Professional Teacher
How important are official English certificates for getting a job in Spain?

Hi everyone! I am an English teacher from Slovakia currently working at a language school in Spain. I am preparing several groups of mine for the official Cambridge exams and I have somehow got the impression that official certificates are very important over here - not only to be able to get a diploma at university, but probably also for getting a job. When you come to a job interview for a position where English is required, do you usually get tested on your English skills or you just simply need to show a certificate that proves your English knowledge? In my country interviewers usually test your knowledge themselves rather than relying on some paper, so I wonder whether there is any difference in Spain from your own experience. Thanks!

Apr 19, 2019 10:24 PM
Comments · 5
I agree with Tomás that Spanish speaking countries generally suffer from “titulitis”. This is especially noticeable if you work for the government (or similar). In such cases, a certificate may qualify someone for a job or imply an automatic salary increase, regardless of whether or not the employee can actually communicate in the language. On the other hand, private industry and especially international companies are usually concerned with making a profit, so they tend to ignore certificates, and evaluate potential employees based on performance in the interviews or on their own in-house exams. 

April 20, 2019
Here in Spain, having an English certificate is not mandatory for most kind of jobs, but of course is a plus, and most recruiters want the candidate to be fluent in English.
It can be demonstrated either having a meeting in English  with the same recruiter or having a valid certificate. Sometimes they ask for both. Sometimes noone.
Once, they asked if I had a certificate to prove 
my level. I'm thinking on getting the IELTS :D
So, answering your question, yes it's important. We say that Spain suffers from 'titulitis'
April 19, 2019
Thanks a lot for your comment John. I agree that when it comes to teaching, employers are more interested in your experience,  qualifications etc, but my question was a little more general - referring to jobs in general, not necessarily teaching jobs. I am just wondering about the general situation, as I have the impression that getting official English certificates is something very very popular over here which makes me wonder about whether the motivation for it is also related to getting a job and how important the official certificates are when it comes to looking for a job. 
April 19, 2019
Thanks Tomas! :) Best of luck if you decide to do the exam! And of course, feel free to let me know if I can help.
April 19, 2019
I'd find it a bit odd that they would test you on your skills. Primarily because your resume and certificates should provide ample proof of your ability to teach. I can't speak for Spain but certainly in Korea, I have never been tested on my skills unless you consider giving a demonstration lesson. Employers I've found generally want to know about your teaching experience, philosophy and ability to handle and reflect on different teaching scenarios. Good luck either way Juliana!
April 19, 2019