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3 ways to navigate a group interview for non-native English speakers

Non-native English speakers may not realize a few cultural norms to keep in mind when preparing to navigate the job acquiring process. It can actually be a good time to brush up on interviewing skills altogether, and in this case, we'd like to share with you a few tips to keep in mind when navigating group interviews.

More than likely, you are a person who has taken advantage of some educational or training program or you may be one who has been trained in your respective countries and have relocated to start your life in the USA. Well, once you have submitted your resume, CV or other credentials, you may find that employers use a variety of methods to interview and get to know their applicants. Some of these techniques will include a phone interview, interview via web conferencing, personal one-on-one interview or perhaps even a group interview. Group interviews are becoming increasingly popular as they teach and showcase so many different variables that hiring managers are seeking to learn from potential new hires before making their final selection.

Here are 3 ways for non-native English speakers to help prepare you for your group interview:

  • Tip 1 - Leverage your international experiences as a positive attribute for companies to consider. Certainly your diverse background can provide a win-win situation for your company due to your additional skills speaking several languages, interacting with diverse groups of people and bringing strategic ideas to the workplace. Leverage your travels, education and training in such a way that will continue to peak the interests of your hiring team. For instance, you could write the mission of the organization in your native language as well as in English. Use the fact that you speak Spanish, French, Italian or other languages and will be glad to help translate to potential clients or use your language skills and cross-cultural knowledge to help the company meet its goals. In short, you are encouraged to use your diversity as a plus. Don't shy away from it, use it to enhance your career goals.
  • Tip 2- Have a plan as you enter the interview. Become an experienced interviewer by researching the company via their website. Scroll until you locate their press releases and their mission statement. Be certain to incorporate your knowledge of the companies mission into your communication. Bring 5 or more questions to ask the interviewers during your interview. Such preparation will tag your candidacy as a professional who is aware of how to best meet the companies needs.
  • Tip 3 - Be mindful of your cologne, oil, or other scents that may draw unnecessary attention to yourself. This may be an area that no none has ever mentioned to you. As you attend interviews and interact with companies who may not be as familiar with your cultural norms where certain oils, fragrances and scents maybe highly valued, when attending interviews and interacting with companies who are seeking to hire qualified applicants, this may be viewed as having an offensive or inappropriate body odor in the workplace. This is such a sensitive area of concern that you may have never considered. For the sake of your interview and securing your job, it is recommended to use an antibacterial soap, such as Dial to help address this issue.

Keep in mind that you may be required to prepare a presentation of at least 10 minutes to the panel. Professionals are professional because of the manner in which they behave. Be sure to prepare responses to simple interview questions with the company's goals in mind as well as the industry trends for your respective professional area. Martin Yates, leading career professional states that there are a few questions that interviewers are looking for when interviewing:

  1. Can this person do the job that we need them to do with minimal ramp up time?
  2. Will she or he fit with the team?
  3. Can he or she handle the supervision of _?
  4. Will I be looking for a replacement within 6 months because they left?
  5. Are they looking for advancement right away leaving me to look for a replacement within 6 months?

We hope that non-English speakers have found value in this article. Check out the video, "Speaking A Foreign Language Most Sought-After Job Skill". Here's wishing you all the best in your next group interviews.

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