Interview in another language

Have you ever had an interview in another language and what did you do to prepare?

I have an interview in Spanish in about two months time, how I am currently preparing myself Is just reading as much as I can everyday to increase my known words and listening for 3 hours everyday and again this is my target.

looking forward to reading everyone’s replies!

Yes, I have had about a dozen interviews in foreign languages, most of them included both English and another language. Some interviews went extremely well and gave me a new job, some were a disaster:)
In my opinion the most important part is to warm-up your brain and get it used to a given language especially in terms of speaking. So normally I tried to have a long conversation the day before, and then while on my way to the interview I was just silently talking to myself, it didn’t need to be anything related to the job, just making me warmed-up so that while crossing the doors and greeting the recruiters I could just continue to speak in that language if asked to.
Be prepared to be able to say about your positive and negative features of character and generally describe yourself in Spanish. I would recommend you to revise words like hard-working, dilligent, patient etc.
I don’t know how it is in the UK, but here a great majority of language interviews check your speaking skills rather than grammar or writing so several days before the interview I always moved away from reading/writing and devoted more time to speaking with natives or just with myself.
Sadly, probably due to stress, the language skills I presented at the interviews were almost always one level below my real skills.
In general I don’t think you can really prepare yourself for an interview as you never know what questions will be there and which words you may be missing. I would just continue my general studies, because if I started to call it a preparation time I would get stressed very quickly:) Only a couple of days before the interview I would prepare a few most common questions and then warm-up my brain.

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this sounds like a great idea I feel like I need to keep doing what I am doing which is just loads of input reading/listening then maybe 2 weeks before try to speak as often as I can and prepare myself for the interview! and I might even create myself an anki desk of my industry which is IT

Sounds perfect to me.

Wow how do you listen for 3 hours? I’m guessing a large part of that is doing other things like being en-route to work, doing the dishes, exercising etc?

being completely honest it is bloody hard to meet that target, but yes I do it whenever I have free time ( cooking , driving, cleaning , shopping ) basically whenever I am not at work I am working towards my target of 3 hours a day of listening to Spanish.

Yup I think that’s the best strategy for listening. As long as you have read the text for the audio beforehand, passive listening in that regard is highly beneficial. Thanks man.

Yes, most of them in English but a few short ones in Spanish and Portuguese too, mainly to check if I really spoke these two languages.

I prepare them as I would prepare an interview in French… I write down some strengths and weaknesses, think about examples to “prove” my assumptions… I make sure I can describe my skills and work experiences in English, rehearsing a few times. And I learn about the company from what I can find on the internet. I don’t really like to prepare this kind of things since it’s important to be relaxed. The worst ones were those I prepared the most. I had an interview with an Irish company once and they gave me themes to prepare beforehand, as well as tips as to how to describe my experiences and myself. Well, I shouldn’t have followed their rules. :stuck_out_tongue:

Also, it depends a lot on the kind of interview you’ll have and who will be the interviewer(s). If it’s with HR staff, odds are they’ll ask you some tricky questions like your strengths and weaknesses and such… With operationnal staff it’s generaly much smoother, they’re more interested in checking that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re not a freak since they will be the ones working with you.

You should be focusing on conversing, not reading. I’m not saying you should stop doing other stuff; I’m just saying conversation should be on the top of your list.

that might also be a good idea, never if my life did I ever think I could ever have an interview in another language!

I had an interview in German many years ago. It wasn’t for a job, but for academics. It went ok, considering I never met my interviewer before and had zero prep.

I help my foreign clients prep for job interviews very often. My service typically takes 10-15 hours, done over several appointments.

I start by having them read a rather important 2015 article by Lazlo Bock called “Win Every Interview with these 6 Steps.” Bock was Google’s SVP of People Operations. Google knows a thing or two about hiring extremely bright, competitive, and highly skilled employees.

I ask my clients questions about the article to check for their understanding. We go over vocabulary. Then I say, “Considering Bock’s advice that you’ve just read, what might you do to prepare for your interview?”

Next, after starting to form a plan, I show them a list of “performance based interview questions.” These are used in structured interviews, typically given by recruiters for giant multinationals in first round interviews (which is a job I had for 2 years). An example might be “Describe a situation in which you had to use your communication skills in presenting complex information. How did you determine whether your message was received?”
Or “Tell me about a time when you needed to convince a group of peers to follow your plan, implement your strategy, or take action. How did you persuade them and what were the results?”

After that, we use Monster’s “100 top job interview questions—be prepared for the interview”. These are very typical job interview questions.

I ask my client to write the answers to the top 5 for homework
1 Tell me about yourself.
2 What are your strengths?
3 What are your weaknesses?
4 Why do you want this job?
5 Where would you like to be in your career five years from now?

The next day I check the homework and make corrections to the writing. Then I ask the same 5 questions again in a different order. Just for practicing delivery.

Then I reverse the situation and have my student pretend to be the interviewer and I answer the questions (for myself).

Next we start going through some performance based questions. I give some example answers. Then I have my client try.

We continue doing this practice again and again, mixing typical questions from monster with the more difficult to answer performance based questions. We repeat some questions a few times for practice.

So… try practicing those interview questions in Spanish with a partner :slight_smile: You might want to record all your practices too, so you can listen and analyze them later


those interview questions look super super intimidating!!

I think I could just about answer them in English more than likely not in Spanish!

Speak as much as you can until then, train speaking even alone, imagining all they could ask and what you culd tell them. Reading and listening is great but it’s not enough. You’ll need to be able to answer spontanously to any question. Ask friends, natives, tutors to put you in the situation and ask you questions like they would do the day of the interview.

Train speaking as much as you can until then, even alone. Imagine what they can ask and what you would answer and say it out loud. Reading and listening is great but it’s not the most important. You’ll need to be able to anwser spontanuously to any question, so it’s important that speaking becomes automatic in order to be able to focus on the meaning and the message you want to say, try to be yourself. That’s only possible if you don’t need to focus on how to say things. Ask your friends, natives, tutors to ask you questions and answer as if it was the interview, look for everything you don’t know how to say and train again. The more you’ll speak, the more confident you’ll feel that day.

thanks this is a good idea my speaking has lacked lately as all I have been doing is input activities