Top 5 tips for your first interview in English
The thought of your first interview in English is daunting. You might be worried about it even though you feel confident about speaking the language in other, less formal situations. Don’t worry. We are here to help. Here are some ways to prepare for interviews in English. With a little work and common sense you will exceed your own expectations and impress your interviewer.
1. Prepare set vocabulary
It’s a good idea to develop a strong vocabulary in relation to industry in which you work before the actual interview. This shows genuine interest in what you do as well as a desire to progress. For example, for somebody working in the fashion industry some good words and terms to incorporate into the interview are:
2. Prepare vocabulary rather than blocks of text
While learning vocabulary is a great way to strengthen your interview performance, learning blocks of text on past experiences and future expectations to repeat during an interview is not such a great idea. This is the case for two reasons.
- You might forget what you have prepared. This could make you more nervous and even cause you to freeze during the interview.
- What you have prepared might not be relevant to what you are asked. You might give an answer that is off-topic, something which could lead the interviewer to think you did not understand the question.
3. Know your future conditional tense
The future conditional tense is an important one for interviews because it is used to express expectations and goals.
- If I get this job I would work well both independently and as part of a team.
- If I had a tight budget I would cut manufacturing costs.
Review this tense and practice it in relation to possible interview questions beforehand. Here are some examples:
What would be the first goal you hope to achieve should you get this job?
How would you see your future within the company in the long term should you be the successful applicant?
If you won the lottery tomorrow, how would this affect your career plans?
4. Use the appropriate tenses.
When the interviewer asks you about your current position, answer in the present tense:
I am working at…
My current position involves…
I have been working there for 4 years…
When the interviewer asks you about your past positions answer in the past tense:
I worked at…
My former role involved…
I had been working there for 4 years…
5. Keep answers short and to the point.
There is a saying in English: Keep it short and sweet and nowhere is this more the case than in the interview situation. It is likely that questions during the interview will be direct and precise and your answers should be the same. Don’t over complicate things. Talking too much is called rambling in English and this should be avoided in interviews.
You only have 10-15 minutes to impress so make the most of the short time you have.