Teaching in International Schools can be very rewarding personally and professionally. You get to experience a new country, culture, and meet a fantastic array of people.

Of course, since many international school jobs may be not in your current country, you should prepare for interviews by phone and by Skype. For many positions that will be everything. For senior positions (or if you live locally) then a traditional face-to-face interview is likely too.

Get the basics right

A phone interview is obviously just like any other interview in many respects.

You should always:

  • Do your research: understand as much as you can about the role, the school, and the interviewer
  • Listen carefully
  • Be succinct. (You might want to research the STAR interview technique. It’s a bit corporate, but can definitely be adapted to ensure you give useful answers in your next teaching interview)
  • Have your questions ready

Organize your space

The wonderful thing about a phone interview is that you can organize your space to suit you.

Have notes available – but don’t read sentences out loud (it’s obvious!). You can keep your Searchality profile open on screen in front of you

Control the noise – children & dogs out of the way!

Pen & Paper – make notes

Keep your hands free

We’d recommend using a phone headset so that you are completely hands-free during the call.

There are several benefits to using a headset during a phone interview:

  • You can access your notes, resume, documents easily
  • You can write down comments or questions as you go along
  • You don’t get a hot ear from holding the phone to it for an hour!
  • Your body language is more relevant (see below)

Use non-verbal communication!

The blindingly obvious point about a phone interview is that no one can see you, so talking here about Non-verbal communication may seem odd!

The reality though is that more than half of our normal understanding of a conversation is non-verbal. Therefore, you need to work hard to ensure you are fully understood by the interviewer. You can have a huge impression by thinking about your posture, smile and voice.

Body Language matters

Even though you are on the phone, your voice changes depending on your body. If you are slouching, it can easily be conveyed through the call. So there are two top tips:

  • Stand or sit upright
  • Smile

Smiling might sound odd, but it has two benefits. First, you project that ‘happiness’ to the person on the other end of the call. Second, you get a feedback loop to yourself which tells your body you are happy.

If you have not watched it before, I would strongly recommend you look at Amy Cuddy’s TED talk on the power of body language.

It is the 2nd most watched TED talk ever and has been viewed more than 50 million times! While some have refuted her claims, her key messages are that your body language helps to project a meaning to others, and reinforces your own self-beliefs.

In short: use your body language in a phonecall, as if you were meeting a person face-to-face. It will help you and them.

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

Prepare your answers

As for every interview, if you have thought in advance about your interests, fit for the job, experience, and skills, you will be in a better position.

You might like to download our free ebook, “The ultimate guide to International School interview questions. It will help you think through the possible questions in advance so you are ready to ace your next phone interview.

Already got the job?! Find out how to make the most of your time at an international school.

Video interviews

If you also need to prepare for Skype/Video interviews for your next teaching job, check out our top tips for video interviews.


The smarter, simpler approach to hiring

We’ve designed Searchality to make the search for a new school job much simpler, faster, and better. If you’re looking for your next role, read more about how we help candidates.

For schools, Searchality helps find the best global talent for international school jobs worldwide. Read more about how we’ve transformed recruitment for schools.

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