After applying to the Meddeas program, you may be contacted for an initial interview. I was contacted just five days after I sent in my application via e-mail about my first interview for the 20th of December. This first interview is held over Skype. I was interviewed by a Spanish guy, but the interview was conducted in English except for a couple minutes when he asked me to talk about my hobbies in Spanish to see where my level was at. Overall, I found that the interview was much more formal and traditional than the BEDA interview (see my BEDA post), but still not very stressful. There were a few components to the interview: a short “quiz” about the program to make sure I read the FAQ, questions about my preferences, questions about me as a person, two lesson planning questions, and other information.
- A short “quiz” about the program
The interview started with a few questions about the program to check my understanding of how it works. Some of these questions included how much the deposit was if accepted into the program, what three program options they offer and how much each option pays, who I would be working with, in what types of schools I could be placed, etc. All of this information is in the FAQ they send you in the same e-mail in which they set up the interview with you.
- Questions about preferences
After the initial questions, they asked me about my preferences in regards to age group, school type, and regional placement. It is important to note that Meddeas works with three types of schools. They are charter/grant schools but they have varying levels of religious activity within the schools. The first type of school is one in which they practice religion in school and you may be expected to also take part in these practices. Some examples include school prayers (you might have to pray with the students) or school mass (you might have to join the mass). The second type of school may also have these same religious activities, and you are asked to respect them, but you may not necessarily have to participate in them. Finally, the third type of school is the least religious in which you may not see school prayers or masses, and you won’t have to participate in them. The interviewer asked me to rank the school types to know where I would best fit. He also asked me to rank my preferences of age groups. After telling him that I prefer to work with the older kids, he asked what I would do if I had to teach all younger kids for a year. This is one of the benefits of the Meddeas program…they really try to gauge you and your preferences to put you in what should be an ideal placement for you.
- Questions about me as a person
This section should be easy if you like talking about yourself and know yourself very well, but some of the questions can seem a bit odd and actually required me to think a little more before answering. Other questions were simply about things on my CV, so they were very simple to answer. Here are some of the questions the interviewer asked me:
- Tell me about your teaching experience.
- Tell me about your experience working with children.
- Tell me about your volunteering experience.
- How did you learn Spanish? When did you start to learn Spanish? How do you think your Spanish level is? Can you tell me about your hobbies in Spanish?
- How many friends do you have? Do you have friends in many parts of the world? How often do you keep in touch with them or spend time with them?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how outgoing are you? Can you give an example?
- How is your initiative in solving problems? Can you give an example of a problem you had and what you did to solve it?
- How good are you at handling stress? Can you give an example of a time you had to handle stress?
4. Lesson planning activity
In this part of the interview, he explained that we would be doing a little activity. He gave me two age groups and for each age group he gave me two possible topics I could teach to them. For each age group, I had to choose one of the two topics and create a speaking activity for the class. Here were my topics:
- For 15 year olds, create a speaking activity about either the USA or clothing.
- For 7 year olds, create a speaking activity about either the water cycle or Christmas
Finally, at the end of the interview he explained that there would be a semi-professional dress code and that if I had any tattoos I would have to cover them up, and if I had any piercings, I might have to take them out while at school. He asked if I understood that and was okay with it, and then asked if I had any questions for him. He said that because I was living in Bogotá, they would most likely contact me via e-mail to set up another Skype interview if I made it to round two.
All in all, this interview might take a little more preparation than the BEDA interview. It was much more formal, and also longer (about 50 minutes)! Either way, I hope this information will help you prepare for your interview. Remember to relax, be yourself, and have fun with it!
Read about the 2nd interview with Meddeas here: https://onepasoadelante.wordpress.com/2017/01/14/meddeas-program-the-in-person-interview/