A guide to consider before, during, and after an ESL teacher interview
Over the last years, I have had the opportunity of leading ESL teacher interviews in my school district. I have seen teachers interview very well and others not at all. There are several things that can make or break an interviewee.
Getting an offer depends on how well a teacher does during the interview. Unfortunately, teachers don’t have as long as before to prove themselves. Most ESL teacher interviews will only last from 30 to 45 minutes.
ESOL teachers must prepare to show various attributes such as their education and knowledge. Experience is also an important part of a teacher’s repertoire about teaching English language learners. However, work experience can only be demonstrated when available.
To demonstrate the mentioned attributes one must carefully prepare for an interview. An ESL teacher’s interview begins as soon as an interview is set up. An interviewee must do several things before, during, and after an interview.
Below are the most important things one must consider to prepare and nail an ESL teacher interview.
What to Do Before the ESL interview
There are several things to consider before an interview. For example, the application process comes before an interview. Most schools require that you include an interest letter and a resume in the application.
Address the ESL teacher job description on your interest letter and resume. Connecting the job description in your application shows the interview panel that you are a candidate to include to interview.
Once a school schedules an interview you will want to research the school and district. Your research should include understanding the school’s student population you are interviewing for. Additionally, you’ll want to find out the school’s ESL instructional models in the school.
Things to consider while researching the school.
- What ethnicity is mostly represented in the school? Hispanic, Asian, Jamaican, etc
- What type of services are offered in the school? Is it pull-out, co-teaching, or push-in services.
- What languages are most spoken in the school?
- Were students born in the US? Are there newcomers?
Your inquiry will prepare you to speak freely about the population and services in the school.
What to Do During the ESL interview
The day of the interview is the most important part of the ESL teacher interview process. Your answers to interview questions should reflect the research and your understanding of the student population. Most importantly, don’t forget to arrive on time.
During the interview, you’ll be asked a series of questions. Your answer to each question must reflect your understanding of teaching English language learners.
During the interview you might be asked about:
- Second language acquisition
- English language development standards
- Instructional Models
- Classroom management
- Professional Development
- ELL student Data
As you answer each question you want to use examples about each area. Show the interview panel what instructional services, collaboration, and professional development looks like.
Answers to Consider during the interview
Instructional services – discuss instructional models and what services look like. For example, when co-teaching what will ESL instruction be like. Will you run a small group parallel to the classroom teacher? What type of scaffolds will you provide?
Collaboration – just mentioning collaboration is not enough to answer collaboration questions. Here you must show everyone what collaboration should look like. For instance, how will you collaborate with classroom teachers? How will you plan instruction on a regular basis?
Professional Development – a question about professional development may be asked to inquire about your ability to provide professional development. Here you want to mention the types of training you can offer. You also want to mention the types of training that benefit teachers of English language learners.
What to Do After the Interview
After the ESL interview, there is more step to consider. A follow-up email to the interview committee may also break or make the interview. Send an email thanking everyone for the opportunity to interview.
Emphasize your interest in the position and what you will offer to the school. A follow-up email should be short and to the point. Provide your contact information at the end of your email.
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