When it comes to having a Skype interview for a teaching position, I can only think of that episode of Friends when Monica starts dating Pete. A wealthy computer program designer who had it all; the swanky loft, nice cars, could afford to drop loads of green on a waitress in a scummy New York diner, could fly her out to Rome for a date, and even buy her a restaurant.

A few episodes into their relationship, Monica brings the gang to his modern loft after he mentions he has some big news to break to her. While Monica assumes it’s in regards to marriage and is conflicted about whether to say yes or no, everyone is even more taken back when they see they can talk to Pete through a video phone.

Not only were they amazed, but being a seven-year-old in the mid 90’s watching this, I couldn’t help but be in awe as well. I mean, c’mon, my dad had just replaced every phone in house with a cordless one. There’s even a part where Monica is so excited she exclaims, “Call mom!” in which they call accidentally call Pete’s mom. Hello, 90’s Siri.

These days, you don’t have to be a millionaire to have one of Pete’s many futuristic luxuries. You don’t even have to have a job. All you need is a computer or a smartphone to be one step closer to coming aboard and being able to virtually meet the people who want to help you accomplish this life changing move.

Know Your Recruiters

There’s a lot of agencies out there and an overwhelming chunk of them won’t Skype with you. They might send a few email templates back and forth and then try to get you to come to a new country while managing to never show you their face, or even their personality. If you don’t take the opportunity to see the person who’s aiding you in a job search, how can you trust they’ll get you a decent position?

The benefits of being able to Skype with your agent or employer are endless, especially if your agent is in China, like us. I’ve been able to show people around my free apartment, take them outside with me and show them my surroundings, understand what their personality is like, and even let them say, “Ni hao” to my adorable cleaning lady.

Lesson Planning

A lot of agencies get you a job. That’s it. Being able to find a recruiter who can aid in lesson planning is crucial for your success in your first few months of teaching. I personally like to walk a teacher through a few lesson plans and demonstrate multiple avenues of teaching ideas. While I’m not able to demonstrate for them with an actual student, being able to show my body language through a video call has proven highly beneficial for those who choose to set up a Skype meeting with me.

Skype Interview For A Teaching Position

It’s well-known that the Chinese don’t have access to a lot of western websites ( we go over that here and recommend this VPN)but they do have access to Skype. 100% of our partners use Skype as a tool to interview, set up teaching demos, and let you meet currently employed teachers at their school. Our partners strongly agree how important it is to take advantage of these real-time resources. If you’ve been contacted by an agency or school who won’t take the time to video chat with you, this is a definite red flag.

Not only do the schools want to show you what they’re made of, they need to be able to get an understanding of who you are and if you’re suitable for the position they’re offering. If you’re concerned about the interview process and what to expect, read my article here.

Keeping in Touch

If you’ve had a loved one move to a different state, province, or country, you know how much video chatting can do to maintain your relationships. Six months of mine and my boyfriends relationship was through video calls leading up to the moment I got on the plane.

Being able to show my family and friends how I’m living in China has made it easier for the both of us. They’re at ease knowing I’m completely safe and still have access to see them on major holidays, birthdays, and if I have a day off. We’re now in a world where you can be in Tianamen Square and not only send a real-time photo to family and friends, but actually video call and let them take a little piece of China with them. I’ve even been able to go to Koh Chang, Thailand and video chat with a friend back home right from the beach.

A Skype interview for a teaching position is just one of the video calling software’s many uses. If you’re old school and want to stay off the grid while you’re here, by all means, do so. But at least do yourself a favor by ensuring your safety before your arrival.

Ready to talk about making the move? Add me on Skype at NewLifeESL or just apply here.

(photo credit Flickr CC: Wojtek Gurak)

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