Are you looking for a job, but it’s too complicated and exhausting? It’s even more exhausting when you’re called in for an interview.
Of course, it’s welcome to be called in for an interview; You have other things to worry about the interview.
That job interview you have to communicate in English!
How do I answer this question?
What will they ask next?
What do I have to say to impress them and make them choose me?
You have to calm down first.
Common English interview questions and answers
A bit of good news for you: Not every interview has to be complicated and burdensome. Most employers today ask interviewees (you) simple questions. So with a bit of preparation, you can speak well in your interview, even if your English is not very high.
- Classic Questions
- Questions About Your Work History
- Questions About You and Your Goals
- Wrapping-Up Questions
Tell me about yourself
After the initial greeting, the next thing the interviewer will probably ask you to do is talk about yourself.
Listen, this might sound easy to you because you’ve been practising speaking in your English class a lot, but be aware they don’t want to hear too much detail. Avoid saying things like:
They don’t want to know everything about you. Interviewers want to know about you and your career growth; they want to know about that aspect of the job you’re applying for.
Also, make sure you don’t use slang/net language or make any basic grammar mistakes when you speak.
I’ve been working as a junior chef at a small Italian restaurant for 2 years and my duties included assisting the head chef and preparing salads. I have always been interested in food and cooking which was why I chose to follow this career path. I studied at ******* college, where I gained my first level cooking diploma.
How Did You Hear About This Position?
Another seemingly innocuous interview question is a perfect opportunity to stand out and show your passion for and connection to the company. For example, if you found out about the gig through a friend or professional contact, name-drop that person, then share why you were so excited about the job. If you discovered the company through an event or article, share that. Even if you found the listing through a random job board, share what, specifically, caught your eye about the role.
What Can You Bring to the Company?
Here’s an opening to talk about something that makes you great—and an excellent fit for this role. When you’re answering this question, think quality, not quantity. In other words, don’t rattle off a list of adjectives. Instead, pick one or a few (depending on the question) specific qualities relevant to this position and illustrate them with examples. Stories are always more memorable than generalizations. And if there’s something you were hoping to mention because it makes you a great candidate, but you haven’t had a chance yet, this would be a perfect time.
What are your strengths?
When interviewers ask you this question, they want to know all of your positive qualities. These positive qualities need to be related to what they want and are looking for.
So before starting the interview, especially if you are a newbie and entering the workforce for the first time, make sure you do your research to see what type of person is suitable for the job.
Consider this question as an opportunity to advertise yourself – you are the product and now market yourself. It would help if you remembered here to list adjectives (which anyone can do) and to use examples to support your point.
For example, you could answer with any of the following:
To be punctual
I’m a punctual person. I always arrive early and complete my work on time. My previous job had a lot of deadlines (time when you must finish something by) and I made sure that I was organized and adhered to (respected) all my jobs.
To be a team-player
I consider myself to be a team-player. I like to work with other people and I find that it’s much easier to achieve something when everyone works together and communicates well.
To be ambitious
I’m ambitious. I have always set myself goals and it motivates me to work hard. I have achieved my goals so far with my training, education and work experience and now I am looking for ways to improve myself and grow.
To take initiative
When I work, I always take initiative. If I see something that needs doing, I don’t wait for instruction, I do it. I believe that to be get anywhere in life, you need this quality.
To be proactive
I’m proactive. When I think about things, I do them. I like to see results and it’s important in this industry to be proactive and responsible for your own actions.
To keep your head cool
I think it’s really important to be able to stay calm when you’re working as a reporter. It can get really stressful, but one of my greatest qualities is that I can keep my cool and I don’t allow the pressure to get to me, which helps me achieve all my goals and remain focused.
Here are some other words that can help you answer this question:
- Focused (Adj): To concentrate well.
- Confident (adj): Not shy.
- Problem-solver (N): Can find answers to problems easily.
- Team building skills (N): You’re able to take the lead and be the leader of the group.
- Negotiate (V): To be able to get a better deal that is favorable to you.
- To have a good work ethic (V): To work hard, follow the rules and respect your duties of the job.
NOTE: It’s essential that you come up with good, solid answers and back them up with decent evidence, or you’ll look like you’re rereading your essay. Some companies will not directly ask you what your strengths are; they will ask the same thing; they change the vocabulary a bit, such as:
- Why do you think we should hire you?
- Why do you think you’re the best person for this job?
- What can you offer us?
- What makes you a good fit for our company?
What are your weaknesses?
What? I don’t have any weak points! Of course, you have – who is perfect? Everyone has a weakness, but what they’re testing here is how you’re trying to fix your liability, and they also want to know your level of self-awareness (how well you know yourself).
Another tip here is to turn those weaknesses into positives. For example, your fault is that you spend too much time on projects that slow you down. Make it a good point by saying:
I sometimes am slower in completing my tasks compared to others because I really want to get things right. I will double or sometimes triple-check documents and files to make sure everything is accurate (correct).
Another great tip is to talk about weaknesses and mention some of the methods you’re using to help overcome them.
I have created a time-management system, which allows me to list all my duties and organize my deadlines so I have a clearer idea of what I need to do.
Questions About Your Work History
Why did you leave your last job?
If you are applying for a job for the first time, this question is not for you.
However, if you have had a previous job, the interviewer will want to discover why you left your last job. Did you go because you were fired? (Your ex-boss asked you to quit because you did something wrong). Have you quit your job? (Did you choose to stop working?) Or were you fired? (no longer needed because work is gone?).
If you choose to leave your old job, avoid saying anything negative about your former employer or workplace (even if this is true), or the person interviewing will only negatively look at you. You can say something like this:
- I’m looking for new challenges.
- I feel I wasn’t able to show my talents.
- I’m looking for a job that suits my qualifications.
- I’m looking for a job where I can grow with the company.
Tell Me About a Challenge or Conflict You’ve Faced at Work, and How You Dealt With It
To answer this question successfully, assure your interviewer that you are a good listener who can accept opposing views without getting upset. You could also mention how conflict resolution should take place in a private space. Aim to provide an example if possible.
Example: “I actively readjust my attitude during a conflict situation. This means that I strive to listen to the other person’s point of view without becoming defensive. I also attempt to move the confrontation to a private space to avoid further complications.”
Tell us about your education
At this stage, the employer wants to know everything you have studied related to the job, such as regular courses or whether you have higher education (university, polytechnic, college). You don’t have to tell them everything you’ve done since elementary school, just the essential things.
- Degrees – 3-4 year college/university degree.
- Diploma – Short-term degree (e.g. 1 year) from college/university/polytechnic.
- Certificate – A certificate that you have taken a course. Make sure you don’t lack any necessary documents because all of them are the strongest evidence to support your point!
If they ask to tell us about your academic record, they want to score you somewhere.
What Is Your Greatest Professional Achievement?
This is an example of a behavioural interview question, commonly used in interviews to assess skills and competencies through discussions about your past experiences.
- What you value most in life, how this can benefit the company and whether you are a good fit for the company’s culture.
- How you view success and whether this coincides with the company’s commercial goals.
- Whether you possess desired soft skills such as communication, leadership potential, teamwork, adaptability, creativity and problem-solving.
- Whether you have ambition and a drive to succeed. For example, if you had to fight hard for your greatest accomplishment.
Why Are You Leaving Your Current Job
Keep things positive—you have nothing to gain by being negative about your current employer.
For example, “I’d love to be part of product development from beginning to end, and I know I’d have that opportunity here.” And if you were let go from your most recent job? Keep it simple: “Unfortunately, I was let go” is an acceptable answer.
Questions About You and Your Goals
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Here, they’re asking about your future goals – things related to your career, not your personal life. So don’t even think about mentioning family. Be careful what you say here; you need to be ambitious, but NOT too ambitious, as the people interviewing you may see you as a (competitive) threat. You can change the way it says:
By then I will have…I would have liked to…
Improved my skills./ Created more of a name for myself in the industry (become more known for what you do). / Become more independent in what I do and productive (doing more). / Enhanced (improved) my knowledge. / Achieved a higher position. / Become a team leader…
What kind of salary do you expect?
They are asking you about the salary you expect to receive. Think it through and make sure you’ve done your research on the internet about the average wage. Please don’t say I don’t know; it makes you look less confident. Be confident and set yourself a price that doesn’t feel too low or too high.
The truth here is that they already have a salary, but this is how they check if you know the industry and if you know your skills.
Do you have any questions for me/us?
If you want to choose another way to prepare for an interview – a simpler, easier, and more enjoyable way – check out this video. The Fallon language coach will guide you through every essential step of an English job interview, from the introduction to the closing question.
Remember that they are still evaluating you when you answer this question. Don’t ask anything that makes you look like an idiot, like what kind of work your company does or how much vacation time I get each year? And if you don’t ask any questions, they can assume you’re not interested in the job. Try asking questions like:
- Do you have any examples of projects that I would be working on if I were to be offered the job? – This shows that you are interested in the real work, not just getting hired.
- What is the typical day for this position (job)? – Find out what kind of things you have to do every day.
- Does the company offer in-house training to staff? – This shows that you are not only interested in the job but also want to improve and develop yourself more.
- What is the next step? Here’s how to ask about the next stage in the interview process. They will let you know how many days it will take for them to make a decision and when you will be notified for the next interview.
Is There Anything Else You’d Like Us to Know?
When you thought you were done, your interviewer asked you this open-ended doozy. Don’t panic—it’s not a trick question! You can use this as an opportunity to close out the meeting on a high note in one of two ways, Zhang says. First, if there is something relevant that you haven’t had a chance to mention, do it now. Otherwise, you can briefly summarize your qualifications.
For example, Zhang says, you could tell: “I think we’ve covered most of it, but to summarize, it sounds like you’re looking for someone who can hit the ground running. And with my previous experience [enumerate experience here], I think I’d be a great fit.”
Job interviews aren’t as scary as people say. However, it would help if you remembered that first impressions are crucial – curl your tongue seven times before you speak, demonstrate fluent English skills, give the best answers, and the job is definitely in your hand. Friend. Good luck!
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