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How to prepare for an interview in English: your next job is one click away

Knowing English can open many doors for you, we said it a while ago, and today we are going to say it again. If you are looking for a job, you are going to be confronted with an interview in English, especially if your aim is to apply for jobs that require certain language skills. Whether it is for an international company based in Spain, or if it is abroad, you need to be able to pass this part of the selection process. 

We guarantee that if you are organised and you prepare correctly, you will not fail. Do you want to know how to prepare for an interview in English? Here you can discover the key ways to ensure that you are successful. 

1.Check your resume

It is essential that you have a resume adapted to the English-speaking job market. If you already have one, maybe it is time to review it. Many interviewers look at them before and during personal interviews, so it is worth checking it.

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Also, it is highly likely that they will ask you questions about what you have written in your resume. Make sure you read what you have written, think about the fact that the HR expert can use your resume as their central point during the interview in english. 

Make notes about the possible questions that they may ask you. Prepare a short introductory speech, taking into account your background, experience and skills. 

2.Find out information about the company

To show a real interest in the company that you are going to interview for, you have to know it in depth. Enquire, investigate and find out the language register that the company uses. 

If you have been called for a personal interview, this means that at least you already know how the job offer was written, and that you have already exchanged the odd email with the recruiter. With this data, you can collect some useful information about the company.

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One of the aspects that stands out the most to interviewers is if the candidate knows about the company. This is even more important if the interview is in another language, if you know the company, you will know the vocabulary that they use, and perhaps you will be able to put it into practise during the interview. Every organisation has its own jargon, it uses certain words, expressions and acronyms, in place of others.

For example, an emerging tech company will refer to clients as “users” while another company may refer to them as “customers”. To learn the business language, just look at its website, its social media, and its presence in other types of communication. Doing this work beforehand, will assure that you will leave the HR professional surprised during you interview. 

3.Prepare some notes

To carefully prepare yourself for your next interview in English, we recommend that you write some ideas in a notebook. Once you have revisited your resume, and you have fully researched the company and its jargon, now is the moment to put in writing your ideas, doubts or create a script which you can follow in order to pass this phase. You could even make suggestions and/or recommendations that add value to the company, if you have the opportunity to give your opinion.

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Many companies allow the use of notes during an interview, it is not considered a bad thing, but more a demonstration of true interest. The perception is that if a candidate is this prepared for their interview, the first impression is a positive one since they have made a considerable effort to prepare for this position.

Having this outline on hand is more than understandable, especially when you apply for a job offer in a foreign language. Generally, taking some well organised notes with you into a formal interview in English, is more than appropriate, so don’t hesitate to do so.

4.Prepare specific vocabulary and useful expressions

We can’t decide for you the best way to express yourself in an interview in English. This will depend on the formality of the process, the position to be filled, the company and the interviewer.

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Our aim is to give you a hand, to fill your imagination with some words with which we guarantee that you will make a great first impression: 

  • Talk somebody through something, is a phrasal verb that you must learn now. It means “explain the details of something”. It is widely used by recruiters when they want to know something in more detail, for example the candidate’s experience of something. Can you talk us through your sales experience? Or you can also use it to respond. 

Human resources: Tell us about a time when you provided good customer service.

Interviewee: Ok, I’m going to talk you through an experience that I had when I had just started working as a Marketing Manager … 

  • Liaise with. This expression means to work in collaboration with different people or groups, or even serve as a link between them, With this peculiar verb you will be emphasizing your excellent communication skills. 

“When I was working in the MK department, I needed to liaise with the Design team”.

  • Background. This is the best word that you can use if you want to make a reference to your professional and academic career. It is usually part of the expression “have a background in …” 

As you can see from my CV, I have a background in Advertising and Public Relations and I’ve been able to transfer a lot of those skills to the Online Mk sector”

  • A good fit. This is an English expression which very useful for an interview in English. Do you know what it means? That you are the ideal candidate for this job position. 

Human resources: Why should we hire you? 

Interviewee: Well, I think the combination of my personal qualities and my professional background are unique and so they’d make me a really good fit for the role.

5.Face the nerves

It is natural for you to feel worried about the challenge of doing an interview in English. The worrying thing is that your nerves can play tricks on you, and cause you lose a great job opportunity. 

More than one teacher will be able to tell you that your insecurities and nervous thoughts can make an oral exam go from remarkable to sufficient. We recommend that you take a look at this post with 10 tips to face an oral English exam. 

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Applying for a job can provoke mixed feelings. Your future and your dreams are at stake, and if we add to all this that you need to express yourself in a foreign language, the stress starts increasing. However, what can you do about it? The truth is that if you have come this far, and have worked through the previous steps, your level of anxiety and worry should be reduced. What’s more, if you are more than prepared, it may be that you will wait for the date of your interview with the desire to impress the recruiter.

Another useful piece of advice to stand up to your nerves is watch a TV series, listen to music or podcasts in English. These are some great resources to distract you and at the same time work on your listening skills. Anyway, if what you need is to disconnect, leave the house, go to a quiet place, breathe and stretch.

6. Work on your English

Practise your pronunciation and listening. An important part of preparing for your interview in English is working on your language skills.

We recommend that you try to boost your speaking skills. Think that the challenge of this phase in your application is to successfully have a conversation with a professional from human resources. So, the best thing that you can do is to work on your English pronunciation from the moment that you know that you have a concrete date. You may have little time to practise your speaking, but if this is not the case, take the opportunity to do an intensive English course or classes with a native teacher. 

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Also, you need to practise your listening comprehension, if you don’t really understand the interviewer, the success of the interview may be compromised. One of the best ways to work on your auditive comprehension is by listening to songs, listening to the radio or watching films in English.

Finnally, do you know how to prepare to succeed in an interview in English? By recording yourself. This is a useful method to learn from yourself and your mistakes. If you record yourself with your mobile or a camera, you will be able to work on your non-verbal language. We always think of words as the most important thing, however we forget that body language is very important, especially in a selection process. 

You will be able to correct your pronunciation and your gestures after each viewing. Also you will be able to work on and prepare different responses to avoid being left blank by difficult questions. Anticipation, practise and foresight are going to be your greatest allies when preparing for a job interview. 

We advise that you watch this video about possible responses in an English language interview, we hope that you will find it interesting. 

Persist in your efforts and you will see how you will achieve the job of your dreams. You may not get it the first time, but your effort will pay off. When sending your resume, we recommend that you follow these tips to prepare a killer cover letter in English.

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