The Interview

The Interview

This is the ninth part of our series on meetings. Today we’re covering the special kind of meeting from the other side. The interview from an interviewee’s point of view.  So far we’ve covered informal, formal meetings, telephone conferences, in-house and supplier meetings.


Once you’re invited to an interview, you’ve successfully managed the first hurdles. Although, you might see the finish line remain focussed and concentrate on your goal. The most important aspect to consider is your preparation for the interview. Last week we focused on possible questions in English at an interview. This week we’re giving you possible answers to those questions. We’ve formatted the answers for you in bold and just like last week, we’ll cover the different phases. Possibly only part of the interview will be in English, however, the whole interview could also be held in English to test your language level and your stress level. 

Introductory Phase

  • Thanks for coming – Thank you for the invitation
  • Please feel free to ask any questions you may have – Thank you, I will
  • Did you have difficulties finding us? – No, not at all. The directions on your website were very clear
  • How was you journey? – Fine, thanks
  • Can I offer you any refreshments? – A cup of coffee would be great / Just a glass of water, thanks / I’m OK for the moment, thanks

The Procedure 

  • I’m going to start by … and then we’ll talk about … . Finally, we can deal with any points you would like to raise. – That’s sounds good / fine
  • We’re interviewing more people so I’ll be able to tell you something by the end of the week / next week. – I see, that suits me

The Job

During this phase you should concentrate on the information you’re hearing, as you could ask follow-up questions. d

  • We’re looking for someone who can lead a team – Can you tell me how big the team is? Is it an international team? 
  • It’s a challenging / demanding role – What would my responsibilities be? Who would I report to?
  • We need someone to deal with / manage / organise … – Will the position involve travelling to your various sites?
  • You would be responsible for … – Would I receive any kind of training?
  • You would receive training / a mentor for eight weeks – Could you please give me more details? What does the training include? Who would the mentor be and how often could we communicate?

The Questions

Here are possible responses you can use to talk about yourself, your education and experience. Be careful, some questions can be tricky! That’s why it’s all about preparation. 

  • Tell me about yourself – I’ve been working as a/an …for … Before that I studied at …
  • Tell us about your education – I studied at … and gained my degree …
  • What aspect of your job do you like best? – I really enjoy …
  • Can you tell us about /describe your last / present job? – I lead a team of … /My duties included …
  • What do you know about …? – I have had extra training for …
  • Why did you leave your last job? – I’m looking for new challenges / I’m looking for a job that suits my talents/ I’m looking for a job where I can grow with the company.
  • Please tell me what experience have you had of …? – I have experience in …
  • What exactly were your responsibilities in your previous position? In my previous position, I was responsible for …
  • Tell me about your strengths / weaknesses? 
  • What would you say your strengths and weaknesses are? – One of my strengths is the skill / ability to … / I’m good at … (-ing) / I’ve been told that I’m quite good at … / I feel my weakness is …
  • How would your colleagues describe you? – I get on well with people / like a challenge / I’m a fast learner / team player…
  • Why do you think we should hire you? List your positive traits together with what the interviewer is looking for.
  • What can you offer us? – I have a lot of experience in …
  • Can you give me an example of a situation when you had to use your initiative? – For example, in my last job …
  • Where do you see yourself in five years’ time / five years from now? – In five years, I want to be … / my goal is to …/ I would like to have 
  • What kind of salary do you expect? – The typical salary range for this position is … to …, so I would expect something within that.

The Final Phase

At the end you’d finish by asking the interviewee, if he or she has any questions you can answer and informing him or her when you will be in contact again.

  • Do you have any questions?
  • Would I receive any training for this job?
  • What would a typical day be like for someone in this position?
  • What would be my main duties?
  • Is there a probationary period?
  • When are you looking for someone to start?
  • What is the next step?
  • It was nice meeting you
  • Thank you, Mr/Ms Smith. I look forward to hearing from you. Please contact me if you need any further information.

So, there you have it!

That wraps it up for today. In case you’d like some help preparing for a job interview, then please just schedule a call with me click here to schedule a call and tell me about it. Are you interested in other business English skills? Then check out the post about listening here and about using your voice effectively here

One more thing

Yvette and I have a podcast called “Your English Podcast”.  You can find it on iTunes and on Spotify sign up for it, so you don’t miss the next episode.

Are you on social media? Let’s connect on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing and Twitter. 

Take care



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