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If you are trying to get a job for VIPKid as an online English teacher, you will have to do an interview and mock class. While this can be nerve-wracking and anxiety inducing, it isn’t necessarily difficult. These 6 tips will teach you How to Pass Your VIPKid Mock Class and Interview, so you can get on to teaching for VIPKid and making money!
Chances are if you are reading about passing your VIPKid mock class, you already know what VIPKid is, but for those of you who do not know, VIPKid is an online platform for teaching English to students in China.
Many native English speakers teach on here for part or full-time income. It’s not the most difficult job in the world and is a pretty easy way to earn money.
To read more about working for VIPKid read our other posts about VIPKid:
Teaching English Online with VIPKid
VIPKid Review: Pros and Cons of Teaching for VIPKid
Is VIPKid Legit? A Review of VIPKid
Tips for Passing Your VIPKid Mock Class and Interview
1. Review the Lesson
Before you do your VIPKid mock class and interview, make sure you look at the lesson you will be teaching before the interview begins. This may seem obvious, but it’s important that you really know what to do for all the slides.
VIPKid uses different types of slides that don’t always make the most sense when you first see them. You will get used to them later, but the first time you see them, it’s a little odd.
Once you know what the slides are that you will be teaching in the mock class, think of extension questions for them. Extension questions are great if a student is going through the slides fast and you need to extend the class. They also help build a relationship with the student.
Using extension questions in your VIPKid mock class will show the interviewer that you are trying to connect with the student and that you’re trying to give an advanced student more opportunities to improve their English.
2. Prepare Props
VIPKid is big on props. If you watch any VIPKid teaching videos, they all use props. Long-time VIPKid teachers have tons of props that are often pretty expensive. However, the props for your mock class don’t have to be elaborate like some teachers have.
After you review the lesson for the mock class, find a couple items around your house that you could use on camera. They should be more than a paper cutout or picture though.
Getting a whiteboard is a good idea too. You can write down a sentence starter or word and have the students say it, or tell them the word and have the student spell it as you write it out. These are great extension activities for vocabulary words too.
The whiteboard is a great place to keep track of your reward system too. Every VIPKid lesson has a reward system and students at lower levels really like them. Students at higher levels don’t really care as much about them, but do a reward system in your mock class because it’s what VIPKid wants.
3. Get Your “Classroom” Ready
Even though you are just teaching at a computer, you should have some sort of educational background. A plain white wall looks boring and doesn’t give the student a classroom-like feel.
Now, just like the class, it’s understandable that you don’t want to invest too much time or money in a background for a job you might not get or keep too long, so if you put up a simple world map poster, that’s perfect. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just something to give the room some depth.
It’s also important to consider your lighting. You don’t want to your video to be too dark or too light. Play around with your webcam before hand to find the right lighting. You can always invest in a ring light to give you the best lighting for your online classroom.
Lastly, make sure the computer is propped up a little bit. If it is sitting on a desk or table, you will be looking down at it, which is strange for the student. If you prop it up on a a shoebox or some books, it will look better and will be one less thing your interviewer will mark you down for during your VIPKid mock class.
Like the background and props, you can always invest in a laptop stand or something more permanent in the future if you choose to continue working for VIPKid.
4. What to Do During the Mock Class
Tip #4 is now transitioning into what you do during your VIPKid mock class, instead of how to prepare for it.
During your mock class with VIPKid, make sure you use Total Physical Response (TPR). This means you are using body gestures, hands, or making faces when speaking. TPR is especially important with students who have lower English levels because it helps them understand what you are saying.
Some easy and effective places to insert TPR into your lesson is when you say you, me, or I. When you say you, point to the student. This helps them know that you are talking to them. When you say me or I, point to yourself. Again, this will help the student understand more if their listening skills aren’t as high.
A few other great places to use TPR in your mock class are when you say, “Can you say ______?” You can gesture by pointing to the student and then pointing to your mouth. This indicates you want them to speak. You can then cup your hand to your ear indicating to them that you are waiting to hear their response.
Aside from TPR, you should be making corrections for your student in the mock class right away in the moment. After you make the correction, have the student repeat it correctly. This shows you are paying attention and actively teaching the student more than just what’s on the slide.
Do not overcorrect the student though. Overcorrecting can discourage the student from even trying. If the student is making a lot of mistakes, just correct the major ones and once they have those down, you can start to correct the others.
The last tip for what to do during your VIPKid mock interview is to have lots of positive encouragement. Create a rewards system, even if it’s not the same as in the lesson. For example, draw a star on your whiteboard and try to get 5 stars before the end of class. This is the mot simplistic, but will show you’ve thought about some system.
Tell the student “Great job!” when they do something well. Smile a lot. Give them a thumbs up or double thumbs up for non-verbal encouragement too. This will all go a long ways in passing your VIPKid mock class and interview!
5. Be Able to Reflect Immediately After The Lesson
After you finish your mock class, you will have a short interview talking about how you think the mock class went and what you could do differently. This part is very important!
It’s important to be able to reflect on your class and be able to talk not only about what went well and what didn’t, but most importantly, what you would do differently next time.
If you cannot reflect on your mock class, then you will probably not get the job with VIPKid. However, there’s a good chance that anyone interviewing with VIPKid and doing the mock class will be able to at least say something they went poorly and how they’d change it. Having an honest conversation with your interviewer will help you pass the VIPKid interview.
6. If You Don’t Pass The Interview and Mock Class, Take Their Advice and Try It Again
Like most people going into any interview, and especially one with a mock class with an adult acting like a student, you will probably be nervous. If you fail the first mock class, you can just try it again. That’s a beauty of the VIPKID interview process. They want to make sure they have great teachers, not just ones that can pass on their first try.
If you do fail the mock class and interview, simply do it again. The interviewer will give you feedback. Try to follow the feedback and improve on your next class. Keep in mind that some interviewers may give conflicting opinions based on how they teach their classes.
Mike passed his VIPKid mock class and interview on the 3rd try and had that exact experience.
The first interviewer said to go slower and use more extension questions because he went too fast and finished the mock class early. They said they had never had an interviewee finish the entire mock class and to go slower next time.
The second said he used too many extension questions and to spend more time on the slides. This person said Mike went too slow and should have finished all the slides in the mock class.
The third time was the charm, and he passed! Now, he’s working as a part-time teacher for VIPKid making some extra money to travel more!
These 6 tips for passing your VIPKid mock class and interview will prepare you for passing and becoming a teacher for VIPKid, so you can start earning money!
If you have any questions about teaching for VIPKid or the mock class and interview process, contact us.