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Advice on job interviews in English

[ 2009-02-05 14:25]     字号 [] [] []  
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This week a question about dealing with a job interview in English appeared on our bulletin discussion board and here I'd like to talk about it a little bit.

It is estimated that six and a half million new university graduates were hitting the job market this year and at the same time the world is experiencing an economic downturn.

Early this week it was also revealed that 20 million migrant workers had lost their jobs as a result of the global financial crisis and to top it all off the nation has now officially declared it is suffering a drought across the northern region.

So amid this context readers out there looking for work are excused if they feel a little frazzled.

“Now if you are a job seeker and you do have to attend an interview which is conducted in English what things do you need to know or what things should you be thinking about that can help you perform to the best of your ability?”

Well, I discussed this with my good colleague here who has been for several job interviews conducted in English and his advice was to prepare, prepare and prepare.

To begin it was suggested that you actually write out a self introduction and any other material that is related to you and your skills.

In a similar way that during an IELTS speaking test you are often given one to two minutes to give a self introduction, at a job interview you would also be expected to speak about yourself concerning past study, home town, career goals, personal attributes, interests etc.

So get onto a computer, type out your self introduction, then start rehearsing and once comfortable I suggest recording yourself so you can listen back and notice how you sound.

Now if you are like me, when I finished university I had no idea who I was or what I wanted and wasn’t really clear about what my skills were or what I was good at. In case you are similar do a bit of hard thinking and try to imagine the type of person you would like to be and becoming, then write your self introduction around this.

Next step is you will need to have some knowledge of the company you are applying to work at or do an internship for so again, start typing and write out everything you know about the company and why it is you want to work for them and what you think you have that can benefit them. These days its all about adding value, so try to frame your pitch or your ‘self-sell’ around the benefits and positives you will bring to the company.

Finally, last point before you go to the interview; try to remember to enjoy the process. The more times we test ourselves, the more times we put ourselves in challenging situations, the more times we get nervous and sweat – the more we grow as people. Life is not meant to be lived in our comfort zone. We have to push out and seize the day.

And to remember what my colleague said, at all the job interviews where he has gone to his English has been better than all of the actual people who were interviewing him, so who knows maybe this will be your experience too.

Whatever the case, best of luck and if you can’t find a job for the moment, try to be patient and keep building up your skills and thinking what it is you would like to be doing with your life and what is the type of contribution or effect you would like to be making to the world. In the end it is all about giving. Giving of yourself to others, to a company or community.





About the author:

Advice on job interviews in English

About the author: Brendan has taught at universities, high schools and primary schools in Japan,the UK, Australia and China. He is a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor and has extensive experience with International English Language Examinations. In the field of writing Brendan has been published in The Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, Inflight magazines and the Asia News Network. He can be contacted at brendanjohnworrell@hotmail.com.