One of the things I sometimes do as a Business English training consultant is help HR departments recruit freelance trainers to work in-house. The whole job involves deciding, often within a short space of time, just how suitable a teacher might be for a particular position. Teaching qualifications are a useful start, but they rarely show evidence of someone’s ability to work in an in-house training context. Experience counts too, of course, but just because a candidate can boast years of experience does not mean that the person necessarily knows what they are doing – there are a surprising number of experienced trainers out there who lack elementary knowledge and skills. What we are basically looking for during a job interview is evidence of a person’s competence as a trainer, as well as potential for development. This is where models like KSA (knowledge, skills and attitude) can be particularly helpful, because they provide a framework within which to work.
Here we are looking for evidence that the candidate has theoretical knowledge not only of the teaching / training world, but also of the business world. Here are some questions we might ask:
- How do people learn languages?
- How would you explain the difference between training and teaching? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each in a corporate context?
- Can you describe a recently published course book aimed at ESP / Business English learners? What do you like / dislike about it?
- What would you understand by the term “business process”?
- What can you tell us about our industry and our company?