Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Preparing for your interview

And another question from Paul:

"I found your blog very useful and so thought I would ask if you have any recommendations/tips on what to prepare for in an interview with a Korean university?"

I am not an expert on this topic, having not actually been to many Korean uni interviews.  A basic search on Google or ESL Cafe Korean Job Forums could be quite fruitful.  And in fact, I do remember this having been discussed a number of times on ESL Cafe.

However, I'll tell you what my experience (and that of friends as well) has been.  

1. Be prepared to answer questions that you'd think are way too personal and potentially offensive.  It's a different world here.  For example you'll likely hear stuff about religion/significant others/age/health.

2. Unis are looking for long-term people (usually!).  If you give the impression that you're a backpacker here for only a year or two, you won't get the job. 

3. Some unis require a teaching demo, even if they don't tell you ahead of time.  I've heard of it being sprung upon people and they've had to come up with something on the spot.  Be prepared for a 5-10 minute lesson. 

4. I got a lot of questions about ethical kind of stuff.  A student is caught cheating.  A student wants to come over to your house.  If it's not obvious, a safe answer would be, "What is the university policy...I'm prepared to follow it, whatever it is."

5. Bring all your documents.  Schools will likely not hire someone who doesn't have all their stuff together and who they can't start the visa process for right away. 

6. Smile a lot.  Be outgoing and friendly.  Koreans love this in a teacher.

7. And this should go without saying but some people are not so smart.  Wear a suit!  All the interviewers will be wearing one.  With dress shoes.  And a jacket.  And a briefcase/professional looking bag for your documents.  Leave the backpack and sandals and crap like that at home. 

And of course, reading a book on the topic never hurt anyone I'm sure:

That's all I got for now.  Readers...any more hints?

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