You never get a second chance to make a first impression
Tips for job interviews in English
Try to predict the questions you are likely to be asked.
Be prepared with the company profile.
Rehearse the interview.
Give reasons for what you say.
Dare to ask questions.
Make sure you sound enthusiastic, still natural.
Maintain eye contact.
Although it’s advisable to show good vocabulary, make sure to come up with expressions you can use safely and naturally. If you force something you do not know, it will give you away. Well-chosen vocabulary is recommended but don’t be too sophisticated. Maintaining a natural flow of speech with the relevant expressions is aimed at. Check the technical terms of the field you are applying for.
Certainly you should be articulate, understandable and easy to follow, you don’t have to worry about your Hungarian accent. However, be sure to pay attention to word stress and sentence stress. It’s very important to put the stress in the right place in a word and put the short pauses in the sentence for the audience to be able to follow your speech with ease. Rehearse your interview by talking to someone, in front of a mirror or simply speaking aloud.
Apply appropriate grammar. Present Perfect or any form of Passive Voice is always welcome but don’t overuse them. If you say ‘when’ in the past or give details of a past event, be careful to use the Past tenses. Let Present Perfect come only when you talk about something that has happened ’so far’ or has ’just’ happened (without referring to any point of time).
“Last year I went to five interviews. Finally in December I was offered a promising opportunity to join a company but I refused it because of the unsociable working hours. This year I’ve gone on four and haven’t found the right one yet but I feel it’s on the way now.”
An Imaginary job interview
— Please talk about your studies.
— I graduated with a BA in Economics in 2002. I also hold an MBA in Marketing,
which I completed two years ago.
— What do you know about our company?
— You have been on the market for 18 years now as one of the leading service providers in Hungary. You offer a wide range of services from … to … specialised in …
— What attracted you to this position?
— I would like to use more of my skills and be part of a team. It would also give me the opportunity to utilize my previous experiences I obtained during the years so it’s more suited to my skills.
— What skills do you think are essential for this job?
— First of all it requires organisational skills as most of the work is done with the cooperation of several departments. Then negotiation skills are also vital to present ideas and convince clients efficiently and gain support from others.
— Describe your greatest achievement.
— Let me highlight one of my successful projects where my role was to assist a team and work out strategies to communicate with the target market efficiently. It was implemented in 2010. Practically I was in charge of managing the project as my boss was away for weeks those days. We tested new techniques and approaches and I made some suggestions as to how we could arrange a more practical and usable method. It was a kind of a quality assurance system.
— Why do you want to leave your current workplace?
— In my current position I’m not satisfied with the challenges. It involves a lot of paperwork and data analysis which takes up more of my time than it should. This way I’m not able to concentrate on productive work fully. I cannot make use of either my creativity or my experiences entirely in those tasks.
— What would you highlight as your strengths?
— I’m quite good at problem solving. I can work out creative solutions and apply them if they can work considering the possible outcomes and then implementing the most effective one. In teamwork I’m adaptable. I can find my role easily in a team fitting in the whole as a fostering background. I can also adapt to different management styles.
— What are your weaknesses?
— I can be a bit straightforward when it comes to reaching my goals. Also, I sometimes procrastinate so I make sure to update my calendar and answer my e-mails as soon as I can and this helps.
— Why should we hire you?
— My commitment and relevant experiences make a really good pair to take on the task. My abilities fit this job perfectly and I sincerely believe my values can contribute to the company reputation.
— How would your colleagues describe you?
— Sociable, reliable and enthusiastic. I know because they always say.
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