23+ Must Know Interview Questions for ESL Jobs

By Editorial Staff •  Updated: 07/02/23 •  Teach Abroad

Teaching abroad as an ESL teacher does first require you to land a job. Depending on the tier of the school you’re applying will determine the types of questions you will be asked.

If you’re going abroad to teach at a government school in Thailand or a language center in Vietnam, then the interview process is not too difficult. It’s more a matter of do you meet the legal requirements for them to hire you.

Which is being a native speaker from an English speaking country. If you’re not from an English speaking country then you’ll need to take a TOEFL and obtain a specific minimum score the employer is looking for. International schools and employers will look for an IELTS test if you’re a non native speaker.

Interview questions for ESL jobs

With that out of the way, we’re going to assume you’re a native speaker applying to a mid to top tier international school that will have a developed hiring process that is competitive. Here are the most common questions you’ll be asked:

Background and experience

The most important questions will be about your background and experience. This is just to get to know why type of teaching style you implement and if you would be a good fit with the current curriculum.

  • How did you end up in a career in teaching ESL?
  • How would you describe your teaching process?
  • What teaching methods or strategies do you find most effective in ESL classrooms?
  • How do you differentiate instruction for students at different English proficiency levels?
  • Classroom management is important, what strategies have you found effective?
  • Could you explain how you evaluate student advancement and modify your teaching approach accordingly?
  • In your opinion, what are the essential qualities that an educator should possess in order to teach ESL effectively?
  • For how many years have you been working as an ESL teacher?

Demo lesson questions

With any teaching position it’s completely standard to request you to prepare a demo lesson. Along with the demo lesson you’ll be asked more technical questions either before or after the demo class to better assess your teaching style and methodology.

  • Can you explain how you use technology in your ESL lessons?
  • In an ESL setting, how do you manage and maintain discipline in the classroom?
  • Could you describe a difficult situation with a student and explain how you resolved it?
  • Could you share an example of a situation where you had to adapt your teaching method to cater to a student’s specific needs?
  • What strategies can be implemented to assist English as a Second Language (ESL) students with a limited understanding of English in comprehending content-area subjects such as math or science?
  • Could you share some strategies for enhancing students’ critical thinking and problem-solving abilities who are learning English as a second language?
  • What methods do you use to assist ESL students in improving their academic English abilities for pursuing higher education or professional careers?
  • Can you provide tips for managing time efficiently while teaching ESL content to cover all topics within a specific time frame?
  • Have you taken any courses or training programs to improve your skills in teaching English as a second language?

Personal, “get to know you” questions

Finally, as you’ll be working with a team of other teachers and staff, you’ll be asked questions about your habits and hobbies to make sure you’re the right fit for the team.

  • What are the most critical factors for you in a work environment?
  • Could you share a scenario in which you had to make a tough choice and walk me through how you went about making it?
  • Can you explain how you manage your time and prioritize your work?
  • How do your strengths help you succeed at work?
  • What are your hobbies or favorite activities when you’re not working?
  • Can you describe your career aspirations for the future?
  • Could you describe how a mentor or influential person has affected your career?
  • What is the main challenge that professionals currently face in this field?

ESL Interview Questions Conclusion

This should be enough to help you prepare for your ESL job interview. Don’t stress and over think it. Remember present yourself professionally and put a lot of thought and effort into the demo class as that is critical part of the interview process apart from the questions we laid out here.

Editorial Staff

The editorial Staff at Teach and GO is a team of teachers with a broad range of experience led by David Unwin. We have been creating helpful advice, guides and tutorials for teachers since 2018.

Keep Reading