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FAQs for Living and Working Overseas:


Written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer living overseas since 1989

The Expat Guy: FAQs for Working and Living Overseas

What are
Overseas Job Interviews Like?

Can you give me some tips?
What about telephone interviews?

See also the Expatriate Resumes and CVs page on this website for some similar issues.

This really depends on the type of job you are looking for - and the specific company.  The type of interviews can range from as formal - or even more so - as in your home country, to laughably easy and informal conducted over a few beers.

In addition to the usual issues of skills, experience and qualifications, a big issue on the mind of overseas employers is: Will you last?  Many expatriate employees do not.  Some don't show up at all.  Some go to lunch the first day and never return.  Don't forget that turnover is often a VERY expensive issue for overseas employers.  To find the right person, hire them, wait for them to arrive, get all their visa and working papers organized is time consuming and often very expensive.  They want to know you will last the full term of the contract.

If you are looking for a teaching position overseas, the employer is often trying to get a feel if you are a friendly and pleasant person to work with - in additional to the qualification and experience issues.

The Usual Interview

A typical interview almost doesn't exist.  So really, you probably can't do much to prepare, except to put yourself in a good mood, smile a lot, dress appropriately, prepare good responses to any obvious flaws in your resume - and go for it.

Odd Questions

Most expatriates, at one time or another, have been asked such oddities as, "Do you like kimchee?" or "How do you feel about hitting your students?" (if a teaching position). Answer honestly - you might as well hit the issues before you get there!  Some interviewers may lead you into conversations about illegal or morally/socially unacceptable behavior to determine if you are of the caliber they hope.

Telephone Interviews

These type interviews are not uncommon, for obvious reasons.  Try to speak clearly - some connections won't be good.  Be polite if you can't understand what is being asked (which will sometimes be the case!).

Try to avoid this:

 

 

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How to Evaluate TEFL Programs
For when you start teaching English Abroad:
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