VIPKid – one of the best companies to teach English online to Chinese students – has a relatively arduous interview process to complement its sterling reputation in the ESL industry. Here, we’ll offer a handful of actionable tips to help you shine in your VIPKid interview and land the job.
VIPKID Interview Process
Before we get into hot VIPKid interview tips, let’s run down the essential steps of the application, hiring, and onboarding process.
Step #1 is to sign up on VIPKid’s platform. Follow the link and key in the standard info you would expect on any job application form – fairly straightforward.
1:1 Interview and Demo Class
This step presents a common point of confusion. When applying to VIPKid, you have two options: you can opt for a 30-minute in-person interview (the “live demo lesson”) that includes a brief demo lesson OR you can opt for the “smart demo lesson,” a 5-minute recorded demo, created and uploaded at your convenience that does not include an interview portion with a VIPKid recruiter.
Here are our tips on how to pass your VIPKID demo lesson.
Once you’ve impressed the recruiter with your live or smart demo, you must watch a series of videos presenting “VIPKid technology, standards, and curriculum.”
Step #4 is your mock class – a full-length lesson delivered to a VIPKid teacher. Learn more about the mock class and how to ace it here.
Once all your demo and mock lessons are squared away, the final step of the application process is to sign your contract, upload all relevant documents such as your professional credentials and degrees, and submit a background check. See here for the full list of VIPKid requirements.
After submitting your documents and they’re approved, you’re onboarded as a full-fledged VIPKid teacher, ready to begin taking on classes.
Common VIPKid Interview Questions
Success in your VIPKid interview – as in many facets of life – depends heavily on your level of preparedness. In that pursuit, let’s briefly review some of the more commonplace VIPKid interview questions that you can anticipate receiving.
Which age group do you want to work with?
When you get this question, understand that nearly all (if not all) VIPKid students are between the ages of 5-12. Accordingly, if your answer indicates a higher or lower age range, that might be a red flag to your interviewer.
How much do you want to get paid?
This is a pretty standard interview question. You should know going in that VIPKid, on average, pays teachers between $14-18 per hour. It’s possible to bump this rate up as you move into higher “tiers” under their incentive schedule, but that’s the average. You might want to tailor your answer accordingly.
What experience do you have teaching online?
Your recruiter is very likely to ask about your teaching experience.
Bear in mind that VIPKid requires two years of “teaching experience” to qualify; however, the good news is that almost anything involving interacting with children may qualify as such experience, such as:
- Teaching Sunday School
- Teaching in a conventional school
This experience does not necessarily need to be online. So, if you don’t have any experience teaching online, make sure to emphasize what experience you do have in any context.
What was your biggest professional success?
You knew it was coming: perhaps the most humdrum interview question aside from the class “greatest strengths/greatest weaknesses” routine.
This question is basically designed to test your self-confidence as well as to gauge your dedication to your professional development. Of course, the best route here is to answer with something teaching-related if possible.
For example, if you mentored a child, you might want to answer with a skill you helped them develop or an obstacle you helped them overcome.
How would you prompt a student to repeat a word?
Learning online presents unique challenges in terms of building rapport and maintaining students’ attention, which is why your recruiter might ask this question.
The best way to answer this includes these elements:
- Using the student’s name in the prompt
- Using any visual aids at your disposal
- Using total physical response (TPR)
VIPKID Interview Tips
Incorporate the following tips into your interview prep to deliver a mesmerizing VIPKid interview performance.
VIPKid Interview Tip #1: Prepare How You’ll Talk About Your Experience
Speaking eloquently about your prior teaching (and other professional) experience serves multiple purposes:
- Shows a commitment to your professional development and career
- Demonstrates sincere interest in the work you are applying to perform
- Crafts an image of self-confidence and competence that you must carry with you into the digital classroom to command the respect and attention of your future students
One of the biggest mistakes that teachers make is selling themselves short; instead, lean into your strengths. Remember: you are selling yourself here. You want to make your VIPKid recruiter believe you are an asset that they want on their team.
The best interviewees carefully toe the line between maintaining an aura of confidence while simultaneously appearing humble and willing to learn more.
VIPKid Interview Tip #2: TPR and student feedback
Whether in your demo lesson or in the interview portion, lay the total physical response we alluded to earlier on thick. Review some practical tips here to incorporate TPR into your interview.
VIPKid Interview Tip #3 Speak Slowly
One of the more common and understandable mistakes that ESL teachers make is speaking too quickly. It’s only natural; when we speak with our friends or families, we can more or less talk at whatever pace we want and be understood.
However, ESL learners require that you speak slowly and enunciate clearly – indeed, proper pronunciation on the teacher’s part is critical for language absorption.
Your VIPKid will assess accordingly (as well as looking for a clear, neutral, native-sounding accent).
VIPKid Interview Tip #4: Get your Computer and Classroom Setup Beforehand!
First, check your internet connection here. Ideally, you want a connection speed of 25 Mbps.
Second, set up your digital classroom to be as warm and inviting as possible. Some items you might want in the background, for example, include:
- Flags (bonus points for Chinese flags to instantiate some patriotic pride in your learners)
- Inspirational/motivational posters
VIPKid Interview Tip #5: Practice Is Key – Do at Least 1 Test Run!
Preparation as the #1 key to success is a cliché because it’s true. When you can successfully anticipate what is coming (by reviewing some of the common VIPKid interview questions above) and rehearse your answers accordingly, you’re in a much better position to make a favorable impression upon your VIPKid interviewer.
By recording a pilot test of your interview beforehand and then reviewing it, you can catch any mistakes you’re making (such as talking too quickly or not using enough TPR) and adjust accordingly.
VIPKID Interview FAQs
Let’s run down the most common VIPKid interview and VIPKid interview process questions:
Does VIPKID require an interview?
It depends. If you opt for the “live” demo, then yes. If you opt for the “smart” demo option, then there is no interview component in the conventional sense – but you will still have to pass a mock lesson with a VIPKid teacher.
How should I prepare for the VIPKID interview?
Anticipate the likely questions (and your answers) detailed above, set up your digital classroom (including your background), and make sure your internet connection is steady at a minimum speed of 25 Mbps (check for free here).
What should I wear for an interview with VIPKID?
Wear “smart” (in the Asian lingo) attire – i.e., business casual. There is no need for, or expectation of, a full-on business suit, but you should definitely wear a dress shirt/blouse.
Final Thoughts on the VIPKid Interview
Although getting hired requires a few more steps than some of the other online English companies, it’s definitely worth it! Teachers have consistently ranked it among the best online ESL companies to work for. Are you currently in the VIPKid interview process? Let us know how it’s going by commenting below!