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:
Any other suggestions? Let us know!
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!
OUR NEXT WORKSHOPS
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)
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)
Precio: $600 (hasta el 01/04)
MORE INFO HERE! or send us an email at email@example.com
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!
In most people’s mind the word “expat” recalls images of luxury, shiny desks in multinational corporates and privileged lifestyles. On the other hand, when it comes about the term “immigrant”, we tend to think about dreams, hopes and cardboard suitcases. Two words, two deeply different concepts.
As someone who has been living in Asia for several years, I’ve always taken for granted that I was an. In Asia just looking Western immediately qualifies me as such from local people’s perspective.
In China most locals assume that all Westerners are beautiful, rich, smart and powerful. While in Hong Kong people are more used to foreign presence, you can still feel some respect and admiration towards the Western community. In Taiwan foreigners’ reputation is generally not that positive, as Taiwanese know that expats enjoy much better salaries and privileges than locals with fewer obligations.
In all these places though, Westerner equals expat.
Indeed in Asia the difference between expat and immigrant is purely based on race: Westerners are expats while dark-skinned people are immigrants. This mindset is very strong throughout East Asia because in countries such as China, Japan and Korea the local population is genetically very homogenous. For this reason, the concept of cultural identity corresponds to the concept of racial identity. For instance, in order to be considered Japanese you have to be born and raised in Japan in a Japanese family.
The distinction between expat and immigrant gets more blurred in the West. In countries like US, UK and Australia the local population is genetically very heterogeneous, therefore the national identity is based on shared culture rather than race. If you were born a raised in the US you are American, whether you look Caucasian, Asian or Black. For this reason living in a Western country as a foreigner is very different from moving to Asia from Europe or the US.
The elements that determine a foreigner’s social status in the West are education, money, career and social network. For instance a French banker who is employed by a big corporate and moves to London for work is an expat. On the other hand, a Spanish construction worker who moves to the US willing to take any job in order to pursue a better future is an immigrant.
Are expat and immigrant two words that simply define a rich foreigner and poor foreigner? The issue is not that easy.
Some people think that the real distinction between expat and immigrant relies on where salaries and taxes are paid. The true expat would be hired by a company in his home country and then sent to a foreign branch of the company for a limited amount of time. In this case salaries and taxes would be paid in the expat’s home country. Differently, if a person was hired directly in a foreign country with a local contract, then we could call him an immigrant.
But what about those people with high-profile jobs who decide to move to a new country autonomously and get very high paying jobs at local companies? Are they to be considered immigrants as well?
Another school of thought defines the difference between expat and immigrant according to the length of stay. For instance, if the foreigner planned to stay in the host country only for a limited amount of time, then he would be an expat. Differently, if the foreigner had in mind to stay long-term, integrate with the local community and settle down in the new country, the he would be an immigrant.
In conclusion, it looks like the difference between expat and immigrant is actually very ambiguous and everyone has his own idea about it. While in some areas of the world the distinction is purely based on racial factors, in other regions the elements that determine which category you belong to are less precise. Everyone picks for himself the definition he feels comfortable with.
Sometimes you just can’t help clicking, no matter how reasonable of a person you think you are. At least, I can’t. Clickbait is anything that creates the desire to press a button or click the link based upon its outrageous or fantastic claims. The imperative to “get more clicks” is the mantra for many web developers and content providers these days. The misleading and often sensational manner of getting them is not important.
It can be a headline, often with a tagline that includes “Shocking”, “Sexy”, “You won’t believe” or an overabundance of exclamation points. Sometimes it is the siren call of an enticing photo…think wardrobe malfunction or dog driving car. List-baiting is another way they get you to click, because who wouldn’t click on “27 Suspicious Nipples and the Cats Who Love Them“. Sometimes it is asking a simple, ridiculous question, “Did Miley Cyrus use her pet iguana to smuggle missile parts?”
So instead of calling your article “English Language Tips”, how about sexing it up a little with “29 Sexy English Language Tips that will Save You Thousands of Dollars!“
Hoy en día el manejo de más de un idioma es vital para tener una carrera profesional más fructífera, acceder a contenidos gráficos y audiovisuales, y para los niños aprovechar su curiosidad para desde pequeños aprender sin sentirse obligados. Hoy en Rincón es posible estudiar con propuestas de excelente nivel académico.
Por ello, hoy en día el manejo de más de un idioma es vital para tener una carrera profesional más fructífera, y así lo aseguran encuestas donde aseguran que muchas compañías lo piden como requisito, con lo cual las probabilidades de conseguir un empleo aumentará un 44%.
Por ejemplo cabe destacar el ejemplo de España, donde a pesar de ser un país muy proteccionista de su idioma, en una encuesta realizada por el portal de búsqueda de empleo Trabajando.com, el 54% de los encuestados reconoce que el manejo de un segundo idioma es necesario.
Lo cierto que en nuestra ciudad existe una amplia propuesta para estudiar el idioma inglés para todas las edades, desde institutos registrados en el Concejo Provincial de Educación, con exámenes con títulos avalados internacionalmente y hasta propuestas para viajar a Inglaterra compartiendo los estudios con alumnos de todo el mundo. Solo hay que decidirse, pensar en nuestro futuro y en el de nuestros niños.
This is a great article by Lorraine Mattacola from #IntrepidEnglish:
I hope that you enjoy it, it is very informative.
– Kevin, teacher at L.V. Studio.
Here is the link to the article:
Capital Punishment – 10 Tips on Capitalisation
Deities and personifications: Allah, God (only when referring to the Judeo-Christian deity)
|Intrepid English and the UKTI delegation in Luxembourg|
the results are in…bilingual is better!
Bilingualism makes you more open-minded and sensitive to others: “bilinguals have an enhanced awareness of other people’s points of view, born from their deeper understanding, from an early age, that some people have a different perspective.” This probably makes bilinguals better managers as well as stated in the Financial Times article The Multilingual Dividend
Another study found that bilingualism enhances your listening ability. It showed that in a noisy environment bilinguals are “better at detecting the different sounds, therefore enhancing attention.” Read more in the article Study Indicates Bilinguals are Better Listeners (Literally).
Bilingual children are less easily distracted. Judy Willis MD, a neurologist, teacher and author states that “compared to monolinguals, the bilingual children develop greater attention focus, distraction resistance, decision-making judgment and responsiveness to feedback” and that “research supports encouraging parents to retain use of their native language in the home” in her article Neuroscience and the Bilingual Brain.
If you grow up as a bilingual you are often also bicultural. In his article Advantages of Being Bicultural Prof François Grosjean lists the benefits as “having a greater number of social networks, being aware of cultural differences, taking part in the life of two or more cultures, being an intermediary between cultures” as well as having “greater creativity and professional success”.
ARTICLE SOURCE: http://multilingualparenting.com/2014/01/22/bilingual-is-better-the-advantages-of-speaking-more-than-one-language/
ARTICLE AUTHOR: © Rita Rosenback 2014
INFOGRAPHIC SOURCE: www.BHLingual.com
The very first week that I arrived here in Buenos Aires, about 7 months ago, I attended a conversation night at LV Studio. I was a little nervous and hesitant about going, but I figured that I needed to take a chance and try some new things in order to meet more people and really practice my Spanish.
When I arrived there were two other people there, one young woman from Germany and another young man from Australia. The three of us had a great class with a very helpful teacher who had been born and raised in Buenos Aires and after we all went to dinner and to have some drinks. The three of us hit it off right away. Months later the guy from Australia returned to his home country and the woman from Germany and I continue to grab coffee occasionally or meet each other for a Saturday night drink. She has become one of my closest friends.
After a couple of months working for LV Studio as an English teacher, I was asked to teach the conversation nights. Now, I try to alternate. Some Friday nights I am the teacher for the English students and other nights, I participate as a student practicing her Spanish. However, I have found that no matter what role I find myself playing, I always enjoy myself. I find myself meeting some pretty awesome people from all over the world, enjoying a beer and learning a million new things (whether they be in English or Spanish).
There is always a friendly face to welcome any and all newcomers to Buenos Aires and always a good time waiting to be had.
If you haven’t ever tried a conversation night with LV Studio or if you’ve gone maybe once, but haven’t returned, I highly suggest that you try it. You never know who you’ll end up meeting.
See you there!
READ MORE AND SIGN UP HERE: https://www.lvstudioweb.com/conversation-night/