I had my big interview for Magic Ears, and it did not go as anticipated. My internet crapped out halfway through my demo lesson, and I failed because of this. Soooo….my first recommendation before doing your interview is to make sure you are hardwired…get an ethernet cable. I never needed one for VIPKID, so I didn’t even think twice about this being an issue. The interviewer told me their platform is really complex and that wireless connections just aren’t fast enough, so I would need to be plugged in for the future. That being said, they said that my passion and TPR were great, and they invited me to try again as soon as I am ready. A little disappointing, but I am not too stressed about it. I just ordered an ethernet cable from Amazon that will stretch from my room with the router to the nursery where my class is now set up.
What is the interview like?
I opted for the live interview and demo. The interview itself was much more laid back than I anticipated. I was nervous going in because I didn’t really understand how the platform worked or what technological skill I was expected to demonstrate. My interviewer, Lynn, was extremely upbeat and informed me (without my asking) that they were only looking at my teaching ability, and not to worry about those things. She gave me a brief tutorial on how to work the platform, and then we got started.
Here is what she asked me:
- Do you have any online teaching experience? We spent some time chatting about VIPKID, as she is also a former employee. She told me Magic Ears is much more accommodating for cancellations and emergencies.
- Do you have ESL experience or certification? I have the ESL Supplemental for my teaching certificate. I do not have TESOL or TEFL, but she said that works fine.
- Will you be able to commit to at least 10 slots a week?
- And that was it!
We probably spent about 10 minutes on this portion. She also prepped me on what they were looking for in the demo class. Make sure you have at least two relevant props. They aren’t looking for how you incorporate bubbles in balloons right now. I had a toothbrush and sponge because the lesson was about washing your face and brushing your teeth in the morning, so I was good to go. She also told me energy was key, and to make sure I am genuine and enthusiastic in verbally rewarding the student when they do a good job. Like, REALLY enthusiastic.
The demo lesson itself was not anything crazy. Note: The first slide after the greeting is a song. You are not expected to incorporate this unless you just absolutely want to. She also told me in real classes, you don’t have to sing. Just play the song and play along. The slides contained simple words and sentence structures related to getting ready in the morning. The main focus of the lesson is the vocabulary word “wash”. Make sure you review the slides and instructions very well before you interview. They do not want you reading the teacher directions on the side (trust me, they can tell). Also, try to minimize any down time between slides. That brief pause to switch slides can equal a loss of energy. Try to change the slide as you are praising the student. You are not required to finish the entire lesson, so don’t rush yourself. My connection issues made that impossible anyway.
Although I have to redo the interview, I left the process with a very positive experience. I didn’t feel any pressure and the interviewer was extremely supportive, even through the technical difficulties. One note I will make is that she said she was not allowed to tell me what I could improve on (I asked at the end of the interview), and that I had to wait for the company to review the video and email me.
I am looking forward to my second interview chance, and will post about the outcome soon!
UPDATE: So with the impending arrival and subsequent birth of my new son, I still haven’t gotten around to that second interview…and honestly don’t know if I will. Teaching alone with a toddler and an infant may be too much, even for me!
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