Language Barriers in Job Interviews

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In this section you will learn some strategies to handle language barriers in a job interview.

Language Barriers in Job Interviews

by - The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service

For candidates whose primary language is not English, interviewing can be intimidating. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow employers to require that English is the only language used in the workplace without compelling reasons, language difficulties can cause problems during interviews.

The importance of your English fluency as a candidate depends in part on the job and company. If you are working with numbers or computer programming, refined English skills are less important. If other colleagues speak your primary language, you need not rely as heavily on English. If you are applying for a job as a manager or you will be interacting with English-speaking clients regularly, language fluency could be significant.

In addition to the job itself, language skills can pose barriers during interviews. Employers need to feel like they can connect with you. Even if you are friendly and accomplished, interviewers will begin to feel uncomfortable if they cannot communicate with you effectively. People feel weird about themselves when they cannot understand you or are not confident that you understand them. If interviewers feel uncomfortable around you, they will feel uncomfortable with you. The last thing you want to do is leave an interviewer with the impression that you are nice and talented, but that he could not tell if you understood what he was saying. Feeling like you cannot express yourself well can also cause you to lose well-deserved and much needed confidence.


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