You're searching for jobs online and see the perfect job advertised. It's in an industry you love and you know you've got the skills they need. And it's at an international company in your home city! Just as you're about to click the 'apply' button, you notice that they also need language skills and the interview will be in English.
In this article, we consider six steps you can take to make it through your next English interview without hurting yourself.
1. Remind yourself that you're not alone
You're probably not the only interviewee who isn't a native-born English speaker. Each one of them is going through the same emotions and feelings as you. The challenge is to try your best to concentrate on what matters most - showing the interviewer who you are and what makes you special.
2. Ask yourself 'what's the worst that could happen?'
Try imagining the worst possible interview you could possibly do. Perhaps you forget to set your alarm the night before and arrive at your interview late. As you walk up to shake the interviewer's hand, you realise you're wearing clown makeup. You don't understand a word the interviewer says and just guess with your responses. You go home embarrassed and disappointed, then receive a phone call saying you didn't get the job.
Alternatively, think about what you will get from the experience, even if you don't manage to get the job:
3. Showcase your strengths
It's not all about your English.
The interviewer has been given the task of finding someone whose experience, qualifications and skills are most suited to the position. There will be many things that they are looking for and it's unlikely any candidate will have everything.
So, while the interviewer is trying to understand whether you're a good fit for the role, your main concern should be trying to confidently give examples of your strengths in showing how they make you suitable for the job.
4. Consider what vocabulary you'll need
Before the interview, consider what skills, qualifications and experiences you will need to describe at the interview.
This will, of course, depend on the industry and job you're applying for. You don't need to know everything, just the things that are most common.
5. Consider how you'll use the vocabulary
You need to get used to using the vocabulary in full sentences to describe yourself or ask questions to the interviewer.
This may be a little harder to become good at on your own, but here are a few ways you could improve:
6. Practise like you really mean it
Don't just imagine saying these things.
Practise speaking about your qualifications, skills and experiences by speaking out loud in sentences as this will help your mouth get used to the sounds, help you remember the language and build your speaking confidence.
If you're interested in developing your English skills further, you may want to consider taking a course. In our next article, 'What Kind of Course is Right for Me?', we help you understand all of the different options available for you.
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