Saturday, August 13, 2005

Interviewing at an eikaiwa

A lot of people seem to want to know tips for interviewing at Berlitz, NOVA, GABA, ECC, GEOS and the other chain "conversation schools." I can't give you any except that as we all know, no special ability, education, or skills are needed. Just "enthusiasm" and appear dumb and passive enough to follow their nonsensical "methods" and whatever other garbage they will give you. My only experience was with Berlitz. The interview was advertised as "very competitive" but it was the least competitive I have ever seen. Basically, they scheduled a group of us for an interview on the same day, time, and place and we sat and chatted about Berlitz after we introduced ourselves. The HR rep ran it, and gave us a quick, semi-accurate overview of a polished, ideal, Berlitz (Naturally he left out the parts which would cause concern such as supervisors switching "teacher's" contract hours around and in effect, defrauding them of salary .) Everyone at that interview showed up at the "training" week and passed the "training" too. You would have to be an complete and utter moron to fail, and even that would give you only a 30% chance of doing so.

Remember, at these places you are not teaching, and in fact, neither the management nor most of the students really want you to teach. It's all fake, you know....

So the question is, why would you want one of these garbage jobs if you are at all interested in teaching. (Or even real employment?) These things are not in the least challenging, you will learn nothing at any of them except for bad habits which could get you fired in any other job.

My advice is, unless you need it to get a visa, avoid the Berlitz/NOVA/GABA chain schools like the plague. If you have any real teaching experience or training, you will be extremely dissatisfied. Of course you will be more so if like some may do occasionally, you are cheated out of earned pay. Contrary to myth, not all schools nor English teaching jobs in Japan are like these. Avoid them.

I can't stand unions, and this one is especially weak and ineffective (normal in Japan) but check out this site for info on what Berlitz does.

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