My VIPKID Interview Process

It was over Christmas Break. I had extra time on my hands and was setting goals for the new year. One of those goals was to find a side hussle. A coworker of mine posted about VIPKID on her Facebook page encouraging others to apply. In a moment of weakness, I did.

The interview process is long. But I kept going, I stuck with it, and I got hired! Looking back, not even a month in, I'm so glad I did!

If the hiring process was short you wouldn't be ready. Going through it was frustrating at times. It can feel like the longest interview process ever and you aren't quite sure what is waiting at the finish line. What the hiring process did do was prepare me for the job. Rather than having to train after you get the job, you train to get the job. If I didn’t go through it, I wouldn't have been ready to teach a lesson to a Chinese student.

It seems VIPKID changes their interview process semi-regularly so by the time you ready this the process could be different. But here is a a look at my experience getting hired as a VIPKID teacher:

I filled out some personal information and attempted to video myself teaching a short 3 minute lesson. This is called the quick application.

Confession: it took me THREE days to finally be happy with this short 3 minute clip! For me, it was not a quick application. I am a perfectionist but using the strategies they want you to use was totally new for me. They said to use TPR, Total Physical Response, but I had no idea what TPR was! TPR is using body language to make gestures to help others understand what you are saying, kind of like talking with your hands purposefully. I binge watched YouTube videos and tried out TPR. Here is a short one that explains it rather quickly. It felt really weird at first. I could not get the hang of where to put my hands while I was speaking. Eventually I got it, kind of. I told you I STRUGGLED to film this very short video. Despite it being only 3 minutes, I could not seem to get through the entire 3 minutes. So I submitted a video I clipped together in iMovie because I couldn't film the whole thing all at once! I would film section at a time. Eventually I was finally happy with the result and so was VIPKID!

The following day I received an email, I passed the quick application! Next I needed to schedule my Mock 1. During the Mock 1, you teach two lessons to a interviewer (they call them a 'mentor' but lets be real, it is an interview after all!) and they give you feedback. Mock 1 is roughly an hour long. It is made up of 15 minutes of teaching the first lesson followed by feedback. Then 10 minutes of teaching the second lesson, which you are supposed to apply the feedback that was given to you, followed by more feedback. After the interview, they rate you which determines your fate. 

I put HOURS of work to prepare for my Mock 1. I was still learning TPR and I was working to cut down on my incidental language. If you are teaching a student who knows zero English, you can't say extra words. It will confuse them. It is important to stick to simple sentences and the same sentence patterns. 

So Mock 1 happened. It went well. I felt comfortable but I did not finish the lesson in the assigned amount of time. I wasn't even close. My interviewer did speak very slow and waited a while to respond each time so that really slowed things down. I never had a student talk as slow as she did. She did give me great feedback on my pacing and was extremely helpful and kind. She assured me pacing is something most new teachers need to work on so it is not uncommon. Remember that coworker of mine? She encouraged me to apply and she helped me through this whole process. She let me know she also didn't finish all of the slides either so that was comforting.

I went to bed that night hoping I passed but I wasn't so sure I did. 

The following day I received an email informing me I passed my Mock 1! Whooooo! In the email it gave me two options for next steps. I had the choice of:

Option 1: Attend a 2 hour kickoff meeting
"The meeting will be led by an experienced VIPKID teacher, and lasts around 2 hours. You will receive the best information and tips we have for new teachers, and a chance to get direct answers to any questions that you may have! You will start out teaching only Trial classes. After completing 5 Trial classes, depending on the teaching quality of those classes, you may either be suggested to attend a workshop to get your Level 2 Certification or you'll be automatically certified to teach Level 2!"

Option 2: Teach a second mock class
"Did you like your first "Mock" experience? Want to use the score and feedback from your first attempt that you'll find down below to go for a second Mock Class? That's cool too! Review the details and press the 'Continue with second mock class' button on the application portal."

I choose to teach a second mock lesson. I thought I'd benefit more from additional practice of teaching a 2nd lesson and having someone give me imediate, personalized feedback. I also wanted to improve my pacing before I taught an actual student. I also didn't want to be stuck completing 5 trial classes which would be the case if I choose option 1! My coworker told me that doing the second Mock lesson also looks better to the 'VIP Gods.' I call them that because no one really knows who the mystery decision makers are who help you get your first bookings. We thought I would have a better chance of booking classes quickly if I did the Mock 2 over the kickoff meeting.

I didn't prepare nearly as much for Mock 2, I was getting the hang of it! I also wasn't nearly as nervous because I felt like I was already 'in.' Mock 2 occurred and it went really well! My pacing improved greatly and I didn't receive too much feedback but the feedback I did get was helpful. The interviewer again was so nice and friendly. 

I didn't have to wait long to get an email that I passed, it came in just a couple hours! Then the next step (so many next steps!) is to submit documents and sign your contract. Apart of that is also submitting photos for your profile that parents see and uploading a short video introducing yourself to students and parents. 

Throughout the interview process I gave myself a few days to get each thing done. I didn't rush into my application video or my Mock interviews. I would practice and prepare an hour or two a day. I wasn't in a rush to get hired, I was still living my life and I'd do VIPKID when I had time. It was a balanced approach which helped me mentally not get too overwhelmed or nervous.

The whole process took about 2 weeks. You choose when you want to schedule the mock interviews and you can reschedule them up to two times. I rescheduled both of mine for a later day since I didn't feel prepared when my initial interview day was scheduled. If I were to schedule them sooner then the interview process could be as short as a few days. I personally needed time to watch YouTube videos on the lessons, practice, and get my props/classroom together. But it could have gone much faster!

  • Have someone who helps you through the process! My coworker was such a bright light for me. When I was unsure about my teaching and had questions, she was so helpful to have in my corner supporting me. If you would like me to be that person for you then shoot me an email and you can use my referral link. I'm happy to help!

  • Watch YouTube videos! If you are preparing for Mock 1, there are tons of YouTube of people teaching Mock 1 that are helpful. I watched a ton of these videos because each person offers something different. 

  • Be yourself! You cannot imitate someone else exactly, being yourself is the only option. There is also more than one way to approach each slide so figuring out which way works for you is important.

  • Practice your lessons with someone. Timing each slide is difficult when you have no one to talk back so practicing with a human is key. Also whoever you practice with should make intential mistakes because you have be prepared to correct them.  I used my husband as my student but if you need assistance, let me know! FaceTime and Skype make it easy to do over the internet. 
If you would like to apply and become a VIPKID teacher, feel free to use my Referral Link. You can comment or email me questions. I am more than happy to help or coach you through the process!

I am so happy I took the chance and applied. It truly is a wonderful company and the students are the sweetest! Plus you can teach from home in sweatpants! Winning!

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