In another post I listed some common interview questions asked by international schools. Today I will list some questions you should ask the recruiters who are interviewing you. Typically they will leave some time at the end of the interview for you to ask your questions, but I have also had people give me a few chances during the interview to ask questions. It can sometimes be hard to think of these things on your feet, so I have prepared a list of questions that you might want to ask either during the interview or ask other teachers currently working at the prospective school.
Sometimes you can find the answers to these questions on the school website, but it is quite common to see some bare bones websites and in those cases you will need to ask the most questions.
Questions to ask during the interview:
What are the nationalities of the student body? What is the percentage of each nationality?
How many students are in the school and what are class sizes?
How many current foreign teachers are working for them?
Are students admitted with little or no English skills?
What percentage of the teachers renews their contract for a third or fourth year?
What expectations are there for teacher participation beyond the regular school day?
What is the frequency of faculty meetings, committee meetings and other meetings teachers must attend on a weekly basis?
How long is the school year? When are holidays/breaks? (you should be able to find this on the school website, but if you can’t, then ask).
Are teaching materials readily available? Technology? Internet?
What are the classrooms like? Desks for every student? Do teachers use chalkboards or a projection system?
How involved are parents and the PTO?
Do teachers work together?
Does the administration side with teachers or parents?
Is the curriculum open or closed? Do teachers have freedom in the classroom when approaching the lessons?
How much time do I get with my students?
What is the dress code at the school for teachers and students?
What support services are provided to students? Is the curriculum aligned with particular standards?
I’m very interested in building my skills as a teacher. What staff development opportunities are offered?
How is the reading program organized?
What new programs or activities are being considered for the coming year?
How would you describe the atmosphere and culture at your school?
Why do people like to work at your school?
Is there a yearly budget provided for continuing education/professional development?
How safe is the area where you will be living and how safe is the city in general?
What will housing be like?
What is the level of health care in the country?
How long will it take to get to school?
What do teachers do weekends and after school?
Does the teacher salary cover all living expenses?
Are foreign employees welcomed?
What is the social life like both at the school and local community?
Is the mail system reliable? Can I easily send and receive packages?
How easy is it to travel within and out of the country?
Check out one of my favorite interview books, “60 Seconds and You’re Hired!” for more tips.