Asking the right questions (at a private language school) during a TEFL interview

Asking the right questions (at a private language school) during a TEFL interview

Professor Sheila Corwin

Knowing the right questions to ask during a TEFL job interview is very important (especially for new TEFL teachers). Here are some ideas and tips to help prepare you for your upcoming interviews.

Photo by Dylan Gillis on Unsplash

Things you’ll need:

Copies of your CV/Resume

Teaching Portfolio

The Right Questions

If you land a job interview at a private language school, think about what kinds of questions you’d like to ask your potential employer beforehand. 
If you need help, use the following list as a guide to help you during your TEFL interview.

  1. How many working hours (approximately) can be guaranteed per week/month)?

  2. What are the non-teaching duties, if any?
  3. How many students are in each class?
  4. What kinds of students (business, adults, children, general English)?

  5. Is most teaching for class groups or one-on-one?
  6. Are most classes onsite and if not is reimbursement for travel expenses given?

  7. What materials and teaching resources are available at the school?

  8. Do teachers have access to a copy machine and how many copies are allowed?

  9. Is any professional or career development offered or available?

  10. Is there a probation period?

  11. What kinds of contracts are offered, if any?

  12. How much is the salary or wage per hour?
  13. How often are teachers paid?

  14. What about tax issues and salary after tax?
  15. Cost of visa?

  16. Are flights paid for or reimbursed?

  17. What kind of help is provided with accommodation?

  18. Is health insurance included, if not what do they suggest?
  19. What is the cost of living in the area?

  20. What is the cost of local transport in the area?

  21. How early can you start?

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Good luck with your interviews!


  1. Jobs in private language schools usually don’t pay teachers for their lesson planning preparation time. What is paid for is the in-class face to face hours with your students (i.e., your time teaching in the classroom).
  2. Be aware that any more than 20 (max 30) hours in the classroom is just about the limit for any teacher.
  3. Keep in mind that you need time for lesson planning, grading or commenting on students’ written work, and last but not least, time to recuperate from teacher/student contact.