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7 Skype Interview Tips To Prepare For An ESL Job Abroad

7th July 2021

Getting ready for any kind of interview can be a discomforting experience. Several questions generally popup in our minds in these situations like - “What should I wear?”, “What questions will they ask me?”. “Will I be able to answer confidently?” and so on. Also, due to the current situation, nowadays, most of the ESL interviews take place remotely, over Zoom, Skype, or any other online platform.

If you ask what is the key to acing a teaching interview, the answer would be Good Preparation. When it comes to TEFL, there is a range of different interviews as well. Therefore, it is significant to be well prepared for a Skype interview.

There’re lots to contemplatewhich is different from a traditional interview. Here are some tips:

1. Be Tech-Ready

Numerous international institutes now use Skype as a way to interview applicants for international teaching jobs. Needless to say, make sure you are listed as a Skype user. The process is free and very easy, it doesn’t take long to set yourself up. However, you need to make sure you do this quite a few days before your interview to make sure you have enough time to practice. Know your Skype contact particulars well before the interview.

Also, check the time and date of your interview, ensure that you know the time variances if you are Skyping in another time zone. Don’t forget to add a profile photograph that should be professional and it should positively portray you.

2. Get TEFL Certified

The good old saying, to qualify for more teaching English abroad positions, earning an accredited TEFL certification is a smart move. To grab the position, you also need to provide a strong answer when any employer asks you about your qualifications to teach professionally.

Few important questions about teaching practices and experience will definitely be there and this knowledge can be acquired through the TEFL course only that includes a teaching practicum.

3. Prior Set-up

Dress properly in smart and organized clothing. If you already know the name and Skype details of your interviewer, add the interviewer as a contact prior to the interview. Treat the online interview just like an actual meeting. Moreover, make sure the room that you choose for the interview is suitable, quiet, and that you're away from distractions.

Test your equipment well. Conduct a test call before the interview. Test both the sound and camera. Check that mobile and house phones are turned off or in silent mode. Let your household people know about your interview in advance. Try to be ready ten minutes before your interview time.

4. Learn About Your Target Destination

You also need to do some good research about the country you’re applying to apart from all the other preparations. Try to engage yourself in conversations with expatriates living in numerous countries around the world. Also, many sites are great places to learn more about living overseas.

Consider these aspects while researching - etiquette and cultural norms of the country, the duties of the teachers in similar positions, your students’ goals, educational culture, and so on. Additionally, think about the kind of school you’re applying to, whether it is a public school system or a private school or tutoring one-on-one sessions…everything matters a lot.

5. Teaching Demo

Several online English establishments require a teaching demo to be acquiesced as an introductory measure prior to an actual interview. Teaching demo generally helps your recruiters to have a clear visual of the assistances that an ESL teacher already owns to determine if there is teaching potential.

While creating the demo, speak evidently, be energetic, and have a clean or bright background that would appeal visually to the students. Practice numerous times first, then record your best demo!

Teaching demo basically includes –

Teaching demo basically includes

Also, if you are applying to teach younger learners like elementary/middle school age, it would be helpful to have a colourful and fun background with plenty of props.

6. Professional Email Accounts

Set up a professional email account. It is significant to have a dependable mailing address that is reliable for the period of your job search overseas. Correspondingly, be sure to check your “junk” mail folders regularly when you start corresponding with schools or recruiters.

7. Be Ready to Answer the Right Questions

Be ready for questions such as:

  • Your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher.
  • What techniques would you use to adapt to a new culture?
  • How would you handle the circumstances if you were abruptly asked to substitute for a class for which you were not equipped?
  • Why do you want to teach in (your desired location)?
  • Tell us about your previous jobs, why did you leave? (If you are an experienced one).
  • How would you handle a class of students of mixed abilities?

And there are many more… adaptability is very important and practice speaking with confidence and conviction.

Certainly, you will also have few questions for your potential employer. Thus, make sure you ask questions before accepting a job. For example, you may ask them -

  • Are there other overseas teachers working at the institute?
  • What are the working days and working hours?
  • Will you be paid overtime?
  • What non-teaching tasks will you be obligated to accept?
  • Is there a dress code and if so, what is it?

We are sure there are many more but these can be some of the important questions from your side as well.

Final Thoughts

Remember, even though the interview is online, it is still an interview that will make or break your dream of teaching English abroad with the certification for teaching English abroad. With lots of preparation, proper attire, and a correct attitude, you should be able to land that dream TEFL job.


Written By : Anamika Mukherjee


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In academic collaboration with:

Fort Hays State University  London School Of Teaching and Training All India Council of Education Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India City College of Birmingham AAHEA AAHEA TQ TQ