“Once you have searched and applied for your new job teaching English in Colombia, it’s a waiting game.”
Searching for a job teaching English in Colombia can be a daunting task due to the large choice of companies and types of work on offer. Each company offers many different work schedules, pay rates and benefits and there are a large number of employers to choose from.
Once you have searched and applied for your new job teaching English in Colombia, it’s a waiting game; while many companies will reply to emails quickly others will take weeks or even months to reply, so don’t take it personally if a company never replies to you. It’s always worth sending a follow up email to check your application status. It is possible to obtain a job teaching English in Colombia before you arrive in the country, but this is rare and usually only the private schools employ teachers before they arrive in the country. The majority of companies will want to interview you in person before offering you a job.
Once you have arrived in the country and got your interviews lined up it’s time to prepare. Here are some tips for acing your job interview and teaching English in Colombia:
Before arriving at the interview make sure you have prepared some questions you want to ask, as well as answers to some questions you think they may ask. Past experience, future goals, teaching knowledge and the reasons you want to work for the company maybe good places to start.
2. Don’t be late
In Colombia it’s easy to be late and Colombians tend to be late more often than not; with the Transmillenio or bus schedules being up in the air it’s easy to be late. Plan your bus or walking route carefully and allow time for missed buses or buses being too full to get on and other unexpected delays. Arriving late to your interview looks very bad, especially in a job which requires you to be punctual. Arriving 10 minutes early looks better than being late.
3. Dress appropriately
First impressions cannot be done over, so dress smart to help you make a good first impression. While working in a job teaching English in Colombia, if you work in an company which has classes within offices, you are expected to dress smartly for every class. You are representing the company you work for and walking into sometimes multinational companies where people will wonder who you are.
4. Bring Documents
Some companies may specify documents they require you to bring to the interview, others may not. If the company doesn’t require you to bring documents, bring a copy of your CV, cover letter and teaching qualifications as this may save time because you won’t have to send them later.
5. Research the company
Researching is key: research the company who is interviewing you, where they teach, the structure, study their website in detail, and find out all the information you can. Google the company name and go through some of the google search results to find out more information. Alternatively try to find a current employee through Facebook, google or twitter and ask them about their experiences; they are, after all, working in the role you will be working in and they will be able to give you more information about day to day workings.
6. Be polite
It’s important to be polite, as soon as you enter the building, to the receptionists and everyone else you meet: it will surprise you how much difference this can make to your success or failure.
Remember you should want to find out as much information about your potential employer as they do about you. You will be working with that person for the foreseeable future, in that office and in that environment, so if you don’t have a good impression or don’t see yourself working in that environment, there are always more jobs available to start teaching English in Colombia.