Shortly after sending in my BEDA application on November 25th, I was contacted for an interview on December 15th. Compared to the Meddeas interview, the BEDA interview is much more conversational and laid back. Julian, the guy who interviewed me this year and last, made the interview quite relaxed and even humorous. It actually didn’t feel quite like an interview, and the time seemed to fly by!
Contrary to Meddeas, they don’t really quiz or test you in the BEDA interview. The interview is more of a way for them to confirm your preferences (age group, number of hours you want to work, regional placement, etc.) and get to know you as a person. Julian had my CV and application in front of him during the interview so he asked me questions about my work and volunteer experience. He noticed that I studied abroad in Mexico, so he asked me what I thought of Mexican culture and Mexican Spanish. He asked if I had any difficulties adjusting to life there. He also asked about my current job as an English Teaching Assistant with Fulbright in Colombia. I told him about my duties, my students, and my experience with Colombian culture. We then discussed Bogotá, and I told him that I enjoyed it but would prefer to live in a smaller city in Spain.
He also asked me why I want to go to Spain and I explained that it would be a way for me to connect what I’ve seen and experienced in the “New World” (Mexico and Colombia) with the culture in Spain (the “Old World” that colonized much of Latin America). He also asked me about my regional preference list, as it seemed to him that I had done a lot of research about the different cities (I did). I explained to him that I know very little about regions in Spain and that I researched all the cities they listed, and chose the ones that most appealed to me for the culture, nature, university access, museums, etc. I think he could tell that I was really passionate about the cultural aspect of my experiences abroad, so he told me, “I think we’ll try to find a nice, cultural city for you to live in!”
I also told him that I applied to BEDA the year before, but that I couldn’t turn down the Fulbright opportunity in Colombia. (He agreed that was a wise decision but said, “Don’t let being a Fulbrighter get to your head!” …part of the humor I mentioned earlier). He asked where I got placed with BEDA last year, and by the end of the interview he said we’d be in contact again in the months to come in order to confirm that I was still interested in the program.
All in all, the interview lasted 13 minutes. Julian also gave me time to ask questions about the program, but since it was my second time applying and I asked all my questions last year, I had nothing new to ask. Even so, this interview is a good way to clear up any doubts you may have about the program or Spain. The BEDA interview is really nothing to stress about. If I could give advice to prepare for the interview, it would be to reflect on your teaching experience, experience with children, and any experience abroad you may have had, and to prepare any questions you want to ask in the interview. Otherwise, just go into it being yourself, ready to have a nice conversation!
If you want to learn more about the BEDA program to teach English in Spain, visit their website: http://www.ecmadrid.org/en/language-assistant
Here is a link to a couple useful videos BEDA created for applicants to watch before their interview: http://ecmadrid.org/es/auxiliares-de-conversacion