Resources: Notes on Life and Language in the United States

ESL Job Interview Lesson | 4 Common Questions

Posted by Lindsay McMahon on Sat, Apr 30, 2011 @ 12:48 PM

ESL job interview lessonToday we have an ESL job interview lesson for you. There are 4 questions that are commonly asked in job interviews. If you are from another country, it is important to know that the interview questions might be quite different from the questions that you are used to in your home country.  So what can you do before, during and after the interview to make sure you get the job? Keep reading for some ideas and advice.

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Before the Interview:


Background Research

Always research the company before attending the interview. You can get a lot of information from their website. You should try to find the answers to these questions-What is the history of the company? What is the size and organizational structure? Who are the important people? What are the company's values?


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4 Common Interview Questions:


  • "Tell us about yourself"

This is used as the first question in a lot of interviews in the US. It can be tricky because it is very open-ended. You should discuss your skills, experience and knowledge and how they are directly related to the job and the company's values.


  • "What do you see yourself doing in five years?"

Try not to mention specific job titles or positions that you would like to attain. Instead, focus on describing the way that you want to grow as a professional and show how your goals align with the position for which you are interviewing.


  • "Why do you want to work for this company?"

For this question, it's important to have your background research  that you did before the interview. Try to highlight the company's mission, goals or strengths and show how you can fit into the company.


  • "What has been the most difficult situation that you have encountered in your career?"

To answer this question, you could give an example of a problem that challenged you, where the final outcome was positive. In your answer, you should emphasize your maturity, professionalism, common sense and other positive qualities.



After the Interview




The interview is not finished when you step out the door!  A few days after the interview, it is important to send a thank you note. In the note, you should emphasize your interest in the position and thank the interviewer for his or her time. You can send the letter by email or through the mail.



Things to Remember about Interviewing in the United States


  • The interviewer's questions will probably be very direct. While you practice for your interview, get to know your own cultural communication style.


  • Eye contact is very important. It is a sign of respect and people will view you as more trustworthy if you make eye contact.


  • The interview continues after you walk out of the room- in the United States, the interviewer will expect a thank you email or letter. This is a great opportunity to show your professionalism and your interest.



Was this article helpful? If so, please share it on Twitter! Thanks a lot for your help and good luck with your next interview!




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Topics: English Lessons, United States Culture, Business English Vocabulary

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