So you want to teach English online with VIPKID?
I won’t lie, the VIPKID application process can be difficult to understand, not to mention time-consuming. However, if you’re at all interested in teaching English online and working remotely, the process is well worth it.
In this post, I’ll take you through every step of the VIPKID application process from the interview to the mock class and even how to get bookings. I’ll show you exactly what needs to be done to pass with flying colors and begin teaching right away.
VIPKID Application Process Overview
The VIPKID application process can be a lot to digest for many applicants.
I remember when I first looked at the application process in 2016; I laughed, signed out, and put it off for two more years! HA!
Just to outline it for you so you aren’t thrown off-guard like I was, this is what you’ll be looking at for the application process:
2. Demo Lesson
3. Mock Class
4. Upload Documents, TESOL Course*, Background Check
5. Sign Contract
1. VIPKID Application
You’ll start by filling out the application. This is an automated application, which means that you either qualify or you don’t. To qualify to teach for VIPKID, you’ll need:
– A Bachelor’s degree
– Be eligible to work in the United States or Canada (cannot be a California resident)
– 2+ years of experience working with children (nannying, babysitting, coaching, mentoring, tutoring, etc)
If you meet each of the four requirements above, you’ll pass the first step of the VIPKID application process. If you’re missing any of the above, you will not qualify. Unfortunately, there is no wiggle room.
For more about the necessary VIPKID requirements, check out my recent blog post: 7 Necessary VIPKID Teacher Requirements.
When you get to the section of the application where it asks for a referral code, think twice before leaving it blank. Having a referring teacher will help you immensely through the hiring process.
Your referring teacher is there to help you complete all the necessary steps as easily and as quickly as possible. Think of your referring teacher as your mentor.
If you don’t have a referring teacher, don’t worry. I’d be happy to help you through the hiring process. To use my referral code, sign up with VIPKID using this link or enter code my code LAURA0279. Once you’ve done this, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know!
2. VIPKID Interview and Demo
You’ve filled out the application and have now moved onto the interview and demo part of the VIPKID hiring process. You will have two options for this step:
1. The smart demo & quiz
2. A live demo & interview
Update: due to the impact of the 2020 crisis, VIPKID has been quite understaffed. They are not currently offering live interviews and demos. This part of the application process can only be completed via the VIPKID app on your phone.
The Smart Demo
Given this choice, I would highly suggest picking the smart demo because it is very quick, easy, and you won’t be performing for an actual person (yet – just wait for the mock class). You can complete the smart demo on your phone within a few minutes.
Check out how to complete and pass the smart demo by going to our blog post: VIPKID Smart Demo & Interview. Remember, this is a really easy step; don’t worry too much about it!
The Live Demo & Interview
If you’re rather complete the demo in a live setting, you sign up to do the live demo and interview. Follow the directions below to pass and continue on your VIPKID journey.
The VIPKID interview is NOT what you might be thinking. This interview is nothing like other job interviews, so there is no need to spend a lot of time practicing and prepping for it.
Basically, VIPKID is looking for three main objectives: your name, degree, and experience with children.
My interview went something like this:
Hello, my name is Laura. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota. After graduating from university, I spent six months teaching English as a foreign language to young students in Thailand. In addition, I have worked as a tutor and mentor for children for over five years. VIPKID sounds like an amazing opportunity to continue working with children. I hope to start teaching with VIPKID very soon!
Feel free to structure your VIPKID interview off of my example above.
Note: if you choose to do the smart demo, you won’t have to do the interview portion of the VIPKID application process.
After the interview, you’ll showcase your teaching skills. VIPKID will supply you with a few teaching slides, which you must study.
At the bottom of each of the slides, there will be instructions on how to teach the material. Read through these excerpts and practice their teaching methods.
A few tips to pass your demo:
– Be sure to smile and be enthusiastic
– Use TPR (hand gestures and body language)
– Speak slowly
– Watch Youtube videos to prepare
3. The Mock Class
And now the hard part of the VIPKID application process.. the mock class. Dun, dun, dun!
As you prepare for your mock class, just remember that this is considered teaching training. They want to make sure you’re ready and comfortable in an online classroom setting.
Before you jump into the mock class, you will need to decide which mock class you want to complete. You have two choices:
1. The lower level (levels 2 & 3)
2. The intermediate level (levels 4 & 5)
I recommend choosing the lower level mock class because these are the classes that are in the highest demand.
Update: To set yourself apart from other applicants, I recommend completing BOTH mock classes before you sign your contract. The good thing about this is that once you pass one, the second one will be a piece of cake.
Here are a few tips for your VIPKID mock class:
TPR or “total physical response” is extremely important during the VIPKID application process. Hand gestures, facial expressions, and actions are easy ways to get your message across.
Read more about TPR and how to use it to your advantage during the VIPKID application process here: What is VIPKID TPR & How To Use It In Your Classroom.
Having an educational background is also necessary (at least for the mock class). You want your classroom to look inviting to the mock class mentor and even more important, to the parents.
I use this wall tapestry wherever I go. It is lightweight, easy to pack, cheap, and brings my classroom to life. Find it here:
Props are also necessary for the mock class. But I DO NOT recommend spending a lot of money on your background or props. You can find props around the house for free! For more tips, check out my blog post about setting up the perfect VIPKID classroom.
During the mock lesson, you’ll have ten minutes to complete each set of slides. While it isn’t a make or break issue, you should practice your timing and be right around 10 minutes for each lesson.
Going into this mock class, realize that the VIPKID team member will be pretending to be a young student. You will talk to them as if they don’t understand what you are saying. Speaking slowly is key.
I do, we do, you do
During the VIPKID application process, your mock class mentor will want to see that you’ve implemented the “I do, we do, you do” learning tool. So what does this mean?
First, they want to see that you are demonstrating how to do a specific task. Next, they want you to do a specific task WITH the student.
Last, VIPKID wants your student to perform the task on their own. Of course, if they need help, step in and help them, but give them the opportunity to complete it on their own first.
Correct EVERYTHING they say
Correcting an adult (acting like a child) over and over again can be awkward, but you need to do it. It doesn’t matter how many times the mock class mentor “messes up”, you must correct them.
Although you’ll be correcting their mistakes, be sure to praise them for effort. Applaud them for trying. This is important to remember during your mock class.
No incidental language
Keep it simple. VIPKID wants you to eliminate any unnecessary wording to make it as understandable as possible for the student.
For example, instead of this: “Miranda, can you please circle the letter A?” you’ll want to say: “Miranda, circle A”.
For more details and tricks on how to pass the mock class, check out our post: VIPKID Mock Class: How to Pass with Flying Colors.
4. Profile, Documents, TESOL Course, and Signing the Contract
The last step in the VIPKID application process will be finalizing your position with VIPKID. This includes uploading documents (proof of Bachelor’s degree), passing a background check, completing the TESOL course, and signing the contract.
Create your profile
One of the most important parts of the application process is creating your VIPKID profile. Your profile will help you draw in potential students. In other words, you’ll want your profile to look nice.
But don’t just take it from me. Check out our interview with Teacher Monica, who tells us all about how she got 465 bookings within her first 2 months of teaching partly due to her awesome profile.
If you need help setting up your profile, check out our post here: VIPKID Profile Pictures & Bio Examples.
The Ministry of Education in China requires that every teacher uploads proof of a Bachelor’s degree. So if you’re wondering whether or not VIPKID checks for a degree.. they do, it’s the law!
Update: As of April 2020, it has been taking VIPKID a long time to clear documents. They say they are understaffed right now, which is why documents have been “pending” for many applicants. Keep this in mind when you apply.
If you hold a teaching license in your country of residence or a TESOL/TEFL certificate, you won’t need to complete the TESOL course. If you don’t have a teaching license, you will need to finish the TESOL course.
The TESOL course is actually very easy. When you start the course, it might say that it takes 10 hours to complete but that is NOT true. In fact, it might only take you 15 minutes. Check out our detailed post for a better explanation: The VIPKID TESOL and Quiz Explained.
Note: The TESOL course is completely free for VIPKID teachers.
The background check step is very easy. You must give VIPKID permission to run a background check on you and it shouldn’t take more than a few days to hear back.
Note: I recently had a referral try and work for VIPKID with a felony on her record. The felony was NOT related to children in any way, however, VIPKID still rejected her application during this part of the process.
In other words, if you have a felony, I wouldn’t consider applying for VIPKID.
Signing your contract
After everything has checked out and you’ve completed all the necessary steps, you’re ready to be done with the VIPKID application process and sign your contract! Woohoo!
What NOT to do during the VIPKID application process
There are three major mistakes I see new teachers make during the VIPKID application process. These mistakes will inevitably leave you very frustrated.
Here are three things you should not do during the application process:
Spend a lot of money
When you are first starting out as a teacher with VIPKID, I recommend having props available for use but there is no need to spend a lot of money. The dollar store is a great resource for online teachers or even just knick-knacks you have sitting around your house.
Forget to practice
I cannot stress this enough. Practicing for your mock class is important. I once had a referral decide not to practice at all and eventually gave up trying to pass his mock class because he failed so many times. Don’t do that.
It can seem time-consuming and repetitive to practice the slides for your mock class but I’m telling you.. it’s worth it. Passing the mock class on your first try is glorious and you’ll be able to start teaching right away.
If you don’t pass your mock class on the first try, don’t get discouraged. It is actually VERY common; few teachers pass on their first try. You should look at it as a learning opportunity and classroom training.
The Wrap-Up: VIPKID Application Process
I hope this guide helps you to take the leap and start teaching with VIPKID. This job has allowed me to become fully remote, travel the world, set my own schedule, and have a better work-life balance. If you have any other questions about the VIPKID application process, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com
Sign Up for VIPKID
If you haven’t signed up to teach for VIPKID, use my referral link to start the process. Use referral code: LAURA0279 on your application.
As your referral, I’ll be able to help you through the hiring process and give you tips on how to fill your teaching schedule. If you choose to use me as your referral, send me an email so I know (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
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