Preparing for an e-Learning Teacher or Tutor Job Interview
Online or e-Learning is becoming increasingly popular with school districts throughout the country. E-learning provides students with a different opportunity to discover new information, enhance their skills, and strengthen their interests, even when being outside a formal classroom setting. As such, the need for e-Learning instructors or online educators will only grow over time.
There are many similarities between a regular classroom teacher and an online teacher; however, differences do exist. When it comes time for an e-learning teacher interview, you must be able to demonstrate not only are you a phenomenal instructor, but that you can reach out to students virtually as well.
So you’ve received a call offering you an invitation to a job interview for e-learning instructors. Now what? You must begin preparing at once!
Utilize your online educator resume to help highlight and focus on the various strengths and educational leadership skills you bring to the table.
Here are some areas/questions to concentrate on:
- What experience do you have in e-learning and online education?
- What are your relevant academic credentials?
- What are you strengths?
- What are your weaknesses? How do you overcome them?
- What is your technology expertise?
- How do you stay up-to-date with the changing worlds of technology and education?
- How do you actively engage students in a virtual classroom?
- What methods do you use when providing students with individualized instruction online?
- What types of challenges have you faced in e-learning? How did you overcome them? What did you learn or gain from them?
One of the most important areas you will need to reflect upon during your e-learning tutor or online instructor interview is your related experience.
This isn’t simply about providing the interviewer with a set number of years of service though; instead, “experience” allows you to showcase the skills you developed along the way, types of students you worked with, and challenges you overcame. Focusing on these areas also helps prepare you for a Behavioral Descriptive Interview (BDI), which are commonlyused amongst interviewers. BDI interview questions for e-learning that you might come across include:
- Tell me about a time when your computer crashed during an online learning session. What did you do?
- Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with another online educator.
- Tell me about a time when you had to implement a new type of software or online platform.
- Tell me about a time you had a real challenge engaging one of your students.
It is also a good idea to bring an e-learning teacher portfolio to your job interview. This should include a copy of your resume, cover letter, references, philosophy of education statement, autobiography, sample lesson plan, and complementary activities and hand-outs. Be prepared to demonstrate how the lesson plan works on the computer. Conversely, your job interview may not be in person at all!
You may be asked to conduct an online teacher interview through Skype or another platform; thus highlighting how you maintain your virtual presence, communicate with others, and present e-learning lesson plans.
Another area you must prepare for is technology expertise. If you are applying for a job as an online tutor or e-learning teacher, you should be up-to-date on all the most popular and innovative platforms that are being used. It is crucial you know what these platforms and programs are, how to use them, and how to effectively implement them tooptimize the learning experience for all students. Ask yourself:
- What programs do I currently use?
- What software would I like to learn more about?
- What platform works best for students of X age?
- What programs are most helpful for students with learning disabilities?
- What software is the most effective for X subject matter?
- What do I use to assess students’ performance?
Being an online educator is all about flexibility, creativity, and the willingness to be open-minded and try new things. Make sure you express this during your teacher job interview!
You must also be able to demonstrate an ability to think on your feet, change at a moment’s notice, and remain calm in an evolving environment. Showcase how you are able to effectively teach a variety of subjects, to students of various age groups, who may or may not have learning challenges. Highlight how you maintain communication with students and parents to ensurechildren are receiving proper instruction and encouragement both online and inthe home setting.
Finally, one of the most common e-learning interview questions you will come across is “What is your typical e-learning project management process?”
How you answer this question will reveal much about your essential skills: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and organization. Be prepared to have a mock scenario thrown at you; you may also be asked to provide an example of how you implemented this e-learning process. Provide as much detail as possible, highlight how effective your projectmanagement skills are.
Regardless of the type of teacher job interview you are called for or the e-learning position you interview for, remember to always send a thank you letter afterward!
This is a common courtesy, which shows your true appreciation for the opportunity given to you, as well as a great chance to quickly recapture the amazing traits, expertise, formal education, and other assets you bring to the online learning environment. Do not skip this step, as it may be what puts you ahead of your competition!