Congratulations—you’ve got a phone interview! The phone interview is often the first step to getting your dream job. It means that your application impressed the employer. Well done!
Interviews of any kind can be scary, especially when they’re not in your native language. However, don’t worry. If you are well prepared, you will be able to perform well. Read our top tips for doing well in a phone interview in English.
1. First Impressions Count
It can be tempting to take a phone interview in bed in your pyjamas. But what you are wearing and how you are seating or standing can change how you feel and sound.
Dress as if you are going to the interview and sit at a desk with a pen and paper to hand, and remember to smile. Make sure that you answer the phone in English and introduce yourself. This will make you seem professional before the interview even begins. Even if interviewers can’t see you, dressing professionally will help to give you confidence. Smiling while talking will also help you sound friendly.
Also, take the time to ask pleasantries. A simple ‘how are you?’ or ‘how is your day going?’ is polite. Whatever your language level in English language lessons, using these tips can help your interview start strong.
2. Resist Looking Up Translations
One of the good things about a phone interview is that you can have your laptop to hand and quickly look up any words or phrases that you’re not sure of.
Whilst this may seem like a great idea, it can interrupt the flow of the conversation. The hiring manager will be able to hear you typing, which can make it seem like you’re not interested. You may also miss important bits of information and get distracted from the conversation.
Focus on listening instead, and don’t be afraid to ask the hiring manager to repeat one or two questions if you’re not sure.
3. Speak Slowly and Clearly
If you’re nervous, it can be easy to start talking very quickly or mumble. As a non-native English speaker, you might have an accent, so it’s important to talk slowly and clearly so that the hiring manager can understand you.
4. Practise with a Native Speaker After English Language Lessons
The best way to prepare for an interview is to practise. If you have a friend who is a native speaker or a friend from your English speaking course, see if they have a few minutes to do a mock interview. As well as this, look up common interview questions and rehearse your answers in English.
You can also record yourself speaking and listen to the recording for any mistakes or ways that you can improve.
5. Research in English
Lots of jobs have important technical language that you will need to know in English for the interview. Before any job interview, it’s important to spend some time researching the company and the role you are applying to. Try to do this in English if you can, as you will quickly pick up the vocabulary the company uses.
6. Remember, Being Bilingual Is an Advantage!
The most important thing you can do is stay positive! It can be easy to worry about your English not being good enough or about having an accent. But actually, being bilingual is a massive advantage.
Remember to highlight that you speak another language and have a good understanding of other cultures in the interview.
Do you want to learn more with an intensive English course?
Contact UK College of English to find out more!