Tips to Handle Job Interviews in English

Jan 27, 2017

Any job interview is a nerve-wracking experience, particularly if it isn't conducted in your native language. If you follow these simple tips, you should make a great first impression – and hopefully clinch that job!

Preparation is key

As soon as you know the date and time of the job interview, you should be making an effort to prepare. One of the best ways to do this is by getting an English-speaking friend to ‘play the role’ of the interviewer, asking you questions you would expect to have to cover in the real thing. At the end of the mock interview, ask your friend to give you feedback – including things you did well and areas where you could improve.

If you’re worried about what you're going to say in the interview and whether or not you'll be coherent, practise pronunciation, go over areas of English you feel are your weaknesses and revise your tenses.

The day of the interview

Dress smartly for the interview. Men should wear a suit, or at least suit trousers with a shirt and tie, while women should wear a suit, a smart dress or a knee-length skirt with a blouse.

When you walk into the interview, make eye contact with the interviewer and shake their hand. If there is more than one person interviewing you, shake everyone's hand and say "nice to meet you". Try to remember their names, too. Once they ask you to take a seat, sit down, but not before you are invited to.

Answering questions posed

Make sure you answer all questions asked of you in a positive manner, addressing the interviewer as you do so, rather than looking down at your feet or fiddling with the pen on the desk in front of you. Try to anticipate questions before they are asked, and don’t just assume that, because you’ve included it on your CV, the interviewer will have read it and remembered it.

Ask them questions

An interview is a two-way process and you should show an interest both in the company you’re applying to join and the interviewer asking you questions. Ask things like: “what are the company’s goals for the next five years?” or “how would you describe a day in the life of your office?”

Also use the questioning stage for your own research purposes, if certain details were not covered in the job advertisement. Ask about the money you will earn - your "salary" (if it is calculated yearly) or your "wage" (if it is paid per hour). You might also want to know about other "benefits" of the job, this means extra perks like a company car, travel to work scheme or social clubs. You could ask if the company has a "pension scheme" and how much "leave" you are allowed.

Seal the deal

Once you and the interviewer have asked all your questions, stand up, shake their hand again and say "thank you for your time" or "thank you for seeing me" before you leave. Ask when you can expect to hear from them regarding the role – this helps to tell them that you are still interested in the job and are awaiting a response.

Good luck with your interview – let us know how it goes!


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