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Be your best: Interview tips for second-language Zoomers

Published: Sept. 7 2020

Are you a second language English speaker who’s got a Zoom interview coming up?

Here’s some sympathy – it’s hard enough to do an in-person interview in a different language, much less a virtual one.

And here’s some advice – a few tips to help you get through your question & answer session:

  • Try and find out beforehand how many people will be at your interview.
    This will give you some idea of how many faces will be on your screen.
  • Write/Print out a list of questions you have about the position beforehand.
    Having it in front of you will help you keep track of the conversation.
  • Write/Print out a list of standard questions you think will be asked.
    Practice answering them beforehand as this will also boost your confidence.
  • When the interview starts, try and concentrate on what the first speaker is saying. 
    You’ll most likely hear a description of 1) the position 2) interview process.
  • When asked a question, ask the person to repeat it if you don’t understand.
    This will give you time to formulate a response before speaking yourself.
  • When answering, try and get to the point right away, avoiding long explanations.
    This will give your listener(s) confidence that you’ve understood them.
  • After answering, if you feel it’s appropriate, ask if they’ve understood you.
    This will show them that you care about good communication.
  • When wrapping up, remember to thank your interviewers for their time.
    You’d be surprised how many people forget this part!
  • Remember to smile – or at least keep a pleasant expression on your face.
    Again, it’s surprising how so many people forget to do this – or think that they have to look serious in order to be taken seriously.
  • Finally, if you can get ahold of the e-mail addresses of your interviewers, send them a short note the same day thanking them for their time.

Follow these tips to make sure you do your best to ‘zoom’ into a new job.

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