If your CELTA interview is ahead of you and you’re wondering what to expect and how best to prepare for it, then you are in the right place. Although no CELTA interview is the same, most CELTA interviews follow a certain pattern, which makes preparing for one a bit easier.
Thinking of applying for a CELTA but still undecided? Check out A Quick Guide to the Different Teacher Training Options and Why a TEFL Certificate May Be Better for You Than a CELTA to help you make your decision.
You are likely going to be asked to complete a pre-interview task before being invited to a CELTA interview. The pre-interview tasks vary in content, length and complexity but all have the objective to give you and the CELTA provider a better idea of the level of your language skills. Most pre-interview tasks will contain sections on grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation and some might also include a text-editing exercise. In most cases, you will also need to complete a written exercise where you will likely be asked to reflect on your learning or teaching experiences. There are many past CELTA pre-interview tasks freely available online.
Give yourself enough time to complete the task without stress and check it over once or twice before sending it off. While you should try your best at the pre-interview task, as it offers you an opportunity to showcase your language skills, CELTA providers will not expect you to get everything right and it is not worth unduly stressing about. The task will help you to see what language difficulties you might have. If you found something particularly difficult during the pre-interview task it would be a good idea to brush up on your knowledge of that before the interview.
The CELTA Interview
CELTA interviews usually take around an hour. Depending on which school you apply for and on your personal circumstances the interview could be a one-to-one in-person interview, a group interview followed by a personal conversation, an online video or chat interview or a phone interview. If you have an in-person interview give yourself ample time to arrive at the interview venue. Schedule to arrive a bit before the start of your interview and dress smartly, like the teacher you are looking to become. For online or phone interviews, find a quiet place with a stable connection. Make sure to double-check the time of your interview, especially if your interviewer is in a different time-zone to you.
Many CELTA interviews centre around these three main parts: going over your pre-interview task, an at-interview language task and a conversation about CELTA and your attitudes to teaching and learning. You are also likely to be asked about your previous teaching experience if you have any, or about your thoughts on what being a good teacher entails. Use the CELTA interview as an opportunity to show your enthusiasm and motivation for teaching and learning.
Going over your pre-interview task helps the interviewer to assess your language knowledge and understanding and see how you respond to feedback or criticism. The interviewer might want to talk about things you missed out or got wrong on the pre-interview task. This of this not as a critique but as an opportunity to get things right and learn.
The at-interview tasks show the interviewer that you can tackle language questions on the spot. The at-interview tasks can be written or spoken activities, or a combination of both, and are usually quite short and straightforward. Try to remain calm and concentrate and you should have little trouble with this part.
The conversation part of the interview helps to check your understanding of what a CELTA course entails. The interviewer will want to make sure that you are aware of how demanding and time consuming a CELTA course will be and that you are prepared to show full commitment. CELTA providers want to ensure that they select candidates who can succeed on the course, so they will look for people who intend to prioritise CELTA and can handle the workload.
If you cannot commit to a full-time CELTA, but still wish to take the course, a part-time or blended CELTA course might be just the thing for you. You can find out more about the different CELTA options in our Pros and Cons blog post.
Remember that the interview is as much about you determining if CELTA and the school are the right choices for you, as it is for the school to check if you are the right fit for them. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have related to the course and the school at the interview.
Make sure to try your best and be yourself in the interview. Whatever the eventual outcome it will be a valuable learning experience.
If you were successful in your interview, read our helpful blog post on how to prepare for the CELTA.
We love to hear from our readers, so if you found any of the above helpful or if you want to share your own tips on how to prepare for a CELTA interview, please let us know. You can comment on our Facebook page or send us a Tweet.
About the Author
Aleks Kaye loves cooking, skiing and learning. She completed a part-time CELTA course, while working full-time at a university in the UK. She is currently spending a ski season in Canada with her husband David and blogging about it at daleksabroad.travel.blog