The Job Market in Buenos Aires: How is training yourself to speak English for a job interview different from speaking English in everyday life ?

This article is part of our section “inglés in company” which provides help for Argentine professionals working in English. Click here to know more abour our offers or workshops (Next workshops : Tuesdays 13 y 24 of April, “inglés en el entorno laboral” y “inglés para la busqueda de trabajo”!)

Do you feel comfortable speaking English in a relaxed atmosphere, or casual work conversation? That’s great! But don’t get confused… That doesn’t mean you are ready for a job interview in ENGLISH! Today we will talk precisely about these differences to help you land your next English-speaking job!

In the third quarter of 2017, Argentina had a 15,4% rate of employed looking for work (u.e. the percentage between the employeed population looking for a job and the economically active population), of which 12,1% are located in the Greater Buenos Area. Looking for a job in Buenos Aires is not something so uncommon. Let’s assume you are looking for a job yourself : you might have to train for a job interview in English as the number of jobs for English speaking professionals is growing in Buenos Aires.

We can assume it was an easy job to do your resume or CV in English (if you need some tips, here are good links of Infoempleo or The Entrepreneur – links in Spanish). You now know the vocabulary you used in your resume. You may feel ready to do the interview in English.

Why is it a mistaken thought many people have?
Why is English for interviews different?

There is a big difference between speaking English in a relaxed atmosphere, or casual work conversation – and speaking English while being at a job interview. Avoid making the mistake of thinking you are ready for a job interview because you are good at speaking English in informal settings.


  • Because the skills you will have to demonstrate, and thus the vocabulary, are not the same
  • Because the way to introduce things, concepts, ideas, are different in English than in Spanish.
  • Because you will need the confidence and attitude you would have in Spanish in English

Let’s break down these three ideas to see which area you should dig into to prepare yourself successfully:

1.The skills you will have to demonstrate – and thus the vocabulary- are not the same.

The HR and person conducting the interview will generally start by asking questions about yourself. The question “Tell me about yourself” can be a bit tricky because it’s easy to get lost into details “I went to school here, and I worked here for 2 years and there for 3 years”. Skip what’s not essential and try to talk in terms of skills learned. An example would be:

I went to school there – where I developed a strong capacity to teamwork. I further enhanced that skill while working at (name of the company). I was regularly working on projects involving international teams. However, in my second job, I developed other skills such as (name the skills). Today, I believe my profile is a mix of (name 3 essential skills/knowledge you have).

You might also be asked to conduct reflexion upon yourself with questions such as “What weakness can you convert into a strength?”. Think thoroughly of your weaknesses and strengths and how one can be turned into the other. For example, you might be inflexible sometimes -weakness- but that makes you an organized person capable of leading a group -strenght-. A very good reference on this topic of weakness-strenght conversion is this infographic.

Another question might be a reflection on your future : “Where do you see yourself in five years”. To answer that question, take the time to reflect on what you want to improve and for what work purpose. Don’t think it in terms of position but in terms of skills. It might be developing your management skills to be able to manage a team in the next years. Show your interlocutor that you want to learn and improve! The sky is the limit!

Finally, another type of question you might deal with is reflecting about you vs others. You might face questions such as “ What can you do better in this position that others can’t” or “How did you deal with past conflict situations with your bosses/colleagues”. Always think over it in term of positive outcomes and without criticizing others.

2. Because the way to introduce things, concepts, ideas, are different in English than in Spanish

In this paragraph, we wanted to emphasize what you have to do, absolutely have to do, in an interview in English. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do it in Spanish, but you might have to do it MORE in English 😉

First, stating that you’ve developed a skill without giving a supporting example will not make your point. For example; if you’ve learnt team management, you can give an example of a situation in which you had to take the lead. How did you do it and how did it result? A good way to make sure that you explain your thought through and in a relevant manner is to use the STAR method. The idea is to support your idea (“I learnt team management”) with an example structured in the way “Situation, Task, Action, Result”. An article that explains it thoroughly is this one (link in Spanish).

Secondly, try to use connectors and introduction words. Linking phrases together is nicer to hear and follow. For example, you could say : “I have 2 years of experience working in your sector. Furthermore/ On top of that, I believe I have the skills and attitude necessary to fit into the role and contribute to the thrive of the activity”. It give strength to your speech!

Finally, the salary topic. It might be sensitive and you might not want to talk about it during your first (or second interview). You can read on Glassdoor what people comment about the average salary. It will give you an idea of what to answer if the question comes up.

3. Because you will need the confidence and attitude you would have in Spanish in English

Well, for this one, it all comes down to one thing : practice, practice, practice.
We want to emphasize on this one, especially because group interviews get more and more common nowadays. What does it mean? That you’ll need the confidence to know you’ll be able to speak English in front of people – and maybe not just a HR.

What can you do at home to train ?
Wy is it worth it for you to train ?

No need to panic. It just takes practice.
How can we advise you to train beyond preparing your answers (following the advices we suggested above 😉 ) ?

Practice, practice, practice

In front of the mirror. With an English-speaking friend. If you want to practice with a native and you don’t have an English-speaking native friend, Conversation Exchange platforms are for you. This article lists some good ones!
However, to be honest, it will always be better to train face-to-face with a native. In lvstudio, that’s what we do in many different formats! Come for conversation class, take an individual class focusing on interview training or join one of our workshops!

Listen to podcasts

Below, we suggest some podcasts related to job interviews or the workplace in general:

> ESLPOD : Getting an interview (podcast)
> ESLPOD : Hiring for a Job (podcast)
> ESLPOD : Nervous at interview (podcast)

Any other suggestions? Let us know!

Record yourself

Record yourself with a camera while doing the interview. Watch it and notice your weak spots, where you have difficulties and why. Watch out your body language, which is as important as the spoken language. Here is a good article about it (link in Spanish). Try to correct your vocabulary/sentences when they seem too complicated and confusing. Make them shorter, clearer – and don’t forget to smile!

4. Do personality tests

Do some personality tests to know more about your work behavior. These tests will give you hints about your weaknesses and strengths at work, your way to deal with pressure and workload, how you communicate with others or your relationship to hierarchy. Of course, a free test on internet is never 100% accurate but it might give you some ideas, which you can develop with examples. By personalizing the analysis of your answers, you will get useful ideas to answer interviewers’ questions about yourself. Here are links to some well-known tests: DISC test or the MBTI test.

5. Do a worskhop

At lvstudio incompany, we propose some workshops for people looking for a job or employees looking for training in English. The ideas we proposed above will never be better than a face-to-face and personalized guidance! Our workshops leaders are native teachers with teaching and working experience, who will help you to be comfortable during the interview and to show the most out of your strenghts in English.
Want more info on our workshops? Click here!


Workshop 1: Inglés para la búsqueda de trabajo
Workshop de 2 días : martes 17/04 (18.00hs-19.30hs) y martes 24/04 (18.00hs-19.30hs)
Dirección: Palermo
Precio: $600 (hasta el 01/04)

Workshop 2: Inglés en el entorno laboral
Workshop de 2 días : martes 17/04 (19.30hs-21.00hs) y martes 24/04 (19.30hs-21.00hs)
Dirección: Palermo
Precio: $600 (hasta el 01/04)

MORE INFO HERE! or send us an email at


Thanks a lot for taking the time to read! Do you have any other suggestions on how to train for an English-speaking interview? Let us know!

lvstudio in-company


Clases de Inglés in-company con Profesores Nativos

lv in company clases de ingés. clases de inglés in-company

No es una novedad decir que el inglés es el idioma de los negocios. En un mundo en donde el contexto empresarial se encuentra a nivel internacional es clara su vital importancia en cuanto a la competitividad e incluso la subsistencia de una empresa. 
Un buen nivel y manejo del inglés, el cual solía ser una ventaja competitiva, hoy en día se convierte en una necesidad básica para poder ser tomado en cuenta, así como el nivel estándar que se consideraba necesario, también se ha visto afectado. Muchos creen que un dominio general del idioma es suficiente, pero en la esfera empresarial, se requiere habilidades idiomáticas que permitan llevar a cabo negociaciones, influencias y demás herramientas que son necesarias adquirir si se quiere tener éxito a escala internacional.
Imagínese asistir a ferias de su sector, o conferencias, donde usted tiene la oportunidad de conectarse y reunirse con potenciales partners y clientes. Crear una networking de calidad y poder trabajar de la mano de diferentes empresas y profesionales en conjunto. El vago manejo del inglés y el conformismo, conlleva a no poder lograr la efectividad y demostrar la confianza con la que usted está acostumbrado a cerrar tratos y convenios. El inglés entonces, le permite abrir grandes puertas y expandir sus fronteras.

Hay ejemplos claros y tan cotidianos sobre el efecto de poseer un buen manejo del idioma que a veces uno pasa por alto. Por ejemplo, la mayoría de los software de gestión, marketing, y demás áreas de una empresa, se encuentran en inglés. Un verdadero dominio de la lengua nos permite sacar el mayor provecho a las mismas, alcanzando una productividad aún mayor a la experimentada.

Son miles las razones por las cuales una empresa debe capacitar a los miembros de su organización en los diferentes idiomas que resultan importantes en su actividad. El retorno de su inversión no es tan sencillo de medir, pero podrá estar seguro que cada puerta que se abre a nivel mundial está atado a la calidad de la comunicación que logre establecer. No pierda el tiempo y no regale su trabajo a la competencia. Manténgase actualizado y un paso adelante. 

En lv.incompany encontrás el partner que estás necesitando. Podrás obtener la capacitación en cualquier idioma que tu empresa necesite. Siempre con profesores nativos, asegurando un aprendizaje auténtico, práctico, actualizado y efectivo. Aprenderás sobre cómo se llevan a cabo las negociaciones en el país de interés, recomendaciones culturales y protocolares, herramientas de negociación y todo lo referido a las tareas que precises llevar a cabo en la lengua foránea. 

Consultanos por clases in-company, en nuestras instalaciones e incluso online. En nuestro sitio encontrás todos los beneficios que nuestro servicio, completamente a medida y personalizado, tiene para ofrecerte. Contamos además con servicios integrales como traducciones e interpretaciones, evaluación lingüística en procesos de reclutamiento, auditorías, edición y corrección de textos. Todo lo que tu empresa necesita para dar ese salto de calidad internacional es más simple de la mano de lv.incompany. 

Mirá los cursos in-company que tenemos para ofrecerte acá. 


¿Por qué elegirnos?

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 1

Nuestra metodología se basa en programas personalizados con énfasis en los conceptos de adaptabilidad y flexibilidad.

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 2

Permitimos cambio de profesor, siempre dispuestos a encontrar el perfil idóneo para su organización.

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 3

Trabajamos en forma conjunta con el Departamento de RRHH y Desarrollo Profesional permitiéndole controlar el retorno de su inversión (ROI).

LV In Company - modalidad de cursos

Contamos con modalidades tanto grupales (grupos reducidos) como individuales.

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 5

Estructuramos los cursos según la disponibilidad horaria dispuesta por la empresa.

LV In Company Por que elegirnos 6

Los cursos pueden dictarse in-company, en lvstudioonline, en un café a elección o realizar un mix de las opciones. Mapa con referencia de zonas y recargos aquí.

An Englishman’s struggles with language abroad

I started travelling late in 2009 and like a lot of Englishmen I had had very little experience with foreign languages, especially when compared to other Europeans. There isn’t an emphasis on learning languages in the UK like in other countries. Also, I would be lying if I said I didn´t have a slightly bullish attitude to foreign languages, in that I expected everyone else to speak enough English for me to get by. Travelling throughout India I found communication to be a mixed bag. Most people spoke good English in the southern states (it is the official language) but up north it was either very broken or nonexistent. Getting about wasn’t too hard but it was a shame that due to my lack of Hindi I couldn’t form proper friendships with a lot of the great Indians I met. taj

Last March my wife and I holidayed in Japan and it was the first time I came across such a definitive language barrier. The Japanese were wonderfully polite and you could see that they wanted to help when we asked or enquired, but such distinct and different cultures and languages really did stop any true connection through speaking to one another. As you can imagine there was plenty of body language and pointing from our end and plenty of awkward, polite smiles and bowing from theirs!

taj 2 An impression I got from experiencing India and Japan, to some degree, was that they didn’t expect foreign travelers to understand their languages. That didn’t make it any easier getting around, but there was an: “Ok, so I can’t understand you, you can’t understand me, let’s work this out the best we can” attitude that helped.

Coming to Argentina has been by far the biggest eye opener in the language stakes. My wife is Argentine but we never talk in Spanish and so I came to Argentina with very little Spanish vocabulary. I have been fortunate because my wife’s family all speak English well enough, but of course tend to talk Spanish when we are together socially. My bullish attitude of expecting everyone to speak English around me has been well and truly shot down!

I have so far struggled to pick up Spanish which has made it difficult at times. I get the impression that there is an expectation to know Spanish when you want to engage with Argentines (and rightly so!) and so understanding conversational Spanish is all the more important.taj 3

What I’ve learnt when on the road is that if you want to travel and just do the tourist traps then a limited understanding of that country’s language will get you by, just barely. But, just doing the tourist traps means that you are missing a big part of travelling. Going off the beaten track is how to experience a country’s true culture and people, and this requires you to put effort into learning their language.


How to Avoid the Dreaded Comma Splice

semicolonPirates have nasty attitudes, this is frequently the result of wearing their pants too tight.

What’s wrong with this sentence? Most style manuals agree that there is a problem here. When two independent clauses are connected with a comma without a conjunction, a comma splice is the result. An independent clause is a clause that can stand alone as a sentence. There are several ways to resolve this situation. The easiest way to fix the problem is to separate the two clauses into two sentences.

Pirates have nasty attitudes. This is frequently the result of wearing their pants too tight.

Another way to resolve this problem would be to combine the two clauses with a conjunction such as or, but, or and. The addition of the conjunction makes one of the clauses dependent on the other.

Pirates have nasty attitudes, but this is frequently the result of wearing their pants too tight.

A third way to fix the problem is to use a semicolon. This is only possible if the clauses are independent. Semicolons are frequently misused so be careful with them.

Pirates have nasty attitudes; this is frequently the result of wearing their pants too tight.

For a clear and succinct description of how to use a semicolon, visit The Oatmeal



The Passive Voice

Which facts about Seattle do you think are true and which are false?

  1. The basketball team “The Lakers” are from Seattle
  2. It often rains in Seattleseattle
  3. Silicon Valley is near Seattle
  4. Bill Gates and Microsoft are located in Seattle
  5. Chrysler cars are manufactured in Seattle
  6. Bruce Springsteen was born in Seattle
  7. “Grunge” music comes from Seattle
  8. Seattle is in the Southwest of the United States

My Hometown

Many years ago, I was born in Seattle, Washington USA. Seattle is located in the  northwest corner of the USA. Recently, Seattle has become the focus of much international attention. Many films have been made there, probably the most famous of which is Sleepless in Seattle starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Seattle is also known as the birthplace of “Grunge” music; both Pearl Jam and Nirvana are from Seattle. For older people like me, it should be noted that Jimi Hendrix was born in Seattle! NBA fans know Seattle for the “Seattle Supersonics”, a team that has played basketball in Seattle for more than 30 years. Unfortunately, Seattle is also famous for its bad weather.

Seattle has also become one of the fastest-growing business areas in the United States. Two of the most important names in the booming business scene in Seattle are Microsoft and Boeing. Microsoft was founded and is owned by the world-famous Bill Gates (how much of his software is on your computer?). Boeing has always been essential to the economic situation in Seattle. It is located to the north of Seattle and famous jets such as the “Jumbo” have been manufactured there for more than 50 years!

Seattle is positioned between Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains. The combination of its scenic location, thriving business conditions and exciting cultural scene makes Seattle one of America’s most interesting cities.

Chrysler cars are manufactured in Seattle          Chrysler manufactures cars in Seattle

Which sentence is ACTIVE and which sentence is PASSIVE?

The passive

The passive voice is used when focusing on the person or thing affected by an action.

  • The Passive is formed: Passive Subject + To Be + Past Particple

They built the house in 1989         The house was built in 1989.

  • It is often used in business when the object of the action is more important than those who perform the action.

Over 20 different models have been produced in the past two years.

The passive uses the same patterns for the other tenses:

  • PRESENT CONTINUOUS: is/are + being + past participle

Susan is cooking dinner                 Dinner is being cooked by Susan

  • PAST: was/were + past participle

      James Joyce wrote “Dubliners”      “Dubliners” was written by James Joyce.

  • FUTURE: will/going to + be + past participle

I will finish it tomorrow.                 It will be finished tomorrow.


 Practice using the passive

1. They make shoes in that factory.

Shoes      —             are made in that factory.

2. People must not leave bicycles in the driveway.

Bicycles      —             must not be left in the driveway.

3. They built that skyscraper in 1934.

That skyscraper      —             was built in 1934.

4. The students will finish the course by July.

The course      —             will be finished by July.

5. They are repairing the streets this month.

The streets     —             are being repaired this month.

Change these sentences into the passive voice

1. They had finished the preparations by the time the guests arrived.

2. You should take care when working on electrical equipment.

3. They are going to perform Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony next weekend.

4. Someone will speak Japanese at the meeting.

5. Karen is going to prepare the refreshments.



Crowdsourcing New Language Skills with Memrise

Looking for a unique and fun way to learn new vocabulary? Memrise is an online learning tool that uses flashcards augmented with mnemonics partly gathered through crowdsourcing and the spacing effect to boost the speed and ease of learning.   memrise

It was founded by Ed Cooke, a Grand Master of Memory, and Greg Detre, a Princeton neuroscientist specializing in the science of memory and forgetting. It works like planting a seed and watering the plant until it has grown into a plant with flowers. After certain periods of time (working alongside the science of how our short, medium and long term memories work) you must water and harvest new seeds to keep learning new vocabulary. You can follow friends and see how they are getting on with their flowers and you gain points which puts you onto a leader board.

It is a great and fun way of learning a new language as well as learning
other things too!




Fileteado Porteño

fileteado   As iconic as the face of Carlos Gardel, the stylized artistic style of fileteado can be seen throughout Buenos Aires adorning storefronts, buses, taxis and just about anything else that porteños care about. The curled flowers, loops and hand painted swirls that began as a simple decoration for produce carts developed over the years into a way of distinguishing the myriad of buses (colectivos) from their competitors. Now the style is recognized as a unique and disctinctive art form of the city. From plumber’s shops to Milongas, the characteristic flowers, cornucopias, and vivid colors are  more than just a means of filling the free space on signs; they are an art form as distinctive as Buenos Aires itself.

Excellent examples of fileteado can be found when walking around La Boca or outside the Carlos Gardel museum in Abasto. It is not necessary, however, to make a special trip. Just about everywhere you go in the city, you can see hand painted fileteado signs and walls used for advertisements or simply for decoration.  fileteado 2

There are even tours that  will take you around the city to see the best  examples of this unique  art form. Or, if you are  feeling creative, you can  even take a class from a master of fileteado.  Wherever you are in the city, there is a good chance that you can find a beautiful example of this distinctive art within walking distance.




¡Ojo con los gestos! – Dictionary of Porteños’ Gestures

Cuando nos comunicamos, no sólo usamos las palabras; también hacemos gestos que pueden tener tanto significado como lo que decimos. Algunos son universales (como por ejemplo el pulgar para arriba), otros significan diferentes cosas en diferentes lugares. Acá, te enseñamos algunos gestos muy útiles para entender a los porteños.

When we talk, we use more than just words. We also do gestures that can be as meaningful as the words we say. Some of them are universal (such us “thumbs up”), some others mean different things in different places.
People from Buenos Aires are known for “speaking with their hands”. You might feel that we are making senseless chaotic movements but many of them are very meaningful and clear among locals.
Here, some of them.



¡Ojo! – Be careful!/Watch out!
[Pull down your lower eyelid with your index finger.]



¡Ni la más pálida idea! – I don’t know./I have no clue.[The chin flick: tilt your head back a bit and sweep the back of your fingers forward from under your chin.]


¡Ma sí, andá (a cagar)! – Get outta here!
[Throw your arm back toward your head.]



Montoncito – What the hell are you talking about?!/Just who do you think you are? [Bring all of your fingers and your thumb together with your hand pointing upward. Move your hand up and down at the wrist.]



¡Hambre! – You’re totally in the dark, out of it. You don’t know what time it is. [Bite your lower lip with your upper teeth and say: “mmmh!”]




20 de enero: 5º aniversario de lvstudio palermo, nuestra segunda oficina!!

20 de enero: 5º aniversario de lvstudio palermo, nuestra segunda oficina!! (ENGLISH VERSION BELOW)
Gracias comunidad LV por apoyarnos. Ya pasaron 5 años de nuestra segunda oficina en Palermo y diez desde que comenzamos en Buenos Aires y vamos creciendo de a poquito, con paso firme. Ojalá que las metas de cada uno de uds. también se hayan cumplido, y que hayan logrado comunicarse en inglés, español, francés, o portugués en sus viajes de placer, de trabajo o exámenes!
Esperamos verlos nuevamente en algún evento de lvstudio o en clase! Até mais! Hasta pronto! See you soon! A bientôt!

January 20, 2013: 5th anniversary of lvstudio palermo, our second office!!
Thank you LV community for supporting us. It has been 5 years now since we opened our second office in Palermo, and 10 since we started, and we’ve grown little by little, at a steady pace. We sincerely wish that each of you have also fulfilled your goals, and have succeeded in communicating in English, Spanish, French, or Portuguese on your trips for pleasure, business, or on your exams!
We look forward to seeing you again soon at lvstudio or in class!
Até mais! Hasta pronto! See you soon! A bientôt!

lvstudio palermo, buenos aires: clases de inglés, clases de portugués, clases de francés con profesores nativos. Spanish lessons in Argentina

lvstudio palermo, buenos aires: clases de inglés, clases de portugués, clases de francés con profesores nativos. Spanish lessons in ARgentina

Do you know the origin of “cachaça”? ¿Sabes como se originó la “ cachaça”?

No começo da colonização do Brasil, a partir de 1530, a produção açucareira apareceu como primeiro grande empreendimento de exploração. Afinal, os portugueses já dominavam o processo de plantio e processamento da cana – já realizado nas ilhas atlânticas – e ainda contavam com as condições climáticas que favoreciam a instalação de grandes unidades produtoras pelas regiões litorâneas no território.
Para que todo esse trabalho fosse realizado, os portugueses acabaram optando pelo uso da mão de obra escrava dos africanos. Entre outras razões, os colonizadores notavam que os escravos africanos eram adaptados ao trabalho compulsório, apresentavam maiores dificuldades para empreender fugas e geravam lucro à Coroa por conta dos impostos cobrados sobre o tráfico negreiro.
No processo de fabricação do açúcar, os escravos realizavam a colheita da cana e, após ser feito o esmagamento dos caules, cozinhavam o caldo em enormes tachos até se transformarem em melado. Nesse processo de cozimento, era fabricado um caldo mais grosso, chamado de cagaça, que era comumente servido junto com as sobras da cana para os animais.
Tal hábito fazia com que a cagaça fermentasse com a ação do tempo e do clima, produzindo um liquido fermentado de alto teor alcoólico. Desse modo, podemos muito bem acreditar que foram os animais de carga e pasto a experimentarem primeiro da nossa cachaça. Certo dia, muito provavelmente, um escravo fez a descoberta experimentando daquele líquido que se acumulava no coxo dos animais.
Outra hipótese conta que, certa vez, os escravos misturaram um melaço velho e fermentado com um melaço fabricado no dia seguinte. Nessa mistura, acabaram fazendo com que o álcool presente no melaço velho evaporasse e formasse gotículas no teto do engenho. Na medida em que o liquido pingava em suas cabeças e iam até a direção da boca, os escravos experimentavam a bebida que teria o nome de “pinga”.
Nessa mesma situação, a cachaça que pingava do teto atingia em cheio os ferimentos que os escravos tinham nas costas, por conta das punições físicas que sofriam. O ardor causado pelo contato dos ferimentos com a cachaça teria dado o nome de “aguardente” para esse mesmo derivado da cana de açúcar. Essa seria a explicação para o descobrimento dessa bebida tipicamente brasileira.
Inicialmente, a pinga aparecia descrita em alguns relatos do século XVI como uma espécie de “vinho de cana” somente consumida pelos escravos e nativos. Entretanto, na medida em que a popularização da bebida se dava, os colonizadores começaram a substituir as caras bebidas importadas da Europa pelo consumo da popular e acessível cachaça. Atualmente, essa bebida destilada é exportada para vários lugares do mundo.

Por Rainer Sousa
Mestre em História
Equipe Brasil Escola