Last week EPIK closed applications for Fall 2017. Which means that there are still many people waiting to hear if they have gotten an interview and whether they have passed. Here is an account of my interview experience for everyone either curious or waiting nervously for their own!
Even after several interviews with hagwons and watching every vlog and reading every blog on the subject, I was still incredibly nervous! My interview was scheduled for 6am UK time so I woke up at 5am to make sure I was awake and alert enough for it. (The early start was no issue for me as I wake up that early daily for work already). At 5.30am I was already set up on the computer and fully tested the Skype video and audio. Whilst I waited, I watched some more interview tips vlogs.
6am on the dot, I get a message from a co-ordinator asking if I was ready. I said yes and then answered the video call.
The first 10/15 minutes of the interview focused on my application. I was advised on what mistakes I had made and how to correct them. My personal essays didn’t require any attention (yay!), but I did have a lot of constructive feedback on my lesson plan. It was my first one aside from one I wrote for my TEFL, and I went wrong by making the lesson too boring. I was given a lot of great advice from the co-ordinator to make the lessons a lot more fun and full of games.
The next 10 minutes of the interview was an actual interview. I was asked about dealing with culture shock, how I would make a class fun, how I would cope with co-teachers and how far I had gotten with gathering the required documents. My co-ordiator seemed to like all of my answers and especially liked how far I had gotten with gathering the documents.
After this, he then discussed the next stages of the process and then asked me if I had any questions. I did have questions, I had prepared a list of them! However they ended up being answered throughout the course of the interview! Embarrassed, I lifted up my list to the camera and explained I had no other questions. The co-ordinator laughed and said not to worry. The interview ended after being told when I should hear back by. The whole process lasted around a half hour.
For the next few days, I was really unsure if I would pass or fail. The criticism of my lesson plan had me panicking, but I also remembered how well I had answered the interview questions.
My worries were for nothing as I found out I passed 2 days later!
I’m sure if you are waiting for your own interview that you have read thousands of tips and advice, but here are my tips:
1- SMILE SMILE SMILE!
2- Be honest. When my lesson plan was being reviewed, I was honest in explaining it was my first try, and that I am open to criticism and advice.
3- Research the culture. When I was asked about working with co-teachers, I already knew a lot about how the work structure and hierarchy works in Korea, so I could answer the question with confidence.
4- Prepare questions. Even if they get answered during the course of the interview, show that you did prepare some.
5- Be yourself. EPIK do not want robots. They want exciting individuals that can hold a classes attention and can do the hard work.
6- Breathe. It’s super nerve wracking going into the interview, but you will find yourself relaxing into it after talking for a few minutes.
7- Enjoy it! How many people can say they had an online job interview for a position on the other side of the world? Enjoy the craziness of it!
Best of luck to everyone preparing for their interview! Feel free to leave your own advice in the comments, or ask myself any questions.