Interview Preparation

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Great I have an interview, but…

What do I do? What do I need? What should I prepare


These questions no doubt will enter your mind especially if you’re a Newly Qualified Teacher looking for your first teaching job abroad. In fact, middle and senior managers should also be thinking about these questions if they are going to foreign territory.


So, the first thing to note is what format the interview is.  It can be in one of the following formats:

  1. Face-to-face (recruitment drive or recruitment fair)
  2. Web conference (i.e Skype)
  3. Telephone


Face-to-Face Interviews


It goes without saying that if the interview is face-to-face, your personal appearance is crucial as it would set the stage before you begin answering questions, so ensure you dress well, smell well and be professional.  Recruitment fairs can be extremely busy places and with hundreds of teachers being interviewed you really do need to create an impression so being presentable is key.  Ideally be dressed in a suit.

Key points:

  • The more you make yourself look professional and well-groomed, the greater your first impression will be to the employer.
  • Be sure you arrive early and make sure you have a map of where the interviews are being held.
  • Come with a portfolio of evidence


Web Conference Interviews


This is the next best thing to face-to-face interviews as employers don’t have to be physically be in the same location as you but you can still see each other and get a feel for you.  Again be well-groomed and come across professional. Do NOT come dressed casually thinking you’re being interviewed from your house and you can be as you want.  That first impression is crucial! You will most likely need to download Skype and set up a Skype Account.  Best of all, it’s FREE!


Key Points:

  • Check your equipment is working and there is no technical glitch with your web camera or Skype.
  • Be early!
  • Make sure you have your resume with you.
  • Make sure you have sample evidence of work with you, e.g. lesson plan, observation notes etc.


Telephone interview


Again this could feel strange for some as you have to be on the ball when answering the question and you personally don’t get to see or get a feel for your employer.  However, again it’s crucial you’re early on the phone and have a back up solution in case you have phone problems.

Key Points:

  • Be early and check there are no phone issues.
  • Have your resume with you.
  • Do some homework on the school.


Some of you may be wondering: I have mentioned a portfolio but what should I include in this? Below are things we highly recommend you prepare to create a top impression:

  1. Front page cover with your name and subject you teach.
  2. A table of contents.
  3. A copy of your resume/CV.
  4. Degree Qualification(s).
  5. Teaching Qualification(s).
  6. Good observations which have been carried out on you.
  7. Photos highlighting you top work.
  8. Lesson plans & SoW.
  9. Resources you have created.
  10. Testimonials from students and fellow colleagues.
  11. References from previous employers.
  12. Evidence of CPD.
  13. Powerpoint presentation.


These are just some of the things you can prepare and get together before your interview.


Please note certain countries may have any eye for specific information they are looking for. Any experienced teachers in different parts of the world who would like to comment or add to that list can do so.


I wish you every success in preparing for your interview and if there is anything specific you would like covered let us know.