Yesterday, I heared the most weird answer for the reason to be disqualified for a job.
The interview was via phone and the interviewer was the IT manager and he was Spanish.
You can imagine that he pronounced "How are you?" as "Khaw are you?" and also he pronounced "accurate" as "akorote"!!.
For sure I couldn't understand half of his conversation at least, but I introduced myself, answered some of his quaestions and I told him about my experience.
Five minutes later, I received e-mail telling that I'm not accepted. I sent him via skype to thank him and ask him about the reason.
So, he surprised me when he said "We need somone to understand English of different nationalities, whatever their accents are"!!
How can I do that?
The big problem is that it's hard to find Spanish, French or Italian who are speaking English fluently and the same time have their mother tongue accent. What do you think?---> I think that's not true. Not so difficult!
I'm Spanish, we can Skype if you want to :)
I honestly think that you cannot understand all accents in the world and you cannot understand someone speaking bad English. At least, you cannot understand them the first time you listen a new accent from someone talking through the phone. You cannot take control on this. But if the company thinks that someone that cannot understand one person from their staff is someone that is not able to understand different accents...well, I think they are naive...!
All you can do is talk to different people and try to take the best of your listenning skills. We are just humans and cannot have ALL under control.
Good luck! :)
The second thing I would say is start to meet people around the world. IT is hard to stereotype when we have true friendships with people from other cultures or languages. e interpret the world in our language. We must take risks to learn a new languagee and it we almost always feel insecure and threatened at one time or another but we cannot do it alone it talkkes help and encourgement to learn a differnetlanguage. As many people as it took us to learn our mother tongues. So do not be discouraged by it just know that international English is the future. We need to be accepting and encouraging because some people with funny accents have the power to decide whether or not we get the job.
My personal feeling is that 90% of communication depends on you. I feel that it is the job of the learned to speak in a way that the unlearned can understand. THis idea haaas brought me great frustration but when I finally can connect with somebody it is worth it,
I hope this is helpful
That is a great story. Theare are alot of accents in Englsih even native speakers cannot decipher from other native speakers. I travelled for 10 years in South America and I learned a lot of different accents and I find that in SPanish the biggest difference is the rythym.. The cadence of the pronunciation, and what consonants drop off depending on region. English is more complicated becasue we do not have pure vowel sounds and the sounds shift with depending on region and culture. When you throuw in differing vocabulary and it gets very complicated.
Now to answer your question. The first step is adapting an atitude that is unbiased. There are English Speakers in Africa that Americans have difficulty understanding, but English is still their mother tongue. Asking for clarification while being appologetic for your misunderstanding is the way to open up the door to real communication. In my experience when doors have been shut on me, most of them have been shut do to my atititude. When we think some one sounds stupid they know it, and if we cannot speak their language we have to do our part to understand whatever language we have in common.