Nailing interviews in a non-native language

Entrevista in Fremdsprache? Oui, waroom niet? How do you prepare for a job interview in a non-native language?

In this interconnected world, experiencing a job interview in a language other than your mother tongue is fairly likely, especially if you are considering moving to another country.

We’re sure you’ll be pretty fluent in the language but still recommend taking some extra measures so you score high!

Train your brain to start thinking in this language by changing your inner dialogue.

Cultivate a daily practice of using the new language in your thoughts, replacing familiar phrases and constructing mental sentences, gradually reinforcing your cognitive connection to the language.

Imagine the ‘typical’ questions you’d hear during an interview

Now try answering them in the language, especially out loud. Speaking the language aloud not only enhances your pronunciation and fluency but also strengthens your confidence in using it actively.

Map keywords specific to your niche.

Make sure you’re able to discuss the core responsibilities of the role and issues related to this industry.

Jot down any words/phrases/technical terms you think may slip your mind.

Take this cheat sheet with you, in the worst-case scenario – you’ll take a quick look during the meeting. Much better than forgetting the word and getting stuck in an awkward, embarrassing silence!

Ask a friend to conduct a mock interview with you in a foreign language.

Use this opportunity to not only practice all the questions you struggled to answer but also to refine your responses, hone your conversational skills, and receive constructive feedback.

Ask a native speaker how to pronounce the company and interviewer’s names correctly.

This will show your commitment to clear communication and cultural sensitivity, which can make a positive impression during interactions in a professional setting.

Navigating a job interview in a non-native language requires strategic preparation. Through diligent practice, leveraging relevant keywords, and seeking feedback from language partners or mentors, you can confidently tackle linguistic challenges and present yourself as a qualified and adaptable candidate in any job interview. Remember, embracing the nuances of language is not just a skill but a valuable asset that sets you apart in the global job market.

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