twice-a-month newsletter here!

Sorcha x


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