My TESL Interview Experience

Hello! Good day people! Hope you had a wonderful day and joy reading this article.

I’m sure you know the feel that you feel, when you’re about to go for an interview. The butterfly just couldn’t stop flying around in your tummy, no? ;D Well, that was exactly what I felt. No fret. You’re normal if you’re feeling it too.  =)

The Preparation

You see, the most nerve-breaking part of all is, I GOT A NEW HAIR CUT JUST A DAY, let me repeat, JUST A DAY BEFORE THE INTERVIEW! I’m sure you want to look your best during the interview, right? So, getting a hair cut just a day before ‘THE DAY’ wasn’t a pretty good idea. But luckily, THANKS TO ALLAH, He gave me the idea. I know which style I’m looking for. And walla! A Victoria Beckham’s style! I know you’re gonna laugh, for those who’ve met me. And sorry, I didn’t took the picture; the before and after. So, the interview was on the 10th of April, Saturday. And I only had like... a couple of days before I will enter the panel room and wish everything would run smoothly. On Friday, which is, the day before the interview, we (my mom, my aunty and I), we went to the saloon (God, I sound like a funny chic pronouncing ‘saloon’!) to get my hair done. Sure, that lady, cut my hair JUST LIKE WHAT I WANT TO. Oh yeah, I told her that I don’t want it to look like I JUST CUT IT. Thank God, she understood. Everything is cut at the right length, I got to shampoo my hair (which I rarely do at the saloon, and which means I don’t have to shampoo my hair, again, at home. Hee~). Then, had our dinner and go back home sleep.  =) That was physically, mentally I was trying to prepare for questions like:

Why do you choose TESL?

Why do you choose UiTM??

You know, questions that can make you jaw-drop and speechless. You won’t want to look like you’re clueless for this TESL. If you want to take it, then YOU GOTTA SHOW LIKE YOU REALLY WANT IT.

The Day

*Scary voice* Now.... here comes, the day that will path your future ladies and gentlemen... Are you prepared to know what you will face??? *Evil laugh* Gahahaha!

Okay, that was too much. Sorry to frighten ya’ll. Hehehe! Right, so mine was, we had 2 sessions, one was the one in the morning, starting at 8am, which my friend whom I’ve seen him since kindergarden but only started talking after SPM, Mike or his real name is Mikhail, he got the morning session. While mine was starting at 2pm.

So, after I wore the baju kurung specially made to attend the interview, went to the nearest saloon at Bangsar, cuz my hair was ironed yesterday, and you CANNOT let it wet, or it’ll return back to its original state (more like a spring, huh? Haha!) to get it ironed back. Wasn’t really satisfied with the result. My hair looked tacky. So, in the car, on the way to Shah Alam, I amend my hair, to make it look a bit more original. Sound like a pro, huh? Haha! And we’re heading to INTEC campus, cuz that’s where the Education faculty is. I repeat, the Education faculty is at the INTEC.

Ladies and gentlemen, before you enter the panel room, to meet with the lecturers, who will interview you to see whether you’re compatible to be an English teacher, or someone who holds the Foundation in TESL, you will have to take A TEST. A test here means, they will bring you, the whole participant, into a place and they will distribute the exam paper (you’ll fell more like having an English exam, again). Inside the papers, you will be test on your grammar, writing skills, and what else ar? Aiyoo. That’s all I remember. Now, in case if you have a friend who’s in the session before you, you DO NOT NEED to ask them WHAT WAS the question, cuz they will give you a different question for each session.   Uh-uh. No need, honey. I tried that. =) Now, the exam, if I’m not mistaken it’s about... like an hour given to you. To do your essay, and answer the grammar, the comprehension question. Right, so you will be test on:

  • Comprehension (You read a text and answer the following questions)
  • Grammar (Of course!)
  • Essay

Now, when I did my essay, I didn’t know that we can do like, quite a long essay. My essay was just a one-page essay. Not that long, but I’m satisfied with it. The question was, ‘What are the elements you need to achieve success’ or something like that. So I gave 3 points, with my own elaboration. You know, you don’t need to be panic or feel like you’re blank or have no idea. The key is to just be yourself, and let your own thoughts be poured down into the essay. Like my friend, Mike, who was in the morning session, he got a question for essay, regarding throwing babies. So that I think is a bit harder than the evening’s one. But it doesn’t necessarily means that the morning session will be tougher. As long as you have your own thoughts on things, than you should have no fret. I actually sat next to Zarul, who was my former schoolmate, in SKTS. I don’t think he remembers me. I did try to make contact with him but he seems to not wanting to talk to anyone. Oh, whatever. Hahah!

Later, the interview. They will paste a list of names, of which panel you will be having your interview in. Mine was in panel 3. It was quite scary though. I said scary cuz one of my interviewer was actually a pregnant woman. You know...pregnant woman are usually more sensitive. But luckily, she wasn’t the one who ask me those questions, she was busy trying to fill a form I think from your certs. It was the other lecturer who asked me the question. You know, my panel, we started off a bit late. And some of the interviewee had to be moved to another room, just to shorten the time. 

I remember my num was number 17. And of course, while waiting for us to get into the room, we made friends. Like I met, Fatin, Izni, and I don’t really remember the other girl’s name, I think it was Syamira or something (Sorry, I am terribly bad at remembering names. I hope my students won’t take it to their hearts in the future). We chat and chat, and there were few guys there. They all like, really shy. And there was this one guy whom I think he looks familiar to me, but I didn’t ask him.  Then we wait and wait and wait. It was so long that I sometimes ran down to my mother, just to inform her that it’s still not my turn. Then around, 6pm, yeah 6 IN THE EVENING yo!! It was my turn. I was on the second level when my friend said ‘Hurry up! It’s your turn!’ and I was like, ‘Wait. My turn?’ and she nodded. And I came running to the third floor, in case if I were late, they won’t interview since it’s already late in the evening. The next thing I know, I was trying to catch my breathe cuz I was panting for air! So it’s my turn, I greeted them, then wait for them to ask to me to sit. (It’s the protocol. Thanks to MOCK interview in MJSC! ;P) Then, she looks at my profile and said:

‘So...Nur Amalina Dayana. I’ll just call you Amalina, okay?’

‘Okay’ with a SMILE! =D Still trying to breathe after running from the stairs.

‘ got one, two, three, four, five, six.. and seven A’s!’

‘Yes’ I smiled.

‘Are you sure you’re into TESL? Cuz we’ve seen students that got many A’s then later they’re not interested in this.’

So she was asking me my opinion. And I honestly don’t really remember my exact answer.

I remember this sentence though: I think that TESL is not just about the English, it’s also about HOW TO TEACH ENGLISH EFFECTIVELY.  (credits to doing research. Hehe!)

And she asked me about FACEBOOK!! Like do I think FACEBOOK is a bad thing. And my answer was like, not really, through Facebook I met my old friends (that’s how I talk to Mike and other friends also), I get to know their experiences in events that they entered. And I think I nodded quite a lot. Hahha!

She asked me whether I want to ask her any questions. I said ‘no’. And she asked again, ‘are you sure?’.  

‘Yes’. And luckily she didn’t ask me about the Menteris. Thank God! Haha! The question was quite simple, straightforward and very short, brief. Our panel was the last panel to finish!

Owh yeah, and later I had to go get a new passport picture, cuz nobody really inform (not in the letter, not through phone calls).

So, ladies and gentlemen, a brief reminder here for those who’s going to the TESL interview;

  • Be your true self
  • Bring the ORIGINAL AND PHOTOCOPIED certificates.
  • Arrange the photocopied certs earlier, but then you’ll probably have to arrange it again according to what the panel want.
  • Bring a PASSPORT PICTURE!!!!
  • Baju kurung for girls, and blouse and slack pants for the boys. Please wear a proper shoes.
  • Put a happy, smiley face.
  • Do not worry too much. No matter how much you tried, if you’re not fit to be an English teacher, they’ll know. Yup, they can know from the way you carry yourself, the way you look. =)
  • Bring a water bottle and some light food(bread, chocs). In case you’re late and you’re afraid to leave the panel, at least you won’t leave your stomach empty, would you?
  • Do some RESEARCH. Here are some links for you regarding TESL and a blog from a sis, she’s taking B. Ed in TESL, Sis Lin, which I find her blog, is very interesting. You can also find some tips regarding Foundation in TESL or most people call it, Asasi TESL. =) Very informative!

Oh yeah! Bring some pens too!

And good luck for those taking the interview!! ;DDD Any questions, just drop it off here. I'll try my best to help ya'll. =)

God bless ya’ll!!



  1. AAHHH Thanks, like a BILLION thanks to YOU! Very informative there. I hope it helps me during the interview. And i really do hope that I will not get tongue-tied!

  2. Marina:
    Nb dear! :D I wish you all the best!! :D

  3. Guess what, i got Asasi TESL for my UPU : )

  4. Marina:
    Really?? HOMGD!!!! I'm so happy for you!!! I actually clap my hands in front of the lappy when I read this! hahah :DD CONGRATS DEAR!!! :DD

  5. Thank you, thank you!!! Ni you lah yang tulun, So THANK YOU AGAIN! And i got at Alor Gajah Melaka. Where's yours?

  6. Hey nyna my dear, just thought of dropping a comment here. This post of yours trailed a lot of viewers into my blog. Thanks a bunch! <3
    How's UM btw? U went there right? Correct me if I'm wrong. >.<

  7. Thank You it was really informative and helpful. :)

  8. hey hey.. i got a tesl interview this 19 april.. haha..
    and im so grrrrr.... ahhhhhh!!
    btw tqvm for this post and the link.. ;D

  9. Hey there! may i know what kind of baju kurung you wore during the interview because i'm little bit confused for my clothes to wear for the interview. i hope that you can help me. thanks a lot :)

    1. Hello!! I think I wore a cotton baju kurung... but I don't think it matters much, as long as it's baju kurung and not too flashy I guess. Hope that helps! :D


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