No 'ifs', 'ands', or 'buts' about it, the VIPKid hiring process is a doozy. I have heard from teachers with other online ESL companies that VIPKid's hiring process is one of the longest and most intense of the bunch.
I really wish that I would have known exactly what was ahead of me before I delved in headfirst. I had no idea how long it was going to take me to undertake everything I needed to do to get hired with VIPKid when I first started my journey, so each time I completed a task, I would think... thank goodness that's all done, just to see a pop-up of another step I needed to do to get to the contract stage.
I don't say this to scare you off! While VIPKid's hiring process may be one of the most intense, it is also a really great way to make sure that you are comfortable with the material and it really helps you prepare for the teaching journey ahead of you. It may sound all well and good getting hired with no effort, but then you are being thrown into the classroom without knowing how to use the platform effectively or what exactly is expected of you.
VIPKid makes sure that they are hiring the best of the best and that you feel confident teaching online before that contract appears in your portal. It is such an accomplishment to get to that point!
**I also want to note that you can really take your time with your application if you would like. It took me about 2 months to get through everything, but that's only because I was applying for other jobs at the time and wanted to make sure that VIPKid was definitely the best path for me. You might get emails telling you to keep moving your application forward, but know that it will still be there for you if you decide to take more time than the average person to mull over your thoughts. Just make sure that you request an extension if they mention they will shut down your inactive account.**
STEP #1- TAKE THE PLUNGE
This step is really fun. One day I fell into a rabbit hole of online teaching videos and I sat down with my husband and weighed the pro's and con's of each one. In the end, I decided that VIPKid seemed the most reputable and I liked that I personally knew someone who could mentor me if I got stuck (shout out to Jennifer!). If you want to start from scratch with me as your mentor, or you have already sat down and done your pro & con list but you need a guide, I would be OVER THE GOSH DANG MOON to work with you! Just call me Abby Yoda. Use this LINK for your next step or code ABIGA0441 when signing up and you'll be stuck with me. I will be working on creating resources for my referrals, but in the meantime, I am at your beck and call for all things VIPKid.
STEP #2- APPLICATION SCREENING
Remember the 4 things I said you needed to have to be a VIPKid teacher? If not click HERE for a refresh. This is basically the application screening. They send you a little quiz where they ask 'Do you have a Bachelor's Degree?', 'Do you have a year of experience working with kids?', etc. etc. and then whabam! You have passed the application screening. VIPKid just wants to make sure they're not wasting their time with people that are not qualified.
STEP #3- INITIAL INTERVIEW
Alright y'all. Time to make your first big decision in the hiring process. How do you want to go about doing your interview? There are usually 3 choices-
-1:1 Live interview where you video chat with someone at VIPKid.
-Record an interview/demo of you teaching a selection of slides.
-Smart interview (THIS IS WHAT I DID & WOULD RECOMMEND). You download the VIPKid app on your phone and record yourself teaching 1 slide (yes, that's it) and then take a short quiz.
At the moment, with Coronavirus, they are understaffed at VIPKid and therefore the live interview is not an option at the moment, so it's between the recorded interview and the smart interview on your phone.
They are ultimately using this step to assure you have a relatively neutral accent, you say who you say you are, and you would be a good fit for their platform. Unless, for whatever reason, you don't feel comfortable recording a one minute video on your phone and answering a handful of quiz questions, the app really is the fastest and easiest way to make it to your next step.
STEP #4- MOCK CLASS (dun, dun, DUNNNN)
When I was in the throes of the hiring process, I was under the impression that as soon as I passed my app interview, I was in. Psyche! The mock class is easily the scariest and the most important step in the hiring process. I waited WEEKS to do my mock class because I wanted to really make sure that this is what I wanted to do before putting myself through the possible physical trauma of looking like a fool and not passing my mock. A mock class is where you video call with a fellow VIPKid teacher who will pretend to be a kid as you teach a 10 minute lesson and then give you feedback (I promise it is not as awkward as it sounds). In my eyes, this is the real interview. During normal times, you can usually choose to be certified in levels 2 & 3 or 4 & 5, but once again COVID has limited our options and you can only be certified in levels 2 & 3 at the minute. I think I will have to write a specific blog post about passing your mock (because I was lucky enough to do it first time) and there is a lot that goes into it, but as scary as it may seem, this is when you really start to feel comfortable with the content and platform as a whole. The relief you feel when it's done is totally and completely worth it.
STEP #5- UPLOAD YOUR DOCUMENTS
Some of this is as easy as it seems. This is the step where you send in your college degree, proof of a name change (if you, like me, have gotten married since you graduated), proof that you can work in the U.S. or Canada, as well as profile content like a profile picture, additional pictures, and introduction video.
I'll go into this more in-depth sometime as well (because I will tell you now that it took me WAY too long to find pictures and film a video that I felt really represented me), however, for this blog post, here is my advice- don't overthink it! Use good quality content that you feel like yourself in and that makes you happy.
STEP #5.5- UPLOAD YOUR TESOL CERTIFICATE
If you already have a TESOL/TEFL Certificate OR you have a teaching degree, all you have to do is upload it. However, if you (like me), have neither of these, it's time to get your study cap on. VIPKid has worked directly with the TESOL organisation to create a program that will help you earn a certificate for no cost to you at all. *Starts aggressively applauding VIPKid*. That's right folks, you don't have to deep dive on Groupon to try and find a legitimate TESOL course. Requiring a TESOL or teaching certificate is relatively new, so older content you might have encountered may not talk about it, but the Chinese government have recently put this requirement in place to assure that their kiddos are being educated by the best. It may seem overwhelming, but it's actually pretty common sense and you get a fancy little badge on your profile that draws potential students to your page.
When you are uploading your documents, there are 2 tabs (background check) and (document upload). Make sure that you open both and completely fill them in.
STEP #6- SIGN YOUR CONTRACT
Once you have entered all of your information, you just get to sit back and wait while VIPKid do a background check and clear all of the media that you have uploaded. They then send you a contract to sign and that's it! (hahaha I am laughing too because it really is an intense process). Once you send your signed contract in, they will send you a link to your portal and you are out of the hiring process and officially a VIPKid educator. Exciting right?!
Alrighty my wonderful readers, that's it, that's the roadmap to hiring success. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and I will do my best to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
If you are in the middle of the hiring process right now, take a deep breath! You're going to be such an incredible teacher. By just taking the time to read my blog and do your research, it shows that you are dedicated educator and leader.
Until next time friends,
A. C. Woodruff