Okay, so I had my first job interview with a company called Heart English on December 6th, 2010. All in all…it went pretty well. This was the first time I’ve ever done an interview via Skype, but it worked out. Starting off, things were a bit rocky because my cell phone was in drive mode. So when my interviewer called my phone, he got the “this customer is driving” message. As a result, I missed two, back-to-back calls from my potential employer. Once I had a chance to look at my phone, I called Mr. Phillips on Skype, immediately. So my interview started off with a sincere apology for missing the initial call (not exactly the best way to start an interview). From there things were smooth. Initially it was small talk, and job details. I learned that Mr. Phillips actually lived in Georgia for a while, which was pretty cool to me. After we got through the initial formalities and job information, I had a chance to answer some classroom situational questions.
Situation 1: You are in an elementary school class and today’s lesson is about transportation. How would you effectively teach kids a lesson on transportation?
Though I can’t remember my exact answer. I said something along the lines of appealing to all learning styles: visual, kinesthetic, and auditory learners. I would introduce vocabulary and concepts using pictures, call & repeat, this would engage the minds of both the visual and auditory learners. To reach the kinesthetic learners, I would do a game where kids physically have to work on getting from point A to point B, either through board game, or a life-sized board game (using the students themselves).
Situation 2: You are in a junior high school class this time, and the class is nearly over. Unfortunately, the teacher doesn’t know exactly what to do for the last 10-15 minutes of class. Imagine this is also a lesson on transportation. How would you teach the junior high children? (You do have a whiteboard and markers available to you.)
I responded with by saying I would use the whiteboard to create a makeshift map. And make it into a class game. I would have one student come to the board, and have the class try to guide him from one point to the other one the map.
Of course during the phone interview I tried to elaborate a bit more, but those were my general answers.
After doing the situational questions, Mr. Phillips had one of his Japanese staff members get on the phone and ask me some questions in Japanese. It’s one thing when an foreigner is asking questions in Japanese, but entirely another when the person is an living , breathing native speaker. I can’t remember all of the questions she asked me, but I do know I had to say “もういちどいてください (Mou ichido ite kudasai),” which means “Could you please say that again?”, several times. I felt a little embarrassed about having to ask for repetition over and over again, but I wanted to show them that I could answer all of the questions in Japanese…and I did. Again I don’t remember the questions exactly, but most of them were questions regarding my resume, and I was able to comprehend and give basic answers to each and every one. After the Japanese question and answer session, my original interviewer returned to thank me for taking the time to interview, and that was it. In total, it took about 25 minutes.
Keeping my fingers crossed…
It’s been two years, ten months, and thirty days in Japan, and I just can’t believe that another year is...