5 questions you’re guaranteed to be asked in a TEFL job interview

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Job interviews can be daunting, especially when you’re a newly qualified TEFL teacher with no paid experience of teaching English as a foreign language.

But being well-prepared is half the battle, so here at TEFL Iberia we’ve pooled our interview experiences in Barcelona to come up with the five questions that you’re guaranteed to be asked in a job interview.

What levels did you teach, and which did you prefer teaching?

This question is a great opportunity to show how much teaching practice you did on your TEFL course. It gives you a chance to talk knowledgeably about the challenges and rewards of teaching each level from beginner to advanced.

Tell me about a class that went well. Why did it go well?

Time to show off! Talk the interviewer quickly through your lesson plan and then describe the class itself and why it went well. The interviewers will be looking for your awareness of class dynamic. Don’t be afraid to talk about the students by name – the interviewer won’t know who you’re talking about but they’ll be able to see that you know and care about your students – personality and warmth are always big selling points!

What areas do you feel you still need to work on?

There are some obvious answers to be avoided at all costs – getting to work on time, remembering to prepare classes! – but in general it’s fine to be honest about areas of weakness you might have, as long as you approach them positively. For example, if you’re less confident teaching grammar, this would be a good chance to ask about peer observation or training. Interviewers will be impressed by someone who is self aware and proactive. And of course, one of the rewarding things about teaching is you never stop improving as a teacher – the process of learning is constant.

Which books did you use? Which did you like?

Remember to give reasons for why you liked a particular textbook – reeling off a list of English books doesn’t give much information about you as a teacher. What did you like about the textbook? Were the units well planned? Did each lesson build on the previous one? Was there anything that you felt was missing? This is also an opportunity to talk about lesson planning and supplementing books with your own material.

How would you teach ________?

Don't be caught off guard with this question. The interviewer is checking that you know your grammar and can present it in a clear and coherent way. The best thing to do? Ask for a moment to prepare. Think about the best way to approach the topic – a question to ask, a clear example to give. And then, even if you’re sitting in an office, stand up and pretend you are in front of a class. It doesn’t matter if you feel a bit foolish – every time you teach a lesson it’s a performance, so this is a chance to let the interviewer see your style. Don’t hold back – they want to see what you’d really be like as a teacher.

We cover this information and more in our professional development sessions on our TEFL courses, contact us for more information.

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