Job Interview in English | How to be successful without panicking
Having a good job interview in English is often the first step towards a brighter future. Imagine getting your longed-for job and going to live this experience abroad!
Of course, if you are not well prepared, the dream can turn into a horrendous nightmare. That is the fate of many, but we do not want it to be yours. Now, we will give you the best tips so that you can pass this test and answer like a total crack when the questions are in English. In addition, we will tell you how studying abroad and working after graduation is the best way to start a successful career. Can you come with us?
What to do if you have a job interview in English?
First of all, you should know that the only job of the interviewer is to see if you are the right person for the open position. To decide, it will evaluate your curriculum, your knowledge, your work conduct and your command of the language.
So, to help you pass each of these tests, we put together our top 12 tips. Take note!
- Say NO to self-sabotage. You know you can!
You already got the job interview in English for your dream job. For a few seconds, the emotion of being closer to achieving it invades you. But suddenly, you begin to hear a little voice that tells you “you’re not going to make it.” Be careful, you are trying to sabotage yourself! Take a deep breath and get this negative idea out of your mind.
Focus on the fact that if you’ve already reached this stage, it’s because deep down you know you can fight for that position. You just need to put everything in order. With this attitude, you will start your preparation for the big day of your meeting with the interviewer on the right foot.
- Research the position, the company and the salary
To silence the whisper of self-sabotage, there is no better way than to have the greatest clarity about the position you are looking for. Do you remember what the required skills and assigned tasks are?
Make sure you know them so you can focus on talking about the skills that match the job profile. That’s what the interviewer is really interested in, not your life story!
You should also have an overview of the company you want to work for. Find out as much as you can about its history, its vision, its business model, its goals and what people think of it. Knowing this data, you will be ready to answer when they ask you what motivates you to work there and what you could contribute.
Of course, don’t forget to check the average salary for the position you want. In the PayScale portal you can create an estimate for each country. Later we will tell you how to answer the question about how much you want to earn.
For now, do your research homework!
- Rule out memorizing last-minute responses
A very common mistake before our first job interview in English is wanting to memorize answers or even lessons to “be prepared”. Forget it! If you do, you will most likely focus on remembering what you reviewed and not pay due attention to the questions they ask.
You also shouldn’t be tempted to give a long, boring speech about your opinions. Actually, the recruiter wants to see how you handle the pressure of dealing with unexpected situations. And, of course, he will also test your understanding and use of English.
Do you feel that you must hone your language skills to face such a challenge? Many young professionals only need to prepare for a short season.
- Prepare a short presentation of your work
Although it is useless to memorize questions like this, it is convenient for you to prepare a presentation about your work experience. Make a short speech, 60 to 90 seconds. It will help you with the dreaded, but unavoidable question Tell me about yourself?
You can check our article on how to write a cover letter to give you an idea. Be careful, don’t make the mistake of counting your whole life. The employer only cares about which of your skills and achievements fit the profile of the vacancy.
So make sure you include this information clearly and concisely. In the Anglo world, these two qualities are highly valued in all speech.
- Try the role play to rehearse
When you have prepared the presentation, you should practice how you are going to act in your job interview in English. An excellent technique is to role-play with a friend acting as the interviewer. You can improvise with the questions that we presented earlier.
At the same time, record the action with your mobile phone. Play the video and analyze in detail the quality of your expression and how you behave. You will see that, due to nerves, it is common for you to speak very quickly, with your head lowered and making recurring grammatical errors. Take note of your mistakes and repeat the exercise until you eliminate most of them.
- Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses
After the role play you will have more clarity about your strengths and weaknesses before an interview in English. Depending on the importance of the language in the job you are looking for, the errors will weigh more or less. For example, if you want to do business or marketing, be prepared to exhibit impeccable command of the language.
On the other hand, it may happen that for the position you are looking for, technical skills are a priority over linguistic ones. Highlight what you do best and speak the most fluent English you can. It is likely that the employer values you as a professional so much that they let details (such as the accent) go by as long as you polish them on a day-to-day basis.
- Adapt your resume to the Anglo style
The most common practice is that you submit your resume, they review it and you are quoted for the job interview in English. However, it is also possible that you apply online and show your CV the same day of the meeting. In any case, this document must be updated and adapted to the Anglo style. Do you have any idea how to do it?
From the outset, you should know that, in English-speaking countries, the CV DOES NOT INCLUDE A PHOTO and is usually called a resume. This name is not free. It means that interviewers expect a short, clear and concise piece of writing, ideally on a single page, to decide in seconds if you are suitable for the job or not.
- Dress for success and be prepared
We arrived on the eve of the big day. Don’t even think about studying English lessons or preparing presentations. Occupy the little time in something of equal importance. We are talking, of course, about preparing the dress and accessories that you will wear to succeed in the interview. Dress for success!
How to achieve it? Beyond the traditional idea of a suit and tie, or long dress, you will have to evaluate whether for the job you want you need to present yourself as a more creative person or show all your personality. This happens a lot in the world of startups.
Finally, don’t forget to prepare everything you consider necessary for success one night before the interview. From an extra copy of your CV to a clean shirt for any accident. You must be prepared and see yourself as such.
- Stay confident… even if you have doubts
On the day of your English job interview, all you have to do is focus on exuding confidence in every word and action you do. This attitude is highly valued in the Anglo world and, above all, in the North American. So stop worrying about whether you still speak with an accent or not as fluently.
Interviewers from these latitudes care that you talk about your achievements, skills and expertise. But they are also interested in doing it with full confidence in yourself. Rest assured that you will make a greater impression on them if you maintain this attitude than if you speak fluently but without being convincing.
In fact, in American English the expression Fake it ’til you make it is very popular. You know what it means? Simply that if you do not have confidence that you have the ideal profile for the position, pretend that you have it until you achieve it. As simple as that!
- Avoid arrogance and lies
Be very careful to cross the line between confidence and arrogance. The first generates sympathy for you because it projects that you think you will be able to do a job. The second will make you unfriendly because it indicates that you consider yourself superior to others. Look at this couple of examples:
- It shows confidence to say: I helped increase my team’s sales by 50% within 2 years while at Thompson & Davis Co.
- Exhibit arrogance if you say: I was the only one at Thompson & Davis Co who managed to increase sales by 50%.
Also, do not confuse fake with lie. Feigning confidence is a “licence” that many employers in the Anglo world grant to young people starting their careers. On the other hand, a trained interviewer will notice very quickly if you “garnish” your answers with lies. Avoid them!
- Remember to say thank you
To finish our advice section, we return to verbal language to remind you of the importance of saying thank you at the end of your job interview in English. This small but significant gesture will make you look like a kind and professional person.
Saying thank you also gives you the opportunity to ask for feedback on your interview. In case they agree to answer you, they may tell you that your English is good, but you need documents to certify it.
Now, as we have already seen that memorizing answers will not help you, the most useful thing is that you know what type of information every interviewer is looking for. And it can ask you multiple questions to obtain the same data from you.
So, here are examples of the three big groups of questions for you to answer like a champ. Pay attention!
Questions about your CV
In general, the interviewer’s first act will be to open your resume and ask you questions about its content so that you can expand on it. It will also assess your career history and the veracity of what you wrote.
Tell me about yourself. This question is super common and important in every job interview in English. Give the interviewer the first impression about you. Many fear it because it imposes a double challenge on you to display your best abilities and expose what matters to get the position.
Where to start? You already know that you should avoid repeating your resume or telling the story of your life. Instead, a good strategy is to focus directly on your work experience, highlighting your skills, achievements, and learning. Check the example:
For the last 3 years, I’ve been working as a sales associate at Thompson & Davis Co. I’ve become skilled in understanding what our clients want. Within 2 years, I helped increase my team’s sales by 50% in the electronics department.
Why did you leave your last company? You’ll give a bad impression if you badmouth or complain about your old job. However, you must give a convincing and honest answer like this:
My last company reduced the electronics department. Unfortunately, they let me go, but I’m grateful because I was able to sharpen my skills.
Why are you interested in this job? Focus on talking about the skills required for the job opening or the company’s mission. For example:
What excites me about this job is the chance to analyze customers behavior and understand what they want.
Questions about the vacancy
During your job interview in English, the recruiter will use these questions to test your knowledge of the skills and responsibilities of the vacant position. You will also want to know how much you know about the company and what your salary expectations are.
Why should we hire you? A direct question, which you must answer in the same way. Take your strengths and connect them with the goals set for the position:
I know that the top priority is to increase the department revenue. One of my skills is the ability to identify opportunities for growth.
What do you know about our company? You don’t want to repeat information from the company’s website. Mention facts, of course. But it also shows that you know the economic sector to which it belongs, what is its position within it and against whom it competes in the market
What salary range were you looking for? As in the Hispanic world, in the Anglo-Saxon world, talking about money is always a bit uncomfortable. However, you should make it clear from the beginning what compensation you expect for your work. You can use the formula:
The average salary range for this job is $800 to $1000 per month, so I would expect something within that.
What is your availability? This question will surely be displayed in others about your schedule availability, moving and traveling. It is best that you answer as honestly as possible.
Questions to get to know you
Remember that in a job interview in English, the story of your life or your university career does not matter. The recruiter’s mission is to determine if you are the applicant who will give the best results in the offered vacancy
To do this, he will also use open, unexpected and even tricky questions to see how you handle pressure and learn a little more about your behavior.
How would you describe yourself? As in the case of Tell me about yourself?, this question is adequately answered by focusing on the profile required for the vacancy. One strategy is to talk about your job as if you were a supervisor or other superior.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? It is a variety of the previous one, but more direct. Interviewers like it, but many applicants feel uncomfortable talking specifically about their strengths and weaknesses. To answer it, you’ll want to highlight your story skills. For example:
Since my sales experience, I’ve become very good at noticing customers needs.
What are your career goals? This question is somewhat tricky. The interviewer does not want to know about your business or life plan. In fact, what interests him most is whether you set goals for yourself, how you achieve them, and what you will do if unexpected problems arise.
You can also ask
It is best to wait until the end of the interview and ask if you can answer your questions about the position. Sometimes, the same interviewer closes with a Do you have any question? Take him at his word!
One question that, in our opinion, you should always ask is What did the previous employee do to succeed in this job? Responding to it opens up the possibility of engaging in a brief dialogue about your prospects.
One of the employer’s answers may be that you studied in your country of origin and you lack local work experience. It sounds strange, but countries that encourage the immigration of professionals prefer that they develop their careers in the country.
Australia, for example, offers a unique combination of English courses and Vocational Education Training (VET). On CatEight.com, you can easily find courses offered by education providers in Australia, fill in your course application, and submit it to the education providers.
This way you gain skills, work experience and increase your chances on the Australian job market. Be sure to check out these options
On the other hand, in Canada you find courses in English, French, an MBA and even part-time jobs. It is designed so that you can cover the language requirements, obtain local professional training and experience to enter one of the programs to emigrate to the maple country. Learn more and build your budget.
Well, now you have the best tips to prepare for a job interview in English. You also know the classic questions from employers (and their lifeguards) to answer them like a crack.
So there is no longer an excuse for you to go to get that job you want to live and work abroad. Get to work!