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Interview Tips for English Learners

June 18, 2015

An interview is the first impression you make on a company, so it is understandably very important to enter the interview with confidence. With these interview tips for English learners, you will learn how to prepare for an interview so that you can navigate the questions (in English!) with ease.


Interview Tips for English Learners

Interview Tips for ESL Students

As with any internship or job, CISL Host Companies require students to interview for their position. An interview is always something that makes people nervous, but interviewing in another language (and in another country) can be very intimidating for students! To help you prepare, we have a list of Interview Tips for your interview with an American company. 

1. Dress for success

An interview always requires you to look your best. Make sure that you look neat and clean and that you have a professional, business-appropriate outfit. Your CISL Career English Coordinator can help you find the perfect attire.

2. Come prepared, physically and mentally

As with any big day, make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before and eat a good meal prior to your interview.

Before the meeting, make sure that you have researched the company and understand its history and structure. Be sure to bring the following things to your interview:

  • A copy of your CV
  • A notebook and pen so you can take notes

3. Arrive early

Arrive 10-15 minutes early for an interview (although expect to wait). Bring something to keep yourself busy, but avoid using your smartphone: this looks unprofessional.

4. Be polite and friendly

Remember to shake hands with your interviewer, and use a firm handshake. This is an important first impression to make! You can practice first impressions with your Career English Coordinator if you are are nervous.

5. Body language is important

Look your interviewer in the eye, and don’t forget to smile! This is a key part of American business.

When you are interviewing, make sure that you have great posture. Sit up straight, place your hands in your lap (or take notes) and listen attentively. Nod your head while the interviewer is speaking to show that you are listening and processing information.

6. Ask questions

During any interview you will, of course, be asked many questions, and you should provide useful and detailed answers. But also make sure that you have some questions for the interviewer: this shows that you researched the company, are interested in the business, and have given thought to your place in the company.

7. Say “Thank you”

Shake hands again when you leave, and be sure to thank the interview for their time.

When you go home, it is important to send a follow up email once again thanking them for meeting you. And, of course, you must let your Career English Coordinator know how the interview went: he or she will be excitedly waiting for details!

CISL is proud to offer a Career English Course that provides students the opportunity to take intensive English lessons and then spend time in a professional American company. The program is a great way to learn about the American business model while improving your real-life English skills.

Click here to learn more about our Career English Program and its opportunity to practice your English skills in a professional, working environment. Or, watch our video below about the experiences of a Career English graduate. 

CISL Career English Program from Converse International School on Vimeo.

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