May 11

What is the ONE question you should ask at a post-CELTA English teaching interview?

FAQs about elt
The ONE question to ask BEFORE you accept that job!
There is one question that's going to make YOU look professional AND help you decide whether you WANT the job... what is it? Watch to find out!
Video transcript

Imagine this. You’re in a job interview, it’s all gone pretty well as far as you can tell. You’ve created a good rapport with the interviewer, you feel they’re impressed with your qualifications and your experience, you’re coming to the end of the interview and the classic final hurdle looms as they ask you ‘Do you have any questions for me?’

In my humble opinion, there’s one thing you should always ask- both because it makes you look good AND because you should want to know the answer … if you want to know what it is, keep watching.

I’m Jo Gakonga – I’ve been a teacher, teacher educator, MA TESOL tutor. I’m a CELTA trainer and assessor, online course designer and I’ve got a website at where I make material for teachers at all stages of their careers. If you like this, don’t forget to give it a like and subscribe to get notifications – I make a new video every week.
ELT-Training intro.

So, what’s the question I think you should always ask? It’s a simple one, but it’s really useful. It’ll make YOU look professional for asking it and it’ll help you to decide whether this is a job you want or not. It’s this…

How could this job help me develop as a teacher?

There are a lot of great language schools out there, but there are also a lot of cowboy outfits and the ones that are good are the ones that want to develop their staff. Of course, this is mainly important if you’re at the beginning of your career, because you want to know that you’ll be supported but even when you’ve had a job or two, you’re much more likely to be happy in your work if there’s an environment where the school values teachers who want to get better.

What kind of things might you be looking for in a supportive school? Here are five ideas:
  1. Is there a range of material available for you to use- will you use a coursebook? Do you have any choice about which one or how you use it? Does the school have a library of resource books? Does it have any subscriptions to online material sites?
  2. Will you have the chance to teach different levels or different kinds of classes- Business English, Exam classes, Young learners… the more experience you can gain, the more you’ll grow and know what you like and what you don’t like.
  3. Is there any ongoing staff development? Schools might have sessions in house run by more experienced teachers, for example, or they might support you to attend workshops or they might know about local teacher’s associations.
  4. Will you have any kind of Mentor or teaching Buddy? I think it’s entirely reasonable to ask whether someone who’s already in the school will be available to help you settle in and who you can go to for support in the early months. Worth asking
  5. Is there a programme of ongoing observation and appraisal? You might be secretly hoping that no one is ever going to come and see what you’re doing in the classroom, but you should welcome another pair of eyes – it can be a really positive way to develop and get new ideas about your teaching.

I’m not saying that you should reject any school that doesn’t off these things but it says a lot about a school if they’re willing to support you, and it says a lot about you if you want to be supported and improve, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Good luck with it and let me know in the comments if this was helpful.

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