Looking to teach English in Japan? This TEFL Japan blog will help you pass the interview!
The interview is always a nerve-wrecking experience for me unless I have all the information to feel 100% prepared. If you are anything like me, I want to help you out with this blog.
7 Things You Need to Know to Pass the Interview:
1) Be 15 minutes early
Being on time is a given but being early is a big part of Japanese work culture. Whether you are interviewing for a private company job or an ALT position, being early to your interview is a big plus. You are expected to do as such in most jobs in Japan and it would help to show the interviewers that you already have that under your belt.
2) Be Friendly
This is also a big one. In most private company interviews, there will be a group interview to start with. Being friendly with the other interviewees before and during the interview is very important.
Your ability to socialize and get along with people is a huge part of your job as an English teacher in Japan. It’s not all about the grammar. Chat with the other applicants out in the waiting room or during breaks (group interviews usually go on for about 4 hours or so). You don’t have to give them your life story, but small talk goes a long way.
Read: Teaching English in Kobe
3) Dress to Impress
Just like any other interview, your appearance can make or break you. I was once in a group interview with someone who wore sneakers with their dress pants. That person was not invited to the personal interview afterward. This is a teaching job where causal Fridays are never a thing. Put on something nice and professional.
4) Pen and Paper
It doesn’t hurt to bring a pen and paper with you. I would highly recommend it during the group interview if there is one. They will be giving you a lot of information and it can always come in handy for you to jot down some notes and questions you can save for the end of the session.
5) Lesson Plan
Many of the group interviews will consist of brief lesson plans and demonstrations from you. Some companies will give you a choice of topics when they first contact you for the interview while others are pretty open.
Don’t panic. They usually last for about 15-20 minutes. Pick something simple and clear. The other interviewees and interviewers will probably act as your students so make it fun and involve everyone in some form of game or group work activity. Remember to keep it within your time limit.
Doing something involving vocabulary is always a good bet and never breaks character as the teacher to ask the interviewers questions. For the 15-20 minutes, you are the teacher and everyone else is just your student. Be confident and it will be fine. Don’t know how to create a professional lesson plan? Learn more about TEFL certification in Japan and get the training that you need!
6) Stay Calm and Relaxed During the Interview
The interviewers just honestly want to see how you deal with being in front of people and how you handle yourself. The teaching part will be taught under the company’s training program after they hire you. So anything before that, you just have to be creative and show them what your own teaching style is!
7) Thank You E-mail
No matter how the interview went, make sure to follow it up with a thank you email when you get home. Moreover, A little thanks can go a long way with their final decision.
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