Help! I Have a Group Job Interview, My English Is Not So Good, and I’m Nervous

Dear Work Coach,

I am very nervous. This is my first interview in America. I am from India and my first language is Hindi. So I am really nervous to participate in a Group Interview. Plzzz give me some tips!

Sejal

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Hi Sejal!

Welcome. First let me congratulate you on the interview! Don’t think you are alone.

Group interviews make most people a little nervous – even me. The interviewers understand that. Just be yourself here – in fact that’s a big plus. And that includes admitting you are a little nervous. (Just remember to look AT them and smile if you say that; and then also add that you thank them for the chance to interview with them.)

I know how hard it is to speak a second language (my parents came from another country) and the best thing you can do is listen carefully to everything they say and answer slowly and as sincerely as possible. Basically, when you answer, look at the person who asked you the question most of the time, but also take a moment to catch the other people’s eyes. Take your time to say what you want to say and if there is anything you would like them to explain better, it’s ok to ask. In fact, it’s better to make sure there is understanding than to just go on and on about something they didn’t ask!

Remember to think ahead about what you have done in other jobs (or in volunteer situations) and be prepared to tell a story or two about a problem you solved or something new you came up with or something new you learned well or maybe even a time when you helped turn a mistake/problem into a success. Your job is to let them know they are getting a good worker who will give them his all and go above and beyond if that’s what’s needed. If this is a position that requires certain skills, be prepared to be questioned about them in detail. And if there’s something you don’t know, be honest and let them know you learn quickly. (A story here on that point might help.)

Sit proudly during the interview (try to look as natural as possible), and remember that you have a lot to offer them. Also remember to breathe in and out before you go into the interview room – and also breathe during the interview. ;-)

At the end, if it feels comfortable, make sure to look each person in his or her eyes, one person at a time, as you thank the group and – of it feels right – shake their hands. Oh…and remember to come prepared with one or two good questions to ask them! You might also want to read this post. It mentions some things you can do to help be less nervous for any job interview:

Help! I Get Nervous When I Interview for a Job

I wish you much luck, Sejal! Please let us know how it goes.

Ronnie Ann

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Note: This post comes from a comment and response found in another Work Coach post:

Job Interviews: Where Do You See Yourself Five Years from Now?

 

About the author…

Ronnie Ann, founder of Work Coach Cafe, bases her real-world advice on her many years as an organizational consultant where she helped interview and hire people, added to a certificate from NYU in Career Planning & Development and her own adventures as a serial job seeker. She can also be found on her new blog, and on Google+.

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