6 Questions to Answer in your ESL Job Interview

People find success in their ESL job interviews by doing two things well:

First, they have a teaching qualification that gives them confidence in the classroom.

Second, they prepare for these common ESL job interview questions:

  • Why do you want to be a teacher?
  • What are your plans for the future?
  • Why did you pick Vietnam?
  • What teaching experience do you have?
  • Why do you want to be a teacher?
  • How would you handle a challenging student?

If you’re wondering how to answer these questions, then this article will make it easy for you.

Why do you want to be a teacher?

The first ESL interview question on our list is deceptively difficult.

It’s easy to say that you want to earn a comfortable wage while living well for a few months, but this answer rarely takes you far.

Drawing on your personal experiences to address this question will help you make a genuine connection.

Perhaps you had a wonderful experience during your education, or maybe you didn’t and you wish to be the teacher that you never had.

Nine-to-five office jobs aren’t for everyone, and the flexible hours of teaching in a foreign country like Vietnam are quite unrivaled compared to its neighbors.

What are your plans for the future?

You might be wondering:

What is this question trying to learn from you?

In most job interviews, the question is trying to gauge whether you have realistic plans for yourself and if the job suits that plan.

In other words, the interviewer is interested to know whether you will be able to commit to at least a year of teaching.

High teacher turnover is a worry for most companies since many applicants want to save a few bucks before continuing their travel plans.

Showing that you enjoy Vietnam by talking about specific cultural topics will help assure the interviewer that you’re here for the long term. Even if you’re interested in a short stay, your plans could change.

Be honest with yourself and the interviewer about the possibility that you are pursuing a better future, which may involve changing your long-term plans once the job gets going.

ESL interview questions - To show beauty in Vietnam

Why did you pick Vietnam?

The third of our ESL job interview questions is similar to the last one:

It’s gauging whether you’ll be able to commit.

This is your opportunity to show your openness and interest in Vietnam’s culture. Doing some research before the interview will enable you to answer the question with confidence.

Learning the language and having knowledge of the Vietnamese cuisine and customs will help you stand out.

Don’t know much about Vietnam?

Head through to your local Vietnamese restaurant and order a Pho or another Vietnamese dish. Or take a look at our article on things to do in Saigon.

What teaching experience do you have?

No set of ESL job interview questions would be complete without this one.

Teaching centres are usually forgiving when it comes to hearing responses to this question, though it certainly helps to be better equipped to ensure that you’re able to negotiate for better pay.

The key is to use previous work experience and relate it back to teaching English.

For example:

You could mention any job that has required communication skills, so feel free to bring up your time working as a shop assistant or as a waitress – these both require clear and concise communication.

Having your TEFL, or another teaching qualification ready will also be a way to talk about how you’re ready for some practical experience.

to show frustration while handling difficult students.

How would you handle a challenging student?

Whether we want to accept it or not, there are going to be students who will do anything to make a mess of your carefully prepared lesson plans. How we manage their behavior will make the difference between teaching paradise and putting your textbooks away for good.

Start by expressing that you would show a diplomatic approach:

Express the issue with the student directly and calmly. Give them the opportunity to see the wrong that they’ve done.

If necessary, take them out of the classroom to allow them time to rethink their actions and to calm down.

Highlight that not allowing a class to become derailed due to one student is never a good option, even if it means excluding them for a short time.

If you’re wondering where the best places to work are, LinkedIn and Glassdoor are helpful for finding a variety of different English centers.

Found that dream job but still wondering how you’re going to make that morning commute? Check out our guide on buying a motorbike in Saigon here.

About The Author

Nathan Piccio

As a happy resident of Vietnam for the last 3 years, Nathan recognizes the benefits and the challenges of living in another country. This background has inspired him to provide knowledge about his experiences.

He feels passionate about sharing the culture, food, and traditions of the country, which he has expressed with the several websites he has worked with.

Originally from the London in the UK, he has the experience of travelling to over 30 countries, and especially loves Asian culture.

Nathan Piccio

As a happy resident of Vietnam for the last 3 years, Nathan recognizes the benefits and the challenges of living in another country. This background has inspired him to provide knowledge about his experiences.

He feels passionate about sharing the culture, food, and traditions of the country, which he has expressed with the several websites he has worked with.

Originally from the London in the UK, he has the experience of travelling to over 30 countries, and especially loves Asian culture.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *