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EF Education First Interview
Questions

29 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Question 1 of 29

If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?

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EF Education First Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    If you could start your career over again, what direction would you take?

      A hiring manager will be able to tell a lot about your personality by learning about your other career interests. If you could do anything over, what would you do, and why?

      Ryan's Answer

      "I certainly do not regret the direction I have taken my career; however, if I had to completely start over in a new direction I would likely pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering and become an Engineer. Both of my parents were Engineers and they seemed to have a very fulfilling career. I enjoy analytics and research which I tend to do a lot of in my role as an educator."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am very satisfied with the direction my career has taken. If I could change anything I would perhaps have furthered my education to include a Masters' degree."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I’m absolutely happy with the direction that my career has taken, but in another lifetime, I think I would definitely become a professional rugby player. I grew up playing rugby right up until my first year of varsity. I got injured petty badly and couldn’t continue playing professionally, but I still do play. I love being active and challenging myself physically and mentally."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Unique approach - this answer is memorable. Rugby is a tough sport, and the fact that you would choose the life of a pro athlete shows that you are unafraid of challenge, discipline, and focus.

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  2. 2.

    At EF Education First we seek to hire those who are passionate about education. How would you describe your teaching/mentorship style?

      If you have ever heard of an "Elevator Pitch" - this type of interview question is a great reason to have one! Why do you love what you do? What makes you the best, and most engaged, potential hire for EF Education First AG? Briefly discuss your teaching and mentorship style and close by giving an example of a time when you were recognized for your teaching or leadership methods.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Elevator Pitch"

      Ryan's Answer

      "Here are some keys to effective mentorship that you can draw on, for your response:

      - Committed
      - Collaborative
      - Encouraging
      - Willing to pass on knowledge
      - Approachable
      - Patient
      - Honest
      - Diplomatic
      - Ability to give constructive feedback
      - Continued learner
      - Curious
      - Objective
      - Genuine"

      Anonymous Answer

      "I believe there is strength in a teaching style that combines different technologies into one integrated learning approach because it increases the interaction between the students and me. This allows me to create a sense of community in the classroom, facilitating an environment that is open and safe. The students should feel comfortable coming to me when they struggle with the content, and that is also achieved by giving students constructive feedback encouragingly and compassionately. Motivating students throughout their learning journey is very important to me."

      Rachelle's Answer

      It's evident that you put a lot of thought and care into learning modalities. Your teaching style sounds inclusive and multi-faceted. Excellent response.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  3. 3.

    Take a few minutes to walk me through your post-secondary education.

      Your post-secondary education is likely listed on your resume; however, this is an opportunity to talk to the interviewer about your overall experience. Discuss any accolades and special recognition you may have received. You can also discuss a class or a project that impacted you the most during that time.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I graduated with a Bachelor's of Outdoor Leadership and Education from Toccoa Falls College in 2006. My experience in that program was great! Even though I worked part time, I was still able to make the Dean's list, received a partial scholarship and graduated top of my class."

      Ryan's Answer

      "In 2009 I completed my Bachelor's of Education and immediately followed that with a Masters' Degree in English. I am very proud of my educational background and am happy with the opportunities that this level of education has allowed me. I would love to continue this education down the road to include a Doctorate."

  4. 4.

    Give an example of when you used your listening skills to solve a problem.

      The interviewer wants to see that you have strong listening skills. They want to see that you aren't the type to interrupt before hearing your co-workers out. When it comes to using your listening skills while receiving direction from your employer, asking for clarification can save you a lot of grief down the road! Show that you are one to check for full understanding when you are navigating new territory. Highlight to the interviewer that you are the type to attentively listen and troubleshoot problems in a collaborative style.

      Someone with good listening skills will:

      - Give the speaker their full attention
      - Maintain proper eye contact
      - Show invested interest by nodding or agreeing
      - Avoid interrupting
      - Ask for clarification if needed
      - Make statements such as "If I am understanding you correctly..." or "Do you mean that you want..."

      Give an example that demonstrates how you avoided miscommunication by using your stellar listening skills!

      Ryan's Answer

      "If I am understanding you correctly..."

      Ryan's Answer

      "My current principal is very brief in her communication and sometimes it creates confusion within the faculty. Last month she asked me to run a report on a student whose parents she was meeting with the next day. I wasn't entirely sure that I understood what she was asking. After she finished telling me what she was looking for, I repeated it back to her. I will often use qualifying questions such as, 'So what you're asking is...?' or 'Do you mean that you want me to do (X)?' This seems to avoid a lot of unnecessary problems down the road."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I was in a marketing meeting with the owner of the supplement brand I have been distributing as an entrepreneurial venture of mine, and during that meeting, we discussed how I should market the products to students. Once he was done explaining his expectations, I followed up with a clarifying question which was basically me repeating what he had said to ensure that there were no misunderstandings so I said, “If I understand correctly, when marketing the product, you would like me to highlight this, this, and that.” To which he responded with a yes."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You display a terrific approach to clarifying communication. For this answer, I recommend being a bit clearer on the pain point since the question refers to problem-solving.

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  5. 5.

    Tell me about your greatest work related accomplishment.

      Talking about your greatest accomplishment will give the interviewer a strong idea of where you place your values. It will also show the interviewer more about your personality, how you like to be motivated, and how to coach you in the future. It is okay to brag a little bit when answering this question. Show that you are proud of yourself and your career accomplishments!

      Ryan's Answer

      "The greatest accomplishment in my career was graduating University as an honors student while still working full time in a related field. I was top of my class, and working full time. This showed me that I am able to dedicate myself to my career, and reach the goals that I set for myself. It felt great to accomplish so much and be recognized for my dedication."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I have many accomplishments that I am very proud of. Overall, I would say that my greatest work accomplishment is the positive reputation that I have as an educator. Reputation is everything and I am proud of mine."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I have a lot of accomplishments I am proud of in sports and academics, but I would say my greatest accomplishment is being the closing speaker at an event hosted by the Golden Key International Honour Society along with the university art gallery. I got to share my passion for motivational speaking with around 50 students and lecturers. This, for me, was an amazing experience that allowed me to prove to myself and everyone else that I can do this."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This must have been a significant highlight for you, indeed! You sound very confident, and I love to hear that you have many accomplishments to choose from. Public speaking and motivational speaking are very hard for many people - you should feel very proud of this accomplishment :)

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  6. 6.

    If you could be a subject matter expert in any subject of your choice, which would you choose?

      Talk to the interviewer about the topics that pique your interest the most. If you could immerse yourself in a particular subject, what would it be and why? You can make your answer a bit lighthearted and personal if you wish.

      Ryan's Answer

      "Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated with mechanics and design. I would build models of airplanes and cars in my room for hours at a time. I still have a very keen interest in design so I would say that if I could be a subject matter expert on any topic - I would choose mechanical engineering."

      Ryan's Answer

      "That's a great question! In my spare time I do a lot of reading on socioeconomic related matters. I would love to be seen as a subject matter expert in how the effects of race and social standing directly impact career choice variables. It's all very fascinating to me."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I would definitely choose entrepreneurship. My biggest dream is to start my own business and empower other people to do the same. It goes hand-in-hand with my passion for motivational speaking. I look up to people like Liu Qiangdong and Mike Wright. These people took something small and turned it into something greater than them, and that is what I want to do that. The founder of English First was an entrepreneur, and look where it is now."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your excitement for entrepreneurship really shines through, which can be great, but it can also work against you depending on the job title you wish to secure. (Is EF a franchise?) Consider asking yourself - would this answer make the interviewer feel like this role is just a stepping stone for you as you make plans to open your own business?

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  7. 7.

    How do you believe you will complement our department, if you were hired?

      If you were awarded the position, what would you bring to the department or organization? Assure the interviewer that you are the right fit for this position.

      Ryan's Answer

      "If I were hired, I feel that I would compliment your faculty in a few significant ways. First - I am a fast learner and I already bring 6 years' experience in the education industry. The time to train me will be reduced. Also, I will bring a very strong curriculum with me which will make an impact almost immediately."

      Ryan's Answer

      "If I were hired, I will compliment your department by adding value to the pressing initiatives you have prioritized. I am excited to share my knowledge when it comes to cross-departmental efforts."

  8. 8.

    What are your thoughts on public vs. private education?

      The topic of public vs. private education is a hot one! When you are asked to discuss a controversial topic in an interview it is best to avoid any offending statements or pushing any buttons. Give a rather cooled opinion on both sides and leave it at that.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I can understand why some people would want their children in private school as much as I understand the draw of public school. Not everyone can afford the luxury of private school but I am thankful that our public school system offers a great education with such little cost associated. In my opinion, as long as our kids are receiving a valuable education then who am I to say whether one is better than the other."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I primarily stand behind public education because it is affordable for everyone, and it provides educational access to anyone regardless of their social standing. Many times, the classrooms will be more manageable in size, and these classrooms are more likely to offer a more diverse range of students. With that said, I do understand why some parents prefer private education for their children. Perhaps its a family tradition or they prefer the coursework and other opportunities that come along with a private facility."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Firstly I think my ideal world is one where regardless of where you study, the quality of education you receive should be of a high standard. I understand the need for both education systems as we all live in different societies. What is important is that all kids receive quality and valuable education."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Your response is thoughtful, and you show an understanding of various societies and the needs of others. The enthusiasm you provide for quality education is excellent. Since EF is considered private education, you may want to provide a statement regarding its work and its contribution to quality education.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  9. 9.

    Private and franchised adult learning institutions have greatly increased in popularity over the years. Do you see value in these institutions? Why or why not?

      The topic of franchised adult learning institutions can be a controversial one! When you are asked to discuss a controversial topic in an interview it is best to avoid any offending statements or pushing any buttons. Give a rather cooled opinion on both sides and leave it at that.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I can understand the draw when it comes to franchised adult learning institutions. Not everyone can attend University right out of High School and many have the option to return to school later on in life. In my opinion, continued Education is important. As long as the courses being offered are legitimate ones, who am I to stand in the way?"

      Ryan's Answer

      "I primarily support traditional learning that comes from a University or long-standing College. I feel that the coursework is more likely to be recognized. I would not like to see someone complete a diploma at a franchised institution just to later find out that their courses are not recognized. If they can guarantee course credit recognition, then that is great."

  10. 10.

    At EF Education First we put a strong emphasis on continued education. We believe that there is always more to learn. How do you feel about continued education?

      Of course education is important when you are working in the education industry! Assure the interviewer that you are not resistant to continued education. Perhaps there is a course, program, or workshop that you are personally interested in? Discuss with the interviewer your passion for education.

      Ryan's Answer

      "I wholeheartedly agree that education is incredibly important. We can always learn more! Personally, I like to take a short course or workshop 3-4 times per year. These courses have included additional computer, leadership, and mentorship related training."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Continued education is imperative to my growth as an education professional. I feel strongly about continuing to grow my knowledge in this industry. Could you give me some examples of the ways that EF Education First AG emphasizes continued education in its employees?"

      Anonymous Answer

      "Continued learning is vital to one's growth regardless of age. I believe our dreams and aspirations are limited to the knowledge that we have, and the only way to gain that knowledge is by continuing to learn wherever we can. Learning on all spectrums is beneficial, from doing a short course to researching a particular topic. I took it upon myself to learn more about the opportunities around teaching abroad, which was a process of continued learning in itself, so I am definitely a pioneer for continued learning."

      Rachelle's Answer

      The way you phrased this response is wonderful. You mention some essential points regarding continued learning. It's clear that you have a dedication to continued learning and that you place a lot of value on education.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  11. 11.

    In this position you may be working with individuals who are underage and/or vulnerable. We do full background checks on all of our employees. Are you willing to comply?

      This is where you must disclose to the interviewer if you do not have a clean criminal background. Discuss with the interviewer your willingness to comply and be sure to disclose any pain points ahead of time. It is better they find any marks on your record directly from you!

      If you have a clean criminal background: "Yes, I am happy to comply with any criminal, financial, and educational related background checks that you require. My record is clean."

      Ryan's Answer

      "Yes, I am happy to comply with any criminal, financial, and educational related background checks that you require. My record is clean."

      Ryan's Answer

      "If you do not have a clean criminal background: "I am happy to comply with any criminal, financial, and educational related background check that you require. The majority will come back clean; however, I should disclose to you that I have a DUI charge from 7 years ago that may come up. I have been cleared of charges now and my drivers' license has been reinstated."

      Anonymous Answer

      "Definitely, I wouldn't expect anything else, especially when working with children."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Good! Your answer is straightforward, and it's clear that you are willing to comply with full understanding.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  12. 12.

    Tell me about a teacher, leader, or mentor who affected your life in a positive way.

      When you work in the Education industry it is important to understand the difference that a strong leader and mentor can make in the life of a student. Talk to the interviewer briefly about someone who may have helped you along the way. Does anyone influential come to mind?

      Ryan's Answer

      "In my elementary years I had some trouble with reading. My grade 2 teacher was a very patient and kind person who went above her duties by giving me additional resources. Because she was generous with her time and efforts, I was exceeding grade level expectations in no time. In addition to catching up academically, I was able to gain a lot of personal confidence."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I believe that every teacher and leader that I have had has played their own part in positively affecting my life. From a young age I have been lucky enough to have excellent mentors who wanted to invest in my future. It's a large part of why I wanted to work in the field of education, myself."

      Anonymous Answer

      "When I was 13, I lost my mother, a single parent, because my dad passed on when I was 4, so my teenage years were pretty tough. There was a teacher at our school who also worked with rugby scouts. He saw my talent and invited scouts to see me play, which is how I got my rugby scholarship with the North-West University. He pushed me to work hard not just on the field but also academically. He believed me, and because of that, I had more self-confidence and drive to do better because I believed that I could achieve my goals regardless of my circumstances."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This teacher sounds like an incredible influence, and the support he offered created some fantastic opportunities for you! The interviewer should greatly appreciate your openness and the realness that you show in this response.

      Was this answer helpful? Yes or No
  13. 13.

    At EF Education First, we seek to hire the most compassionate individuals. Do you consider yourself compassionate?

      The best way to answer a question like this is to give a clear and concise example of how you consistently show your compassionate character. Do you help students in your free time? Perhaps you volunteer? Have you received recognition for your efforts from a previous employer? Brainstorm some examples that show off your great character!

      Ryan's Answer

      "I was raised to be a compassionate person and do consider myself to possess this quality. One way that I show this is by volunteering my time as an after-school tutor for kids who are struggling in school and who lack the resources at home. I have been committed to this volunteer work for the past 2 years."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I believe compassion is a must-have trait for anyone wishing to succeed in the field of education. When I think of compassion, I think of the quote from Arthur Schopenhauer that says, "Compassion is the basis of morality." I truly believe in this and try to practice it every day."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I believe compassion is a must when teaching. This year I got the opportunity to tutor Grade 9 students in English Home Language, and because of the pandemic, we did these sessions online. One student in my group that I noticed wasn't participating as much as the others, so I spoke to him outside of the group. He explained that he was already struggling before the pandemic, and now that we've moved online, he is not coping. I offered to help him one-on-one and more regularly than scheduled. I believe no judging him and empathising with him was necessary for me as his tutor."

      Rachelle's Answer

      This is a really nice story and one that spotlights your genuine and compassionate nature. Online schooling is hard for many students, and it speaks a great deal to your character that you were observant and caught onto the needs of this student before he fell further behind. I'm sure you did a great deal for his confidence and self-worth as well as his education :)

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  14. 14.

    In our industry, your day may not be a typical 8AM - 4PM. Are you willing to work overtime and participate in extra-curricular activities?

      The education industry is often in demand, even outside of typical school hours and activities. If you have restrictions in your schedule, this is a great time to address those restrictions.

      If you have an open schedule: "I am available to work most of the time, with some notice on overtime if possible."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I am available to work most of the time, with some notice on overtime if possible."

      Ryan's Answer

      "If you have scheduling restrictions: "I do take an evening course every Thursday so I would not be available for additional hours those days. Other than that, I am happy to make myself available as often as possible."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I have no problem at all. In fact, I believe it is necessary to engage children beyond the classroom. In high school, I participated in everything I could, from debate to the school plays. I also tried almost every sport they offered until I found my one passion, rugby, so having education be about more than just the classroom setup is what I believe elevates the learning experience for kids because they continue to learn outside of the classroom. If it weren’t for the teachers that took the extra time to help me, I wouldn’t be here today."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Powerful response - this is excellent. You show a lot of passion for education and how extracurricular opportunities can benefit children/youth beyond the classroom.

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  15. 15.

    Do you prefer working with a student one-on-one or with a larger class of students?

      Discuss you preference with the interviewer and be sure to highlight your overall experience; whether that be with larger classes of students or one-on-one. You can keep your answer brief and be sure to avoid talking yourself out of a job. (IE: if this is a tutoring company, avoid discussing how you do not enjoy one-on-one student interaction.)

      Ryan's Answer

      "As an educator for the past 4 years I feel that I have developed a strong ability to adapt to nearly every teaching situation. I do not lean strongly to group settings versus individual settings; however, I always enjoy seeing how students interact with each other when a challenge is at hand."

      Ryan's Answer

      "I tend to enjoy teaching larger groups at a time simply because of the energy a class full of students can offer. Also, the insightful questions that can come from a solid group session are pretty surprising at times. With that said, at times it is easier to make a direct impact when you teach one-on-one. I am satisfied with either method."

      Anonymous Answer

      "I believe it is important that as a teacher, I adapt my teaching preference based on my student’s needs. I prefer teaching a large group of students because it’s also an opportunity to learn from and be motivated by their peers. This allows them to learn social skills in the process, but it is very important to be observant and know when a student may need you to switch to a one-on-one session. Evaluating your student’s needs is critical."

      Rachelle's Answer

      You make an excellent case for teaching groups of students, including the benefits to all parties. I like that you included the comment regarding switching to 1:1 sessions when needed. Be aware of switching between 'I' and 'royal you' phrasing. I've provided a slight edit for you to show the difference.

      "I believe it is important that as a teacher, I adapt my teaching preference based on my student’s needs. I prefer teaching a large group of students because it’s also an opportunity for them to learn from and be motivated by their peers. A group approach allows my students to learn social skills in the process. I must be observant and know when a student may need me to switch to a one-on-one session. I must regularly evaluate my students' needs in a group classroom setting."

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  16. 16.

    Tell me about an organization or group outside of work that you contributed to.

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  17. 17.

    When have you had to adapt to change?

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  18. 18.

    Why do you want this job with EF Education First?

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  19. 19.

    When entering a new job, describe how you build relationships with your new coworkers and supervisors.

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  20. 20.

    How do you like to encourage ideas in others?

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  21. 21.

    Do you always double check or proofread your work?

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  22. 22.

    List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role.

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  23. 23.

    Do you think honesty is always the best policy?

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  24. 24.

    How do you define success?

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  25. 25.

    What leadership qualities do you possess?

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  26. 26.

    What are your salary expectations?

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  27. 27.

    How do you handle stress on the job?

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  28. 28.

    Tell me something about yourself that I wouldn't know from reading your resume.

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  29. 29.

    What questions do you have for me?

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