with VIPKID and then when prompted to schedule an interview found these tutorial videos and turned away. I wasn’t even sure this job wasn’t a scam, why would I even pretend to be a children’s television show host for money that probably wouldn’t even come. As I decided against continuing on with the hiring process, I got a call from VIPKID headquarters in Beijing. This and my need for money pushed me into continuing on.
During the interview process, I watched a bunch of the top videos you probably find yourself coming across now. Even though I had already 100% decided to try for this job, the tutorials still made me feel uneasy and inadequate. Then I found a video tutorial by a person named Unique. The content is a bit outdated now so it wouldn’t do a new applicant justice to watch it, but what she presented helped me tremendously. It was a no-frills explanation of exactly what she did, and exactly what they wanted. She was honest about the cheap props she used, and what she said during the interview. She stripped the mystique of the process and simplified it into easily digestible portions that I knew I could replicate.
After getting hired I quickly found out that I didn’t have to be the cartoon character Nancy Taylor was in her videos. There were different levels of students. I started with the upper levels. Because of this I quickly got booked from parents looking for more of a tutor than a children’s television host. My first student is still my favorite. We instantly bonded, he was a higher level and liked conversation outside of the lesson plan. He was so good at the lessons because he reviewed it with his father before taking the class. Because of this we sometimes had 10-18 minutes to just talk about things. We read comic books, talk about movies, his teachers at school. He even feels comfortable enough to make those common complaints children do about his mother and father to me like I am a dear friend.
One of the other perks about being a man and working for VIPKID, is you are a desired minority! They are not nearly as many men as women teaching. Parents book classes for their children, and actively seek men. This bias might be because exactly what I stated before, they want more of a tutor than a cartoonish court jester to teach their child. They want the bond of extending past the lesson with their child. They may believe it is easier for an older male student to bond with a male teacher. Because of this you bypass the major problem most teachers face. That is getting bookings when you start. It takes time to market yourself and get some classes and parent feedback under your belt. For some teachers this does not even happen and they just give up. As a man this whole process is expedited, and you should expect classes and feedback within a couple weeks.
So don’t be afraid of the childish aura surrounding VIPKID, you don’t need to be that type of person to work and succeed there! You can be yourself and be great at it!