Ok, so you had your heart set on a particular teaching company. You practiced for the interview, you rewrote your CV and you thought you performed well on the day. You anxiously wait to hear back from the company for what seems like a decade
And what happens? You receive that dreadful email.
‘Unfortunately, we will not proceed with your application at this time…”
Believe me, I’ve been there. Life doesn’t go too easy on me either. It would be great if our dream job just fell into our lap and we’d put on our best face for every online class. When you aren’t approved by an online company, just know that it is not the end of the world. You will find the right company for you.
So what went wrong?
1. You Didn’t Meet the Requirements at the Interview
Some online companies have stringent requirements when it comes to your qualifications and where you are from.
For example, maybe you are from England but you applied for Qkids, which only hires teachers from the U.S. and Canada. Another issue may be internet speed. There are different internet speeds required by different companies, for example, SayABC requires a high 20Mbps download and 4Mbps upload speed.
Generally speaking, if you can’t meet the requirements of the company in question, you won’t be given an offer.
2. Inappropriate Timing
Time of Year
Sometimes the online companies are full and they can’t accept any more teachers at that time.
Depending on the time of year, you may find that the company is not ready to accept new teachers. Maybe there is a high influx of teachers compared to students. This is happening at the present time with many companies due to Covid-19.
There are generally more students during the summer months, as schools are out and students have more time to learn.
Mock Class Timing
Some teaching companies rely on how you time your lessons. In some companies, you may be expected to spend 2-3 minutes per slide. Find out how long the interview process is and how many slides you will need to complete at that time.
Don’t rush through the slides, especially if you have a slow student. Just condense the information into bite-sized chunks for them to understand. You will have to show that you are time-efficient and can manage the classroom.
3. Too Much Teacher Talk Time in Mock Class
Spending too much time talking on behalf of the student is a no-no. We want the student to feel comfortable and at ease.
If we talk too much, the student might not understand. Not only that, but you are also wasting the student’s precious learning time. The student should do most of the talking.
As the teacher, your role is to adapt to the student’s level and ask them questions to ensure he or she understands the material.
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4. You Didn’t Use TPR
It is essential to use TPR (Total Physical Response). You can use instructional TPR to make clear what you are asking the student to do.
For example, you can point to your mouth when you want the student to watch how you say a word. You can cup your hand to your ear when you want the student to say something.
5. You Didn’t Use Props
Some online teaching companies recommend using a few props in each lesson. If you are teaching children, consider buying a microphone or puppets. These are props that you will use time and time again in class.
You could also use ManyCam. ManyCam allows you to use digital props in class in just a few clicks.
6. You Didn’t Seem Enthusiastic Enough
I am guilty of not seeming very enthusiastic. I am quite serious when I am nervous. The thing is, this will impede on your interview. The schools want a teacher who is fun and has a passion for teaching.
It would help if you exuded that passion in your lesson by smiling, nodding, and being energetic. Be warm, friendly, and inviting. I think many Americans have this natural confidence and inject that positivity into their lessons. Try to develop that confidence. Show that you are also that bright, shining star they are looking for.
Enjoy the mock class, and the student will more than likely enjoy it too.
7. Lack of Preparation
How were your video and audio? Did you test it beforehand to make sure it sounds okay? Could you be seen clearly on camera or was your face not visible in the camera? Did you have your headset and your classroom background ready?
Make sure to set up everything you need before your interview!
You may also be interested in: The Best English Teaching Companies in 2022.
8. It Just Wasn’t Meant to Be
You’ve often heard the phrase, “It wasn’t meant to be.” Maybe, this company is just not the right fit for you. Maybe it just wasn’t part of your destiny and there is an even better company out there for you.
The great thing is that there are so many companies that are hiring and demanding new teachers.
Try out other companies and see how you get on. The more practice you get at interviews, the better you’ll get. Building up your experience means that you will eventually be able to apply for your dream online company.
If things don’t work out the first time, you can always apply again in a few months. If you check the online ESL teaching company policy, some allow you to apply again after a period of time. You could also sign up for the site again with a different email address. (Maybe check to see if this is allowed first!)
What You Can Do Now…
Apply to Other ESL Companies
You can apply to other ESL companies and build upon your experience. Get some interview practice, practice teaching kids and adults. Whatever it takes!
Check out our jobs list and see which online English company you would like to work for. We are here to set you up for success, with interview help and mentorship to help you pass the first time!
There are thousands of people applying to online ESL teaching companies. It has become more competitive in recent years. Keep working and build upon your resume and experience. Apply to your dream ESL companies when you are ready to do so.
Have the belief and faith in yourself to keep going – you can do this! Here is to your future success!
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Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.