Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Do's and Don't's of EPIK Interviews

I passed!


I'm super excited and happy to say that I have officially been notified that I passed the EPIK interview. That means I'm moving on to the next stage, and then hopefully the next. I'm not really sure how many more steps I have left. Send documents, wait for them to verify and review, sign a contract, get hired, get a visa and buy a plane ticket... something like that.

So, what did I do to successfully pass?

The answer is kind of difficult to give. Part of it is luck, but most of it is preparation. Let's go over the preparation part:

1. Have a professional appearance: This tip applies to pretty much all interviews. If you're a girl, make sure your top is conservative and simple. Avoid red -- blue is the typical go-to color for interviews. Keep makeup simple, and your hair nice. No need to get elaborate. I definitely didn't.

2. Look at the camera: My interview was through Skype, and while I thought it would be hard to look into the camera rather than at my interviewers face, it was actually easier than I thought. I put a sticker next to the camera, but it turned out I didn't really need it. When I'm thinking about what I want to say, I like to sometimes look to the side rather than directly at someone and so it ultimately worked to my advantage.

3. Smile and be friendly: Okay, so your interviewer might not look up at you much or respond that well to what you're saying -- Don't worry! Personally, my interviewer was friendly, but some people have crashed and burned because they felt like they needed a positive response from the EPIK interviewer. Keep your smile on as much as you can, and say thank you at the end of the interview.

4. Have a simple background: Not sure how much this affects the outcome of your interview, but I just had a plain white wall behind me. Some say too many objects in the background can be distracting, but a messy room or naked roommate (someone failed an interview because of a naked boyfriend wandering past near the end) might be deal-breakers. Who knows.

5. Talk slow (not too slow) and clearly: Pretty simple. Nerves can make you mutter or ramble, but just keep in mind that your interviewer might not be able to understand you that well if you do so, which equals a bad outcome. 

Interview Questions?

I can't give you any specifics, and everyone gets different questions, but I can tell you a few things. (Disclaimer: A lot of this is personal opinion. I have no way of knowing exactly what works, but this is just what worked for me.)

1. They WILL review your EPIK application information, so make sure you remember what you wrote down.

2. Make sure you know what EPIK stands for. If you don't and you fail as a result, it's your own fault. Read EPIK's website info while you're at it.

3. Keep your questions to a minimum and general. EPIK doesn't like it when you ask tons of questions, especially if they are questions that could be answered by your recruiter or are best answered later. They can't tell you about the school you're going to be hired by because it's likely they don't know where you're going to be placed yet. I asked my interviewer if there was anything that I should know or might not expect as a foreign teacher in Korea, which was a good move for me because it really got her talking and allowed for me to slip in one more positive blurb to show that I was hire-able.

Okay, there it is. Some basic info and advice. I'm so excited about all of this!

If you have any questions, comments or maybe want to make a contribution to my adventure, please feel free. Comment below, click on the gofundme button on the left... whatever you feel like.

Thanks for reading!

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