Interviewing for Your Teaching Position

Interview tips

Interviews can be daunting, but they don’t have to be! Doing your homework by researching the school, reading through the job description, and preparing answers as well as your own questions can make the process much less scary.

To help you, we’ve composed a list of common questions that are asked during interviews, questions you can ask your interviewer, and some general interviewing advice


Interview questions to prepare for:

  • What are some of the challenges you foresee in teaching in a multi-cultural environment? 
  • How do you encourage student participation? Is it essential to your teaching style? 
  • Why did you decide to become a teacher? What aspects of the teaching profession appeal to you most? 
  • What are some differences between a good teacher and a bad one?
  • What do you do when your students do not understand a concept? 
  • How do you handle discipline in your classroom? For young learners? For older students? 
  • What does an hour in your classroom look like? What kind of schedule do you follow? (Lesson plan)?
  • Besides lecture, what kind of teaching methodologies do you use? 
  • How do you provide your students with recognition? Can a student receive too much recognition?
  • What can you offer the school that other candidates cannot? What makes you special?
  • How do you plan on handling culture shock (if you are coming from overseas)? What can you do to minimize its impact on your teaching?
  • How would you summarize your teaching philosophy?

If you’d like any advice on how to handle these questions or anything else related to your upcoming placement, get in touch with your placement consultant and they’ll be happy to help!

Questions to ask your interviewer:

  • Will there be opportunities for upward mobility in this position?
  • What is the professional development like?
  • Can you tell me more about the accommodation?If accommodation is provided – do you have any photos of the apartment building?
  • Can you put me in touch with a current foreign teacher at your school?
  • How does your school help connect and integrate foreign and local teachers?

Other interview advice

Research the school. Having done your homework shows you’re serious and dedicated to the position. It will also help you ask more thoughtful questions during the interview. 

Speak slowly and clearly. That being said, don’t overdo it. Interviewers will want to hear your accent, and some of them may not be very well-versed in English. Just don’t be the person that is yelling and over-pronouncing words as slowly as possible in hopes that you’re making yourself easier to understand…because you’re not. Remember that your position requires you to impart knowledge, not show off. This means you should stay away from big words, use simple English, and enunciate a bit more. At the end of the day, if your students don’t understand you, it doesn’t matter how good your command of the English language is. 

Express your enthusiasm. Many administrators of ESL schools admit that an enthusiastic and approachable personality is more important in a teacher than a strong understanding of grammar or a structured lesson plan. Smile, speak passionately, and use your body language to express your enthusiasm for the position.

If you’re doing a remote interview:

  • Test your equipment ahead of time (both video and audio) 
  • Use of a headset or headphones is preferred to avoid echo 
  • Check your surroundings and lighting 
  • Look into the camera 

Ready to start applying to teaching jobs abroad? Check out our available positions all over the world.

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Check out the full interview sheet here:

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