You’ve wrapped up your online English teaching-focused TEFL certificate and have a few job leads from really exciting companies offering cutting-edge online learning to students in distant places.
Your dream life is so close you can taste it. But in order to make it a reality, you need to actually get hired—and before that happens, you need to ace your interview.
Here’s our best advice on how to rock your online teaching demo and get hired to teach English online ASAP.
6 ways to stand out during your online English teaching interview
1. Have the credentials to back it up
Unlike some real-world classroom jobs, there are plenty of reputable online English teaching companies that hire non-native English speakers, not to mention a handful that love working with those who don’t have a degree. But you know which requirement they aren’t as quick to budge on?
Their preferred TEFL skills qualifications.
Having a TEFL certificate under your belt underscores every answer you give in your online English teaching interview. They can tell pretty quickly if you’re thinking on the fly or if your expertise is rooted in actual training.
You can take it a step further by specializing in a TEFL certificate focusing specifically on the skills needed to succeed as an online English teacher. This will really make you shine in the interview!
2. Do a test-run in advance on the device you plan to teach with
There’s nothing more frustrating than when technology craps out on you right as you need it to work perfectly. To avoid this hiccup, do a test run of the programs that you need to run to conduct your interview.
Fire up Skype, open a fake Google hangout, try to video chat via Facebook with your bestie. Ideally, you will conduct your online English teaching demo from the laptop, computer, or tablet that you intend to use for all future classes.
Test specifically for audio and video capabilities, as well as the strength of your internet connection. We’d hate for you to experience any unnecessary connectivity issues during your online English teaching interview!
3. Look and act the part
Make sure that your background is relatively plain and clean (keep the dirty socks below the camera’s line of sight) and that you, likewise, appear professional.
Pro tip: Make sure the lighting doesn’t suck—overhead lights can wash you out quickly. Windows and natural lighting are your friends.
4. Turn off notifications… everywhere!
Whether you get dinged on your phone or prefer to keep in touch with friends with a text message service on your laptop, you need to give the impression that you’re focused during your online English teaching interview. This means shutting off audible notifications and powering down other distracting apps and notifications.
Speaking of noise, it’s best if you find a quiet, distraction-free location for the interview across the board. Let roommates know what you’re up to or book a private room at the library—your call.
5. Read the interview instructions very carefully
Sometimes, you’re required to give a live online English teaching demos. In other situations, like at SayABC, you can submit a pre-recorded video of yourself teaching a lesson.
Different companies will have different expectations, and if you’re playing the game of applying to multiple businesses, be mindful of fulfilling individual interview requirements. This means reading instructions thoroughly and being not only prepared to fulfill their expectations, but prepared to exceed their expectations.
6. Prepare! Then prepare some more
You know how you can talk ad hoc about your favorite TV show for 10 minutes straight? Or that you’re happy to casually explain to your bestie your exact skincare routine, in detail?
That’s because you know this information like the back of your hand. You’re not worried about saying something wrong because you know the content so well.
This should be your target for your demo lesson. Know the lesson so well that you could conduct the whole presentation without giving a notecard the bat of an eye. This will make you appear knowledgeable, natural, and confident. Stand out from the dozens of other interviews any given company is conducting that day; create a lesson that is age-appropriate, TEFL-informed, and something you’re very comfortable talking about.
One more time for the folks in the back: PREPARE.
Pro tip: Feel free to recycle content from your TEFL course. You can work smarter, not harder, when preparing your online English teaching demo. 😉
Rock your online English teaching demo!
We can see your enthusiasm and willingness to commit to the process from here. Well done! Best of luck as you prepare for teaching English online; we hope you get the job and have a blast.