Read 15510 times

  • Andyroo
  • Expert Waygook

    • 676

    • February 09, 2011, 12:49:41 pm
    • Korea
Re: Failed the EPIK interview
« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2012, 08:05:00 am »
3. TEFL - For EPIK, it is required now. I think GEPIK is also following suit. Get a 100 hour TEFL certification asap. If you are in an in-class program, I am not sure what you can do, but if you are doing an online one, step up the pace. If you need one in a pinch, I suggest going through ITTT. You can find them online, that is one "I" followed by three "T"s. They have a 100 hour certification for TEFL/TESOL that you can complete in a week if you aren't working and you are a good student.

You will definitely need a 100 hr Tesol for GEPIK. We needed it for this year even if you were renewing.

My EPIK interview (2010) was a complete joke and felt like I was being interviewed by an answering machine. I'm glad they gave you some feedback.


  • papayapie
  • Super Waygook

    • 421

    • May 30, 2012, 10:30:06 am
    more
Re: Failed the EPIK interview
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2012, 08:15:12 am »
Didn't interview for EPIK, but I got hired by GEPIK with literally no effort on my part. What exactly were your weak points? I didn't have a TEFL. Just a degree in English. Talked about how awesome Korea is and how I can't wait to try some kimchi and bam. Job offers every other day.

Definitely try going through Korvia. I thought they were super helpful. And if you're really wanting to come here...yeah, try hagwons. I actually wish I had gone the hagwon route. I went with a PS because I was under the naive impression there was no way it could suck...boy was I wrong. Shitty, moldy apartment and a crap work environment. At least I get 20 vacation days......anyway, I'd lean more towards hagwons. They seem like legit jobs if you can find a nice one. Just talk to current/previous teachers before you sign any contract.


Re: Failed the EPIK interview
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2012, 03:53:00 pm »
How have they stepped up their hiring standards? They continue to hire people fresh out of school with no experience. That's the bread and butter applicant that they choose. There is no fair compensation for people who are actually qualified for the job, nor do they require it. Over the years, it is very *rare* that I've heard of someone failing an interview. Renewals are very common place, I've seen terrible teachers get renewed year after year. So, all signs point that things are pretty much the same as they have always been recently.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind if they stepped up their hiring standards and adjusted the pay accordingly. But that's just not what is, or what will happen in the near future.

But let's not get sidetracked. The OP has some options: finish the TEFL and reapply (I'd recommend not applying to SMOE) next year, look for direct hire public school positions (much fewer positions available), or go the hagwon route.

OP, you seem to have a worry similar to what I did a long time ago when I first came to Korea. That worry being that private tutoring institutes are a bit more shady and more risky than public schools. It's probably a common worry for everyone. But I want to suggest not to worry about it too much. You should really consider it. Before you accept the job, just do a search on the hagwons name, or post about it here or on Dave's to get some feedback on the reputation. You'll know by the contract and the replies if it's going to be a decent situation or not. You can reduce much of the risk by doing your research before hand, and you have the added bonus of knowing exactly where you'll be in Korea. In the case of EPIK, who know where you'll end up!

And let's clear something up, public school positions are also a gamble. Your apartment can be just as moldy and trashy in a public school. Your work environment can be just as bad. There's no control over it, and there are plenty of horror stories about PS jobs as well.

So, if you're desperate (kind of seems like you might be), I'd recommend dropping your bias and trying out a hagwon. You'll get paid a bit more money which you can use to enjoy your time in Korea or SE Asia. And the bonus is, you don't have to wait another half a year to get a job.

I think a lot of the negative posts about their jobs  stem from the fact that they can't hack it in a foreign country. There's no shame in that, it's not for everybody. In my school's history, no foreign teacher has stayed longer than 1 year. I've been there for 3. Is it difficult and challenging? Obviously it is, but I deal with it. However, not everybody is able to deal with it. So they will complain about their job and leave, etc, often creating the horror stories which you read. My point is, if you have a suitable personality, you'll be able to do well in Korea. Just be incredibly easy going and flexible, and don't be too demanding or have high expectations.

Now get out there and go find a job! If you wait much longer, your FBI certificate is going to expire.

This is great advice; hakwons are just as hit or miss as any PS position. However, one thing that went unmentioned: ALWAYS ask to speak to the current foreign teacher. Get their email or facebook, and start talking to them. Unless they are one evil son of a bitch, they will give you the rundown of the school, staff, and kids. Also, find out how long the foreign teacher has been there. If they're trying to scoot out after 6 months, you'll probably want to look elsewhere. Seriously, a Korean hakwon owner might lie to you, but a fellow waygook will give you the truth.


Re: Failed the EPIK interview
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2012, 07:38:42 pm »
Seriously, a Korean hakwon owner might lie to you, but a fellow waygook will give you the truth.

Nope!

If the hagwon owner needs a teacher and then he gives you the name of another waygook, and then after talking to that waygook you change your mind, who is the hagwon owner going to blame for your not taking the job? And whose bonus/airfare/contract is he going to screw with?

Would YOU lie to a stranger for $2000 and a plane ticket?


  • Ley_Druid
  • The Legend

    • 2468

    • February 17, 2011, 08:36:33 am
    • Shinan-Gun, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
Re: Failed the EPIK interview
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2012, 09:15:40 pm »
Well, it is official, I also failed. I am not sure what exactly went wrong, but I have three years of public school experience with excellent references. I also majored in Asian Studies with a focus on Korea and I also have a TESOL certification. I can't see what I did wrong, not to mention that I was looking for a rural location. Hmm...


  • trisha.sue
  • Waygookin

    • 22

    • May 09, 2012, 09:28:07 am
    • Wonju, South Korea
Re: Failed the EPIK interview
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2012, 07:28:53 am »
I work at a private middle school in Wonju.  It's not the best job out there, but it's better than a lot of them.  We get 7 weeks of vacation and teach small classes.  If anyone is interested, send me your resume in an email, as they are interviewing people right now.


  • Morticae
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1400

    • August 31, 2010, 12:45:33 pm
Re: Failed the EPIK interview
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2012, 07:43:09 am »
Well, it is official, I also failed. I am not sure what exactly went wrong, but I have three years of public school experience with excellent references. I also majored in Asian Studies with a focus on Korea and I also have a TESOL certification. I can't see what I did wrong, not to mention that I was looking for a rural location. Hmm...

I think EPIK is downsizing for budgetary reasons. I assume this means less positions, with a focus on reducing costs. You have more experience, thus commanding a higher pay. Perhaps these are some contributing factors.

Because other than that, I'm not sure why you'd fail! I know my POE froze the budget, so they will not increase the number of teachers. And many teachers are renewing, since the economy still sucks in the U.S.. I'm hoping the economy picks up again and most people leave Korea, it'll make jobs better for the rest of us who are interested in teaching EFL.


Re: Failed the EPIK interview
« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2012, 02:29:48 pm »
There's some really good advice here for people seeking employment in Korea, and also some interesting insight into the EPIK environment right now, though we can only speculate as to why you guys aren't passing the interview stage...

I'd recommend the recruiter Canadian Connections.  They recruit for public school systems in Jeollanamdo, Incheon, and another province or two.  Their next start date is April.



Also--
Quote
     Seriously, a Korean hakwon owner might lie to you, but a fellow waygook will give you the truth.


Nope!

If the hagwon owner needs a teacher and then he gives you the name of another waygook, and then after talking to that waygook you change your mind, who is the hagwon owner going to blame for your not taking the job? And whose bonus/airfare/contract is he going to screw with?

Would YOU lie to a stranger for $2000 and a plane ticket?


True, true, true.  And don't forget-- one waygook's truth could be very different from another waygook's experience, even if all the variables are the same (same school, same time frame, same age kids, etc.)