Are you wondering how to prepare for a job interview in English? Many of our students are improving their English for work, whether it’s helping them advance at their current job or helping them find the next one. They use our online English classes to improve their grammar, vocabulary and accent to help them sound polished and professional.
Of course you know the basics of how to prepare for an interview in any language. Do your research on the company and industry… anticipate questions, etc. So instead, we thought to focus on helpful strategies that will give English learners a competitive edge and help them shine their brightest in interviews.
What is the interviewer’s goal?
Before we get into those helpful tips, let’s start by considering what companies are looking for in their next hire. Of course they want employees who are knowledgeable, qualified and have experience. Consider this… much of this information is presented in your resume or CV. So if you are invited to interview, the company’s goal is to evaluate more than what’s on your resume. So what are these other things interviewers are evaluating?
Here is an example from our company Lingoloop. When we hire English tutors, we won’t ask them to an interview unless we see they are experienced and qualified. So when we interview them, we want to focus on answering the following questions:
Do I trust this person?
Is this someone I want to hang out with?
It’s a short list of questions right? 🙂 To us, once we see that someone is capable, the most important success factors are trust and fit. With that in mind, here are five tips to help you through your next interview in English:
Keep it simple
If you’ve read our other blog posts about improving your English speaking, you already know this! Far too often, English learners get tongue-tied when they try to cram multiple thoughts into a sentence. A longer sentence is not necessarily a better one. If you speak simply, you’ll be easier to understand.
Also, try your best to only answer the question being asked. English learners can get tongue-tied when they overcomplicate a response. Take a breath. Resist the urge to say more than you need to and you’ll come across sounding more organized.
Don’t worry about making mistakes
It’s natural to make mistakes when speaking. Even native English speakers do it. Don’t let your mistakes trip you up. If you make a mistake just move on. Remember, personality fit and likeability are oftentimes the most important thing in an interview.
Apart from your English, don’t forget to communicate with your body language and mood! It is important to portray positivity during your job interview. Show them that you are the right person for the job by being upbeat and cheerful. Smiling is contagious:) It will help you create a positive dynamic with your interviewer.
Strengths and weaknesses
It’s always a good idea to prepare for certain questions. Good or bad, the “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” question is a classic one. There’s no perfect way to answer this question, but here is a strategy.
For the strengths, what are things that you can do that would make the company (or team) stronger? Frame your strengths as ways you can help your new company and your answer will seem more compelling.
For the weaknesses, less is more:) Reframe the question as “What are the challenges ahead in this new job?” so that it’s less about your perceived personal weaknesses. Discuss how you think you’ll be able to overcome them so that you end up talking more about your strengths!
Don’t forget to ask questions
At the end of an interview, most times your interviewer will ask “Do you have any questions?” Always ask a few questions when given the opportunity. Asking good questions: 1) shows you are interested in the job, 2) allows you to demonstrate your analytical skills and 3) gives you an opportunity to bond with your interviewer. You are more likely to get the job if your interviewer likes you. A thoughtful question can help you seal the deal.
Need help preparing for interviews?
As we said before, most students use Lingoloop to help them improve their English for their careers. Want to practice interview skills with an expert tutor? Try Lingoloop… you won’t believe what our students are saying about us.