10 job interview questions your TEFL interviewer should be asking… PART 2

Here’s the continuation of yesterday’s post:

5 – We expect teachers to work in the school for about 8 hours a day, taking into account lesson planning and meetings. Do you have a problem with that?

Insight into the mind of the interviewer:

Will you take the job seriously? Are you a workaholic, which can cause more problems than it solves, or a person who requires balance?

Here’s how you could answer:

‘I have no problem working the necessary hours to get the job done properly. When it has proven necessary in the past, I have put in 12 or 14 hour days. What I have found works well for me is to work in a smart, organised way, not necessarily longer. My goal is to get the job done, whatever that takes, in the most efficient manner.’

Let the interviewer know that you’re not afraid of working while at the same time that you will not be taken advantage of.


6 – When have you been most satisfied in your career?

Insight into the mind of the interviewer:

What motivates you, or rather, demotivates you?

Here’s how you could answer:

‘The job before the one I am currently at was my most rewarding experience. I worked in a wonderful team environment. There was a lot of camaraderie. I worked primarily within a team of four teachers and we did some really innovative teaching. It is that kind of environment I want to be involved in again.’

Indicate your ability to work with others and that your satisfaction comes from doing something that will also be beneficial to the school. Creating a new teaching program would be a more desirable achievement than, say, having passed the DELTA.

7 – Why do you want this job?

Insight into the mind of the interviewer:

Are you using the scatter-gun approach to your job search or do you really know what you want? Is there a specific reason you’ve applied to work at this school or will you work at the first place that offers you a job?

Here’s how you could answer:

‘I’ve been very careful about the institutions to which I have applied. When I saw the advert for this position, I knew I found what I was looking for. What I can bring to this job are my years of experience, my knowledge of the profession, plus my ability to work within the kind of environment which you have in this school. That, along with my flexibility and organisational skills, makes me a perfect match for this position. I see some challenges ahead of me here, and that’s what I thrive on. I have what you need, and you have what I want.’

8 – We are ready to make you an offer. Are you ready to accept today?

Insight into the mind of the interviewer:

We really don’t want you to go away and think about it and change your mind. We want you. If you don’t want the job, we don’t want to waste time that could be used trying to find another equally good candidate.

Here’s how you could answer:

‘Based on my research and the information I have gathered during the interview process, I do feel I’m in a position to consider an offer, however, I have a personal policy of giving myself at least 24 hours to make major life decisions. I could definitely let you know by tomorrow.’

You need to cover your bases here. Giving a time limit by which you’ll get back to the interviewer should be an acceptable way to deal with this question. If they want you, they’ll wait. If they want you to teach a lesson an hour from now, run and don’t look back.

Of course, there is no way you can completely predict the questions that you will be asked in an interview, but you can be ready and prepared by thinking about the factors that might be of concern to an interviewer before the interview. These eight questions are a good start. Now, the title of this post suggested ten questions, so I’d like you to come up with the other two.

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2 Responses to 10 job interview questions your TEFL interviewer should be asking… PART 2

  1. MELEE says:

    Hey great questions David, some I have asked, and some I might start asking. I’d like to say though for readers, inject a little specific information in to the “how you could answer” answers. They obviously need to be generic for this type of article, so don’t use them as is–besides the interviewers are reading this too.

  2. david says:

    Good point MELEE, these are meant as a starting point, you should customise your answers obviously. Good luck to anyone having, or indeed giving, interviews!

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