When most teachers consider their interview, they prepare for the questions that they may be asked by the school. Just as important is to prepare to ask your own questions. When you ask questions, pay attention to the content of the answer as well as the tone and delivery of the answer. It is important to make sure that a potential school is a good fit, and this is not an easy task to complete over one or two Skype interviews. Please make sure to complete your due diligence before accepting a contract in a foreign country at a school that you have never visited in person. Below are some suggested questions for you to ask the administrators with which you interview.
- Do I receive credit for experience? My degrees?
- How will I be paid (US$/local currency/other)?
- When can I expect my first paycheck?
- What type of visa will I need and who is responsible for obtaining and paying for it?
- When will my visa be available and will I be able to travel before this date?
- Will my airfare pay for any pets that I bring? Does the airline allow pets?
- What is the shipping allowance coverage? Monetary or by weight? Air/sea?
- Combination of each or extra luggage?
- Does the school assist with shipping some of my teaching materials?
- Is there a settling in allowance and if so, how is this paid?
- What type of health insurance is there? Is there coverage for pre-existing conditions? Does the insurance cover me world-wide, regionally, or just in the host country?
- How often has the insurance package changed in the past 5-10 years?
- When the insurance package changes, what happens if coverage for a type of condition is lower in the new insurance package?
- Does the school have a retirement plan/pension? Is my contribution matched by the school? How does investment work-School or Candidate? Is the fund transferable?
- How long after arrival will it be before I can arrange for mobile phone and internet service? What is the quality of phone and internet service like at the school and at the teacher housing?
- Are there job opportunities for a trailing spouse/partner in this country?
- Where is the housing located?
- Describe the neighborhood in which the housing is located.
- How safe is the neighborhood where my housing will be?
- Which building will my apartment be in?
- Is there a large difference between the apartments in different buildings?
- Is housing furnished? What can I expect to find? What will I need to bring?
- Am I permitted to have visitors, and if so, is there a process for admitting visitors into the building?
- Have teachers ever been denied a visitor to their own apartment?
- How international is the school?
- What percentage of the school is Kuwaiti?
- What percentage of the school is American? Does this percentage include Kuwaitis with American passports?
- Ask to see a picture of the previous yearbook (it is online) so you can gauge how international the school is for yourself.
- What percentage of students are non- or limited- English speakers requiring additional support? What type of language support is provided to these students?
- What percentage of faculty left last year?
- What percentage of faculty have decided to not return this year?
- How many teachers abandon their contract each year?
- How many administrators abandon their contract each year?
- How many employees are fired each year?
- What is the average/median length of stay?
- Does this number change when employees who have stayed longer than 10 years are not considered?
- Will my assignment be specified in my contract….will it be adhered to?
- Will I have after school responsibilities?
- What are the expectations?
- Are these paid?
- How much time is expected?
- How is Professional Development provided?
- May I attend trainings and/or conferences? How is this determined?
- Will the school finance my attendance at conferences if I am a Presenter?
- What would your teachers say about the quality/frequency of PD?
END OF CONTRACT
- When is notification required regarding extension of contract or leaving?
- Is shipping allowance provided upon fulfilling contract?
- What assistance is provided for packing and moving/shipping at end of contract?
- Is the indemnity payment made before the residency is cancelled, as required by Kuwaiti law?
- What do teachers do in their out of school hours?
- Will I be able to continue the sports or fitness activities I enjoy?
- What do teachers particularly enjoy about living in this location?
- What are drawbacks?