Job Interview in English!
In the current climate of uncertainty (financial, social, personal and professional), many of our clients have turned to us for advice on how best to approach the possibility of a career change. COVID-19 has surely kept most of us at home. Naturally, this resulted in a period of reassessment of our personal and professional choices: WHAT DO I REALLY WANT FROM LIFE?… A job interview in English? A sabbatical, perhaps? Or even a career change?..
At the same time, this period of social distancing and confinement has forced many employers to show their true colours. For example, some companies show full support for their employees and do their utmost to help each and every one of those in need. On the other hand, others simply ignore the value of a human being for the sake of financial gain. And then there are those in the middle. Perhaps, they are scraping by thanks to government aid but ready to re-start the economic activity at the first sight of the virus easing.
By all means, read on for EXSELLme top tips on how to approach your upcoming career move in the current economic climate of instability and unprecedented shift in the professional environment. If a job interview in English is your next step, this should really help.
1. Soul Searching
Soul-searching is an important first step in the process of preparing for a career move.
Do not panic, however, because it is as easy as 1-2-3!
- Reasons Why You Want to Change: make sure you sit down and assess the real reasons why you wish to quit your current job. Is it perhaps the daily commute, the difficult colleagues you are not missing in confinement, the lack of career progression or simply boredom?..
- After that make a List of Your Ideal Job Requirements: and be clear on what it is you want from the new job. Is it purely financial gain or something more you are looking for?
- What Will You Not Compromise on? Is it the Wednesdays with your children or the international mobility that are non-negotiable? Whatever the criteria, you must be clear on these from the onset
2. Heavy Lifting
Once you know what it is you wish to achieve – and most importantly what you will absolutely not compromise on, it is time to do the heavy-lifting. Surprisingly, it is also as easy as 1-2-3.
- CV: be sure to put together a kick-ass CV that is eye-catching, informative and with no unexplained ‘gaps’ in your employment. As a result, it will be able to grab the attention of the relevant people. For example, HR or even a hiring manager.
- Cover Letter: some call it “Motivation Letter”. But the idea behind it is the same. To be specific, you need to give your potential employer some valuable insights into who you really are and why you are interested in that particular job. Do not toy with it and do not take it lightly. Simply asking for a job interview in English at an international company simply isn’t good enough.
- Contact with your potential employer: let’s face it, technology has made it ever so much easier to get in touch with people. Of course, contacting someone you do not know can be sensitive, especially in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. However, you might as well use this as an opportunity to contact people. They are probably operating from the comfort of their homes and potentially have much more free time on their hands. Therefore, they may have more time to notice your application! Go for it!
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Especially if your job interview isn’t in your native language, practice – practice – and then practice a little more. Please do it in front of the mirror. Or, perhaps, do it in front of your newly born child or in front of your teenage kids. Alternatively, do it in front of your partner, your pets, your neighbours etc… Just, please, do it! Here is your checklist to complete before stepping into the meeting room, real or virtual:
- My Strengths (ideally, with 2-3 examples from your earlier career).
- My Areas for Development: do not call them ‘weaknesses’! And of course, with examples from your earlier career, as well as making sure you express any negatives as a positive: “Although I have often been criticised for being pedantic, my colleagues would agree that my level of attention to detail has saved the company a lot of money.”
- Prepare meaningful questions for your potential employer: be prepared to ask at least 3 great questions to show your interviewer that you are seriously considering joining their company and not merely practising for another, more important, interview in future.
4. Get In Touch With Us
Remember that your job interview is all about you, selling yourself and making you shine. So do not let your hesitation or lack of confidence in your English drag you down. Here at EXSELLme we would be delighted to point out the quickest ways for you to improve your English and be able to impress people when you speak. Our individual English sessions run throughout the year and we are happy to combine face-to-face meetings with virtual sessions.
If you live and work in France:
If you are employed in France, you can use your CPF (Compte Professionnel de Formation) to finance your week! Click here to have more information about MonCompteFormation. Click here if you can read our article on CPF if you want information on how it works.