Getting a Job in Beijing – The Story

The day we moved in, I had to dash off for my first job interview. It was at an international school near the center of the city. It was an impressive looking place. I think it had been recently remodelled.

I was offered the job on the spot. I was so shocked!! The interview was not what I’m used to at all and really felt like they were trying to sell themselves to me rather than the other way around. Other than clarifying my qualifications, I really don’t remember them asking me a thing.

While I felt relieved to have a job offer under my belt, I didn’t feel good about it. I knew that in this job I would be teaching real subjects and frankly, i didn;t feel qualified with just my degree and my TEFL certificate.

I decided I wouldn’t make a decision until the end of the week when my interviews would be over.

The next day, rather than having time to sort out our living arrangements, we hopped on the subway and were off for another interview.


This was the view when we got off the subway.

Now if you’ve never been to Beijing, you won’t know that to get to most places, you might as well right off at least an hour of your time. It’s just the time it takes.

When we arrived there was no one there to meet us. Not a good sign. When she did meet us, it was a 10 -15 minute walk jut to get to her building where her office was. Then she had us sit in there and wait for about 20 mins! She just didn’t come back! I can’t comprehend of a country or a people where that kind of thing is ok – I just can’t.

We were then asked to follow her back out to the road to get in a car to go somewhere else, where I would actually be interviewed. It turns out the school is so far out of town that this was the closest we could get by subway. Every day for school, I would need to get the subway and walk down the road 10 mins to get in a car to be taken probs another 30mins out of town, and that would be in good traffic I believe.

Needless to say, I called it quits at that point. It was very unprofessional of them and misleading. Even if this had turned out to be a good job, I wasn’t prepared to do a commute like that every day.

It was so frustrating to have already lost about 2 hours out of our day and have it come to nothing.

So finally interview number three!

We were picked up in a car from near our home and taken to the school, which was lovely and took away a lot of the stress.


This was the gorgeous space at the back of the school where I had my interview!

Again it turned out they were basically offering me the job, they’d just wanted to meet me first! They were lovely and I loved the school, and this job was teaching oral English, not other subjects, which was exactly what I wanted to be doing! So I signed the contract, and this became my school for the year, and I really really miss it.

I loved the children and the staff were mostly wonderful. And it took me about 50 minutes each day to get there! Perfect! It really was everything I could have ever hoped for!


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