Monday, June 11, 2012

5 Tips & Tricks on How to Rock a Video Interview for Teaching Jobs Abroad

There's no doubt about it - interviewing for teaching jobs overseas can be very stressful. You're worried about each answer, and you might not even be certain that you want to teach overseas. The more teaching experience you have, the more interviews you've gone through, the easier it gets.

We've recently introduced video interviewing for our teachers, so that they can interview for teaching jobs in London from anywhere in the world.  Most of these teachers are still in Canada or the US, about to head to London for the new academic year, but some of the teachers are already teaching overseas, in places like China, Korea and Australia. 

The video interviews are especially useful for teachers who have to deal with time zone differences, and want to interview in their own time from the comfort of their homes. We also send these interviews directly to Head Teachers & Principals that are looking for teachers for the next academic term, which saves the schools travel costs & valuable time.

Now that a handful of teachers have already done their first video interviews, I can offer you some tips & tricks for knocking your video interview out of the park.  You have one chance to impress, just like you do in an in-person interview, but there are a few things that are different in a video interview.

Tips & Tricks on How to Rock a Video Interview for Teaching Jobs Abroad
  1. Dress to impress. Dress as you would for an in person interview, and make sure the background is clean & professional.  One male teacher did his interview with a shirt & tie, and had his diplomas on the wall behind him. A great example of what to do!
  2. Keep your answers short & succinct.  In person, you're given social cues during an interview where the person interviewing you nods their head, says "yes" or "I see" so you can tell when you've answered the question. But in a video interview, those cues are not there. So you have to determine if you've answered their question.  It's best to keep your answer short & to the point, use one example to illustrate the point and finish it in less than 1 minute if you can. Some questions ask for more detail (like "Describe a successful lesson you have given & why it was so successful"), but most can be answered in 30 seconds to a minute. 
  3. You only get one shot to answer the question & can not press "stop & re-record." Just like in person.  Try to practice doing a teaching interview with friends & family so you're ready for any question that gets thrown your way in a video interview, just like you would for an in person interview.
  4. Try to use the local terms. For example, in Canada we say "grades", but in the UK, they say "years."  We say primary/junior, the British say 'Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2."  We say "math," they say "maths."  When you're interviewing for a teaching job in London and you're not there yet, it will feel awkward to use their words at first. So practice this with a friend (ideally someone from England who can correct you when you use Canadian words as opposed to British!). 
  5. Check your spelling & grammar for the essay. We ask one essay question that you can answer in the length of time you need, so there's no reason to submit anything less than the best possible answer.  What we are checking is how professional your written communication is, and what your beliefs are around inner city teaching. Make sure you double and triple check your spelling & grammar so you give the best possible impression.
Here are the video interview links so you can get started whenever you're ready:

Primary Teaching Interview
Secondary Teaching Interview
Special Educational Needs Interview

Follow the tips & tricks above, and let me know what you think of the process when you're done. I'm really excited about this new software, but I also wonder if there are some teachers who will prefer in person or phone interviews instead?  Please share your thoughts below!

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