The Oxford TEFL Blog

10 tips to help you prepare for your CELTA course interview

If you have been thinking about changing your career, expanding your skillset or moving abroad permanently, gaining a CELTA certification is one of the best ways to get started. Job opportunities, practical training from a respected teacher training centre and an internationally recogised qualification in your pocket to impress employers will help your goals become a reality fast. So, now that you have applied to take the 13-week part-time or 4-week full time 100% Online CELTA course, the next step is to prepare for your interview. It’s normal to be nervous about this interview, so here are my Top 10 Tips to help you pass your CELTA course interview.

  1. Set up in a quiet and uncluttered space.  This is key as you will be not only heard in your interview, but also seen via video conference with Zoom.  You do not want your interviewer to be distracted by what you may have in the background (including pets).  If you can set up with a blank wall behind you, that is ideal (but not required), or with minimal decoration.
  2. Review the course content description.  You know you want to do the course, and you have heard that it is “intensive”, but what does that mean? It is important that you are fully aware of the content of the course ahead of time, and you know what to expect from it. 
  3. Prepare 3-5 good quality questions to ask your interviewer!  I know, it may sound a bit cliche, but this shows the interviewer that you are interested and invested in doing well on the course.  It is also a good way to identify if the course is right for you!  Think about what is important for you, and turn it into a question.  
  4. Be prepared for feedback from your interviewer. Your interviewer is not expecting you to be a grammar genius (although it is great if you are), so they are going to give feedback regarding the different aspects of the interview. This is a key part of the interview process and the CELTA course itself.  We want you to become the best English teacher you can be, and this includes responding well to feedback.
  5. Take your time on the pre-interiew task and do it correctly. I know what you are thinking: A test? Really? But don’t think of it as a test, because that is not what it is at all.  This is a task that helps us identify your current knowledge of what you will be learning on the course, and can help shed some light on those grammar lessons you took many many years ago. It is open book, so utilise any resource you can!  We do not expect anyone to be a grammar expert before taking the course, but the key is being able to utilise resources and find the answer.
  6. Before connecting, take 5 deep breaths and relax.  It is completely normal to be nervous before any interview, but we want to see the true you.  Although it is a formal interview, we want you to be comfortable and let your personality shine through the nerves. 
  7. Ask for clarification The interviewer is most likely going to give you a lot of information throughout the interview that you may not already know. If something that is said during the interview is unclear, ask for clarification.
  8. Arrive/Connect on time.  It is best to set up Zoom before your interview, so you can connect with just a click of a button. Punctuality is very important! Don’t leave your interviewer waiting if you can avoid it. We know that sometimes life happens, and if something is going to keep you from, or delay your interview, follow the next tip.
  9. Communicate any issues ahead of time. We live in a digital age, and even now there can be some hiccups with our internet connection, or something that can cause a distraction.  It is important to send a quick email to your interviewer to advise them that you are having technical difficulties. and decide together if you should wait or try to reschedule your interview.
  10. Check your internet connection.  Ok, you’ve done everything necessary to fully prepare yourself.  you’ve put on a nice shirt, checked your background for distractions, thought up a few good questions to ask, and now it is interview time. Video can use a good amount of bandwidth, and you want to be sure that the interviewer can see and hear you. Here is a great website that can check the speed: https://www.speedtest.net

Following these 10 tips will not just help you do well during your CELTA course interview, but some will also provide you with some insight as to what it may be like to teach English online as well. I hope these help, and I look forward to “virtually” meeting you soon!

Would you like to gain a Cambridge CELTA certification online and start teaching anywhere in the world? Around 75% of TEFL employers ask for this certification, which will give you a great head start. Simply complete the obligation-free application form below and we will get in touch to arrange an interview and check your suitability for the course.

Online CELTA course

Alternatively, complete the enquiry form below if you have any questions and we will be happy to help you.

Justin McCarty is an Oxford TEFL graduate and one of our friendly CELTA interviewers. Once you have applied for our CELTA course, you will be interviewed by Justin, or one of our other interviewers, so that we can find out more about your motivation to teach, your background and your suitability for the course. He will also be able to explain more about the benefits of taking this course and the opportunities which will open up for you upon successful graduation. In this blog post he offers some useful advice to help you through the interview stage.

Comments are closed.