If you have a job interview in English lined up, you might want to give this post a read. I’m going to present some language that you can use to answer the most common questions interviewers usually ask.
As an interviewee, you’re likely to be asked the four following questions:
What are your strengths?
Here are some expressions/words that you might want to use to address this question:
- I’m good at + doing something: I’m good at planning / dealing with people;
- I’m good with + something: I’m good with numbers;
- People say I’m..: people say I’m very hard-working;
- I’ve often been praised for + skills / doing something: I’ve often been praised for my organisational skills / being always on time;
- My time management is excellent;
- I’m reliable;
- to cope with something: I can cope with stressful situations;
- to strive + to do something: I always strive to meet deadlines / achieve my goals;
- I’m particularly proud of + skills: I’m particularly proud of my ability to deal with multiple tasks;
What are your weaknesses?
- I find it difficult + to-infinitive: I find it difficult to say ‘no’;
- I struggle with + someone/ something / doing something: I sometimes struggle with people who don’t work hard / prioritising;
- I have trouble + doing something: I occasionally have trouble prioritising tasks;
- I used to + infinitive but now: I used to have difficulties in prioritising* but I have now learnt ..;
>>> I’d suggest that you use adverbs like ‘sometimes’ or ‘occasionally’ in your response to make your answer sound ‘less negative’. Also by using ‘I used to + infinitive‘ you’re underlining that you’ve worked on your weakness and finally overcome it.
*Notice the structure: to have difficulties in + doing something.
Tell me about your experience/ your current job.
- to be in charge of: as a Sales Director, I’m in charge of strategic planning;
- to be responsible for: as a Sales Director, I’m responsible for strategic planning;
- to lead a team: I lead a team of five people;
- my main duties include + (doing) something: my main duties include strategic planning and setting targets etc;
- my field is + sector/ science / industry: my field is human resource / psychology ..;
What made you apply for this job?
- I think this job is a perfect match for my skills
- I think this job would suit me because…
- I want to bring my career to the next level
- I think it would be both challenging and rewarding
- My aim is to become XXXX in five years time;
- I’d like to move on in my career as a Sales Director and this looks like an excellent opportunity;
Grammar you need to revise
Make sure you revise the following grammar before your interview:
- Present Perfect: I have worked in my current job for 12 years / since 2002*;
- Past Simple: I worked for 5 years in marketing before starting working for XXX;
- Present Perfect Continuous: (lately) I have been working on a very important project..;
- 2nd Conditional: If I was offered the job, I’d be able to start in a month (using the 2nd conditional makes you sound less pretentious 🙂
*for+ period of time (two days, three months, five hours)
since+ point in time (2010, April, Tuesday, five o’clock)
Hope this helps and good luck 🙂