Conducting job interviews in English may be quite intimidating. Hopefully after reading this article, your fear can be conquered!
Prepare for your job interviews in English multiple days in advance to reduce that jittery, nervous feeling. Be ready to answer questions about experiences you have had pertaining to your resume. Some of the most common questions employers may ask you include:
1. What do you know about our company?
2. Why do you believe we should hire you?
DO NOT brag. State why you think you are a good fit for the position.
3. Why did you leave your last job?
NEVER say negative things about your past employer(s), because the new company will think you will say bad things about them when you leave some day!
4. In what ways do you need to improve as an employee?
Showing your weaknesses by answering this question is not a weakness! It shows that you can grow as an individual.
You will often be given a possible circumstance or situation you may encounter while working at the company. You must clearly describe how you would solve that problem.
Employers are often more interested in your character rather than your qualifications. There is no need to reiterate the items listed on your resume.
Towards the end of a job interview in English, the interviewer will usually ask “Do you have any questions for us?”
Be sure to research information about the company through their website, pamphlets, etc. beforehand. This will help you formulate appropriate questions when they ask you if you have questions.
For example, while you are researching the company on the web, you may stumble upon information regarding an annual exhibition where a couple of employees must give presentations and represent the company at a booth. With this information, you could ask:
“Who is chosen to represent the company each year?
Can I work my way up to becoming a representative?
Which topics do these individuals lecture on?”
Doing your research shows you are ambitious and knowledgeable about the company. It really pays off!
My students on italki often want to ask this question:
“What will my salary be?” AVOID THIS QUESTION.
It makes it look like you only care about the money and not the position. Every employer knows the candidate is eager to know this information.
The interviewer should also provide you with a time frame in which you can expect to hear from them about a second job interview or if you have received the position.
Dress appropriately for your job interviews! Wear business casual clothing, which often consists of white and black colors. Men and women will often wear black pants with a collared shirt. Men can wear a tie and nicer shoes. Women can wear conservative jewelry and heels. AVOID clothing with holes, t-shirts and jeans.
Even if you have already sent in a CV (cover letter) and resume to your new potential workplace, print off another CV and resume to hand to your future employer when you walk through the door. Be sure to have it neatly placed in a folder for the employer to keep.
It is extremely important to be a few minutes early. You can gather your thoughts and scan the premise while gathering potential questions in your head and inferences about the atmosphere of the workplace.
Make eye contact and shake the interviewer’s hand firmly when greeting each other.
Please refer to the Prepare and Your Questions sections for job interviews in English. Continue to make eye contact. Remain alert and interested throughout the interview. Take detailed notes to show the interviewer you don’t wish to forget anything important! You may ask questions throughout the interview, but only ask at appropriate times. NEVER INTERRUPT.
ALWAYS thank the interviewer for his or her time. If the interviewer has not mentioned when you are expected to hear follow-up information about your potential position, you may want to ask at this time.
The next day, send a typed letter to the specific person who took the time to speak with you. Thank him or her for taking their time to meet with you. If you prefer to send an e-mail, be sure to write it in a formal manner.
Remember you are also “interviewing” the company throughout the entire process to see if you want to work for them! Relax, take a deep breath, and be confident. You are a strong candidate for the position; otherwise the company wouldn’t have called you in for an interview! You can do it!
Good luck on your job interviews in English!
Image by US EMBASSY Sweden (CC BY 2.0)