Thursday, 20 December 2012

Examples of Comprehensive Teaching Interviews

Over the years I've had some great interviews, some horrible interviews, and some downright weird ones.

Weird Interviews
I'll never forget the interview I got at 2am from China while I was living in Peru. Being woken up in the middle of the night makes your heart race. You think something's wrong, maybe someone died. But no, I had an impromptu interview from someone who didn't realise that the whole world isn't on Chinese time.:/ It basically went like this:
  • Interviewer: You apply to China job?
  • Me: Yes. (still groggy with sleep).
  • Interviewer: You native English speaker?
  • Me: Yes. (now annoyed that I'm being interviewed at 2am)
  • Interviewer: Ok, you start next week.
  • Me: No! No, I'm not going to start next week.
  • Interviewer: Oh. . .
  • Me: I cannot start next week. Goodbye.
Horrible Interviews
I've also had interviews where the interviewer was a tad bit condescending. They asked (in a voice that you use when you talk to children) me things like how I learned English. I'm a native speaker for the record. Born and raised in the US. Although technically my mom is an immigrant, she came to the US when she was 16 months old and since her mom was born in the US and they wanted my aunt and grandfather to learn English quickly and assimilate, they only spoke English to her. It was their way of practicing. She doesn't speak her father's native language. English is the only language she speaks.

Fantastic Interviews
I always prepare for interviews, but some of the best interviews I've had they've asked off-the-wall questions. Not inappropriate, but just questions that you wouldn't expect. I think one of the reasons they do that is to see how creative you are, how well you think on your feet, and how well you deal with the unexpected. Of course I won't post examples of the questions I've had because they're supposed to be unexpected. ;)

Fantastic interviews are often composed of a couple parts. There are two universities in Korea that I've heard about that have comprehensive interviews: Ewha Women's University in Seoul and Yeungnam University in Daegu.
  • Ewha: In addition to a panel interview, you'll have to grade an essay, and give a demo class that you've planned in advance.
  • Yeungnam: You'll be given 30 minutes to type the answers to 4 questions about teaching, then 10 to plan a 30 minute demo lesson, and then finally you'll be interviewed by a panel.

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