Language Barriers in Job Interviews - Continued

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There are ways for you to overcome these negative outcomes. Language difficulties are best resolved by learning English very well. The more fluent you are, the better and more confidently you can connect with the employer. If you are still struggling with English, consider these other tips:

Before the interview:

  • Memorize answers to common and difficult questions after having someone edit your responses for grammar.
  • Write down a few notes to yourself that you can refer to during the interview if you get intimidated.
  • Prepare and memorize questions that you wish to ask the interviewer.

During the interview:

  • Remember that you are a qualified person who speaks more than one language-an accomplishment that many interviewers cannot claim for themselves.
  • If you do not understand a question during the interview, ask the interviewer to clarify the question. You might begin by saying, "I want to make sure that I understand what you mean. Are you saying. . .?"
  • Address your language proficiency in the interview, mentioning to the interviewer how you make certain that you understand instructions and giving examples of working situations in which you excelled despite limitations in English. Do this casually if possible.
  • Tell the employer about your plans to take advanced English classes or tutoring in the evenings.
  • Take notes.
  • Summarize what the interviewer says at the end of the interview, touching on the important responsibilities of the job and needs of the company. Briefly repeat how you could meet these needs. Inquire into when you can expect to hear from the company.

After the interview:

  • Be sure to write a thank you note that highlights your fit with the position. Repeat what you have to offer the company and what enthuses you about the company. Be sure to have someone edit the note for grammar before you send it. This way, the lasting impression of you should focus on your abilities and not your English.

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Job Interview

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Know the Employer
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