English For Interviews


The idea of a job interview can simply be daunting. We usually have an idea of the questions that will be asked but have no idea how to prepare for it.

Read on to see the 5 most common questions that come up during an interview and how you can tackle these questions.

The 5 questions that usually pop up in an interview are as follows:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. Why should we hire you?
  3. What are your strengths?
  4. Why are you looking for a job change?
  5. Why do you want to work with our company?

1. Tell me about yourself:
There are 5 things you should focus on speaking about when someone asks you to tell them about yourself.
a. Start with your name
Example: My name is Ashley and thank you for seeing me today.
b. Provide information about where you are from
Example: I am from South Africa and I live in Johannesburg.
c. Give a short background on your eduction
Example: I recently graduated from university and I have a degree in (insert the name of your degree)
d. Speak about your job experience
Example: I have 5 years of experience in teaching English and prior to that, I worked as an engineer at ABC company.
e. Speak briefly about your family
Example: I live with my family in South Africa. I have a husband and a two year old son.
Example: I live with my mom and dad. We live in the city and have a little dog. My mom is a nurse and my dad is a teacher.

2. Why should we hire you?
Make sure you explain why they should choose to hire you over someone else
a. Share your knowledge
Example: Since I have just left university, I have a lot of theoretical knowledge in my field. I am ambitious and will endeavour to do my best for your organisation.
b. Speak about your work experience
Tap into any past work experiences you may have and how you added value to the organisation you previously worked for
c. Talk about the skills related to the job
Example: I am punctual and sincere and I work hard to complete work on time, even if it means that I need to work after hours. I will also endeavour to fulfil all the needs of the company required from me
d. Talk about your career goals
Example: I am hardworking and ambitious and will always work hard to move from strength to strength within your organisation

3. What are your strengths?
The strengths that you should mention as you complete your interview are as follows:
a. I am great at adapting to different work environments and team exercises that may be presented
b. I am very hardworking
c. I am honest and optimistic which goes far in promoting a positive work environment
d. I am self motivated and goal driven

4. Why are you looking for a job change?
For this part of the interview, you should explain what you have learned from your past jobs, share exactly why you would like to change jobs but be careful not to speak badly about your previous company or companies. Also, be sure to mention how the job you are applying for lines up with your career goals.

   And finally, let’s look at one of the most popular questions that is bound to pop up at sometime:

5. Why do you want to work for our company?
a. Explain to them what you like most about their company.
Speak about the company environment and their mission statement, this way the interviewer will also know that you took the time to research the company and prepare for the interview.
b. Relate the job position to your long term career goals
Example: When I researched your company, I was thrilled to see that my skills match the requirements of your company and will allow me to successfully contribute to the future growth of the company

Happy learning!

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