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British Council Interview

 
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kidTEFL



Joined: 21 Aug 2012
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:21 pm    Post subject: British Council Interview Reply with quote

Hi,

I've managed to get myself an interview next week with the British Council.

I know they are regarded by many as the best employers in the TEFL world to work for, and to be honest, I'm feeling a little nervous by the seriousness of things.

They've told me in advance how the interview will go, and as far as I can see, there is no practical part (The part I'm most confident in)

The interview looks likes this.

60 minutes: To talk about and give personal examples of the following.

· Subject Knowledge

· Course and Lesson Planning

· Classroom Management

· Understanding Your Learners

· Learning Technologies

· Child Protection

· Cultural Awareness

Any advice, experience or inside knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers
KidTEFL
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simon_porter00



Joined: 09 Nov 2005
Posts: 505
Location: Warsaw, Poland

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No need to get your knickers in a twist Smile

Given that the BC are expanding so rapidly they need all the half-decent teachers that they can find - if you present yourself as a "normal" individual who is clued up to a reasonable level, they'll take you on board.

They'll ask you questions to which you should already have some experience of so don't expect any super hard questioning on the latest teaching trends.

When I interviewed for the BC back in 2008, they were professional, friendly, and asked the same questions as other schools had done previously. Dress smart, keep all tattoos covered up / piercings that are considered non mainstream out and smile and you should be fine.

Subject knowledge - groups, courses, people you've taught; textbooks you've used; your training; your goals etc
Course and lesson planning - revisit your CELTA days and brush up on all those T-->SS, S-->S plans that you did.
Classroom management - don't say you'll scream at the precious darlings.
Understanding - needs analysis, background awareness, communication at different levels to different ages.
Learning technologies - the BC are firmly entrenched in the IT world -if you have no experience with interactive whiteboards say that you're excited to use cutting edge tech in class and that you're willing to learn.
Child protection - health, safety, and the various permissions of working with children. Obviously you're not going to know the legals of this but show an awareness that working with children is a skilled area and you're willing to learn.

Nothing new there for you I'm sure
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. Sounds like a job for Dragonpiwo, if they have part-time work, as I suspect they do, in Poznan.

Five schools in Poland. They really have grown.
In Warsaw the library was quite good, and I had a library card.

I would say that it takes patience to work there.
Some spoiled kids study there, as I have heard.
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iknowwhatiamtalkingabout



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google the British Council behaviours.

The answers they want to hear from you will be based around these.

Constantly apply things to the cycle. Problem, action, resolution and try to link it to the BC behaviours. The job advert will tell you which ones they will focus on. Usually it's Making it Happen and Working Together.

It's not that difficult. Just take an experience you have from your career and talk it round to fit their definition of the behaviour.

For example. "A time where I had to work together with colleagues to solve a problem was... ... ... The problem was this ... ... ... By working together to ... ... ... we achieved our aim of ... ... ... .

The first BC interview can feel intimidating, but trust me, there's no need to panic. Good luck.
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iknowwhatiamtalkingabout



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, when they ask you about classroom management with kids, batter on for a bit about routines and how important they are for YL classroom management. They love that.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1633
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 9:56 am    Post subject: Mitsui Reply with quote

Yeah I called Amanda the Project Manager here in Poznan. It seems they have some sort of cooperation with schools and YL gigs. I'm not sure they have a school as such. Anyhow, sent the CV off and nothing back, so it ain't gonna happen. TBH, I'd much rather teach adults but I'm OK with teens too. However, toddlers etc aren't for me.

I've been offered bits and bobs with A, B and C in locations A, B and C. Not interested. I'd rather just get back on rotation, earn real money with no hassle. I've put Libya off for now but other things are coming up on that front. Actually, it's just nice spending lots of time in Poland with my wife and son, so I'm going to take advantage of this time.

Having put feelers out, it's been a real eye-opener. The mean rate is lower than it was years ago, the number of employers who expect you to provide hardware etc is incredible, just about all of them want business to business contracts and the market really has changed. In Poznan, I think if you have a good job, you'd be mad to give it up. Additionally, I don't think Polish kieruwniks actually think much of their native speakers when you read between the lines. I know from experience, I've always been happier here when my DOS has been English. I also think that when you are a bit older and have a belting CV, some Polish bosses are a bit intimidated. I certainly have no time for these method schools, which seem to be everywhere now boasting accelerated learning techniques and a direct method methodology.

We'll see as it's early days but my gut feeling is that I don't actually want to be running around all over for what I consider to be not very much cash. I think I'm looking more for the wife than for me.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15330

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Library in BC Warsaw ? They closed it I heard. No return on capital invested ! I remember it from the 1960s.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1202
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 3:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Mitsui Reply with quote

dragonpiwo wrote:
Yeah I called Amanda the Project Manager here in Poznan. It seems they have some sort of cooperation with schools and YL gigs. I'm not sure they have a school as such. Anyhow, sent the CV off and nothing back, so it ain't gonna happen. TBH, I'd much rather teach adults but I'm OK with teens too. However, toddlers etc aren't for me.

I've been offered bits and bobs with A, B and C in locations A, B and C. Not interested. I'd rather just get back on rotation, earn real money with no hassle. I've put Libya off for now but other things are coming up on that front. Actually, it's just nice spending lots of time in Poland with my wife and son, so I'm going to take advantage of this time.

Having put feelers out, it's been a real eye-opener. The mean rate is lower than it was years ago, the number of employers who expect you to provide hardware etc is incredible, just about all of them want business to business contracts and the market really has changed. In Poznan, I think if you have a good job, you'd be mad to give it up. Additionally, I don't think Polish kieruwniks actually think much of their native speakers when you read between the lines. I know from experience, I've always been happier here when my DOS has been English. I also think that when you are a bit older and have a belting CV, some Polish bosses are a bit intimidated. I certainly have no time for these method schools, which seem to be everywhere now boasting accelerated learning techniques and a direct method methodology.

We'll see as it's early days but my gut feeling is that I don't actually want to be running around all over for what I consider to be not very much cash. I think I'm looking more for the wife than for me.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the OP.

To the OP, Simonporter has given you good advice. Best of luck in the interview! Unless you screw it up really, really badly, they should give you some hours.
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dragonpiwo



Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 1633
Location: Berlin

PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: erm Reply with quote

I was responding to Mitsui's suggestion that the BC might suit me a few posts above.

Wind yer neck in Shake.

And yes, Simon's advice is spot on.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1202
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Library in BC Warsaw ? They closed it I heard. No return on capital invested ! I remember it from the 1960s.
The library has moved to Praga: http://www.bppragapd.pl/ Definitely not as convenient now, but quite a lot of EFL related stuff there, including coursebooks and theory books.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So would they still insist on only hiring people with a British education?

In Prague I remember Americans being hired part-time at the BC.
But I cannot remember if it was only for TOEFL classes.

In Tokyo I think only those with a British passport need apply.
They gutted the library and kept pushing study in the UK.
Basically it is run as a business.

My friend from Cheshire worked in Warsaw at the BC for a few years before he quit.
I thought the hours were long. He had to stay until 9 p.m. I think young learner classes could be tough, but I guess that is where the demand was.

There was also an American library, I think at the university, not far from a metro stop, maybe 4 stops from Centrum.
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iknowwhatiamtalkingabout



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 97

PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mitsui wrote:
So would they still insist on only hiring people with a British education?

In Prague I remember Americans being hired part-time at the BC.
But I cannot remember if it was only for TOEFL classes.



Things like that are out of the BC's hands. They hire in line with local visa regulations.

For example, UK and Egyptian passport holders only in Egypt, while places like Hong Kong, Malaysia etc will take any nationality. The BC doesn't put these barriers up.
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Master Shake



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 1202
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iknowwhatiamtalkingabout wrote:
Things like that are out of the BC's hands. They hire in line with local visa regulations.

For example, UK and Egyptian passport holders only in Egypt, while places like Hong Kong, Malaysia etc will take any nationality. The BC doesn't put these barriers up.
Totally true. Part of the BC's mandate is 'Equal Opportunity and Diversity'. They can't give preferential treatment to any nationality, even if they speak like the queen.

In Tokyo, the BC have a reputation for working their full-time teachers quite hard.

It's totally different in Warsaw because almost all teachers are employed as contractors; they (officially) don't have to take any classes they don't want.

The BC is run like a for-profit business now more than in the past. This is because it's loosing government funding in more developed countries like Poland and Japan. So, BC schools either need to be self-funding or close down.
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TwinCentre



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 273
Location: Mokotow

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teaching at the BC in Warsaw, Poland and Morocco proved invaluable experience for me in regards to setting up my own business in education a few years later - a music school in UK. I still cast my mind back to their procedures with courses, customer service, fees and refunds etc, to help with my own policies.

I am saying this just to highlight that the experience you may gain there can be wider than classroom teaching.
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