ESL teachers reference check

Recruitment Process (3/5) | Derek
Published Jan 20, 2022

Recruitment Process (3/5)

What is a reference check?

A reference check is a process of verifying and confirming an applicant’s information with their employers and co-workers. 
It is an essential procedure and is conducted to make sure that there is no wrong information provided about the applicant’s job performance at their previous jobs. Interviewers are therefore prepared and ready with questions to ask previous employers.

Reasons for English Instructors’ reference check
There are 3 main reasons why employers or recruiters conduct a reference for English teachers. 

1. Teacher-school relationship: Whether the teacher complied well with the institute’s rules and regulations.  
2. Teacher-student relationship: Whether the teacher was kind to students and passionate about teaching. 
3. Teacher-faculty relationship: Whether the teacher had a healthy and friendly relationship with colleagues.


Who to contact for a reference check?
Most reference checks are conducted through previous employers or colleagues. However, in the case of non-experienced applicants, it can be done through their university’s professor or their peers.  
For a fast and smooth hiring process, applicants can ask employers or colleagues to prepare a reference letter in advance and attach it with the application documents.  

Information required for reference check
Most reference checks are usually conducted over the phone or by email. Applicants should
therefore, provide the following information to either the employers or recruiters.   

  • Previous job(s)
  • Address(es)
  • Employer’s name
  • Position
  • Contact information

Reference check process
1. Period 
It is conducted before the employer makes the final hiring decision or before a recruiter recommends a potential candidate.  
2. Notice of reference check to the applicant
The applicant will be notified that their employer or colleagues will be contacted for a reference check. Get their consent beforehand.
3. Adjust reference check schedule.
Make and adjust a reference check schedule according to availability.     
4. Conducting reference check
They will focus on questions about the applicant’s competence and performance. It is essential when employers cross-check the interviews to make sure there were no exaggerations or false information provided.     

Most frequently asked questions during a reference check.
1. Teacher-school relationship

  • Confirm if the applicant worked at their institute during the stated period.  
  • Ask about their role and responsibilities and how they handled them.  
  • If they complied with the school’s rules and regulations? e.g., commuting time   
  • If they would work with the applicant again in the future?

2. Teacher-student relationship

  • If the applicant’s teaching methods fit the (current) students.  
  • If the students respect and follow as instructed. 
  • What type of students would be compatible with the teacher if they were to change schools? 

3. Teacher-faculty relationship:

  • If the applicant had/have any conflicts or disagreements with co-workers.
  • If the applicant had/have good communications with the employer


Embark Recruiting - ESL Korean Recruiting Agency - Top Jobs in Korea


I am an American living in Korea and offer my skills and abilities to match the perfect teacher and schools. I am pleased to be the main recruiting partner with The WorknPlay. Teaching in Korea has changed my life for the better. I’m excited for the opportunity to help that come true for others. For almost the last decade, I have spent time in many different teaching situations in Korea. Those experiences put me in the unique position to help others find the situations best suited for them. I have worked in large and small cities all over Korea and can efficiently help you find a position that best suits your lifestyle and goals. Using my experience and knowledge of the Korean educational system I can help form a strong link between teachers and employers. There are many great opportunities for everyone in Korea, and it’s my goal to make sure I can help fulfill as many of those as possible.