If you’re interested in working as a teacher in the Gulf, it’s important to be prepared for your interview, and know what questions you’re likely to be asked. When it comes to Gulf teaching jobs, your interview will likely differ from the one you would have for a teaching job back home.
So, what’s the first thing to do in an interview? Listen. That’s right. Most people have a tendency to think about their answers before they hear the question, but it is imperative that you listen carefully and respond accordingly.
Focus on what you are being asked, don’t worry about what you think they will ask (if you are well-prepared, then this shouldn’t be a problem anyway).
If for any reason you don’t understand the question or are unsure of what is being asked of you – ask them to repeat it or clarify. It is much better to start your answer with: “I’m sorry, could I just check if I understood the question correctly…?” than blabbering on and answering something completely different than what was asked.
Be prepared to be specific
The other thing that is important to remember is that you need to be specific about your experience. Don’t just say that you have taught students in an ESL setting, tell them how many students, how long, and at what levels.
Tell them what kind of curriculum you used and why it was appropriate for the age group. Be specific about the skills you used as a teacher and as a professional and why they are relevant to the position being advertised.
When explaining why you feel that you would be a good fit for the job, make sure to use examples from your life (without getting too personal) so that they can picture you fitting into their school community.
Take time to think
It’s perfectly okay to take a few seconds to think before answering a question. In fact, you should do that. People often get nervous during an interview and find it easy to say the first thing that pops into their head.
The problem is that this usually isn’t your best answer and may not even be true. If you take a little time and think about your answer, you’ll be able to give the interviewer the correct response.
If you don’t want the interviewer to know that you are thinking about how best to answer his or her question, there are several things you can say while considering your response: “That’s a good question,” “Let me see,” or “I’m thinking about the best way to answer.” After these phrases, pause momentarily before continuing with your answer.
Most important of all, if you don’t know something or really can’t come up with an acceptable response, be honest; admit that you don’t know.
Unfortunately, many people struggle with confidence. Confidence is very important in any job interview; you want the interviewer to believe that you are the best person for the job.
You can convey confidence in various ways, starting with your body language. Make sure to smile and make eye contact as much as possible when speaking to your interviewers.
Lean slightly forward and use confident hand gestures if appropriate while speaking. If they ask if they have any questions, you can ask them some questions or simply repeat how enthusiastic you are about the position and how eager you are to get started.
It’s natural to feel nervous during a job interview, but don’t let your nerves take over and cause you to forget everything that makes you an excellent candidate for this position.
Try not to think too much about what your interviewers might be thinking or looking for; instead, focus on being yourself and showing them who you really are by answering their questions as concisely yet thoroughly as possible.
Remember that you are probably the better candidate
It is important to keep in mind that the school may not know you at all. They are hoping that you are the best candidate for the job and that you will help them achieve their goals as a school.
So, at this point, make them want to hire you. Be confident, Be optimistic and definitely do not say anything negative about yourself or your abilities; these are guaranteed relationship killers and can have an immediate effect on how much the interviewer likes and trusts you.
Don’t be defensive if an interviewer criticizes your performance or experience
While you don’t want to be defensive, neither should you be aggressive. This is an interview and not a boxing ring. Even if the interviewer makes what you feel are unfair criticisms of your experience or ability, it’s important to stay calm and collected. After all, you don’t know how well the interviewer knows their stuff.
You might just have a bad day in which everything seems to go wrong. If that happens, try not to get too upset about it and just focus on getting through the rest of your interview as best as possible. If things don’t go well with this particular job application, there will always be others down the line.