10 Tips for a Successful Job Interview in English
I wanted to share with you a list of tips for a successful job interview in English:
1. Don’t be afraid of the interviewer. It’s important to remember that these people are also pressured by their company to recruit the right person. The wrong person can cost a company a lot of money and wasted time in training, and since the recruiter’s performance is often based on the quality of their recruits, it’s very possible they are also afraid to hire the wrong person or eliminate a good candidate.
2. Use the 60-40 rule. Speak about 60% of the time, and try to make the interviewer talk 40% of the time. Most people enjoy talking about themselves – so let the recruiter speak also (a list of possible questions to ask during an interview in English appears below).
3. Research the company and possibly the interviewer (if you know who it is beforehand) before arriving to the interview. Knowledge is power.
4. During the interview, try to find the delicate balance between professionalism and friendliness. In other words, during the conversation, look for a balance between discussing your work, and your professional experience and expertise, and a friendly discussion about issues that are not directly related to the position. It’s important to convey the message that while you’re very professional and experienced, you’re also friendly and easy to work with and it’s possible to talk to you about non-work related issues. Try to “read” the interviewer and feel your way through that balance.
5. Always answer the recruiter’s questions in a positive and optimistic manner. It doesn’t mean that everything was wonderful at your previous jobs and your previous bosses were angels and everything was lovey-dovey. It does mean that there are ways to convey dissatisfaction from previous jobs or bosses without making them look awful. And even when you do choose to criticize a place or boss, make sure to end on a positive note-make an effort to find a redeeming quality about the place or person.
6. Dress professionally. Shave, comb your hair, lightly apply perfume or aftershave, and dress appropriately.
7. Stay optimistic, positive, and confident. The companies that do not appreciate such qualities in a candidate are rare.
8. Do not apologize for past mistakes. These were your choices – accept them as such. Learn how to explain your choices in a positive manner.
9. Avoid lying, especially about things that can be easily checked. Nonetheless, do realize that truth is subjective, and doesn’t always have to be expressed or told if not asked. Remember, an interview is not like a meeting with a therapist, where you volunteer sensitive information in the hope of growing emotionally and spirituality. An interview is more like a first date – you’re checking each other out, and you’re not going to reveal everything yet. Put your best face on and market yourself.
10. Learn to turn the negative into positive. This is also a good tip for life in general.
Here are a few questions you can ask during an interview in English. Some can be asked during your first interview, while others should be left for second or third interviews:
1. Who will supervise me? What can you tell me about them?
2. Can you expand on my duties for this position?
3. Are there any opportunities for advancement in this company/role? (better left for later interviews)
4. What are the parking arrangements? (for later interviews)
5. What does the compensation package contain? (for later interviews)
6. What are the working hours for this position? (for later interviews)
7. What issues/areas will I have influence over in this position?
8. What are your expectations (or “my supervisor’s expectations”) from this position?
9. If I get the job, when am I expected to start?
10. What is the dress code for this position? (for later interviews)
11. What skills am I expected to already possess before starting the job, and what skills am I expected to acquire after I begin?
12. Until when do you need an answer?
13. What do you like / dislike about the company?
14. May I get your business card?
I would love to hear about interesting or weird interviews you’ve had.
Mr. Miron Abramson
Miron Abramson is the founder and senior consultant of Add-Vantage, a company that supports people and organizations with their business interactions with international partners overseas. You can visit them on the web at http://addvantage.co.il, or contact Mr. Abramson at firstname.lastname@example.org.