You have written a really good CV and emailed it to employers. You constantly check your email for a reply.
After a few weeks, just as you are about to give up, PING! You have a phone or Skype interview the next day. Your first thought is, Brilliant, at last I’ve got an interview. But then the doubts start – my English isn’t good enough, I have never done an interview by phone before, what are they looking for and what am I going to say about my work experience?
Relax. Here are my top 3 tips for doing a good interview in English.
1. Switch on your English
About an hour before your interview, you need to activate your English skills. Often it takes time to switch from your native language to English. If you can talk to someone in English, then that is best.
A good alternative is to listen to an English language audio/radio station or to read something in English.
2. What is your story?
The interview is your opportunity to tell your story, what you have done in your career, why you love your work and why you are looking for a new role. Interviewers are looking to confirm you have the skills in your CV. But they are also looking to employ someone who can work well in their company and has a personality.
The first question most interviewers ask is – tell me about yourself.
This is your opportunity to give them a summary of your skills and also to tell them a little bit about your interests and background. Prepare this summary by writing it down.
Where will you start, which skills will you refer to and what interests are you going to mention? Make sure the information is relevant. I suggest you start with your university degree. If you have just graduated, then you can mention your school experiences, but keep them very brief. Do this preparation as soon as you start looking for a job in case you get an interview at short notice. This summary should last about 4-5 minutes.
Remember the first 5 minutes are the most important and this is your opportunity to show how great an employee you would be and how good your English is.
3. Detailed discussion
After your summary, the interviewer will ask you detailed questions about what you said, what is in your CV and what sort of job you are looking for. Make sure you can explain everything that is in your CV. When explaining your experience, make sure you mention the following: [list]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]The name of the company and what they do (remember US or UK employers may not be familiar with overseas companies).[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]What team you worked in and your role[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-ok”]What you did in your role[/li]
At the end of the interview the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. So make sure you prepare some questions about the job and company. Good luck and I hope you find the perfect job!
Here are some useful expressions to be used during the job interview:
[li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]I’ve been working at X company[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]I grew up in…[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]I attended (University) [/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]My main skills are[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]I’m a hard worker and like to take on a variety of challenges.[/li]
[li type=”glyphicon-arrow-right”]My strongest trait is… [/li]
6 Questions you must be ready to answer
- Why do you want to work for us?
- What are your 3 main strengths and weaknesses?
- How have you come up with a new idea to improve a situation?
- Talk about your greatest achievement. What did you do?
- How have you maintained your motivation even when completing routine tasks?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?