How to Succeed in a Job Interview in English
… And finally, we got our long-awaited job interview.
It is time to give it one’s all. We must take care of even the smallest detail. The first thing is to stay calm.
The only thing that differentiates this interview from the previous ones we have done is the language ... which seems a small difference. Although, I’m afraid to tell you, it isn’t…
If you are dying of fear or embarrassment when speaking English, read this article that will surely help you gain confidence.
So they will ask us the typical questions of any job interview
• About yourself:
-How would you describe yourself?
– Why are you interested in the job?
• About your preparation for the position:
– Why do you think I should hire you?
– What do you know about our company?
• About your academic training:
What did you study?
– What other fields are you interested in?
About your private life (sometimes this is skipped … because of “privacy policies”):
– Are you married?
– Have you got any children?
You can find the following website very useful ⇓
You will simulate a job interview: My Interview Simulator will find possible questions you can be asked during a job interview in English, to which you can answer, or they will help you to answer.
The ideal would be to know the questions in advance and take them prepared as if it were a speaking exam.
Read this post: «How to pass an English Speaking Exam».
But, that’s something we can’t control, so… that’s life!
We must also be able to answer any questions in English.
Therefore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions with their possible answers.
1. Can you tell me something about yourself?
“I’m a hardworking, responsible person who loves working with other people. I have been working as an X for X years, but I’m looking for a new challenge right now. Apart from that, I’m keen on sports, travelling…”
2. What do you know about our company?
If we have done our homework well, we should know something about the company before arriving at the interview …
“In my job search, your company was one of the few that interested me.”
Or at least, of the position for which you are applying to:
“I’m really interested in the job description. I’m sure I can fit perfectly well in your company, and I will be very proud to work for your team”.
3. Can you tell me something about your education?
“I studied in X. I enjoyed a lot what I studied but also I think it’s always good to keep updating your knowledge. Besides, I think I learn fast, and I’m always ready and willing to learn”.
5. Can you tell me something about your work experience?
Relevant to that position in particular, of course. It is not a matter of starting to list each of the jobs we have had. Go straight to the point!
“Though I have worked in many different jobs and I’ve learned many useful things from each one of them, I will briefly mention the most relevant ones…………. I’m sure that I can apply the knowledge I achieved during that time, in your company”.
6. Why should we hire you?
And, looking at the interviewer in the eye, we will say something like:
“Well, as you can see from my CV, I have a wide experience. I’m sure I accomplish all the requirements for this job, and I can be very helpful for your company”.
7. What are your strong points?
It is time to brag a little bit … but not too much! Let’s list all those virtues with which we have been blessed and that are relevant, of course …
– “I have good communication skills…”
– “I’m very organized”
– “I have a proactive attitude”
– “I’m very good at decision making and problem solving”
8. What are your weaknesses?
Let confess some small defect. And it is only here when we must cite what is less relevant to the position. But, even so, we must add that we are doing everything possible to mend it.
“I usually trust people too much, and I always try to help everyone. However, I’m learning that you cannot always trust others and sometimes, you just have to say no”.
9. Can you tell me some of your goals in the near future?
It can be dangerous to say that we are planning to have a large family, that we want to start our own business, or simply that we have no goals in mind. Although all this may be true, self-censor it hehe.
“I hope to be promoted in some years and keep improving within the company. I do think this company is the right place for me to achieve my goals”.
10. What salary do you expect to have?
It’s ugly to talk about money but, since the subject comes up, well … NO! We must downplay money (let’s lie to ourselves, get on that role!)
“You should know that money is not the main reason for me to apply for this job. I love challenges. I love learning. I work hard, and I’m willing to work. However, if you ask me to give you a figure…I guess that the average for a job position like this is between X $ and XY$”. So I think a figure around this would be a fair one”.
These are just some of the many possible questions they may ask you.
It is not about memorizing them all, but about knowing how we should approach them.
Also, I must tell you something important … I am not a clairvoyant,… Therefore, you should note down whatever question comes to mind and prepare them calmly.
I include an amazing resource for a job interview in English:
On this website, you have 150 Common Interview Questions, and How to Answer Them, you click on the question that you are interested in, and they give you a model answer.
Honestly, one of the best resources to practice the dreaded job interview in English is that, although we do not know what they are going to ask us, we will surely get along much better by practising.
What we should control
What we can, and we must have controlled to the millimetre, are other aspects, such as:
It is advisable to arrive around 15 minutes in advance. Thus, we will have time to meditate, do breathing exercises or go to the bathroom …
It is not that we go to the hairdresser for the occasion, but we must look neat and as professional as possible.
Handshake (not too firm, you’re not trying to show off how often you go to the gym) and, please, no kisses on the cheek. Completely forbidden!
Not a forced smile, a relaxed one… it will give that little bit of good vibes that can be quite useful.
Know when to listen and know when to shut up
There are people who, when getting nervous, they talk non-stop and don’t listen. That’s something quite dangerous in a job interview, where we will have to answer what is asked, without beating around the bush.
In job interviews, I’m afraid there is no freedom of speech.
I remind you that, in a certain way, we have to self-censor ourselves: openly criticize our former boss, or when faced with an inappropriate question, we are tempted to respond with a “What do you care?” or “That’s not your business!”.
When in this kind of situation, we must limit ourselves to being as diplomatic as possible … without losing our smile at any time.
Having said that, I must admit that, as always, the theory is one thing and practice, another.
Nerves can betray us and play tricks on us, last-minute unforeseen events may arise, you (or the one who interviews you) may have a bad day, etc.
Anyway, there are so many factors that must be taken into account, and they escape our control.
My recommendation is that we have to have a PLAN B.
But don’t worry, it’s straightforward, so much so that it can be summed up in one word: NATURALITY!
If something goes wrong, let’s react naturally (and with a smile). And we’ll see what happens…
GOOD LUCK !!