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Interviews in the UK

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Joined: 17 Sep 2009
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:08 pm    Post subject: Interviews in the UK Reply with quote

Hi everyone

So, I have an interview coming up this week for an EFL job at a language school in London. I'm trying to prepare for it, but I'm struggling to think as to how.

When I went for an interview abroad, it was almost beyond belief how few questions I was asked and the ease I had in answering them. I got the job no problem and lived abroad for two years teaching there.

But prior to this job, I worked in an English school in London just after getting my TEFL certificate. I went through many interviews and invariably didn't hear anything back from a lot of places before finally landing one job for a few months before leaving to go abroad.

As far as I can recall, these interviews were quite tough, throwing a lot of curveball questions I hadn't expected. But now that I try to recall them, I find myself failing and anxious over the kinds of questions I'm likely to get at the interview. I really want (no, need) this job. I want to be on top of my game.

Perhaps it's in my mind, but I am under the distinct impression that interviews - and EFL jobs generally for that matter - are much harder and of a higher standard in the UK, and sadly for less pay. Be that as it may, I would greatly appreciate anyone being able to offer any advice at all on what to expect at the interview, including the kinds of questions I'm likely to be asked.

Just trying to be as prepared as I can be. Any help would be most welcome.

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Joined: 05 Apr 2004
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Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If most of your experience is abroad, in a country where English is not the primary language, I'd expect some questions about how you approach the differences between a classroom of students who all speak the same first language, and a mixed-L1 classroom like you are likely to encounter in the UK.

It's easier in some ways, because the students will be more likely to need to use English to communicate with each other (less chatter in first language, etc). It's also easier as regards the fact that your students will have daily motivation in real life to use the language for a wide range of everyday functions.

It's more difficult in the sense that the patterns of errors and accents will all be different. There are also ways in which a mix of cultures in one room can impact a class/course. The whole situation requires a higher level of awareness and sensitivity on the part of an instructor.

Depending where you taught before, you may also be facing a higher degree of 'students as clients' where it's more or less important that the students like you on a more personal level and enjoy your lessons in addition to finding them productive. This can be a tough balance to find.

I'll be interested what others add on this....
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