The day of your interview in English, it’s normal to feel nervous. But the good news is, with the right preparation and practice you can be in control and sure of what to say in English.
The Truth about Feeling Nervous for a Job Interview in English
When students tell me they’re nervous about a job interview in English, my advice is to own it and control it.
Job interviews are designed to make us nervous. We know someone will judge our answers. Plus, someone else has the power to give us something we really want — a job — or take it away.
Doing an interview in another language increases the challenge and the pressure. So it’s natural to feel nervous.
But the good news is, with the right preparation and practice, you can be in control, stay calm, and know that you’re ready to an interview with confidence.
Here are the 4 steps to help you do that.
Step 1: Do the Right Research
A common mistake is to do a lot of research on how to answer job interview questions. That is a good step but there’s something even more important: research the company and the specific job description.
This helps you understand who you’re interviewing with and what the company really wants.
To do this, read the job description and information about the company to identify keywords: the skills, experience, qualities, and expertise they want. You should be sure to include these words in your resume and job interview.
Make a list of these qualifications and take it to the next step.
Step 2: Take Control with Preparation
With your list of qualifications, it’s time to plan for job interview questions and decide how to talk about yourself.
Talking about yourself and your strengths might feel uncomfortable. But there’s a simple way to help you take control and feel comfortable: use stories and examples from your past to demonstrate the qualifications you’ve listed.
Some are easy, such as technical skills. For example, do you have expertise in computer languages such as Java or Swift? Then you can share how long you’ve used this language and a specific program you wrote.
But what about soft skills such as friendly customer service or innovative leadership?
This is where my favourite strategy is helpful: the C.A.R. strategy. C.A.R. stands for circumstances, actions, and results. This is the same simple formula students learn to use in my Confident Job Interviews course.
Here’s how you can use it to easily talk about your experience:
Let’s imagine that you want to show that you’re good with customer service. The context might have been a mistake the company made and a very upset customer. What happened? Why did it happen? What was the situation? These are your circumstances.
Then you share the actions you took. Maybe you listened to the customer and understood what they needed. Maybe you found an innovative solution to the problem.
And finally, share the results. What happened in the end? Perhaps the customer stayed loyal to the company due to the positive customer service. Or maybe the customer doubled their order.
It’s as simple as that. Give the circumstances, share the actions you took, tell them about the results to tell a story that highlights your qualifications for the job.
Step 3: How to Practice for Confidence
Now it’s time to practice. Just thinking about your answers isn’t enough. To get confident, you need to say them out loud.
Imagine a piano player who only reads music, but never practices. How do you think they would perform at a concert?
Probably not well.
And the same is true preparing for a job interview. Find a place where you feel comfortable speaking aloud and give yourself time to practice your answers.
Do this daily before your interview.
Step 4: Refine and Perfect Your English Job Interview
If you want to perfect your answers to questions for a job interview in English and feel confident, take your practice to another level.
When you practice aloud, record yourself, then listen and analyse.
Listening to yourself gives you the opportunity to feel comfortable with how you speak and fix anything you don’t like.
Are you nervous about making mistakes during the interview? Record and listen to yourself to see what mistakes you make. Then practice to fix them and perfect your answer.
Worried about forgetting what to say in the interview? This process also gives you repetition so you lock the keywords and ideas in your mind.
You’ll be certain of your answers and ready to interview in English with confidence.
Check out Annemarie’s lesson on how to answer the number one job interview question Tell Me About Yourself.
Annemarie is the founder of Speak Confident English — an online English fluency training company created to inspire, educate, and coach international women on how to build the courage and confidence they need to be successful in English—for work and daily life.
Download her free English job interview training on Surprising Confidence Secrets for a Job Interview in English.