If you have an upcoming Skype (or telephone) interview for an ESL teaching position with a potential employer in Asia, take a read of this first!

Once you have collected all your relevant documents needed for your working visa application to teach English in Asia, we will be putting you in touch with our partner schools who are looking to hire ESL teachers for their School or Academy. For the most part, this will be an informal chat over the phone or Skype. Below we have listed some tips on how to get the most out of this opportunity and how to properly present yourself.
As the interview will often be conducted by Skype with video, make sure you present yourself professionally and are suitably dressed wearing at least a collared shirt and tie where possible. It is advisable not to wear piercings and to be cleanly shaven.
For the most part, the interview will be a relaxed and open conversation via Skype or by phone. The purpose will be for the director or hiring manager to get to know a little more about you as a teacher and colleague. Try not to be nervous – be relaxed while at the same time displaying the ability to act in a professional way.
Most Skype interviews for an ESL English teaching position in Asia are very different to Western-style interviews; they are usually short and don’t tend to include too many probing questions such as “Where do you see yourself in five years?” The prospective employer really wants to hear your English accent and make sure it is clear and very understandable throughout the whole conversation. They might ask you ‘why are you interested in coming to work in Asia?’ They might ask you ‘What do you enjoy about teaching English?’ But mainly they want to see that you are a well-rounded, friendly and polite person whom they can work with. So remember to speak slowly and clearly and keep your English simple and clear. A lot of the time, the employer may be more nervous speaking English over the phone than you are, so make it as easy for them as possible!
There may also be some questions about:

  • Qualifications, experience or general background and how you feel these best relate to the job scope of teaching.
  • Lesson preparation or a description of the classroom environment you would seek to create.

You should be able to answer these foundation questions (if they come up) satisfactorily, especially if you already have experience or have completed a TEFL certificate or similar qualification.
After they finish, they will probably ask you whether you have any questions. This is a good opportunity for you to come across as well organized and informed. Although by this stage you will have been provided with some information on class schedules, salary, living conditions etc., you still may have questions relating to textbooks or materials used, style of teaching, other foreign teachers, work attire expectations, apartment furnishings etc. We recommend you keep questions limited to a maximum of two or three as a guide.
If you have received general information from the school prior to interview, ensure you have had an opportunity to review this beforehand. Above all, let your enthusiasm for teaching and strong work ethic shine through!
One last thing to remember is that, while it is possible that the director will make you a job offer at the end of your interview, this isn’t always the case. The interview style can vary greatly between different directors and schools; for some it will be a formality and for others (e.g. international and public schools) it will be more probing, where they are looking for specific experience and skill sets. The best advice we can give you is to be well prepared for your interview and you won’t go far wrong!
Best of luck!

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