Interview Tips for Non-English Speaking Job Seekers

Interview Tips for Non-English Speaking Job Seekers

If you are not a native English speaker, you may feel intimidated during one part of the job search in particular – the job interview. While it is normal to feel worried about a job interview, you should not let your language gap stand in the way of you speaking and behaving professionally in a job interview. In fact, being bilingual is a desirable skill in workplaces.

You can conquer your interview fears by taking a few steps to prepare. By far, the best way to gain confidence before the job search begins is to enroll in an intensive and proven English as a Second Language program such as the language training offered at Los Angeles ORT College. LA ORT’s program is designed to help non-English speaking job seekers learn English well enough to find work in America.

Additionally, here are some other tips to help you shine during your job interview.

Consider Standard Interview Questions

A job interview requires you to listen and speak well in English. You can prepare by considering the standard interview questions and practicing. For example, practice answering the following questions in English:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Tell me about your past work experiences.

Review the Job Description and Work Vocabulary

When you interview for a job, you want to be aware of what the job requires. By reviewing the job description, you can think about why you are qualified and practice explaining your qualifications in English. Similarly, you should be familiar with the English vocabulary used in this work environment.

adult business interview

Think Before You Speak

Instead of rushing to answer the interview questions, aim to pause after each question. This brief pause will give you time to form your thoughts. In some cases, you may need to ask for clarification. It is better to ask for clarification to ensure you answer the question to the best of your ability.

Answer Questions Directly

Your answers should be direct and brief – approximately 1 – 2 minutes per answer. Interviewers would rather get a short and simple answer than a rambling one. As a non-native English speaker, you want to avoid long-winded, rushed answers.

Enunciate and Speak Slowly

In a job interview, it is important to enunciate and speak slowly. The interviewer must be able to understand your answers to determine if you are the best candidate for the job. If it seems like the interviewer did not understand your answer, repeat it and try to enunciate more clearly. However, you should not apologize for your accent.

Show Your Bilingual Strengths

Accents show your international background which is sought after in many jobs. Being bilingual is a strength! Take advantage of this trait and look for opportunities to show the employer why it is beneficial to this job position.

Stop and smile sign

Dress Appropriately and Wear a Smile

The way you dress to an interview says as much as the words that come out of your mouth. Therefore, it is important to dress for the job you want or wear something appropriate for the profession. Plus, you should remember to smile!

LA ORT’s ESL Program Focuses on Vocational Preparation

LA ORT’s ESL Program is designed with you in mind! Our goal is to help non-English speakers, like yourself, become successful members of American society by giving them the English interview skills they need to enter the American job market. Visit or call the ORT career college in Los Angeles near you at (800) 998-2678 to see how LA ORT can help you learn English and secure American employment.