Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Epik Interview

Well, I just had my interview, and it went better than I expected! Despite my housemate KILLING the internet WHILE the interviewer was trying to phone me. For pete's sake.

Anyway, here's how it went:

5:30am I had set my alarm for 7am, but of course I woke up hours before that, full of jittery nerves. Fantastic. Only 3 and a half hours to kill before the long-dreaded moment of the skype call. I passed the time by watching some apartment tour videos, and suddenly it was 8:00 and I needed to get up and get ready. Preparation yesterday helped a lot, as I had an outfit laid out and my skin was looking good. Hair... uncooperative. I put it in a bun.

8:30am By now I was pretty sure my department was open so I sprinted to the only labs on campus that I can get into without my magical student card (it's magic in that it always disappears just when I need it the most). My diet is working (yay) but that means my pants are too loose, so sprinting while holding them up made for some early entertainment for innocent bystanders.

8:40am I arrived at the department, sprinted (gasping for air) up three flights of stairs only to discover a big shiny padlock on the door to the computer labs. I didn't have time to try any other labs on campus, so I found someone in an office in the department and begged a favour. Application form in hand, I sprinted home to get changed, set my laptop up in the right place (with a view of the wall rather than my messy room) and test my audio settings.

8:50am Home, set up, and having a huge asthma attack thanks to all the sprinting. Puff puff goes the ventolin and, as usual, it made me coughy and phlegmy which isn't ideal. I coughed as much as I could so that my voice would be clear for the interview, and settled in to wait for the interview.

8:55am SOMEONE IS KILLING THE INTERNET. WHY? I asked people three times to stay the hell off the internet for just that hour or so, and yet my connection was bouncing up and down like a bunny on a pogo stick. My kind flatmate ran across the garden to crap on the digsmate, and the connection seemed to stabilise.

9:00am Stable-ish. I asked my recruiter to give me a quick test call just in case. But when the call came through, I was greeted by the friendly face of a fellow applicant who had just had his own interview. He calmed me down and gave me some tips and before I knew it...

9:10am interview time! But the friendly applicant was still talking to me. Oh god oh god what if I miss the call? He said it's all right; they usually don't phone on the dot.

9:14am No call yet and my internet has dipped AGAIN. I will murder someone. With a rusty spoon, slowly gouging out their

ring ring... Or, in Skype's case, bloop bloopedy bloop.
And there she was - an adorably cute lady with awesome hair and a big smile on her face. Completely non-threatening looking. And surprisingly close to my little doodled picture that I stuck above my webcam for improved eye contact. How 'bout that.

Some people have shared common questions that come up, and my recruiter had sent us a list as well, so I had thought about answers to those questions. My friend had her interview yesterday and she said those were the exact questions asked.

Not so for me. So even if I was unethical enough to share the questions with you, I doubt it would help. I think the best thing to prepare is to think long and hard about why you want this, what you want out of it, what makes you an awesome teacher and what you know about Korean culture. My having read up on Confucian hierarchies and the idea of 'face' definitely helped my interview.

Some questions were curveballs  as a result, but I think I did well - I just took a deep breath, and answered the questions as honestly as I could. Some of my answers made her laugh and smile.

9:45am Interview over, and I think it went pretty well. Lots of smiling, laughing, and nodding. I think that's a good sign. She did ask me how motivated I was to come to Korea, as many applicants have dropped out during the application process itself, and I might have come on a bit too strong. I may have mentioned the fact that I don't have a back up plan, and have put everything into this, so if I don't get the job, not only will I be utterly heartbroken, but I'll be homeless and jobless too. So... Yeah. On a scale of 1 to 10, my motivation is 10 000 000 000 000. At least I didn't outright say "PLEASE PLEASE OH GOD PLEASE GIVE ME THE JOB." But I came pretty close.

So now I wait for the results.

So frikking excited and jittery right now.


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