What to Expect at a CELTA Interview?


One of the most common questions and concerns we hear is about the CELTA interview. You’ve finally made the decision to embark on a CELTA, you’ve decided where you might teach, and now they tell you there’s an interview!

The prospect of any interview is daunting, and a CELTA interview is no different. The best way to ace your interview is to be prepared.

Knowing what the interviewer will throw at you will make sure you show them you are prepared will make a great first impression.

So, what can you expect at a CELTA interview? CELTA interviews can take a number of formats, but they usually have the same main components. Tutors prefer to meet you in person, but where this isn’t possible, they may offer you a Skype interview.

Regardless of how you have your interview, the format will be the same. The tutor is simply trying to check you are capable of passing the course and are a serious candidate.

So, is there anything you can do to prepare for the CELTA interview? Absolutely! This article will explain what to expect from your CELTA interview and give you some tips on how to best prepare beforehand.

By preparing answers to the most common questions, being familiar with the format, and knowing what the tutor will expect will all help you pass the CELTA interview with flying colours!

In this article we will outline the steps you can take to help achieve success!

Types of Tasks

While every interview will be different, they will generally be made up of the same task. Most CELTA interviews will ask you to do three main types of task:

  1. Discuss your pre-interview task
  2. Complete an English language test
  3. A conversation about the course and your motivations.

Being asked to do 3 tasks can be scary, but these can all be prepared in advance to some extent.

Pre-Interview Task

Before your interview you will be asked to complete and return a task set by the tutor. These can vary, but will usually be made of three sections. You will be asked to discuss your approach to teaching, grammar and vocabulary, as well as a longer written answer.

This is the chance to show your skill, so make sure you proofread this and are able to discuss your answers comfortably. You can find examples of these online on a number of websites.

Photo Credit: Brooke Lark on Unsplash

English Language Test

This will allow the tutor to assess both your own English language level, and how you are able to explain English to students.

You can expect questions asking you to explain tenses, grammar and punctuation. They may ask you when to use a particular tense for instance. You may be asked to talk about tricky vocabulary words. 

General Conversation 

During this section, the tutor will be trying to understand why you are applying for this course, whether you are dedicated, and what kind of teacher you will make.

Try to answer honestly, and don’t focus too much on perfect grammar and pronunciation. This is the time to let them see your personality!

Timings

The majority of interviews will last between forty minutes and an hour. This is a long time to be talking! Make sure you have a glass of water to hand, or a bottle in face to face interviews.

Example Questions

The tutor will be keen to understand why you are applying for the course and if you have the determination to pass it.

The CELTA is a difficult course and requires hard work. It is helpful to think about your motivation behind applying and prepare some answers. Some common questions to expect at your CELTA interview are:

  • Why are you applying for this course?
  • What do you expect the course to be like?
  • What challenges do you expect to face?

As well as questions about your application, you should also be prepared for some questions on basic grammar during your CELTA interview.

These may cover tenses, sentence types and common mistakes, so make sure you remind yourself of these before the interview.



What the Trainers Are Looking For

It’s important to remember that this isn’t an English test. The tutor is looking for people who will make great teachers.

Making a few mistakes with grammar and pronunciation is fine. Instead, the tutors are looking for people who are:

  • Keen to learn
  • Aware of what the CELTA course is
  • Able to explain ideas concisely to learners

They are looking for candidates who have done their research on the course and school, and who are aware of how rigorous a CELTA can be.

It is helpful to have a couple of questions prepared to ask at the end to show that you have done some research. 

Staying Calm

It’s natural to be nervous and your tutor will be expecting it. The most important piece of advice is to stay calm!

Yes, this is always easier said than done, but try to remember the tutor wants you to be successful, or they wouldn’t have invited you to the interview. If you are confused, don’t be afraid to ask the tutor to repeat questions.

Take your time in answering. The tutor would rather wait 10 seconds for a great answer than 2 for a rambling one!

If you have a tendency to waffle when you’re nervous, film yourself answering some common questions.

Watching yourself back you can check that you are answering the questions. If your interview is over Skype, make sure you have practiced speaking to a camera.

This can be an odd experience if it is something you haven’t done before! Even better, if you can find a friend or family member to ask you these questions in a random order, as well as any other questions they can think of.

These activities will help you familiarise yourself with questions found in the CELTA interview. 

The thought of a CELTA interview can be a scary thing. Even the most prepared candidate will feel nervous, but it’s all in the art of the process!

Do your best to research the course, prepare answers that show you off as the perfect candidate, and lastly (and most importantly!) HAVE FUN!

This is the beginning of your fantastic CELTA journey!

What is the CELTA interview pass rate?

CELTA interview pass rates can vary between schools, so it’s hard to give any accurate pass rates. Don’t panic! Pass rates are generally very high. If you have made it to this stage, it is because the tutor thinks you would make a great candidate! As we have discussed, they are trying to pass you so try not to be too scared and have fun!

Related Questions

What is the CELTA interview pass rate? CELTA interview pass rates can vary between schools, so it’s hard to give any accurate pass rates. Don’t panic! Pass rates are generally very high. If you have made it to this stage, it is because the tutor thinks you would make a great candidate!

As we have discussed, they are trying to pass you so try not to be too scared and have fun!

What language level do you need to take CELTA? While there is no official requirement, you will be asked to have and show a high level of English. CELTA course providers ask for an IELTS score of 7.5 as standard if English is not your first language.

Your language level will be assessed by CELTA tutors during the interview and you do not need a physical certificate. As such, CELTA tutors ask that you are near-fluent in English if it is not your first language.

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