How to Ace a Job Interview in a Foreign Language
Guest post written by Rachel Jackson.
Handling a job interview in a foreign language can make you feel twice as anxious – not only do people naturally get nervous before a job interview, but, incorporating a foreign language, adds a whole new layer of complexity by making the situation feel extra stressful. Although it’s easier said than done, it’s absolutely possible to ace a job interview in a foreign language. It’s all about the time you spend preparing.
Tell the Truth About Your Proficiency
Getting off on the wrong foot with a potential employer by being dishonest might be a mistake you can’t come back from. If you aren’t fluent in the foreign language at hand, be honest with the company and your interviewer. Sometimes, it’s a show of good faith to demonstrate that you recognize your shortcomings and you’re eager to learn. Tell them how you intend to continue studying and refining your proficiency.
Familiarize Yourself with Niche Terminology
Get all the niche terminology that you can and make sure you understand it. Whether you found the job on a corporate website or a job board, a description of the duties, titles, and responsibilities should exist somewhere online. These niche terms are unlikely to be common knowledge if you aren’t an expert speaker of this foreign language. Making sure, that you understand special terminology before the interview, will help you communicate with grace and ease.
Rehearse Common Questions and Answers
Some questions are routine and commonplace in job interviews, no matter what language they’re being conducted in. Look these questions up and rehearse your answers. Employer review websites may mention the exact questions candidates were asked during their first interview. These questions typically probe at vital information, such as qualifications, education, career background, and why you’re drawn to the position. While, you can’t possibly prepare for everything they’re going to ask you, you’ll significantly limit the amount of time you have to think on your feet if you’re able to keep a few responses on the backburner.
Bring as Many Visual Aids as Possible
The more you can show, the less you have to explain. If you can type up documents and create presentations or example portfolios in the foreign language, you’ll have enough time to check your translations before you show them off. You won’t need to explain or scramble in the moment to get your point across. Showing, is sometimes more valuable than telling, and going the extra mile to bridge gaps in communication and transcend language barriers, will show your commitment to securing the position.
Spend Extra Time Speaking the Language
If you haven’t spoken the language aloud in a very long time, you’re going to wind up warming up in real time. Start thinking in the language a few days before the interview. Make an effort, when appropriate, to speak your thoughts aloud. If the language is very different from your native tongue, the accent may be contrary to the way you’re usually speaking. Without a proper accent, the things you say may be difficult to understand or not make sense. Immerse yourself in the other language. If you can watch a TV show or listen to music where the foreign language is spoken, you’ll keep everything fresh in your mind.
It’s never too early to start preparing for a foreign language job interview. The more you practice, the better off you’ll be. Worse case scenario, you can always equip your phone with a live translation app that will help you get through the harder parts.
Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at Brighter Finance – a place where you can learn how to manage your finances.