English for job interviews

Have a job interview coming up and are worried about your english speaking skills? That's Ok, even native speakers are nervous during interviews. I have worked with my students to prepare for potential job interviews in the past, which is why I am sharing this script. You can study for these like a test, and I have written a script with possible questions and possible answers that you can refer to if you are nervous! Although this may be useful for reference, it is important to note that you should be yourself in the interview. An honest interview will result in the best outcome for you and the employer! They probably want to get to know what you are like to work with, so just be yourself.

  1. Why do you want this job?

  2. I can really utilize my strengths here.

  3. I like how you run your organization. 

Answer a. provides an opening to talk about your skills and what you are good at. Answer b. allows for you to compliment the workplace, because what you like about the workplace will show your knowledge of the position.

Key word: Utilize- To put in use

2. What is something you can bring to the job?

  1. I am responsible and hardworking.

  2. I am a people person.

  3. I am a great problem solver.

Key words: Responsible- trustworthy, People person- you like to talk to people.

3. What type of salary do you want? 

  1. I was paid X at my last job...

This one is a common question, and can be daunting. Make sure to research a typical salary for that job, or reference your old one.

4. What are your weaknesses? 

  1. I want to improve on my sales skills.

  2. I want to take more initiative at work. 

  3. My skills are good, but I want to become more well rounded. 

This is a really tough question. Who wants to talk about what they are bad at? Try to frame this on how you can be a better worker, and willing to put in effort for the company.

Key words: Initiative- be independent, Well rounded- good at many things.

5. How do you work with others?

  1. I enjoy working as a team.

  2. I am respectful of everyone.

  3. I like being able to listen to new ideas. 

  4. I enjoy collaboration.

All of these answers describe someone who works well with others. b. is a good option if you are not very social, but still shows that you are good at working with others.

Key word: Collaboration- Working with others.

6. How would your boss or co-workers describe you?

  1. Punctual and hardworking.

  2. Respectful and a team player. 

  3. I take lots of initiative.

  4. Very organized. 

In answer c., we use initiative again. We use initiative almost like a noun, even though it is an adjective. You can't be initiative. Put an action word (give, provide, take) before the word "initiative" to turn it into an action.

7. What type of work environment do you prefer? 

  1. I like when people are open to new ideas. 

  2. I like organization and mutual respect. 

  3. An efficient and reliable workplace. 

Key words: Mutual- both parties, efficient- works fast and well, reliable- trustworthy

"Work environment" is another way to say workplace.

I like practicing job interviews with students because it is nice to become confident in. As well, it is a way for me to get to know my students better. The way I have taught this is like conversational or travel english, where grammar comes into explanation after practice, because the worst thing would be to be too worried about grammar rules during your interview. Good luck!


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