The age-old question: Why do you want to teach English online? You can bet that not only your friends and family will be asking you this question, but that an interviewer for that teaching online job you want will be, too.
What they’re looking for when they ask this question
In an interview, the company is trying to make sure that you’re the right fit for the job. That means asking roundabout questions to get better intel into how you approach your work and how reliable you would be at excelling in the role. Are you someone they can trust with their clients, who will take the task of teaching English seriously? Are you in it for the long haul or a quick buck?
When the interviewer inevitably asks you “Why do you want to teach online?,” be prepared to not only state your primary motivators, but also touch on the fact that you are a productive, highly communicative, and consistent individual—and that you will bring that to the table as their new hire.
11 ways to answer the question: “Why do you want to teach online?”
1. I have a passion for teaching.
Teaching is no easy gig, but applicants who are passionate about sharing knowledge and building relationships with students should state this from the get-go. Having a deep-seated desire to contribute good to the world as a teacher will help carry you along when a bad day (or a rotten student) strike. This bigger picture motivator is something interviewers love to hear, and if this rings true for you, let them know.
2. I love learning about other cultures.
The beauty of teaching English online is that there is often an exchange between student and teacher beyond the content of the lesson plan itself. You will be interacting with students of all ages from a variety of nationalities—if you want to utilize this unique opportunity to learn about a culture different than yours, then make a point of telling an interviewer that this is one of the chief reasons why you want to teach English online.
3. I want to share a useful skill of mine.
It’s no secret that learning English as a second language can improve future prospects for students. It is a highly valued skill across dozens of countries and career paths, and having an advanced grasp of the language typically means more job opportunities, access to more esteemed universities, and generally improved chances of making their dreams come true.
If you feel inspired to share something you’ve learned natively or in the classroom to bolster future generations, be sure to highlight it in your interview.
4. I want to skip the office drama and focus on the student.
Teaching English in the classroom has real perks, but sometimes, workplace distractions can get in the way of accomplishing your goals. Kick drama to the curb by eliminating unnecessary and unwanted interruptions in your work life. It’ll just be you, your student, your lesson plan, and a strong internet connection. *Sigh of relief*
Let them know that you do your best work when you’re alone in your home office, allowing you to stay more focused on your tasks and actively preventing distractions.
5. I’m excited about the flexibility.
Working from anywhere, at anytime, is a HUGE plus of teaching English online. The convenience is second to none, and those wayward individuals who make travel a lifestyle will appreciate the ability to work anywhere with a wifi signal.
If you’ve worked a traditional 9-5 office job, you’re more poised than ever to enjoy the freedom of the work arrangement being an online English teacher brings. Don’t waste it—and let your interviewer know you don’t plan to, either.
6. I love the idea of optimizing my time.
You’ve never known a commute quite like this! If you’re motivated to compound your work day into back-to-back lessons with students, free of commuting between schools or tutoring sessions, let them know. This indicates a serious work ethic that we’re sure they’ll love.
7. I want to work in a comfortable environment where I thrive.
Focusing on your ability to kick-butt at the job in an environment that best suits your productivity might make the interviewer accidentally turn into the heart eyed emoji. It’s a great closer after you’ve outlined your personal motivators, remembering to always focus on what makes you a hire they simply can’t go on without.
What NOT to say
We’d be remiss if we let you click away from this online English teaching resource without clearly identifying some notions to sidestep when asked “Why do you want to teach English online?”
Here are just a couple to avoid:
- “I have young children at home and plan to provide childcare while on the clock”
- “I don’t like people”
- “I need a job to pay the bills while I focus on other stuff”
- “I just want to travel the world and party”
- “I heard its easy money”
- “I’ve never had a real job before”
And a final protip: avoid saying anything that could come off as bigoted, racist, or closedminded towards diversity. Many online English teaching companies’ missions loosely support interconnectivity and cultural exchange—and anything spoken in this realm will put you two steps back as a top-notch hire.
Get hired to teach English online!
Nailing this interview question is only the beginning. We’ve put together plenty of other collections of tips to nail your online English teaching interview and get the job.
- The Must-Know Online ESL Teacher Interview Questions & Answers
- Actual Interview Questions for Online Teachers from 4 Reputable Companies
Good luck and get hired!