You’ll probably be asked to interview on Skype. We’ll help you arrange an interview time but, given the time zone differences, it will probably be at night or early morning. At that time, make sure to be in a comfortable and quite location with a reliable internet connection. If you plan to do a video interview, make sure to look presentable and check to be sure that there’s nothing embarrassing (dirty clothes on the bed, empty beer cans) in the screen shot.
Expect the interview to be short (about 10-20 minutes) and to end with a tentative job offer. Keep in mind we have an extensive number of schools we deal with in Korea, but we have selected this school to be the best option for you, in our opinion. In Korea, the school will look at a few resumes, but generally will only interview the candidates they are most interested in hiring. The interview is more of a confirmation of the school’s decision, and making sure they like the sound of your voice, and energy level.
There’s a good chance the person who interviews you will not be fluent in English. Therefore, it’s important to speak slowly and clearly. However, do not ‘dumb it down’ and speak in broken English or incomplete sentences.
Be prepared for any sort of question. You will probably be asked about class control or culture shock and should definitely be ready to talk about such topics. You might also be asked some questions that would be off limits in the states. For instance, some employers will ask if you’ve ever done a drug or seen anybody to a drug. Just deny any involvement because Koreans don’t know about drugs and think that marijuana will kill you. Some employers will also ask you whether you’re Christian. If you are, it’s easy to say yes. If you’re not, it’s ok to say no. Or, if it feels more comfortable, tell them that you’re not very religious these days. At any rate, it won’t be a big deal. If you accept the job they won’t call you out on it and pressure you to go church or pray with them or anything like that.
Make sure you ask a few questions about the school. Schools do not want to hire tourists, so you need to show a genuine interest in helping kids learn the English language. Here are a few safe questions to ask:
- How many hours a week would I be teaching?
- How many foreign (as in Western teachers) will I be working with?
- What is the age range of my students? (If not posted online)
That said, try not to bombard the interviewer with questions, as you may seem picky, or just intimidating if the interviewer’s level of English is not too high. The interview is NOT the time to negotiate contractual details. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to do that later and if you are uncomfortable about bringing it up, KoreaNow! can negotiate on your behalf. At any rate, first impressions count for a lot in Korea, so appear cheerful and flexible in the initial interview and save the demands for later. Be sure to smile!
Be ready to make a decision. For the most part, schools in Korea will expect a decision in no more than 2-3 days. Once they start the job hunt process, they want to secure the best teacher quickly, so if you delay too long, the job might be gone. However, remember that nothing is final until you’ve signed the contract. It’s ok to verbally accept a job on the spot and then back out later if the details of the contract aren’t good enough.