How to prepare a job interview in a second language

A job interview in English? Already overwhelmed? The words `job interview´ are not particularly associated to having fun, but here are some tips to overcome the obstacles and to successfully carry it out in English!

Practice with your teacher


A a job interview, a potential employer evaluates your candidacy, true. However, you are also considering whether you want to be part of the company values, the team, share tasks and time with new colleagues,… right?

In other words, you are also thinking about becoming their employee or not. You´ve been invited to an interview. That´s worth celebrating, isn´t it? Your cover letter and CV have made an impression!


Firstly, do your part when it comes to learning about the company and the role. Gather vocabulary to talk about your education, your work skills and your work experience. You can start by reading or listening to the news or even singing songs -in English, of course- out loud.

You will shape up your general vocabulary, expressions and it will also help with linkers –all those words that link, introduce or contrast ideas. By reading out loud, you´ll get used to listening to yourself in English and how you sound in English.

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It is very important to feel confident about how you sound when speaking in another language, and these exercises should help. Another fun exercise is watching foreign films or series. Studying can be easy when it´s relevant to you and you´re enjoying it! When watching TV, have a notebook handy so you can write down new words that you may want to learn.

Find somebody who can help you with pronunciation, like an english teacher. A language buddy can help to get more fluent, while also enjoying conversation.

The interview

Once you feel you are ready to talk about work and to have a relaxed conversation –as much as possible!-, then you can start working on the questions and answers. Oh, those horrible interview questions! Who doesn´t hate them, right?

Unfortunately, questions are an essential part of an interview, and they will probably stay the same from interview to interview. Perhaps it would be a good idea to go through them slowly:

  • Put all those questions on paper and think of the necessary vocabulary in order to answer them.
  • Add words to link your ideas, and to make you sound genuine and interesting as well!
  • Once again, become excited about those jobs that you left behind, the long years of studying –argh, those exams!- and all you´ve learnt along your (career) path–also called skills! They are partly responsible for who and how you are today, and what can help you get that interview!

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  • Try answering with different words, so you become comfortable with the vocabulary and using a variety of options to express yourself in. Remember to think of how to prhase those questions in many ways too.
  • Never learn your answers by heart. It will give them the impression that you are an android and not sticking to the truth. Your aim is to always, always, sound convincing, confident and authentic in your reponses.


Of all these tips, the most important one is to practice, practice, practice. Do it out loud until you are comfortable with your own words. Enjoy the interview and, most of all, the learning experience: you will learn lost of amazing and useful things. More importantly, you are investing in your self-improvement and your own career!

I hope you find these tips useful. They have worked for my customers –and myself!- over the years, so give them a chance. Enjoy learning and good luck at the interview!

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