How to Prepare for the Interviews and Start Teaching English Online

Tips for online interview-TeacherRecord


The perspective of this article is derived from an experienced online ESL teacher interviewer. I hope this article will be helpful to all teachers who are going to apply for online teaching jobs. The article has summarized how to choose an English teaching company and prepare a demo video, the precautions during the interview, and the things you need pay attention to after a successful interview, etc. It will be great help for applicants to allocate the energy of the entire process of job-hunting. It was written by a very experienced interviewer who so far has helped many applicants who are looking for online jobs.


Before working with a company, the priority is to find a reliable job board to ensure the authenticity of the position, and then what you should do is to submit your resume.


Well, how to find a reliable job board? First of all, it is a crucial step to determine the characteristics of the job board, that’s, whether it has direct contact information, or requires registration and login for delivery. Generally, You wont be able to reach the companies effectively on these job boards which have the contact information of the recruiting companies. Sometimes the interviewers have to review hundreds of resumes for a long time, and the advertisements are still on the job board for recruitment. While for the login-typed job board like Teacher Record, most companies of this kind have been certified and identified by the platform to ensure the authenticity of corporate recruitment. Teacher Record, an authentic and professionally-managed job board, supervises companies to ensure that the expired positions will be removed from the platform. As a login-typed website, Teacher Record has done a lot of professional configuration and standardization of resumes, which have helped to reduce the intervention of the interviewer’s manpower. Therefore, many interviewers are far more efficient in processing resumes by using the website than looking at resumes in various formats in the mailbox that will cause great visual fatigue.


After finding a reliable job board, we start to choose the right company and submit your resume. The following points are extremely important:


1. How to complete your resume?

A complete, simple and clear resume is very important. We always tend to ignore or are too lazy to improve and complete resumes. Therefore, it turns out that multiple applicants are rejected by interviewers with filtering options and unable to make it to the next interview arrangements. What a pity for that!


Note only mention your experience related to teaching instead of the long-form employment experience when you are perfecting your resume. Actually, the interviewer does not have enough time to read your resume carefully and will reject your application after not seeing the “highlights” on the resume since they have many interview arrangement every day.


2. Which are the most important parts about your resume?

2.1 Degree

2.2 Teaching certificate

2.3 Relevant teaching experience and skills,

2.4 Concise personal description. (Interviewers have to deal with hundreds of resumes every day, they dont spend much time to read the long description of personal profiles. Therefore, it is more important to show your enthusiasm for the job rather than telling how professional you are in your self-description. In fact, most applicants praise themselves in the same way and the interviewers also have seen so many similar cases before. Enthusiasm and patience are what the interviewers are looking for on the applicants.


3. How to shoot your profile or instructional/teaching video

Generally, platforms and companies will require you to provide a video to decide if they are willing to send an interview invitation. Why are they requiring a video?

3.1 The interviewers want to check your teaching environment

3.1.1 One of the reasons that many teachers with good teaching skills cannot get to the interview invitation is that the interviewers have found a messy working environment through the video, which greatly affects their experience of enrollment. Therefore, they will not even consider to give these applicants an interview,

3.1.2 In addition to the teaching environment, the background of the teaching location is also very important. The interviewers always prefer a decorated background, such as a background with some small cards or a small blackboard, which are adding value to your teaching environment.

3.1.3 The lighting is also very important, which will directly affect the whole teaching environment.


3.2 The following figures shows some of the teaching environment preferred by interviewers.

3.2.1 Teaching background wall

 Online Interview - TeacherRecord

A clean white wall with decoration

3.2.2 The distance facing the camera

 Online Interview - TeacherRecord

3.2.3 The light of the teaching environment

 Online Interview - TeacherRecord

3.2.4 Dress preference

 Online Interview - TeacherRecord

We have finished talking about the teaching environment, the next key point is the content of the video. What do we need to shoot?


3.3 How to shoot the video?

3.3.1 How long the video should be? Usually 2 minutes to 5 minutes. Interviewers need to watch a lot of videos a day which means that they won’t be able to watch a video completely and carefully. What they want to know from your video are some “highlights” (merits) and vital information about the applicants. Therefore, complete your demo presentation within 5 minutes.

3.3.2 Prepare some props before shooting a video, such as some small toys, cards, and A4 paper with pictures. Next, introduction about yourself as less as possible in the video since the interviewer has obtained the corresponding information from your resume, and what they want to know most is your teaching skills and your TPR, speaking speed, and pronunciation.

(Many applicants spend long time giving personal introduction in the video, like where they come from and what experience they have gained, which are tedious for all these can be found on the resume. In fact, what the interviewers want to know most is your direct teaching performance.)

3.3.3 How to simulate a demo?

It’s one of the most frequently asked question by applicants. Well, there is no need for real students, just pretend that you are teaching to a student. Using more body language and simple props like cards and toys will contribute to your demo presentation well.

Also, you should be able to interact with the students and guide them, and point out the key learning content which can be some key words. Avoid leading students to read the teaching materials, because interviewers really don’t like it this way. The methods you use to correct a pronunciation and grammar play a significant role in assessment. And pay attention to your speaking speed, never speak too fast and try to pronounce every word clearly and correctly.

3.3.4 What is the size and format of the video?

Formats are various form different platforms and official websites of the enterprises. We recommend MP4 video within 20MB, which is the most widely-used format at present and supported by many platforms at the technical level.

3.3.5 Do I need professional shooting tools and where can I find tools for converting video formats?

The answer is no. Actually, your mobile phone is good enough. The interviewers do not care about your shooting device and only intend to know the key points as we have mentioned.


We recommend using this tool for video conversion.


And here is a sample video for your reference.



4. Precautions before the interview process

When you are successfully scheduled for an interview, generally you will receive several time slots or log in to a platform to select a time slot for the interview.


4.1 Many candidates missed the interviews because of showing up at a wrong time due to time difference. How to make sure that you can attend the interview on time? First of all, confirm with the interviewer about time zone of the interview. Then, check your local time zone to make sure that you get the correct time for your interview schedule. Never ask the interviewer when will your interview be at your time zone. Because they might not even know your time zone, and what’s worse, it might leave a impression on the interviewer that you have no idea about the time zone, which might cause absence from school in the future.


4.2 Avoid choosing the interview at early morning, otherwise you may miss your interview.


4.3 Try not to be late for the interview or reschedule the interview, the interviewers cares much about the punctuality. If you can miss the interview, they tend to think that you might miss the online class for students as well in the future. There is one virtual punch-in certificate that has been recognized in the educational industry. Your attendance and punctual performance will bring you a TRA certificate.


5. What to pay attention to during the interview?

At the device level:

5.1 Using a computer for interviews instead of mobile devices

5.2 Using cable connection rather than mobile phone traffic network. At present, many online teaching platforms use embedded live broadcast rooms for online tutoring jobs, which are extremely unstable if you use mobile phone traffic to log in. Most importantly, network connection is one of the most important assessment standards of online teaching.

5.3 We recommend you to prepare a computer with 8G RAM and a network speed of 4MB/s. (The standard of the current mainstream online teaching network tool technical)

5.4 We recommend that you use the Chrome browser.

5.5 Generally, there will be an “allow” button in the upper left corner of the browser. You need click the button to allow the camera and speaker to enter the interview live room successfully, especially it is your first time to enter a classroom like this.

5.6 Making sure to prepare a headset with a microphone rather than using the computer's built-in microphone which might cause a lot of noise and electronic echo.

At the technical level:

5.7 Paying attention to your presentation and teaching environment which I have mentioned in detail above.


6. How to confirm the contract items and what to do after the interview?

6.1 First of all, confirm the time slots for online classes (or opening time period) which is very important to make sure that it can fit your schedule.

6.2 Learn about when and how you will be paid,by Payoneer, Paypal or bank transfer.

6.3 Ask how you will be contacting them, by Skype or QQ.

6.4 Get to know when you will receive the contract and training documents, and when you need to take the training and start to work as a regular teacher.



7. What materials do you need to prepare after you are successfully employed by a school?

Generally speaking, you will be invited to fill personal profile and upload some documents on their website when you are about to teach English online.


What and why do you need to provide these information is most frequently asked question. Check the information below.


7.1 Why do you need to fill personal information, upload passport photo, graduation picture and teaching certificate?

These information are very important for schools to identify your identity, and it is required by Chinese law that all teachers who are teaching both online and on-site need to provide all these authentic materials.

(But please don’t worry, these materials are only used for internal review and filing.)

7.2 Why do you need upload personal photos and teaching videos?

A professional and interesting file is very important for you to get more booking as students tend to select ideal teachers by checking the teacher’s information and teaching videos. As you can find that many major online schools are providing these information on their platform. Therefore, make sure to create a short, interesting and attractive profile.


I would like to suggest uploading a casual and somehow formal photos which will leave a good first impression on students. And for the video, I advise to follow the tips I have provided above about the demo.)


Later, I will write an article about tips during the job seeking and how to become a popular and recognized teacher.


I hope that my experience can be helpful to teachers who are about to or are looking for online jobs. If you think my article are helpful and useful, please forward it to your friends. In this way that they can have a clear understanding about the entire process of the interview and the qualities and qualification that the interviewers are looking for during the interview process.

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