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Useful English: how to succeed in a job interview

BROKINNEWS interviewIf 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 🙂
Deb