How to prepare for a job interview in English for non-native speakers

job interview in english preparation

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences, especially when they’re conducted in a foreign language. For non-native English speakers, the added pressure of performing in a language that is not their first can make the experience even more daunting. But with this in depth guide for how to prepare for a job interview in English, anyone can ace an English language job interview.

In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that contribute to a successful interview, including language proficiency, cultural awareness, and a deep understanding of the job requirements. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or just starting out in your career, you’ll find valuable tips and insights to help you navigate the interview process and make a lasting impression on your potential employer. So if you’re ready to take the next step in your career, read on to learn how to do an English language job interview with confidence and ease.

I would suggest finding a mentor, coach, or English teacher who can help you with everything. I offer professional development coaching and services for job interview preparation, resume formatting and preparation, making a presentation or pitch preparation and courses to get your English exam qualification. Just the coach at the gym, you can rely on me to motivate you for every step, all the way to your goal (but maybe without the shouting!)

Table of Contents

1. Preparation

Focus on the type of job interview you are preparing for and what to expect during the job interview. Prepare the common questions asked in job interviews and then customise them to your experience and sector.

A. Types of job interviews

There are several different types of job interviews, each of which serves a different purpose and provides different opportunities for employers and candidates to connect. I have identified 7 types of job interview. For a more detailed look at each type of job interview, and for tips for preparing the 7 types of interview click on the images below. 

  1. Phone / Video Interviews

  2. One-on-One Interviews

  3. Group Interviews

  4. Panel Interviews

  5. Behavioral Interviews

  6. Technical Interviews 

  7. Case Study Interviews

B. Understanding the Job Interview Process

This is an opportunity for you to showcase your skills, experience, and personality to a potential employer, and to learn more about the company and the position you are interested in. Understanding what to expect during a job interview can help you feel more confident and prepared, and increase your chances of success. For a more detailed look at each point, click on the image “understanding the job interview process“. 

understanding the job interview process

Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  1. Dress Code
  1. Arrival Time

  2. Introduction

  3. Questions

  4. Listening

  5. Body Language

  6. Preparation

  7. Follow-Up

C. The Importance of English Language in business for the Non-Native Speaker

English is a widely spoken language that is used globally, and it has become an essential tool for communication in today’s world. For non-native speakers, having a good level in English can bring many benefits and open up new opportunities in both personal and professional life.

For a more detailed look at each point, click on the image “The Importance of English Language in business for the Non-Native Speaker

  • English is a crucial tool for communication in today’s world
  • Good English proficiency benefits non-native speakers in personal and professional life
  • Allows for effective communication with people from different countries
  • Leads to better job prospects and career advancement
  • Essential for access to information in today’s technology-driven world
  • Boosts self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Provides opportunities for personal and intellectual growth
  • Dedication and hard work can help anyone achieve proficiency in English.

2. Improving English Skills for the Interview

Next we detail ways to improve your English skills for the interview, including brushing up on basic grammar and vocabulary, practicing speaking English with native speakers, and utilizing language learning resources.

Pro tip: Practice speaking English in real-life situations, such as having lunch with colleagues and online English workshops, to help build confidence and fluency.

A. Reactivate basic grammar and vocabulary

Brushing up on basic grammar and vocabulary is essential for non-native English speakers preparing for a job interview. Improving your language skills can increase your confidence and help you communicate more effectively during the interview.

The best place to start with the essential grammar tenses. Take a look at the 2 online video courses on offer. 

The Essential English Course is distilled from over 16 years of English teaching and included expert video instruction for the grammar tenses, the modal verbs, phrasal verbs, the 3 conditionals, the verb Get Masterclass and essential vocabulary for money and numbers. 

The 5-Day English Challenge is a free course that you can use to reactivate the essential grammar for speaking English. Speak good English in 5 days!

B. Common questions asked in job interviews

This is the most important section to prepare. In the English language interview you have to know how to interpret the questions. For example, with the questions “tell me about yourself”, the interviewer is really looking to see if you are a good fit for the job. You should answer with concise information about your experience and qualifications. 

I have helped many professionals prepare for their job interviews in English.

There are several things we can work on together, usually starting with 20 common interview questions

20 common interview questions with sample answers

The STAR method for answering behavioural type questions

The STAR method is a structured way to answer behavioral interview questions, where you describe a Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It takes a little practice just after just a few hours practice you will be able to use the method automatically and it will help you a lot in job interviews and other situations. 

C. Practice speaking English with native speakers

Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  1. Join an English conversation group or club in your community, where you can practice speaking and listening in a supportive and social setting. Try MeetUp in your local community. 

  2. Participate in language exchanges with native English speakers, where you can help each other practice speaking and improve your language skills. Join me and the Multimedia English community on Discord. Discord ID: multimediaenglish#5763

  3. Find a language partner online, through websites such as Tandem, MyLanguageExchange, or italki, where you can arrange virtual conversations and practice speaking English.

  4. Volunteer for English-speaking events or activities in your community, such as a charity organization, church, or community center, where you can engage in conversations with native English speakers.

  5. Attend English-speaking workshops or events, such as public lectures, seminars, or classes, where you can listen to native English speakers and practice your speaking skills. Click on image below to see the weekly topics. 

60 minutes

  • listening comprehension
  • vocabulary building
  • speaking practice

Different topics each week. General English and Business English 

Level: Intermediate or above.

For workshop invite email justin@multimediaenglish.org

For any questions and bookings please send mail

D. Use online resources such as language learning apps and courses

These resources can help you improve your grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and overall language skills in a structured and convenient way. The benefits include:

  1. Convenience: Language learning apps and courses are available online and can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, making it easy for you to fit language learning into your busy schedule.

  2. Structured Learning: Many language learning apps and courses offer a structured curriculum that takes you through the basics of the language and gradually builds your skills, providing a clear path to improvement.

  3. Customization: Many language learning resources offer customization options, such as adjusting the difficulty level or focusing on specific language skills that you want to improve.

  4. Interactive Practice: Many language learning apps and courses use interactive methods such as gamification, quizzes, and conversation simulations to help you practice your language skills in a fun and engaging way.

  5. Feedback and Evaluation: Many language learning resources offer feedback and evaluation features, allowing you to assess your progress and identify areas for improvement, so you can focus your efforts where they are needed most.

Click on the image below for a really useful list of free resources to help you learn English

3. Researching the Company and Industry

Researching the company demonstrates that you have taken the time to learn about the company’s mission, culture, products or services, and goals, which can make a positive impression on the interviewer.

A. Importance of researching the company


  • You can arm yourself with valuable information that can be used during the interview. For example, you can ask informed questions about the company, which can demonstrate your interest and knowledge, and can also provide insight into your problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities.
  • It can also help you determine if the company is a good fit for your skills, values, and career goals. If you are well-informed about the company, you are better equipped to discuss your qualifications and how they would fit into the company’s work culture.

B. How to gather information about the company

Here are some tips on how to gather information about a company before a job interview:

  1. Company Website: Start by visiting the company’s official website. Look for information about the company’s mission, values, products or services, history, and current projects or initiatives.

  2. News and Press Releases: Research recent news articles and press releases related to the company. This can give you a better understanding of the company’s current operations, future plans, and any recent developments.

  3. Social Media: Follow the company on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to stay up-to-date on company news and see how the company presents itself to the public.

  4. Employee Reviews: Check out employee review sites such as Glassdoor to see what current and former employees have to say about the company’s work culture, benefits, and management style.

  5. Professional Networks: Reach out to your professional network and see if anyone has connections or insights into the company. Consider connecting with current or former employees on LinkedIn to learn more about their experiences.

  6. Industry Associations and Trade Organizations: Check out industry-specific associations and trade organizations related to the company. These organizations often have valuable information about the industry and the company’s place within it.

C. Understanding the industry and current trends

Here are some ideas for researching the industry and current trends before a job interview:

  1. Industry Reports and Trends: Research industry reports and trend analysis to gain an understanding of the current state of the industry and any emerging trends or challenges. This can be found on industry-specific websites, trade organizations, and market research firms.

  2. Competitor Analysis: Research the company’s competitors and learn about their products, services, and strategies. This can give you a better understanding of the competitive landscape and how the company fits into it.

  3. Trade Shows and Conferences: Attend industry trade shows and conferences to learn about the latest innovations, products, and services. This can also be an opportunity to network with industry professionals and learn about current industry trends and challenges.

  4. Industry Experts: Follow industry experts and thought leaders on social media and subscribe to their blogs or newsletters. These experts often share insights and analysis about the industry, which can provide valuable information for your job interview.

  5. Staying Current: Stay up-to-date on industry news by regularly reading industry-specific publications, news websites, and blogs. This can give you a better understanding of current trends and events, and can also help you identify any industry challenges and opportunities.

4. Interview Techniques

A. Proper attire and grooming

Proper attire and grooming are important factors to consider when preparing for a job interview. Here are some tips to help you present yourself professionally and make a positive impression:

  1. Research the Company Culture: Before the interview, research the company culture and dress code to determine the appropriate attire. Some companies may have a more casual dress code, while others may expect business attire.

  2. Dress Professionally: Regardless of the dress code, it is always best to err on the side of caution and dress professionally. For men, this typically means a suit and tie, while for women, a suit or dress and heels are appropriate.

  3. Pay Attention to Details: Make sure your attire is clean and well-maintained, with no visible wrinkles or stains. Also, consider the accessories you wear, such as jewelry, shoes, and belts. They should be simple, understated, and appropriate for a professional setting.

  4. Grooming: Ensure that your hair is clean and styled appropriately, and that your facial hair is well-groomed. Wear minimal makeup and make sure your nails are clean and trimmed.

By dressing professionally and paying attention to grooming, you can convey to the interviewer that you are serious about the job and respect the company culture. This can help you make a positive impression and increase your chances of success in the interview process.

B. Body language

Body language is a powerful tool in communication, and it can have a big impact on the outcome of a job interview. Here are some tips for using body language to convey confidence and professionalism during an interview:

  1. Maintain Eye Contact: Maintaining eye contact shows that you are engaged and interested in what the interviewer is saying. Avoid looking at the floor, ceiling, or your phone, as this can signal disinterest or nervousness.

  2. Smile: A smile can help to put both you and the interviewer at ease, and convey that you are friendly and approachable. Make sure your smile is genuine, as a fake smile can be noticeable and detrimental to your interview.

  3. Sit up Straight: Good posture can convey confidence and professionalism. Sit up straight, with your shoulders back and your arms uncrossed. This will help you to appear more engaged and attentive.

  4. Avoid Nervous Gestures: Nervous gestures, such as fidgeting, tapping your foot, or playing with your hair, can signal nervousness or discomfort. Practice mindful breathing and try to relax, as this can help to reduce nervous gestures.

  5. Use Gestures: On the other hand, using confident and appropriate gestures, such as nodding, pointing, or leaning in, can signal that you are engaged and interested in the conversation.

By paying attention to your body language, you can help to convey confidence and professionalism, and make a positive impression on the interviewer. This can increase your chances of success in the interview process.

C. Techniques for managing nervousness

Managing nervousness during a job interview can be challenging, but it’s important to remain calm and collected in order to make the best impression possible. Here are some techniques for managing nervousness:

  1. Prepare thoroughly: Preparation is key to reducing nervousness. Research the company, practice common interview questions, and familiarize yourself with the position you’re interviewing for.

  2. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and meditation can help to calm your nerves and increase focus.

  3. Get plenty of rest: Make sure you get enough sleep, eat a nutritious meal, and drink plenty of water before your interview. Being well-rested and nourished can help to reduce stress and increase your confidence.

  4. Dress appropriately: Wearing professional, well-fitting clothing can increase confidence and help to reduce stress.

  5. Arrive early: Arriving early to the interview can give you time to calm your nerves and collect your thoughts before the interview begins.

  6. Focus on the present moment: Nervousness often comes from worrying about the future. Instead of worrying about the outcome of the interview, focus on the present moment and the interviewer’s questions.

Pro Tip: If you find yourself overwhelmed or “freaking out”, then go to the toilet and splash cold water in your face. There’s an automatic reflex that shuts off anxiety and calms you down. 

D. Presenting Yourself Confidently

Here are some tips to help you present yourself confidently in a job interview:

  1. Practice: Rehearse your responses to common interview questions and practice speaking clearly and concisely. This can help you build your confidence and reduce nervousness during the interview.

  2. Know Your Strengths: Identify your strengths and be prepared to discuss them in the interview. Understanding your own abilities can help you feel more confident in your abilities and better articulate your value to the company.

  3. Be Positive: Focus on the positive aspects of your experience, skills, and qualifications, and avoid negative self-talk. Maintaining a positive outlook can help you feel more confident and optimistic about the interview process.

  4. Body Language: Use confident body language, such as maintaining eye contact, smiling, and sitting up straight. This can help convey your confidence and interest in the job to the interviewer.

  5. Deep Breathing: Take a few deep breaths before the interview to calm your nerves and center yourself. This can help you feel more relaxed and confident during the interview.

Confidence is key in a job interview, as it helps you make a positive impression and effectively communicate your skills and qualifications. By taking these steps to present yourself confidently, you can increase your chances of success in the interview process.

5. Follow-Up After the Interview

Following up after a job interview refers to the process of reaching out to the interviewer or the company after the interview to express gratitude for the opportunity to interview and to inquire about the status of the hiring process. This is an important step in the job search process as it shows your interest in the position and the company, and it helps to keep your name fresh in the mind of the interviewer.

A. The importance of following up

Here are some tips for following up after a job interview:

  1. Write a thank-you note: A handwritten or email thank-you note is a great way to show appreciation for the interviewer’s time and to reiterate your interest in the position.

  2. Be patient: Wait a few days after the interview before reaching out to follow up. This allows the interviewer time to review all of the interviews and make a decision.

  3. Make a call or send an email: When following up, reach out to the interviewer or the HR representative by phone or email. Ask about the status of the hiring process and if there is any additional information you can provide to support your application.

  4. Be professional: When following up, make sure to maintain a professional tone and to keep your message brief and to the point.

  5. Don’t overdo it: Avoid bombarding the interviewer with multiple follow-up messages. One follow-up message is usually sufficient.

By following up after a job interview, you can demonstrate your interest in the position and increase the chances of being offered the job. Just make sure to be professional and to avoid overdoing it.

B. What to include in a follow-up email

A follow-up email after a job interview is an opportunity to reinforce your interest in the position and to express your gratitude for the interviewer’s time. Here is what to include in a follow-up email and a few examples:

  1. Introduction: Start the email by addressing the interviewer by name and thanking them for the opportunity to interview for the position.

  2. Reiterate your interest: Reinforce your interest in the position and the company, and explain why you believe you are the best fit for the job.

  3. Provide additional information: If the interviewer asked for additional information or clarification during the interview, now is a good time to provide it.

  4. Express gratitude: End the email by expressing gratitude for the interviewer’s time and reiterating your interest in the position.

See examples and instructions for the follow-up email after a job interview here 

C. Best practices for following up after the interview

Here are some tips for following up in a professional manner:

  1. Wait a reasonable amount of time after the interview: Give the interviewer a chance to review all the applicants and make a decision. A week is a good time frame for a follow-up email.

  2. Use a professional email: Use a professional email address and create a clear and concise subject line, such as “Interview follow-up: [Your Name]”.

  3. Be polite and grateful: Thank the interviewer for the opportunity to interview and express your appreciation for their time.

  4. Mention specific details from the interview: Referencing specific topics or questions discussed during the interview can help jog the interviewer’s memory and show your interest in the position.

  5. Ask about the next steps: Politely inquire about the next steps in the process, such as when to expect a decision.


In conclusion, preparing for a job interview in English as a non-native speaker can seem daunting, but with the right preparation, it can be a positive and successful experience. By brushing up on basic grammar and vocabulary, practicing speaking with native speakers, utilizing language learning resources, researching the company and industry, presenting yourself professionally with appropriate attire and grooming, and being mindful of body language, you can increase your confidence and put your best foot forward. Remember to also follow up after the interview in a professional manner to show your continued interest in the opportunity. With these steps, you can be well on your way to landing your dream job.


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