2016 NOTE: The GOE Coordinator has changed since this post. The new coordinator’s name is Jin. He’s a great guy, speaks English fluently, and much less uptight during the interview from what I’ve heard. Don’t get too relaxed, though. It’s still a competitive market, and you should prepare as if you were interviewing with Daniel.
2016 NOTE: Roy no longer works for Hands Korea. There is a new recruiter named Brian that is less than stellar from what I have heard from his recruits. There is also a high chance that he will not contact you in a timely manner if you are female. Again, this is based on personal accounts from people who were recruited by him.
June 10, 2015
I got a call from yet another recruiter. This one’s name is Hero from Hands Korea. He seemed like all the other recruiters except he is one of the two who actually called me on the phone. (Joseph from STAR Teachers was the other one.) The next day, Roy from Hands Korea e-mailed me applications for both GEPIK and GOE.
June 22, 2015
I got a Skype message from Roy at Hands Korea. He had set up an interview with Gyeongnam Office of Education (GOE). The Gyeongsangnam-do (Gyeongnam for short) is a broad area that wraps around Busan.
June 28, 2015 – Mock Interview
This is one of the reasons why I love Hands Korea. Roy and I got on Skype to video chat. It was more like a job coaching session than a mock interview. Roy explained that the GOE interviewer is named Daniel. Roy went over a few questions that would and would not be asked of me. He told me what Daniel liked to hear and what he didn’t want to hear. Roy spent an entire hour with me explaining everything I needed to know in order to have a successful interview. Roy also said that the longer the interview, the more chance you have at getting hired.
Here’s a few tips Roy gave me for the GOE Interview:
1) DON’T tell Daniel that you applied for EPIK.
2) DO expect unexpected questions.
3) DO talk about how love kids and teaching.
4) DO talk about how you want to make Korean friends.
5) DON’T talk about how you want to travel.
6) DON’T talk about food allergies or food pickiness.
7) You WON’T be asked to introduce yourself.
8) You WON’T be asked to speak in Korean.
9) You WON’T be asked if you have any questions at the end of the interview.
June 29, 2015 – GOE Interview
I would say this is one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever had, but have you read my previous experiences interviewing for Korean schools? Seriously. Daniel called right on time. From my totally non-stalking research, I found out that Daniel is Korean American so his English was a non-issue. He asked all the usual questions and a few unusual questions. Here’s a sample of what I was asked:
1) Please introduce yourself and tell me a little bit about why you want to teach in Korea.
–Whoa whoa whoa. Roy told me I wouldn’t have to make this introduction. Luckily for me, I was prepared to answer this since most of my other interviews started this way.–
2) How will you handle the situation if you disagree with your co-teacher?
3) What do you like to do in your free time?
4) What will you do with your free time in Korea?
5) How do you deal with stress?
6) What is your impression of Korea?
7) Explain your past work experiences and your duties for each one.
8) Your résumé says you are an American Sign Language interpreter. Please demonstrate American Sign Language.
9) Your essay mentions that you studied Tae Kwon Do and learned a little bit of Korean from that experience. What Korean words do you remember?
10) Can you introduce yourself in Korean?
–Again! on Roy’s list of questions that would not be asked. Thankfully, I was prepared for this one, too.–
11) What grade levels do you want to work with?
12) Have you ever visited Korea?
13) What do you know about Gyeongsangnam?
14) What do you know about Korean culture?
15) Do you have any allergies?
16) Are you picky about food?
17) The Korean Government has put a lot of money into this program where we bring native English speakers in to the country to speak. Our Korean English teachers are very well-educated and are more than able to teach English by themselves. What can you offer that a Korean teacher can not?
16) Do you have any questions?
–0 for 3 Roy.–
I’m sure there were more questions asked of me, but I don’t fully remember. The interview lasted 37 minutes. Roy seemed satisfied and was confident that I would be hired. The interview questions seemed to be summed up in three categories: 1- How you will adjust to life in Korea, 2- Verify what you wrote in your résumé and essays are true, and 3- teaching related questions.
July 1, 2015
After freaking out about [Interview #4] and begging Roy to contact me with any information about GOE no matter the time, Roy video called me and confirmed that I was hired for one of the 22 available positions for GOE!