How to pass an interview in English if you don't know the language well
How to pass an interview in English if you don't know the language well

Job Search Expert shares a secret on how not to fail an English interview. If your language proficiency is not particularly good and you are afraid of an interview in English, then you should be judged.

Many job seekers are attracted to work in an international company. The prospect of getting such a job offer is very attractive not only because of the high salary level, good social package and stability. Thanks to well-built business processes, training and career opportunities, working in an international company becomes a competent step in the development of your career. Therefore, it makes sense to compete for a position in an international company.

Many people think that in order to work in an international company, you need to be fluent in English. This belief becomes a stumbling block for many job seekers.

Despite the fact that by the time of looking for even the very first job, many have been learning English for 10-15 years, oral interviews can be intimidating. If at school, at the university and in additional language courses, it is possible to master grammar, reading and translation, many have difficulties with oral communication. Even if you know English well enough, the language barrier can remain insurmountable for a long time.

Recruiters from international companies strive to select the best, and weed out candidates, including on the basis of English proficiency. Even if the position does not imply the use of a foreign language in work, in the description of most of the vacancies of international companies, the requirement for knowledge of the language most often sounds like "Fluent English". Some candidates are discouraged by this wording, forcing them to look for work and build a career only in Russian companies. Others are forced to postpone their application for a vacancy indefinitely, convincing them to chase the hard-to-achieve "Advanced" level in language courses for several months beforehand.

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Conflict resolution

It may surprise you that for a successful interview for most of the vacancies in an international company, as well as for further work in it, an upper intermediate and even intermediate level is enough. In some positions, the language is used so rarely that a lower level is quite enough.

The only exceptions are positions that involve daily oral and written communication with English-speaking clients and partners, or your future expat manager. For them, you really need a high level of proficiency in English. However, rather ambitious candidates can try their hand at conquering such positions. If you meet all the other requirements, and the level of language proficiency is the only sticking point - why not. Just be prepared that if you successfully pass the selection, it will be difficult at first, and in parallel with mastering a new job, you will have to tighten your language very quickly. But you will not only have a strong incentive to improve it quickly, but also an excellent practice environment.

How can you hack the recruiting system of an international company and give the impression that you have "almost fluent english" during the interview? Very simple. Use the interview preparation instructions in English, as well as 7 additional tips-keys.

Interview preparation instructions in English

An interview in English is built according to the scheme of a regular interview, which means that you can and should prepare for it. In most cases, the interviewing scheme is classic - first you answer the questions of a potential employer, then you can ask your own. In preparation, do the following:

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1. Make a list of all the possible questions they might ask you. Starting from simple ones concerning your experience and education, ending with tricky ones, for example, about your advantages and disadvantages, motivation and "why it is worth hiring you." The more questions you write, the better. Strive for 50, but at least not less than 10. Compose immediately in English, or in Russian with consecutive translation.

2. Write succinct, beautiful, convincing answers in English to prepared questions. You can first write the answers in Russian, then translate. Don't be too sophisticated when translating, we use simple words and short sentences.

3. Check the literacy of the answers. Find someone around you who knows good English and ask for help. “Decent language proficiency” does not have to be sought among teachers or native speakers. Any of your acquaintances have enough "intermediate" level and their fresh look at your work.

4. Learn the corrected answers in conjunction with the questions. Focus on your abilities - if you need to memorize by heart to memorize, do so.

5. Exercise. Many. With mom, spouse, girlfriend, colleague, or each in turn. By the way, they don't need to know English. Give them questions, ask them to ask in no particular order, and "simulate" the interview. Repeat as many times as necessary. Until you stop peeping at the cheat sheet and feel that your speech is natural and easy, that the phrases have become familiar, and there is not a single hint that you have memorized something.

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6. That's it, you're ready. Go and conquer your future employer.

For the attention of the most meticulous of those who have read the instructions, I suggest 7 bonus tips-keysto help increase your chances of being interviewed in English:

1. To be invited for an interview, your resume must indicate the level of English indicated in the job description or higher.

2. When a recruiter calls you, be ready not only to convincingly answer that your level of language proficiency is sufficient for the interview, but also to prove it over the phone by answering a few questions in English, if asked.

3. If at the interview you are directly asked about the level of your language or are suspected of not meeting the level indicated in the resume, you can elegantly get out of this situation. Explain your current level by the fact that now your job does not imply the full use of the language, but as soon as you get a job in this excellent corporation, where knowledge of the language is more in demand, your level of language proficiency will automatically be restored. You don't have to blush in this case, without regular practice the level of language proficiency really drops. Add that you have just signed up for a course to regain your level, and that after a month (maximum six months), you will have fluent again.

4. Prepare 2-3 trick answers in advance. Write a few general phrases that will work as an answer to any question and will turn the interviewer's attention to something else if you suddenly get confused and don't find what to answer. Something like: "Thinking over the answer to your question, I remembered..", "Before answering your question, I would like to tell you about.." about.. "Then briefly tell us about some achievement, solving a difficult problem, an interesting fact from your work experience. Of course, the interviewer may notice your “trick with the ears”. But it is better if you continue to speak than to be embarrassed, shut up and forget all the other answers to the questions.

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How to get more done while doing less? 10 secrets of productivity

5. Prepare 2-3 questions in English in advance, which you can ask the interviewer at the end of the interview, if this part of the conversation is expected and there is time for it.

6. As part of the interview in English, it is possible to test other skills (reading, translation, writing, grammar test). If you can practice these skills, practice. If not, take it easy and do what you can. Ask in advance if it is possible to use a dictionary or other additional materials, in some cases this is allowed.

7. Use pre-made sample questions to start your list:

Why did you leave your last job?

Why should we hire you?

What is your greatest strength?

How long would you expect to work for us if hired?

What motivates you to do your best on the job?

The last and most important tip. In order not to have to resort to such tricks and get out - learn the language, friends! In any way - in a group, in courses, individually with a teacher, independently.

Better yet, don't just teach, but build it into your life. Read books, watch movies, listen to music, make friends with foreigners, change the language of your phone and other devices, etc. Create and immerse yourself in an environment to achieve and maintain the coveted fluent or decent "intermediate", even if you are not use it in your work.

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