Preparing For An Interview
Common ESL Interview Questions
This section presents some of the most difficult questions teachers may face in the course of their job interviews. Once you gained some practice and experience in interviewing skills, you will find that you can use almost any question as a launching pad for other topics. To do well on an interview, we recommend that teachers prepare answers to all of the questions below even if questions are hypothetical.
- What is your teaching philosophy?
- What level do you prefer to teach? Why?
- What do you think is the most important issue in language teaching today?
- How do you think people learn a second language successfully? How can materials help? How can the teacher help?
- Are you willing to relocate, or travel?
- What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher?
- How would you describe your teaching style?
- How would you deal with teaching a large group? A small group?
- How would you deal with a disruptive student?
- Why is classroom management important?
- What would you do in the situation where a student asks you a question that you do not know the answer to?
- What would you do in the event that the same student keeps making the same mistakes?
- If I were to ask your teacher trainer/students/peers about you, what would they say about your teaching?
- How would you effectively manage a large group of students?
- How would you motivate a class of adolescents?
- How would you teach a lesson on _____________________ ?
- How would you handle a student who did not want to take part in a classroom activity?
For An Experienced Teacher
- What course books, or materials have you used in the past? What did you think of them? Did you supplement, or adapt?
- Have you ever taught a class of different abilities? How did you deal with this?
- How do you establish rapport with the students in your classes?
- How do you decide whether a lesson has been successful, or not?
- Have you ever experienced culture shock? How did you deal with it?
- Do you feel comfortable teaching grammar? What is your approach?
- Tell me about one of your least successful lessons and how you would you teach it again in the future? What would you do differently to improve it?
- What levels have you taught? Which do you like, or dislike? Why?
For An Inexperienced Teacher
- What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of a teacher you had in the past?
- What is something you learned in your studies that you would like to apply to your teaching?
- What makes someone a good language learner?
- What activities would you do on the first day of class?
- What are your long-range career goals?
- What qualities do you think are important in a good teacher? Which do you have?
When asking these questions, the interviewer typically wishes to observe whether you:
- are serious about teaching
- seriously prepared for the interview
- are going to be able to cope with the demands of the students you will come to teach
- have some language awareness that can be built on
TIP: Personality goes a long way! In responding to these questions, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself and be honest. Try to tell a short story, or to give concrete examples rather than talking on general terms.