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HCT Interview Experience (for Dave's, not other blogsites)

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Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 355
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: HCT Interview Experience (for Dave's, not other blogsites) Reply with quote

Hi All

So I finally have some experience to add to this forum. FINALLY! Mind you, mine only consists of a brief interview at the 2012 TESOL convention in the U.S.

I've never worked in the Gulf and certainly cannot personally relate to the stories I've heard about HCT as an organization. I will say that they present a very professional image at TESOL at least and look as though they have the potential to be a wonderful employer.

However... that said, I had my suspicions confirmed before I even met my interviewers when I approached an officiator at the check-in counter of the job market place to ask him what time I should arrive for my interview which was later in the day. As it was my first time at TESOL, I just wanted to make sure that one, I found the venue easily and could arrive early and two, I was in fact on their list for an afternoon interview.

When the man could not find my name on the list, he asked me who I was scheduled to interview with. When I told him, he rolled his eyes and sighed before informing me that HCT was the worst recruiter he'd ever dealt with in his many years of working the job marketplace at TESOL. He advised to me to arrive not one minute earlier than my scheduled interview time and told me to expect to wait possibly up to 30 minutes past my scheduled time as they always ran late. And he also warned me to expect moments of awkwardness between the HCT recruiters and the TESOL job fair employees as they apparently 'go at' one another from time to time due to these delays.

So... the interview.
First of all, I must say that my impression of them is only attributed to the two people who interviewed me face to face and the woman who shared email exchanges with me prior to my arrival at TESOL. I did not apply to them. They actually found me registered for the job market place and contacted me with an interview offer. They even went so far as to schedule it and ask me to reply and confirm. I didn't feel that I had anything to lose by confirming.

I was met by two 'members' of HCT from two different schools in UAE- one male and one female. I will not disclose names or nationalities. One was kind and agreeable to me, the other, quite the opposite. Their interview questions were clearly scripted and did not reflect any semblance of 'filtering' for qualified instructors. No questions about pedagogy, grammar analysis, learner linguistic challenges and so on. This was a bit of a letdown.

The interview was recorded, which I thought was a a very good idea considering their size and application pool. But that is really the only positive thing I can say about it. As I mentioned, one of the interviewers was so terse with me that I dare say he/she was borderline abrasive.

The focus of my interview seemed to be conflict: office conflict among colleagues, between me and my employer and between me and my students. Aside from my students, I have no examples of conflict to speak of.

There is quite a bit more that I can say about this experience, but I think I will close with an observation that out of all of the Gulf employers, HCT seemed to be the most involved in TESOL USA. They had 2 well-known presenters, many sessions for participants and apparently had students brought in to help boost their marketing as well. It became very obvious to me though that their efforts to recruit teachers/faculty/students were not met with a very rewarding or interested response.

My friend who also interviewed with them (and had a more positive experience) noted that there were more HCT people present and active at the conference than interested applicants/attendees. Apparently they'd booked a hall meant for 200 for a planned presentation on the benefits of living in UAE and working for HCT, and only had about 10 people.

And so ends my experience with HCT, as it were. Just thought I'd share that here. For those of you wondering if I am holding out for a job offer from them, I'm not. Otherwise I wouldn't dream of posting such comments here two days after my interview.

I find it all a bit disheartening though as I've been watching HCT for years since completing my MA TESOL and hoping for a chance to work for them. A few years ago when I found out that things had taken a turn for the worse, I gave up on the idea.

Again, this post only reflects my very brief face to face experience with this group. I've heard of a number of other teachers who have worked for them and been quite satisfied with the experience!

Last edited by Noelle on Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:41 am; edited 2 times in total
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Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 146
Location: HCT Land. UAE

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


A word of warning. The world is a very small place and who knows, in a couple of years you might want to get a job at HCT (weirder things have happened). Make sure that HCT cannot trace you IRL to this post on Daves. They have a "banned" list (that they claim does not exist, but it does) and if they can link your post here to you IRL, then you will go on that list.

Your comments are not misleading, nor misinformed. They are right on the money in most aspects. I will correct one of your claims. There are LOTS of teachers who actually enjoy their times at HCT. They just are keeping their heads down and not causing any kind of stir. Unfortunately that does not lead to a great academic situation.
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Joined: 14 May 2010
Posts: 68
Location: Stuck in Traffic on Airport Road

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely spot-on, I must say. HCT has been going down the tubes ever since TK became VC - we all know that.

Perhaps this uncooperative and truculent interviewer wanted to do you a favor, and deliberately put you off ending up at Gulag Kamali? Stranger things have been known, I feel...
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Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 355
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:39 am    Post subject: HCT Blog Reply with quote

To the poster who copied and pasted my original comments to an "hctsucks" blog:

Please do me a favor and leave me and my posts out of your blog.

While I stand by my comments on this forum (which have been recently modified due to the length of the original post and some useless information), I DO NOT support this blog created by former HCT employees.

I have not worked for them. I have no desire to work for them. But I also am not interested in participating in some kind of smear campaign created by a group of disgruntled ex-employees set on destroying their reputation.

My post is intended for readers on this forum, hopefully at least one of whom may include an HCT recruiter or supervisor of some sort. I have no personal vendetta against this organization but merely meant to point out that they should give more thought to how they attempt to recruit participants of the TESOL convention.

And I hope that they do not speak to other interviewees the way they spoke to me. Remember that my original post only stated that one of these interviewers came across this way. The other was perfectly cordial. And I met another interviewee at the convention who had a much more positive experience with them both.

Most professional teachers that I am acquainted with do not follow online blogs such as yours. I agree with another fellow participant on this forum who referred to your "hct sucks" blog as obnoxious and infantile.

And on a final note, if HCT is truly as bad as your blog insists, then I seriously doubt they need your help in destroying their already questionable reputation.
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