5 tips to succeed in a Job Interview in English

Going to a Job Interview is a stressful exercise but it can get even more stressful if you are going to a job interview in your non-native language.

English being the most common language for business, chances that you will have to perform a job interview in this language are high.

Before you start panicking, think that so many people went through the same step before you. A job interview conversation in english.

English is the language of business, communication, internet, pop art but it is also the language for most international job interviews. How can you make sure that because English is not your native language, you ace your job interview and you show great job interview skills.

1. Write down and practice the most common job interview in english questions

Lucky you! 80 percent of job interviewers ask the same questions, so write down in English the questions and the answers and practice the answers. In any job interview in english, the preparation is a must, but it becomes even more important in an english interview, during your preparation, search for the words you may not know or develop your vocabulary using as well the words written down in the job description. For the 10 most asked job interview questions you should be able to have an answer ready. This part will help you develop the connection between you and the job interviewer, you will only have to improvise for the 1 or 2 questions that sometimes are not foreseeable. But be reassured, those ones are rare. Most english interview questions and answers are known and workable.

2. Don’t practice alone and share your interview answers with a fluent English Speaker

The best option to practice your job interview conversation in English is to do it with an English native speaker or someone who used to work in English. Having a second opinion and receiving feedback to your answers and the word you use will help you to optimise the structure of your answer. You can also use the service of a job interview training company.

3. Read news, listen to the radio and watch TV in English

From the moment you have decided to apply for a job in a different language than the one you are native in, you need to DAILY embrace this language even if you already have a good level. Your brain records and remembers unconsciously dialogue, new words or ways of speaking that you could naturally reuse when you will have to perform a job interview in English. You will feel without compelled notice that if you embrace an english environment, your brain will start to think in English.

Some people even end up dreaming in English.

4. Once you are in the job interviewer, listen carefully to what the job interviewer says

This may sound obvious, though some people are so focused on making sure their answer sound English that they sometimes lose few seconds of attention, for non-native English speakers, unused to speak English every day it may be difficult to think of what to answer while trying to listen carefully to the job interviewer.

Make sure you train your brain and your body to be focused on doing one thing at the time during the job interview, listening when the interviewer speaks and building your answer when it is your time to respond.

5. Ask to repeat

When you are in the actual job interview in English, and you realise you did not completely understand the question or you are not sure you have got it all, ask to repeat without showing signs of nervousness or telling that your English is not so good, this could make you lose some points to be the chosen candidate.

Instead control your body language, both feet on the ground and your hands stable, ask to repeat the question, listen to the question until the end, breathe slowly and answer to your question. Everyone knows a job interview is a stressful moment, there is nothing wrong in asking to repeat the question especially when the job interviewer knows it is not your native language. You just need to ensure that you don’t let yourself be overwhelmed because you did not understand the question.

Now you understand that there are at least 5 steps you can make in order to be successful at your next job interview in English even if English is not your first language. In international companies the chance that the hiring manager is also a non-native English speaker is high.

The worst thing you can do is to think that because it is not your native language or because you are not totally fluent in English, you may not be able to do the job or get the position. Some positions are performed in English but the position itself don't require English speaking skills so this may not be an issue.

Everyone knows that when you start working in a company where English is the first language, your ability to speak English will considerably increase after a few weeks.

Focus on the content of your job interview and what experiences, motivation skills and added value you want to put forward during the interview. The questions during the interview being in English may be a little challenging but you can easily overcome the issue by following the 5 steps listed above.

To practice your job interview in English, reach out to The Ambitious, specialized in job interview training for native and non-native English speakers. We can advise and feedback on English interview questions and answers.

To read more about job interview preparation: