Job Interview Techniques for Teaching in Korea

I am now working on job interview techniques for teaching in Korea in hopes that I land a job this summer. I am waiting for EPIK (English Program in Korea) to contact me. Some possible interview questions are:

  • What do you know about the EPIK program?
  • What do you know about Busan?
  • Tell me about your travel experiences.
  • Why do you want to teach?
  • Why do you want to be a part of the EPIK program.
  • Tell me about your most successful project and what you learned from it.

I have done some research on the EPIK program and found out that it began in 1981 when 200 young college graduates were placed in secondary schools in Korea. They were Peace Corps members. Over the years additional teachers were recruited and trained, and in 1994, the Korean Ministry of Education decided that the English Program in Korea will help promote international education and language skills. All of the information that I found is according to the EPIK website. I think that knowing about the job and the area where I plan to teach will make an impressive difference. Since the interview will be by phone, I will make sure that I have note handy! It’s also a good idea to smile while talking to the interview, even on the phone. People can hear a smile in your voice. Oh, and since this is an interview for an English teaching job, I will make sure to speak slowly and distinctly, but sound natural, too. I am just trying to take mental notes for the big day and think up some great job interview techniques to help me score that position!

Competition for the EPIK Program

I received an e-mail from my recruiter stating that EPIK has been inundated with applications and that they are behind in scheduling interviews for August 2009. Great! So the competition will be stiffer than normal. I just hope that I can get an English teaching job in Busan before they are all filled up! I really want to teach in a public school rather than a private school due to the job security associated with teaching in the public school system. It could take up to three weeks to receive an interview date, and the recruiter made that sound like it was unusual. I hope that I don’t have to wait three weeks. Is there anyone else out there waiting for an EPIK interview? What are you doing to prepare or simply to relax and keep your cool?


  • tony vu

    Hey there. This is good stuff you wrote here. I’ve recently applied for EPIK because im not finding any desirable locations with GEPIK. I’ve done my research (which included looking for epik interview tips like yours!) and I, too, would like to teach in Busan. My recruiter at ESL-planet told me i could get an interview quickly and possibly be placed and confirmed by the end of this month or beginning of May. I hope im applying early enough to get a busan position for the august start date.

    Take care and maybe we’ll meet at the epik orientation =P


    Tony Vu


    What recrutier are you working through? I am working with “Adventure Teaching INC” and they also told me it can take up to 3 weeks for an interview. I really want to go to Busan. So hopefully everything works out.

  • admin

    Hi Kasandra,

    I am working through Footprints Recruiting. Apparently, there have been a lot of EPIK applicants this year. I think that is why it is taking so long. I hope that you get in, and I hope to see you at orientation! Make sure that you have all of your paperwork in, because you may not have the position secured until after all of the paperwork is submitted.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • admin

    Let me know how it goes! It would be cool to meet up some people that I’ve met through my blog!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • Billy

    Hey guys,

    I’m also applying to teach in South Korea for the fall semester of 09. Just wanted to say good luck to everyone!

  • Dinah Whitchurch

    Thanks for sharing all of this information. I’m interviewing on Monday with EPIK For Busan… do you have any last minute tips you can share? I’d love to meet you if I end up there, I want to make as many friends as possible!

    I’m really also looking for a church hopefully, I hear they’re everywhere there so I’m excited about that.
    [contact info edited out] Have a great day!

  • admin

    Just relax, and find a quiet place to talk. I kept my dog quiet for once! Let me know how it goes for you! I would love to meet you there! Yes. I have heard that there are plenty of churches. I hope that there are English-speaking churches!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • james

    my girlfriend and I applied through a couple of recruiters as we werent really sure who to go with. I get the impression that different recruiters work in different provinces across Korea. Some have told us it may be 3 weeks and others said it would be sooner….so who knows.

  • admin

    I’m not sure if the time that it takes depends on the recruiter or the number of people that EPIK has to interview. Actually, you will probably have two interviews. One interview will be with the recruiter, that is mostly a screening interview. If you have a favorable interview you may be invited to interview with EPIK or whichever company that you are applying for. I don’t think that the recruiter can control when the interview with EPIK will take place. Be careful about applying through multiple recruiters for the same program, I had the impression that the public schools do not like for people to do that. There are also several regions and programs that you can apply to, EPIK covers Busan and other areas not including Seoul.

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • T. More

    I am trying to get a teaching position w/ EPIK but it seems as if they are giving me the run around. I think I want to try another recruiter. What are your thoughts? And did they say anything about paying for your flight to Korea.

  • You can apply through a recruiter or directly to EPIK, if you wish. Here is how to apply to EPIK. A list of recruiters working with EPIK is also there. The benefits, pay, and what EPIK pays for is here. The settlement allowance can reimburse you for the flight. So, you have to pay for the flight upfront. There is a sample contract on the site, too. All of the info is there. Base your info on what’s written in the documents.

  • T. More

    I also wanted to know how many african american are excepted to the work in the programs that you see at orientation.

  • T. More

    sorry let me correct what I said earlier. Have you seen alot of African Americans or Black American in the orientations.

  • I’ve only been to one orientation, and there were a lot people of different races there; there were black people from all around the world. I did, of course, meet some black Americans, there. There are not a lot of black people in South Korea, period. Go here to Brothas Sistas of South Korea to network with black people in South Korea. I did a lot of networking here!

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