If you have a job interview in English in your home country or English speaking countries, you probably know that you should use eye contact, answer job interview questions and make a good impression. But what about having a job interview in English when you are not a native English speaker?
Only one thing is true and different in this case, and that is that you must be actively preparing for an interview, improve your English and communicate in English. For that, you must have an excellent oral level in English.
In this article, we explore some tips for preparing for a job interview in English. We will look at interview preparation and the most common interview questions.
English is spoken worldwide and is the pseudo world language that is used to communicate between many people from different cultures and backgrounds. Originally from England, the English language is now spoken as a first language in countries far, wide and further, it is spoken as a second language in many others.
You must master English vocabulary concerning your life and experience.
Photo Source: Unsplash
It is important to know that while English is spoken as a first language in a handful of countries. You could still find places within your own country where people speak purely English. Job’s in the British and American consulate for example.
Even if you are not planning to live in an English speaking country, you should know that depending on the company that you work for you may or may not be interviewed in English. However, the thing to bare at the forefront of your mind is that no matter what having English as a skill will help your career and give you access to more opportunities.
So you will interview in the English language if you apply for a job in an English speaking country, but you may also interview in English if you apply for a role in an English company or if speaking in English is a large part of your job.
You have applied for a job and sent your cover letter and CV, and you have been selected for a job interview that will take place partially or entirely in English. Even for native speakers job interviews are stressful and nerve-racking. As an ESOL student, you may be feeling like you are under extra pressure due to your language skills. You may be concerned that there will be people who can speak and present themselves better and you may even feel that you are at a disadvantage.
Rest assured, that if you have the interview that you are one of the best candidates and this is already a success point. From this point, you must focus on what you have and what you can do and leave behind what you can’t do. You have been chosen for a reason and so there is no point is feeling insecure about your language skills.
At the moment you have within your power an equal chance to all of the other candidates. So putting aside any insecurities it is important to note that the process in English is no different from a regular job interview.
The aim for any recruiter is to find the best person for the job, the person who can grow with their company and help the company to be a success. Immediately you must has this mindset and focus on how you can give the recruiter what it is that they need.
The first impression is paramount! Photo Source: Unsplash
Whether you get the job revolves around you, your skills, your personality and your experience. The success of your interview depends primarily on your ability to talk about yourself and share with the recruiter how and why you are the ideal person for the job.
If you can pay attention to these few things, you will support the recruiter in wanting to listen to you and hire you.
You should be confident about your level of English, while a good level of English will be required. This is not an oral English exam; it is purely a conversation with someone who wants to understand if you can fit within their company. That being said you must speak slowly and pay attention to your pronunciation in English.
Just because you know what you are saying doesn’t mean the recruiter will follow you and understand you should make sure to repeat essential information and pause for effect. Since you have the interview already the recruiter will not dwell on your level of English since they will already consider you as any candidate.
Of course, you must, however, be aware of how you are communicating and that you are doing so clearly and concisely. Speaking in a way that is not understood or always asking the other person to repeat will make the interview difficult for everyone.
Consider preparing questions about the company or position you will be working in if successful. This is a powerful way to communicate interest when you conclude the interview.
The job interview will probably begin with a brief presentation of the company and the recruiters. Then comes the first question: “Tell me about yourself” – the hard thing about this question is the fact that it is so broad you can wonder what to say, but you should answer concerning the position that you are applying for. For example give your name, professional situation and summarise your last professional experience or your educational background very briefly.
Be polite and speak in English straight away. Photo Source: Unsplash
If you want to stand out, you could talk about how you became interested in working in this role and what you have done to prepare for it. But to do this correctly, you have to know how to read the interest in the room.
Of course, you must master English vocabulary concerning your life and experience so that you can express yourself adequately. Your fluency in speaking will be appreciated and noticed. You must not hesitate in your presentation. But don’t let this mean that you rush through the presentation, take your time and show your personality.
Here are some words of vocabulary to help you:
Although all interviews are different, there are a set of standard questions that are generally asked in a job interview situation. Of course, depending on your profession and your level these interview questions will differ but here is are some questions to get you started.
Of course, this is an inevitable question. The recruiter will want to know more about you and your work experience. Also, this is not about your general hobbies, interests or childhood; your answer must link to the desired position as much as possible. If experience does not seem relevant, do not mention it.
You have 60 to 90 seconds to give this answer unless they prompt you to keep talking. Do feel confident to mention some of your accomplishments.
Here you should highlight what is interesting about the job for you and match this with why you are uniquely qualified to do the role.
You must be able to explain why you want to leave your job to work elsewhere without giving any negative answer. You can mention that your current role has no possibility to grow and you are looking for a new challenge. An excellent way to put it is to say that you are looking for a role which better highlights your strengths.
This is a question that is feared by many candidates because it is necessary to differentiate themselves from other candidates without seeming pretentious. To do this, you should highlight the facts, highlight your knowledge about the company, its values, its history, its ambitions and what you can bring to it.
If you know the dreams and goals of the company, then you can draw a line yourself with those ideas. You can also point out any issues and mention how you can help to solve them.
This question is still very often asked in interviews; The purpose is to see if you have self-awareness and how you manage it. None of us are perfect so be clear about your weakness and how you manage them with your strengths, this makes you seem very real and relatable.
This is not the time to open the floodgates and tell all of your dark secrets. A good example is: I’m not a patient person, and I love to be busy and active, and I like to work quickly.
Be honest about your English language level on your resume otherwise, it will show up quickly in an interview and give you more stress.
Read about how to meet and speak with native English speakers