Published on:
October 20, 2016

by: Tom

I’ve just been offered a skype interview with a school in China – what can I expect?

Firstly, congratulations on securing an interview! A skype interview is likely to be quite different to the interview style you’re used to, yet the most important part of the application process – so here we consider what to expect.

The Interview

Most skype interviews for an English teaching position in China are very different to the Western interview style you may be used to; they are usually short (30 minutes or less) and key will be demonstrating your enthusiasm!

You might be asked ‘why are you interested in coming to work in China?’, or ‘what do you enjoy about teaching English?’, or ‘what challenges could be faced when teaching x age group’ – however you should aim to come across as a rounded, friendly and polite person who the interviewer can envisage working in their school. Be prepared to go over what you’ve listed on your application; even though the interviewer will have your CV, they may also want to hear about the details personally.

Your voice and pronunciation are really important. You should speak as clearly as possible so the school has a chance to gauge how your teaching voice will sound; be sure to keep your accent neutral and understandable without using any slang. Also keep in mind that a non-native English speaking interviewer may be nervous speaking English over skype than you are, so make it as easy for them as possible!

Being confident is also vital. If a school feels you have a hard time expressing your confidence through a skype interview, how can they trust that you’ll be able to teach English in front of a group of students!

Do your Research!

We appreciate this is not always possible to do so, however try to find out what you can about the school or company you are looking to join. This could include:

– The age of students – The type of curriculum the school follows – Does the school/company have other locations? – Does the school run extra-curricular events such as Halloween parties, Christmas parties, field trips, etc? – Places of interest in the city or town (to show that you are not only interested in the job, but also the surrounding area)   If you know the ages of the students in the school you can research good approaches to teaching this age group, for example by…

– Reading online articles about English language teaching for this student target group – Some common problems such groups of students typically experience – Looking at popular websites for worksheets, games and activities – Watching YouTube videos – Reading classroom management articles and videos

Ensure that your Skype is working

It sounds blindingly obvious, but ensure that you log on at least 10 minutes before your interview, make sure your headphones and microphone are working the day before, and add your interviewer’s skype ID well before your interview takes place. You may need to ‘accept’ your interviewer’s contact request in order to become their contact.

Remember to sit in a well-lit place so that your interviewer can see you properly. Your webcam will also show your living or working space, so we suggest you make sure that the area is tidy! Where possible, a plain background, such as a wall, is preferable.

Sometimes skype will cut in and out – try to be patient and flexible, 2 key qualities required if you’re considering teaching English in China!

Compile a List of Questions

While Opportunity China will provide you with an overview of the position and school, there are some details we simply cannot provide. Asking some good questions will enable you to come across as well organised and informed. By expressing interest about the city, school, and students, the school knows you’re serious about becoming a part of Chinese culture and being a successful English teacher in China.


It’s a good idea to wear smart clothes, as the interviewer may require the video to be on. This includes something on your bottom half, not just your PJ’s!

We hope the above information is helpful, however if you have any questions at any time then please email us at any time – we are here to help, and advise you!

Spending some time preparing will ensure that you come across to the interviewer as keen, knowledgeable and interested in working for their school.  

Read our full guide here.


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