Just last week I had my EPIK (English Program in Korea) interview, and since mine was a little different, I’m going to outline what happened. Now, I did pass, so it was successful, but before I had it, I researched all about what other people had gone through in their interviews. I looked up all the questions, wrote my answers, and practiced them beforehand, so I felt pretty ready.
So, what usually happens is once you have your interview time, you’re supposed to get on Skype half an hour or so beforehand to check your camera and let the interviewer add you as a contact. This doesn’t always happen, so I wasn’t surprised when they added me right before the interview.
The first surprise was that the interviewer was American. Maybe this is standard so maybe I just missed that fact, but I wasn’t expecting it. It was nice, of course, not to have any language barrier. So, first things first, we went through my application. You MUST print out your application so you can edit it along with the interviewer. I had some minor errors to correct, and then we went on to the lesson plan. Now, here, I have a bit of a bone to pick with Korvia, my recruiting agency that helped me with my application. I know they have ten years of experience working with EPIK, but many of the changes they suggested for my lesson plan I disagreed with. I’ve taught before, and I know how to make an effective lesson plan. However, I made those changes, and they were pointed out by my interviewer as things to be changed. Back. I didn’t mention my recruiter’s instructions, but agreed with him and made notes. It was just a little frustrating, but nothing too major.
So then he asked me basic questions; all the ones I expected. He asked about my previous teaching experience in Taiwan and how I liked it. Then, about 12 minutes in, he said they were having technical difficulties and would need to call me back. It’s Skype, so naturally I expected issues.
Here’s where things went a little weird. When he called me back, it was someone else. Another American. He made some passing remark about surprising me, and then went on with the questioning. Perhaps it was just this guy, but his questions were hard. And not listed on any of the sites I’d checked. Thank goodness I’ve done interviews before, because I would have been a bit thrown off.
I made a note of a few of his questions, not verbatim, but as well as I can remember:
– America is an egocentric nation (he did actually say this). How do you expect to fit in here with a Korean mindset?
– Say your co-teacher is really dominant and teaches all the classes, and you’re just the English parrot. How would you address having more of a role in the classroom?
– What would you do if your co-teacher teaches the students something wrong?
These questions aren’t that hard, but they did throw me off since I wasn’t expecting them at all. I wasn’t asked about my teaching philosophy or how to adjust to other cultures which were questions I was actually prepared for.
Overall, it was stressful, as any interview is, but hopefully this will help anyone looking to get into EPIK soon. I was prepared, but I wish those questions had been listed to think about beforehand. Maybe because EPIK has tightened up on requirements and are cutting jobs lately, they’re trying to filter a bit more effectively. Whatever the case, don’t take this interview lightly. If you guys are about to interview or are thinking about EPIK and have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me!