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Preparing For A Job Interview

Preparing for an interview involves dedicating a significant amount of time and effort to thoroughly contemplate and assess your objectives and credentials in relation to the specific job role and the organization you are applying to. To successfully achieve this, it is crucial to engage in extensive research about the company, its values, and its operations, as well as meticulously analyzing the job description to comprehensively comprehend why you are an ideal candidate for the position. Now, let us delve into the detailed steps that are essential in effectively preparing for an interview.

Types of Interview

Job interviews come in various forms. Sometimes, achieving success in just one of these interview types is sufficient to secure the job. However, in certain situations, especially when applying to renowned companies that hire recent graduates, you might encounter multiple interview formats as part of the application procedure.

There are various types of interviews that employers use to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job. The most common and traditional form is the face-to-face interview, where you will be physically present at the employer’s office and be questioned by either one individual or a panel. These interviews typically last between 45 minutes and two hours and may include additional tests and exercises. The questions asked can be either focused on your strengths or your competencies.

Assessment centres are a different format altogether, lasting an entire day. They are designed for employers to assess and compare the performance of multiple candidates simultaneously. During an assessment centre, you will participate in various activities such as presentations, team exercises, and psychometric tests along with other applicants.

Another type of interview is the telephone interview, which is often used by employers to screen a large number of applicants in the early stages of the application process. If you pass this stage, you will usually be invited for a face-to-face interview or an assessment centre. Telephone interviews typically last around half an hour.

Video interviews have become increasingly popular, especially among larger employers and for graduate scheme applications. These interviews can be conducted either live or pre-recorded and usually last around half an hour.

10 Tips For Preparing For An English Interview

The impact you have on the interviewer is often more significant than your actual qualifications. Your composure, demeanor, fundamental interpersonal abilities, and capacity to effectively convey your thoughts are assessed in conjunction with your professional background and educational achievements.
In order to assess compatibility between you, the interviewer, the organization, and the job, it is essential to engage in a meaningful conversation. This conversation serves as a platform for exchanging vital information and ideas. Through this dialogue, both parties can gain a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives and determine if the fit is suitable. Adequate preparation plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of this conversation and maximizing its benefits. Here are 10 tips for preparing for an English interview!

1. Research the company.
Take a few hours to absorb as much information as possible about the company from various sources. Seek out current and former employees through your network, read up on recent news releases, and definitely do some research on Google. Many candidates only focus on the information provided by the company on its website and social media, neglecting to explore other perspectives. By examining multiple sources, you will gain a more comprehensive understanding of the company (including any negative coverage) and be prepared to discuss your interest in working there and the value you can bring.

2. Learn everything you can about the open position.
Before you can show your interviewer why you’d be a great hire, you need to know what they’re looking for. Luckily, most organizations have laid out exactly what they want in an applicant in the job posting. So go back to the description you looked at before you applied. What skills and experiences are they emphasizing? What problems will this hire need to solve? These are the things you’ll want to emphasize throughout your interview.

3. Try out the company’s product or service.
If the company you are interviewing for sells a product that you can realistically try out, it is advisable to do so before your interview, preferably multiple times. If you are hired, your objective will be to generate value for the product’s users, and becoming a user yourself is the initial stage. Additionally, this will demonstrate to the hiring manager your genuine interest in the position.

4. Find out what kind of interview you’re in for.
Various companies utilize various interview methods, so it is advisable to inquire about the specific type you will encounter. To exemplify, certain companies may arrange for you to have individual meetings with multiple individuals within the organization, whereas others might arrange for you to meet with multiple individuals simultaneously or require you to deliver an interview presentation. Additionally, you may also be subjected to a phone or video interview. It is completely acceptable to ask the recruiter or HR contact about the format of the interview in advance. Once you have this information, dedicating time to familiarize yourself with the particular style can greatly impact your performance.

5. Be ready to tell the interviewer about yourself.
In preparation for each interview, it is important to have a response to the question “Tell me about yourself” that is specifically tailored to the job and company. Interviewers typically ask this question, or a similar one such as “Walk me through your resume,” as a way to initiate the conversation. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that you are starting off on the right track.

6. Do some salary research.
Even if you are unprepared to discuss finances, you might still be inquired about your salary expectations. To avoid being taken by surprise and providing or accepting an excessively low figure, conduct some salary research to determine your response.

7. Write down questions you’ll ask them.
After most interviews, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions, and it is important to have some prepared. You can begin by using a list of interview questions, but it is also advisable to create questions that are tailored to the specific job and company. It is recommended to have more questions prepared than you think you will need, as you do not want to ask something that has already been answered or be left without any alternative questions if the interviewer has already covered your initial two queries during the conversation.

8. Try some mock interviews.
If you find the time, engage in a few practice interviews with a friend or someone dear to you. This will significantly enhance your ability to respond to the question, “What qualities would you bring to this role?” after multiple repetitions, and you will also be aware in advance of how you should position your hands or sit.

9. Identify your selling points for this job.
Even if you are highly skilled in conducting interviews, it is crucial to allocate time for thoughtful consideration of which skills, achievements, and interview responses will have the greatest impact on your interviewers for this particular position. Are your management skills or your creativity more relevant? Refer back to your research and identify the qualities that make you the most suitable candidate.

10. Get a good night’s sleep.
It may sound like advice from your mom, but there are few things that can disrupt your performance as much as lack of sleep.

10 Common Questions For An English Interview (With Sample Answers)

Whether you are a first-time job seeker or seeking a career transition, utilize this guide to get ready for your upcoming interview.
Here is a compilation of 10 frequently asked job interview questions, accompanied by effective answering strategies that can impress your potential employers and increase your chances of obtaining the desired position.

1. Use Professional Email Address
Could you tell me about yourself and describe your background in brief?
Interviewers enjoy listening to stories from candidates. Ensure that your story has an impressive introduction, an engaging middle, and a conclusion that leaves the interviewer rooting for your success in securing the job.

Discuss an incident that is relevant to the profession you are pursuing and then elaborate on your education. In the narrative, demonstrate how your academic training, passion for the subject or industry the company specializes in, and your work experience all contribute to your suitability for the job. If you have successfully managed a complex project or worked on a unique and interesting design, make sure to mention it.

An example answer would be: “I come from a small town where opportunities were limited. Since good schools were rare, I started using online learning to keep up with the best. There I learned to program and then received a programming certificate. After I got my first job as a front-end programmer, I continued to spend time mastering front-end and back-end languages, tools, and frameworks.”

2. How did you hear about this position?
Employers are interested in knowing how you found out about their company and the position, whether it was through actively searching, a recruiter, or a recommendation from someone who works there.

If someone has recommended you for a position, make sure to mention their name during the interview. Do not assume that the interviewer is already aware of the referral. It is also advisable to explain your relationship with the person who referred you, such as if you have worked together before or if you met at a networking event. If the person who referred you is an employee at the company, provide reasons why they believed you would be a suitable candidate for the job.

If you actively pursued the role, clearly explain what attracted you to it. It is even better if you can connect your values with the company and its mission. Your goal is to persuade the hiring manager that you selected their company for specific reasons, out of all other options.

An example answer would be: “I found out about the job on LinkedIn because I have been following your company’s page. I am very interested in the work your company does in X, Y, and Z areas, so I was thrilled to apply. The skills needed for the position align with my own skills, and I believe it would be a great opportunity for me to contribute to your mission and advance my career.”

3. What type of work environment do you prefer?
Before your interview, make sure to research the organization and understand its culture. Knowing this information will benefit you. It is important for your preferred work environment to align with the company’s workplace culture. If it doesn’t, it may not be the right fit for you. For instance, if the company has a flat organizational structure or values collaboration and autonomy, you can mention these aspects in your response to related questions.

If during an interview, the interviewer reveals information about the company’s culture that you were not aware of, such as the company appearing formal but actually having a relaxed and collaborative environment, it is advisable to share a personal experience that aligns with this culture. The objective is to demonstrate that your work ethic is in line with the company’s values.

4. How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
The employer is interested in knowing if you can handle high-pressure situations without getting overwhelmed. They want to ensure that you can remain calm even when faced with tight deadlines, as this skill is highly valued.

Describe a situation in which you stayed calm despite a difficult and chaotic situation. If you are currently working on improving this skill, mention that and explain the steps you are taking to handle pressure more effectively in the future. As an example, you might mention that you have begun practicing mindfulness to assist with stress management.

5. Do you prefer working independently or on a team?
Your response should be based on your understanding of the company’s culture and the specific job you are applying for. However, it is important to note that most workplaces will have a team-oriented aspect.

Some jobs involve working closely with others, while others involve working independently. When answering this question, focus on your positive qualities and how they align with the job. You may also want to discuss the pros and cons of both collaborative and individual work settings.

6. When you’re balancing multiple projects, how do you keep yourself organized?
Employers are interested in knowing how you manage your time and energy to remain productive and efficient. They also want to determine if you have a personal system for staying organized and focused on your work, independent of the company’s schedules and workflow plans. It is important to highlight your commitment to meeting deadlines and treating them with importance.

Describe a particular situation where you were able to stay focused and dedicated to completing a project. Highlight the significance and time-sensitive nature of the tasks at hand and how you effectively managed your time. Discuss your methods for maintaining organization and concentration on the task at hand.

7. What did you do in the last year to improve your knowledge?
Employers are interested in understanding how individuals have spent their time in various ways. It is essential to note that there is no need to feel apprehensive about responding to this query if one has not dedicated their time to enhancing skills or pursuing educational courses. It is important to remember that we gain valuable insights and knowledge from any experience we engage in.

8. What are your salary expectations?
It is important to research the salary for the job you are applying for before your first interview. You can find this information on websites like Glassdoor, Fishbowl, or Vault.com. Another option is to ask professionals in the industry by connecting with them on LinkedIn. Employers will ask this question to make sure your salary expectations align with their budget for the position.

When discussing salary during an interview, it is recommended to mention a range rather than a specific number and be open to negotiation. It is also advised to quote a slightly higher figure as it is easier to negotiate lower. It is generally best to wait for the interviewer to bring up the topic of salary or avoid discussing it too early in the interview process.

9. Are you applying for other jobs?
During an interview, interviewers are interested in knowing if you are genuinely interested in the position or if it is just one of many options for you. They want to determine if you are their top choice. It is important to be honest about any other job applications you have submitted, without necessarily disclosing the specific companies unless you have received an offer. Interviewers may also inquire about the progress of your applications with other companies. If asked, you can mention that you are actively seeking offers.

10. From your resume it seems you took a gap year. Would you like to tell us why that was?
Gap years are more common in certain cultures than others. In certain fields, taking a gap year may be viewed negatively due to the rapid pace of the industry and the possibility of falling behind.

Inform your interviewer that your gap year was not a period of delaying your transition into adulthood, but rather a valuable experience that contributed to your development as a confident professional. Depending on the location and prevalence of gap years, employers may be interested in hearing about your activities during that time and how they have enhanced your skills and prepared you for the job.

Explain why you chose to take a gap year and highlight the beneficial outcomes it had on your future.

How To Prepare For An English Interview

Job interviews can be stressful, and job interviews conducted in English can be even more challenging. It is important to dedicate extra time to prepare for an English job interview in order to feel more at ease during the actual interview.

Preparing for a job interview in English involves three main aspects. The first is the basic preparation that is required for any interview, such as researching the company and planning how to present yourself, your education, and your work experience. To get valuable advice, it is recommended to read multiple articles on preparing for job interviews and implement their suggestions in your preparations.
The second step to getting ready for a job interview in English is familiarizing yourself with typical interview questions and planning out your responses ahead of time.

When researching how to answer frequently asked questions during a job interview, it is important to use culturally appropriate sources that align with the country or nationality of your interviewer. By meeting your interviewer’s cultural expectations, they will feel more comfortable with you and increase the likelihood of receiving a job offer.

The third step in getting ready for a job interview in English is practicing. Since English is not your first language, it is important to practice speaking out loud and answering common interview questions in English. If possible, find someone to practice with by providing them with a list of questions to read out loud, and then practice responding verbally.

Frequently Asked Questions About Preparing For A Job Interview

What is the STAR method when interviewing?

The STAR method is an interview strategy that provides a clear structure for sharing a story. It involves explaining the situation, describing the task, discussing the action taken, and detailing the result achieved.

What is the Carl technique?

CARL is an interview technique that involves discussing the context, actions taken, results achieved, and lessons learned from a particular situation.

What do you say in a 3 minute interview?

Be ready to promote yourself and have a concise explanation of your current professional status, followed by your past experiences and education that have led to your current position.

What is your best weakness answer?

You can answer with following: I have a hard time letting go of projects. I get impatient with missed deadlines. I can have trouble asking for help.

Would you like to put into practice what you have learned about How to Write a Professional Email in English? If you wish, you can explore over 20,000 interactive video lessons on EnglishCentral, improve your vocabulary, and practice pronunciation. Alternatively, during live 1-on-1 English lessons, you can review what you have learned with your personal English tutor. How about signing up for EnglishCentral and starting to learn English right away?

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