We all get nervous in job interviews, but when it’s in a second language, there’s even more pressure. As well as thinking of the content of your answers, you need to think about how you say everything. Help calm your nerves and feel confident in your next English interview by making sure you know how to answer these six most common English interview questions.
Tell me about yourself.
Don’t just repeat all the information on your CV. Instead focus on your qualities that relate to the position, such as discussing work-experience, skills and accomplishments. Remember, the interviewer has already seen your CV so, rather than just giving a list of things you have done, use this chance to explain how the things on your CV are relevant to the position you are applying for.
What are your three greatest strengths?
It’s important to know who you are and what makes you a good fit for this job. Share your qualities that would make you an asset to the company, explain why they would be useful for this job, and back them up with examples from your past.
Your three greatest weaknesses?
While you need to be honest here, it’s not the time to reveal all your shortcomings – especially those which will make you seem incompetent. Instead, choose weaknesses that can also be viewed as strengths, such as saying you sometimes spend more time than others completing projects because you pay careful attention to detail.
Tell me about a time when…
If your interviewer asks a question beginning this way, he or she is looking for a specific example from your past, not a generalization of what you would do in that situation. It’s a good idea to be prepared with a list of previous accomplishments that you can use for examples for questions like these.
Do prefer working individually or with a team?
Everyone has a preference but it’s important to show that you can do both. Employers want people who work well in a team but who can also work alone. A good way to answer this question is to say “It depends on the task” and then give an example of when you prefer working with a team and another example of when you prefer working alone.
Why do you want to work here?
Here, your interviewer isn’t just looking for compliments about his company. Rather, detail how your previous experiences make you a good fit and can help you contribute to the company. The more research you have done about the position and company values, the more equipped you’ll be to answer this.
Remember, though. When you are preparing for your interview, don’t just memorise answers to these questions. It’s easy to tell when someone is giving a pre-prepared answer. Instead, practise some key phrases and make sure you know the main points of each answer so you are able to adapt them if the interviewer asks the same question in a slightly different way. You will find, though, that once you’ve practised answering these common questions, you will feel a lot more confident and and ready to make a great impression in your interview.