They finally answer

Is everything done, once a recruiter/D.O.S. answered to you? Obviously not, the real game has just started. You have gone through the first filter, and now you have their attention. Everything you do from this point until you start your contract will be remembered for a long time, so professional conduct even in delicate situations is a must.

But let’s look into the coming stages in detail.

The first filter at every school is to see who has all the requirements. The basic requirements in Europe at the moment are:

  • being native English speaker or holder of Cambridge Proficiency Exam,
  • a degree,
  • a teaching certificate (no online one and choose CELTA if you have the choice)
  • being under no VISA restriction (European schools rarely help with applying for a VISA).

So their first answer to you will be based on this.

Note, that nothing at a job negotiation is personal. They don’t know you, they see your CV and those of others. So they choose skills and qualifications and their opinion is based on one phone or Skype interview. So, the way you express yourself in your emails might make the difference.

If you get an answer which is positive (ergo invites you to an interview), try to keep cool, but grateful. Avoid re-emailing to the same D.O.S. changing availabilities or apologizing for spelling mistakes. It comes around needy. Be clear and direct. Address your letter and finish your letter with Regards and signature.

If the answer is negative, remember, nobody ever got a second chance by offending the recruiter. Say thank you and ask them to re-contact you in the future if they change their mind. Think about the reasons why they refused your application. If you CV was not up to the expectations, improve it. If you don’t have a teaching certificate, there is no need to respond rudely that you have always taught without any, so it is unnecessary. It is necessary and schools that hire teachers without a certificate are more and more seldom. Ask if you can reapply after gaining the certificate and you will be surprised that they might even remember you after a couple of months (a CELTA course lasts 4 weeks).

As always, the main rule is that D.O.S. are not little elephants: they don’t forget easily. Show them that you are still a very good candidate acknowledging their competence to choose what they need for their school.

Invitation to a Skype interview:

Skype interviews are getting more and more popular, since they add a visual input to the audio one. It makes sense only if you have a camera. So have it switched on.

The rules that we must accept at a Skype chat and a phone interview are the same:

  • be punctual – but wait for the recruiter’s call,
  • be prepared – have your answers and your questions about the school/town/job ready (asking good questions is one of the criteria that is assessed after a job interview),
  • be relaxed – breath deeply and think before you answer,
  • be polite – you might be talking to your future boss.

There are though other rules you need to follow at a Skype interview:

  • Make sure you have a reliable internet connection. Having troubles with the sound or video might be very annoying. If you can’t guarantee a good quality, opt for a phone interview instead and explain yourself to the interviewer.
  • Have a smart-casual look: I’ve-just-got-out-of-bed faces are not good logos and be dressed up properly (no tie, please, but a shirt yes). Think of the famous saying: There is no second impression.
  • If you don’t know the answer, confess. Your interviewer might ask you grammar questions (‘Can you give me an example for Present Perfect Continuous?’). Well, if you start making excuses that you can’t hear the question and that the video crashed, but then there are noises of wild typing coming through your microphone, you answered the question before Google finds the answer for you. Don’t treat the others like fools.
  • Don’t walk with the laptop. Sit down, have everything organised around you (a glass of water, paper and pen, etc.). This is like a real interview only in cyberspace.
  • Use the technology: if your interviewer asks you for your teaching certificate, it is very convincing when you can send it over to them right away as a jpg file. You can type into the chat field of Skype names that are difficult to spell (for instance the name of your previous employer), and you can also send the recruiter to your website to show them worksheets you published.
  • Write a quick note (via email or on Skype) afterwards, thanking for the opportunity.

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