You took the jump and applied for a teaching job in China. Amazing! But here comes the interview. How do you prepare for an interview that is online? What are the rules? Don't worry, here are 5 interview tips from our top recruiters to help you ace your interview!
1. Present yourself professionally. Your interview may be happening online, through apps like Skype for example, but that does not mean it is an informal conversation. It is an interview which means you should make sure to dress appropriately and present yourself in a professional manner. Although you don't have to interview in a suit and tie or ball gown, it is still worth considering how you want to come across to your interviewer. Whether your interview is in the morning, afternoon or evening, make sure you're making a good first impression.
2. Be aware of where you're interviewing. Once you have made yourself look professional, make sure you are in a good place to interview. Check how long the interview will last and make sure to let your friends/family/housemates know not to interrupt you during that time. If you interview from your own room, make sure you are at a desk or a table that has an appropriate background that is not messy or distracting in any way. If for any reason you're unable to interview from your room, make sure to find another quiet and professional place in which you will not be disrupted. Not only will this help you focus, it will also add to the impression you are making.
3. Be punctual. Make sure you are on time and on the correct platform! It could be that the person interviewing you is currently in China themselves or in a country different to yours. Double check the emails from your recruiter containing your interview time and date and make sure you set a reminder in your calendar an hour in advance. Be clear on where your interview is happening. Since it will be a video call interview there is a variety of platforms that may be used. Does the one selected by your recruiter require you to download an app or sign into an account? If yes, make sure you do so well before your interview time, so you don't run late. Test the platform as well so you know you will have a stable connection and good audio and video. (Extra tip: make sure that you're online and ready on the chosen platform 10 to 5 minutes before the start of the interview time.)
4. Do your research about the company you are interviewing with. This means going further than a quick look at their website so you can recognize the logo. When were they founded and where? How long has the company been teaching in China? How many locations does it have? What are the opportunities for growth and development within the company? How do they help their teachers settle in to China? Not only will it give you an idea of what might be expected of you as a teacher and employee, it might also give you an edge over the competition if you can show of your knowledge during the interview! Your research will also help you in preparing some questions of your own. It is always good to ask questions in order to show your interest and engagement.
5. Know your own strengths and experiences. You are being interviewed not just for a teaching job, but for a job in China. Take some time to reflect on your past experiences and how they might come into play during your time abroad. Have you done some volunteering work with children? Have you tutored? Have you been abroad before? Have you faced any interesting or difficult challenges at work recently? Being aware of your own experiences and the strengths they might show can be helpful during an interview when a question stumps you. Also make sure you're able to explain these situations and experiences in detail and in a professional manner.
If you follow the above five tips, you should be all set to have a great interview experience! And remember, be yourself!