Interviews are a stressful experience, which make even the most certain and confident weak in the knees. Add into the equation you have to do the interview in English, as a non-native speaker, and it makes the already nerve-wracking interview an even bigger hill to climb. Whilst you can never prepare for everything when it comes to interviews, nor have the perfect interview, the key to mastering interviews in English is preparation, preparation, preparation.
Do your research
Whilst this tip applies to every interview, not just interviews in a foreign language, researching the company you’re interviewing for in English will help you gain the vocabulary you need to talk about the business. The more you can find out about the company in English, the more you will have to talk about.
Anticipate potential questions
Again, this is another general tip, but this is even more important when preparing for an interview in a foreign language. Having an idea of the questions will allow you to prepare answers in advance. You will also have a general idea of how the interviewer may word the question, which will ease anxiety during the interview. If you’re interviewing for a big corporation, you may even be able to find interview questions at Glassdoor from previous applicants.
Find yourself a partner
If you know a native English speaker, why not ask them to help you prepare for your interview? You could practise interview questions, they could correct or suggest any answers, and you can get used to listening to English. If you don’t have a native English speaker friend, don’t worry. Why not get one of your English speaking friends to help you out? Practising English will help you feel prepared and ready for your interview.
Do you stumble at the “th” pronounciation? Do irregular verbs drive you crazy? Do you struggle with which prepositions go with which verbs? Whilst you shouldn’t stress yourself out the night before and revise the entire English language, revising your weak spots will enhance your English. And more importantly, it will give your confidence a little boost, which exactly what you need before you have an interview.
If in doubt, ask
During the interview, you may not understand the question or are unsure of what the interviewer is asking. Don’t be afraid to ask the interview to word the question differently so that you understand. Making up an answer to a question you’re unsure of will make you appear uncertain and could knock your confidence. Interviews will understand it’s not your native language, so show them you’re not afraid to ask and clear any doubts.
Interviewing in English, when it isn’t your native language, is understandably a nerve-wracking experience. But if you bear the above tips in mind, you should arrive at your interview prepared and ready to wow your interviewers with your English. Good luck!