Being a non-native speaker already makes it quite challenging to find a job in a foreign country. What makes it even more difficult is that you will have to prove that you are a good worker in an interview to get the job you are interested in.
Luckily, there are different ways in which even non-native speakers can prepare for and excel at interviews. Hence, here’s how to practice your interview skills when you are a non-native speaker.
#1 Practice Your Answers
First and foremost, you need to practice your answers to common interview questions. Obviously, you can’t know which questions you will be asked – it depends on the company, the position you are applying for, etc. However, there are still specific interview questions that are quite common across different industries.
Most of the time, these are general questions (e.g., “How did you find out about this position?”), behavioral questions (e.g., “Have you ever taken a risk that didn’t pay off? How did you handle the situation?”), and resume-related questions (e.g., “What kind of courses did you have when you were getting your Bachelor’s degree?”)
Do some research to compile a list of common interview questions, and then write down your answers. It’s a good idea to practice these answers in front of a mirror to correct your pronunciation. Ensure you aren’t misusing any words and that your sentences are grammatically correct.
Another way to practice your answers is by asking someone you know to have a mock interview. This way, you can have a simulation of what you can expect. It’s better to ask a native speaker, but even your non-native-speaking friend could help you out in this situation.
#2 Prepare Your Questions
After practicing your answers to the most common interview questions, you must prepare questions you will ask the interviewer. These questions are necessary for several reasons:
- You will be able to ask about the things that interest you. While doing the interview, you might have more questions you are interested in, but preparing the key ones beforehand is always good practice.
- You will show that you are genuinely interested in the job position you are applying for. It shows the interviewer that you have researched the company and are treating the interview seriously.
- You will create a conversation with your interviewer, so it will no longer be a one-sided interview. This way, the interviewer will be more likely to remember you as they will have a connection with you.
If you are not sure what kinds of questions you would like to ask, you can always seek professional help or advice. You can use the custom writing reviews site Best Writers Online to find an experienced writer who will help you come up with relevant questions. Moreover, they will ensure all the questions are grammatically correct, so you won’t have to worry about making mistakes.
#3 Be Careful with Wording
Speaking of avoiding linguistic mistakes, you should definitely be careful with your wording. Not only is it crucial to look professional despite being a non-native speaker, but it can also prevent misunderstandings. Here are some general tips on how you can keep your wording in check:
- Avoid negativity or negative framing. Instead of focusing on something bad or negative, focus on something good or positive. This applies to language (e.g., don’t use double negatives) and to your ideas and thoughts (e.g., don’t say bad things about your past colleagues).
- Talk about safe topics. Matters such as religion, politics, family, or personal issues – all of these don’t belong in an interview for your future job. There are instances where you might have to bring up some of these (e.g., if you are a Muslim woman and would like to wear your hijab to work), but most of the time, try to avoid these topics and focus on safe topics instead.
- Give short and focused answers. Don’t stray away from the topic too much. If you are asked about something specific, give a reply that answers the question. A good rule of thumb is not to talk about the things you aren’t asked about.
- Show off a little bit. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself. You’ve sent your resume and cover letter, but the interview is when you can show off your achievements. No one else can praise you, so it’s your job to highlight what’s so good about you and your abilities.
#4 Improve Your English
It goes without saying that you need to spend some time improving your English before you go to your interview. How you do this will depend on your personal preferences, but you must be realistic about your abilities. If you have a friend or teacher who can help you, you should definitely ask them to. Getting prepared on your own is also a good option.
Even though you need to prepare for an interview where you will mostly rely on your listening and speaking skills, you still need to consider how good your reading and writing skills are. Nevertheless, you should still focus more on your listening and speaking skills.
Practice your pronunciation and revise grammar rules. Make some common sentences you would usually use in job interviews. Listen to an audiobook or podcast or watch a movie, and then try to explain what you just heard and saw (either to yourself or to a friend or teacher helping you prepare).
You can use the help of a professional and experienced writer from the writing services reviews site for your writing skills. They will check your sentences, give you more questions, and help you improve your English skills through practice.
#5 Get Dressed Well
On the day of the interview, you need to get dressed well. The clothes you wear must be appropriate for the interview and the job position you want. Remember the bigger picture, too, such as the company you are applying for and the industry you work in.
Some companies might have very strict policies on what is and isn’t allowed. For example, you might have to cover up any tattoos you have. Try to research beforehand to know whether the company you are applying to is strict about these things.
Another thing to take care of is your personal hygiene. Ensure you are clean, your hair is washed, and your teeth brushed. If you are a smoker, avoid smoking before the interview. Don’t use strong perfumes, colognes, aftershave products, or fragrances – some people are sensitive to them, so it’s best to go with something subtle.
Try to arrive around 10-15 minutes before the interview. This way, you won’t be late, but you won’t be too early either, showing that you are punctual. Greet the receptionist, and once you meet your interviewer, greet them too and shake their hand. Try to make eye contact, smile, and look confident and relaxed.
After the interview, ask the interviewer when you can expect a call or email from them. Say your goodbye and leave politely. Once home, email them to thank them for the interview again. If you don’t hear from them for quite a while, consider sending another email to follow up.
To summarize, you can still do very well in an interview, even as a non-native speaker. If you are confident in yourself and prepare well before the interview, you can present yourself as a professional at what you do. Use the tips in this article to help you prepare for your interview and get the job.