6 Questions to ask at your interview before starting a job teaching English in Colombia
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While there are many things to consider when applying for a job teaching English in Colombia, interview situations are often overwhelming experiences, with a great deal of information being presented. It can be easy to forget the information you wanted to find out before starting work teaching English in Colombia.
Here are 6 questions you should be asking at every job interview before you start teaching English in Colombia;
What are the healthcare policies?
Many companies that employ native English speakers to start teaching English in Colombia, have connections with healthcare providers – to ensure all employees are covered if they need medical assistance. This is a good question to ask at an interview, to be sure that you will have cover if it is required and how you pay for it. Some companies deduct the monthly fees from your wages, others require you to pay yourself each month. Finding out this information and an estimate of the monthly payments, will avoid the shock when receiving your monthly pay slip with a value below what you predicted, for your job – teaching English in Colombia.
Does the company sponsor visas?
In Colombia there are a lot of opportunities for native English speakers to gain jobs teaching English in Colombia, with a large number of companies searching for teachers. Companies visa policies vary depending on the company, a large number of companies will sponsor visa’s but not pay for the costs, others will sponsor and pay for the visa, while a small number of companies will not be able to sponsor visa’s at all. Finding out the companies policies at the interview, will allow for forward planning, especially if you are required to pay for the visa costs. If successful at the interview, you can allow for the visa costs when budgeting your spendings.
Are you guaranteed a specific number of hours a month?
The number of teaching hours can vary between companies and times of the year, if a company is interviewing it is likely that they require people to start teaching English in Colombia for a new client or due to staff turnover. At your interview it is good to ask a question about the number of teaching hours each month and an estimated start date, to plan for the upcoming months. If you have an interview and the company doesn’t require you to start teaching English in Colombia immediately you will need to plan for the delayed start.
In which area will your classes be situated?
Cities in Colombia can cover a large area and sometimes due to traffic it can take a while to travel around the city (especially in Bogota). It is useful to find out an estimated location or area you might be working in before you start teaching English in Colombia. Companies may not be able to tell you an exact location of all your classes but they can tell you the area or neighbourhoods you might be working in. This is useful to know especially when you are thinking of where to live in a city.
How much holiday time are you allowed?
While you are working teaching English in Colombia, you will want to travel around the country and discover Colombia’s magic. It is good to ask about the companies’ holiday policies, if you want to take a week to travel or to take a trip home for a special occasion, it is good to know how many days you are allowed, in order to plan trips.
How do teaching schedules work?
Companies work on a variety of schedules in terms of class times and days, some companies will require individuals to work teaching English in Colombia on Saturday mornings or late in the evenings. Some companies require a set number of hours a week or a set monthly salary, others pay per hour and hours vary. Teachers can have set schedules for the year or for a block of hours, meaning schedules will vary from month to month. Many teachers will work peak hours 7am to 9am and 5pm to 7pm, others will hold classes at lunch time or though out the day.
These questions will be useful to ask at an interview with a company before starting your job teaching English in Colombia, to gain a rounded picture of the job and what it entails.
Written by: Anny Wooldridge