Interview preparation in English: Highlight your experience and value

By 1 November 2017 Video lessons 6 Comments
Interview preparation in English

Hi there, and welcome to Speak English with Christina, where you’ll have fun becoming fluent in American English. And welcome back for bonus lesson number two on interview preparation in English. I’m really happy to see you back for this lesson on how to win more professional opportunities in English, so let’s go ahead and dive in.

Always be prepared: The key to advancing your career

First, a quick review of lesson number one in case you didn’t see it.
We learned

  • that opportunities can come anywhere, anytime, so you always must be prepared so that you avoid last-minute cramming and stress. (Cramming is where you try to prepare quickly for something in a short period of time, and generally it creates stress and not very good results).
  • how to introduce yourself in a professional way. So if you missed that lesson and you need to do this, go back and watch lesson number one.
  • that clear structures and simple sentences give you confidence and credibility when you’re speaking English.

Now, when you do all of that, you stand out, meaning you are remarkable.

The path to better opportunities and a better life

People notice you compared to the other candidates or the other people that they talk to.
You become credible and convincing, even in English.

This means that you get more opportunities, perhaps a better quality of life, a better salary, and just more excitement in your life because you have better opportunities.

Maybe even the possibility to work in a different country if that’s what you want to do. Some people it’s work in a different country, but some people it’s get a job that is closer to their home. But doesn’t matter, you get a better opportunity.

You get interesting projects, better opportunities, better career prospects. If you’re doing a job interview to change companies, to get a new job, or just trying to get a promotion inside your company or to be chosen for a really exciting mission, maybe in the U.S., I don’t know.

But if you’re credible with your English, you’re clear, you’re convincing, all of these opportunities become possible. And the online course Get The Job gives you the English that you need to get those new opportunities.

Like this woman in the photo, maybe you want to go to New York, but maybe you just want to get a better job in your own country.

Are you the right person for the job or for the mission?

This is what the interviewer is asking themselves. If I choose this person, am I making the right decision?

Which means that even in English, you need to show your personality, to be yourself, to be friendly, and sometimes this isn’t easy. I learned French, and for a long time I felt like I wasn’t myself in a different language. I didn’t have as fun of a personality. It’s really frustrating, that feeling, when you’re not yourself in a different language.

And in a different language, it does take extra effort to show that you’re a nice person, to show that you’re pleasant to work with, to show that you can make jokes, things like that. And your confidence level is important here. You can’t be terribly shy. You don’t have to be very talkative all the time, but you need to have confidence when you’re speaking in English.

We’re gonna help you to get more confidence today

First, two secrets that I like to call secrets because a lot of people don’t know this about job interviews in the U.S.

First, the recruiter expects a thank you note. And next week in fact, the regular Speak English with Christina episode is going to be all about thank you notes after an interview, so be sure to catch that.

And also, surprise telephone interviews are common practice, so you always must be prepared. What sometimes happens is the recruiter or the interviewer receives applications, they want to pre-screen before they choose who they meet, so they might call you, surprise, and ask you a few questions.

So you want to be prepared for this and not wait until you have an appointment for an interview. Because if you’re not prepared, you might not get that appointment.

So, little hint, join the list. Go to this page before Tuesday, November 7th, and you’re gonna get some extra bonuses about this coming up in the next week or so. So, go there, sign up, get the bonuses, and get the job.

Let me introduce myself

I’m Christina. I’m an English coach since 2004, and I coach students around the world online, in France, Italy, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan. I really love my job. I love helping people become more confident and more fluent in English, and that’s why I created Speak English with Christina TV.

Today there are more than 80,000 Speak English Ambassadors, these are my students, who are learning English with me. So it’s a really fantastic community of learners, and I encourage you to go to and see what it’s all about and join us if you like it.

Be more convincing & easy to understand, with S.T.A.R.

Now, solid structures make you more convincing and easy to understand when you’re speaking English, especially when you’re talking about yourself and your experience. And one super useful structure, it’s the S.T.A.R. structure.

It stands for:

  • Situation
  • Task
  • Action or approach
  • Result

The situation at the beginning, this is the context of your story.

Then the task is the challenge that you faced.

The action is what you did to overcome that challenge.

And the result is, well, the result or the lesson that you learned from the task and the action.

How to use S.T.A.R. in different situations: Networking

You can use this in a lot of different situations that we’re gonna look at later, but first we’re going to look at one specific situation at a networking event, and someone starts a question with “Have you ever?”

Like, “Have you ever used Agile “to manage any of your projects?”

Because maybe they want to find out if you would be a good person to work with and they want to know about your experience with this.

So you start with the situation. “Yeah, I have. “It was in my last job. “I was working on a software development project.” Okay, context.

Then the task. “And we needed to find a way to streamline everything “and distribute the work more evenly to project members.”

Then action, what you did. “So, with our team, we decided to try out Agile. “We even did special training in Agile “so we could be sure to do it right.”

And the result. “And it was really helpful. “Our project went a lot more smoothly, “the work was better distributed, “and we could keep track of our progress better. “I really liked the approach.”

So you see how those structures help you to be clearer, easier to understand. And what’s good about the S.T.A.R. structure is that it’s very flexible.

You don’t have an answer to memorize, because that doesn’t work, but you have a flexible structure with strategies to answer similar questions in different contexts more easily, which boosts your confidence, boosts your fluency, and makes it easier for you to get more opportunities.

How to use S.T.A.R. in different situations: Job interviews

Here’s a few examples in a job interview: “Tell me about a time “when you had to face a difficult situation.” Use the S.T.A.R. structure.

The situation. “I was supposed to have training before beginning a new job, but finally I didn’t have the training. It wasn’t easy because my team was almost completely new and had no experience at the company. They didn’t know the company’s processes, and me neither.” Okay, there’s your context.

Your task: “I had to teach myself the process because no one trained me. I had to adapt myself to the situation and find solutions to learn the process quickly. I also had to stay credible in the eyes of my team. And this was important for me as a new manager.”

Your action, what you did: “Each day, I studied the process in the company documentation. I spent a lot of time doing this, but finally I succeeded in learning everything to feel comfortable in my new position.”

The result. “So, thanks to my persistence, I overcame this difficulty and could teach the process to my team. We advanced without waiting for the training, which finally happened three months later. But because we were all familiar with it, the training was quick and easy for the entire team.”

Job interview, networking, meetings

So, that’s one very common job interview question, but here are some other questions where you could use the S.T.A.R. structure for different contexts.

In a job interview, “Tell me about a time when you had to handle an unhappy customer. What did you do?”

At a networking event, “What’s the most interesting project that you’ve worked on?”

At a meeting, “Patrick, you’ve had experience with this. Why don’t you tell us what you did? Maybe that can help us find some ideas for solutions.”

So, like I said, this is a very versatile, practical, useful structure in a lot of different contexts, and it will help you sound clear, credible, convincing, and structured.

This is also part of the Get The Job course. You actually have a complete module on how to structure answers to questions like this.

“I was comfortable answering questions about my experience.”

Here’s what one past student said. “Christina’s program, the Get The Job course, helped me so much. She’s very oriented professional life, with a modern approach. At the end of the program, I felt more prepared for a job interview in English and I was comfortable with answering questions about my experience.”

So Muriel saw this change, and you can see this change as well, and the Get The Job course is going to help you make that change.

Accelerate your progress with Get The Job

Now, last time you had some hesitations, and I want to address those, because they are important.

If you’re thinking, “I can find resources on the internet for this.” Yes, you can, yeah, but you’ll lose time searching for them, selecting the resources.

There’s no structure, there’s no guidance. You don’t know if what you’re finding, if it’s good or not, because there’s so much out there. So, yes, you can, but you’re gonna lose time that would be better spent preparing and improving your English.

Like I said, take the energy and use it to improve the way that you present yourself, the way that you defend your profile. It’s a better use of your time. And as we say in English, time is money, so use your time wisely.

For example, with the Get The Job course, which accelerates your process, because everything is chosen, everything is structured. You just have to do the work to increase your chance of success.

Be spontaneous and natural

Maybe you think “I can’t memorize answers by heart.” I totally agree with you. Life is not memorized answers by heart. And the course doesn’t give you answers to memorize, no.

It gives you a step-by-step guide to create your own answers in correct English. So it includes grammar, vocabulary, and the system to guide you to create your own answers so that you learn to talk about your experience, your skills, and your strengths in a natural way that shows that you are the right person for job or the project.

Someone to practice with

And maybe you’re thinking, “I need to practice with someone.” I agree. I’m a big fan of practicing to learn to speak English. And there are also opportunities for speaking practice in the course with a special coaching option.

But if you want to learn about these opportunities, you have to join the list before Tuesday, November 7th so that you get your invitation to join the course and to join those speaking opportunities as well.

What’s coming in lesson #3?

Now, a little preview in lesson number three. Next time, you’re gonna see some tips from an international recruiter on what to do and what not to do to succeed in an interview. It’s not so easy to pronounce, that one.

You’ll also see how to conclude your interview or networking discussion positively, which is very important, and how to increase your chances that the other person remembers you as motivated, easy to work with, and someone that they want to follow up with for the next step in the process, whatever that is.

I have a question for you

What is the most difficult thing for you about highlighting your experience and value in English?

What are the things that you’re worried about when you do this?

Tell me in the comments below, because I can make some lessons about it to help you with those things.

I would love to read your stories about this.

All right, so that’s it for bonus lesson number two. Bonus lesson number three is coming in a few days, so be sure to come back and check for that.

And of course go and get your bonuses and join the list to get your invitation to join the Get The Job course before November 7th.
All right, you guys, I’m Christina, and I’ll see you next time.

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