Ever wanted to secure a great new international school job whilst wearing underwear!?
97% of Teacherhorizons’ placements have happened via Skype interviews. With internet speeds improving globally and with schools becoming more technology savvy, Skype interviews are likely to become common practice amongst schools. Skype interviews are far preferable to recruitment fairs and make much more sense than flying across the world at huge expense.
However, interviewing on skype can be tricky, especially if it is your first time. Hopefully the 10 tips below will help.
- Carry out your research. Just like in a face-to-face interview, make sure you have fully explored the school website, their Teacherhorizons profile and any information on the curricula they teach if it is your first time teaching the IB for example. The following article will help: http://www.teacherhorizons.com/assessing-and-researching-international-schools
- Dress formally. Make sure you are wearing professional dress (at least for your top half!) and look presentable as you would at a face-to-face interview.
- Test your equipment. Use a test call to make sure your microphone and speakers are both working well. It is very frustrating when one interviews candidates that haven’t done this basic check before an interview.http://www.wikihow.com/Test-Skype will help.
- Ensure you have a good internet connection. Being plugged in to the internet is often quicker than wifi, try and use a good connection so that you can use the video function. It will help you and the interviewer to connect.
- Get the camera right and look into the camera. Ideally, have the camera on your computer pointing at you so that you can see your face clearly and top of your shoulders. Many candidates look at the screen. Don’t! Look at the camera as eye to eye contact is important.
- Be on time. Heads are busy people, make sure you are live on skype at least 5 minutes early and have shared skype contact details.
- Smile. It is more difficult to establish a connection with someone on skype as you can’t see people’s body postures. A smile will really help both of you feel comfortable.
- Ask for next steps. When you finish your interview, ask what the next step is and when you will expect to hear from the school. Chase the school up if you don’t hear from them.
- Follow up with a thank you email. Following up with the school after the interview is important. A quick note to confirm your interest can only help!
- Be yourself. Just like in a face-to-face interview, try and demonstrate your personality by being yourself. Ask questions and show you have done your research.
The underlying point I wanted to make was that whilst the format of interviews have certainly changed, the rules haven’t. If you treat a Skype interview as you would a face-to-face interview it will certainly help you in securing a great job teaching in an international school.
Written by Alexis Toye, Director of Operation and Finance at http://www.teacherhorizons.com . Former IB school teacher and IB Coordinator at Oporto British School and Westminster Academy.