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If you’re one of our advanced business English students, you’ve probably already spent some time thinking about applying for jobs with English-speaking companies. After all, that’s pretty much what we’re all about. But even if your English is outstanding, you may be pretty anxious about the idea of sitting across from a native English speaker— and that’s totally normal! Job interviews are intimidating, but you’ve got inside info that can help you succeed— well you will, if you keep reading!

What They Want to Hear…

A job interview is like a date: there are important needs that both parties hope the other can fill, and these aren’t always communicated openly! The question “Tell me about yourself” is the first step toward the interviewer understanding if you’re able to fill their company’s need. Ideally, you want your answer to not only explain what you can do professionally, but take the interviewer on a tour of your personality and professional passions.

Here’s an example of an answer that accomplishes this:

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by language— so it’s not too surprising that communication became my life’s work. My love of communication has helped me find success in both business and in education: I’ve built employee training departments from the ground up, and taught English as a second language. Now, I’ve found a way to combine those roles: I teach English to young professionals who want to get great jobs with English-speaking companies.”

The energy level of an interview varies from company to company. Some companies are very stiff and formal, others are very relaxed and informal. You should be paying careful attention to the “feel” of the room and work to match it: bringing youthful, informal energy to a somber and serious interview will most likely result in you being dismissed as a mismatch.

…and What They Don’t

When a candidate fails at answering the question “tell me about yourself,” they usually include too much personal info and not enough professional info. A job interview is not the time to talk about hobbies or your personal life. They are not interested in how many cats you have, or how many countries you’ve visited. They are interested in what you can bring to the table in a professional capacity. Keep that in mind at all times!

Use Your Business English Vocabulary

Remember: the interviewer doesn’t want to feel like you’re reading from your resume. Check out this list of common interview questions, practice speaking your answers out loud, and try to be creative with the vocabulary you use. Don’t be afraid to open a thesaurus! Above all, allow yourself to get excited about what you can bring to the company, and be proud of what you’ve accomplished! You may be nervous— but luckily, the more you do something, the easier it gets.

If you need some interview practice, or just want to work on your business English skills, contact Verbalize Now. After all, building your confidence with fun and useful online business English classes are what we do!

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Verbalize Now has created this material with tips to help you prepare for job interviews in English so you can take your career to the next level.