Please come prepared with questions. Do you have any questions? What do you want to learn about us? What do you want to know about the school? Do you have questions about the country?
Interviews can be scary. You get nervous. You really want the job and you start to feel like you can’t it after a few rejections or when the school ghosts you. But really interviews should just be the time you let who you naturally are shine. I have found the more relaxed and open I was in an interview, I got along and understood administration better and worked better with them. The interview process should be looked at as a dating prospect. You both need to like each other for the dates and eventually a marriage to continue. In the international circuit, once you don’t like a school or a school doesn’t like you, the job change happens quickly.
Being mentally prepared with questions is ideal. Peter and I write all the questions we want answering. We make sure we at least have 15 questions ready. Sometimes, the school answers most of them but you have enough to seem intelligent, prepared and that you equally care about furthering this relationship.
Look up at the school website to guide your questions. It should connect back to what you read and research about the school. Like how when you go on a second date, people love to feel like you invested your time to improve the relationship. Make sure to portray this attitude to working at a new job. Invest time. Invest Energy. Hopefully, they will see your investment and will want to invest in you. Come up with 5 to 10 questions specifically related to the school.
Get these questions on your list. They are generally but can help you decide if the school is also right for you. Remembering it is a two-way street will help you with your confidence.
- When has the school last been accredited?
- What is the system in place for covering classes?
- How often do teachers in the same content area or grade level have team meetings?
- Have you found many students sign up for after school activities?
- What is the student population like?
- How do most parents at the school like to be contacted with?
- Is your pay scale published? (Very important, if it is not that means they take advantage of people)
- How long do most international teachers stay?
- Why do most teachers leave? (Sensitive, but if the school is honest you will see what it is like in the school climate or country climate)
- Does the school interact with other international schools and how often?
Confidence is the most important. Having questions prepared and having answers to questions prepared is important but schools and administration may be able to tell the difference between a scripted answer and you acting strangely. When preparing commonly known questions make bullet points so you speak more from your heart and memory. Be yourself. Peter said in the interview for Caracas, “So to be clear, you do not see a lot of drug dealers on the street causing havoc.” He was completely himself. He got a laugh. And they liked both of our personalities. Interviews are essentially speed dating. Breath. Have fun. Speak your truth.