Many EFL teachers, when they first come to Thailand, are not always sure what to take to a job interview for an EFL teaching position. While many teaching interviews in Thailand are quite lax compared to interviews in the west, there are still certain things you should take with you to every job interview – especially to interviews at the better schools. If you take these items with you when you go on a job interview, you’ll give yourself a much higher chance of getting a job at a good school.
Take Your Resume – Just like in any country, when you go for an EFL teaching job interview in Thailand, make sure you take a copy of your resume with you. Even if you’ve already e-mailed it, mailed it or faxed it to the school, still take another copy with you. I’ve lost count of how many schools had lost my resume when I got there, which makes it much more difficult for the interviewer to assess you properly. Having another copy of your resume in your briefcase or bag will make the start of the interview go so much more smoothly.
Take Your Original University Degree Certificate Plus a Copy – Most schools in Thailand will ask you to bring your original university degree certificate with you to the interview. When you get there, some of them will ask to keep it so they can check to see if its genuine (there are many teachers who try to pass off fake degrees they bought on Khao San Road in Bangkok as the real thing – don’t! Schools are now checking and you can now get deported for using a fake degree). This is where a photocopy of your degree comes in. Leave the photocopy with the school. They can call your university to find out if you graduated from there with a photocopy of the certificate just as well as with the real thing. The only time you have to give them your original certificate is when you already have the job and they’re applying for your work permit. Then it is needed, but don’t worry, you will get it back.
Take Your College Transcripts Plus Copies – Many schools will ask you to bring your original college transcripts with you. Honestly, most of them don’t care about your grades, it’s just another way to check that it’s a genuine degree and not a fake. Again, like with your degree certificate, take copies of your transcripts with you so you don’t have to leave the original.
Take Your TEFL Certificate With You – Most schools now are asking for TEFL certification, and all the good schools are so, if you don’t have it, first of all get it. Make sure for your EFL teaching job interview you also take your original TEFL certificate with you, with the paperwork showing the grades you received and that it was a 120 hour course (a TEFL program should be 120 hours plus teaching practice. Some schools won’t hire teachers with only 60 hour courses and no teaching practice, so make sure you have that). Also, of course, take photocopies of these documents with you to leave with the school.
Take Reference Letters – I’ve never been asked for them in any teaching job interview I’ve had in Thailand but I still always take my reference letters with me (copies, of course!). I’ve also always been offered every job I’ve interviewed for in Thailand, so this also might have something to do with it? Either way, if you have reference letters, particularly for TEFL jobs, it certainly can’t hurt to take them.
Armed with just these few things for a TEFL job interview in Thailand, you’ll have everything you need to satisfy any school. Look prepared, act professionally and you’re well on your way to getting a good EFL job in Thailand.