Five interview tips for internationals and immigrants

You might feel like you want to be someone else while you interview. You might think that the company is more ‘cool’ or ‘business like’ than you. You may feel like you need to change yourself to feel more comfortable. Truth is, you will be the most comfortable being exactly who you are. Be who you are, not who you think the interviewer wants you to be. You are asking them to hire YOU, not someone else.

 2) Be confident.

Confidence is essential. Exude confidence while being sure that you do not come across as overbearing or arrogant. . Treat the interview as a business conversation in which you both have something to offer. They are offering a position and you are offering your skilled services and dedication to the company. Tell the interviewer(s) why they should invest in you and try to minimize what the interviewer perceives of as risk.

 3) Do not try to fix your English before an interview.

If English proficiency is what concerns you don’t start worrying a day or two or even two weeks before the interview. Be proactive and enroll in more advanced ESL courses. If you have concerns about your accent, enroll in an accent reduction program. If it’s too late to start working on your English before the interview don’t fixate on the issue and let it bother you. This will only shake your confidence or throw you off. Confidence communicates competence and is extremely important in an interview – more important than English skills. If you posses sufficient English skills to reasonably apply don’t let your perceived issues prevent you from going for the job.

 4) Speak up.

If someone questions moves you have made in the past don’t be afraid to offer explanations or clarify. If something in your past is glaring, like missing work history, be proactive and bring up the issue before they do. That way you won’t be on the defense.

 5) Promote yourself.

Promoting yourself is not bragging about yourself. It’s letting your potential employer know what skills and abilities you have to offer. Different cultures view talking about one’s strengths differently. You don’t have to talk about yourself constantly but listen for opportunities in the conversation to talk about your skills, ability, and knowledge. Offer examples of how you have solved problems, accomplished objectives, and reached goals. How did you use your skills, ability, and knowledge? And what were the results?