Just like any job, before being hired you can expect to go to at least one interview, if not several. Of course, finding a job in China is no different. And just like a typical interview in your home country, it is meant to give both parties more information about the other. During an interview conducted via Skype, the school will be seeking to find out more about you, and you more information about the school.
Because you lack the ability to physically see the school, and the school lacks the ability to see you before signing the contract the interview carries some more weight. Both you and the school want to make sure that the other will be a good fit. There are several things that a school considers when speaking to you during an interview. For non-native speakers they will be paying attention to your accent and command of the English language first and foremost. Having pronunciation that sounds American or British is what the schools are ideally looking for. Other factors the interviewer will be taking into account is your appearance and general demeanor.
Sometimes, for native as well as non-native speakers, the school will ask to see a demonstration lesson. This is sometimes given live via Skype at a later time. But it’s not uncommon to be asked to prepare a 7-10 minute video before or after an interview demonstrating a simple lesson. Here again, the school is ensuring that you will be a good fit. It’s important to keep in mind that generally our partner schools specialize in children from ages 2-12. So having a cheerful and positive impression will go a long way. As most of us know, being energetic and happy is the best way to keep a little one’s attention. If you are asked to prepare a video or do a live session we will help you out with ideas and guidelines.
Aside from the school getting a feel for you during the interview, you also have to make sure you’re taken care of as well! This is the time to ask any of the questions that haven’t been answered yet. If your school is providing accommodation now is the time to ask about the apartment you will be staying in; if you have questions about the class materials or more clarification on working hours then the interview is the time to ask. Basically, any questions that you have about the specific location you will be working at need to be asked at the interview stage. So, just like you would for a job at home, be sure to prepare for the interview.
One of the most important takeaways is that don’t get too worked up about the interview. Sure, everyone will have jitters, and you should take the job and interview seriously, but too much nerves could lead to problems during the interview. Most importantly is that you prepare and take a few deep breaths before the start of the interview and go for it! One more step toward starting your adventure in China!