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Preparing for an English Interview

Employment is one of the stressful worries that most seniors in the universities have.  One of the reasons is because when a student applies for a job interview they have to prepare to answer questions not only in Korean but in English as well.  Here are some few tips that Professor Dewberry would like to share to students of Dongguk University. 
 Professor Dewberry is a visiting professor of KAIST Graduate School of Management. In a team of three, he designs the language program for KAIST Graduate School Students.  Responsibilities include curriculum development, proficiency evaluation, teaching, and overseeing the language program. He is also famous in his school for helping students prepare for In a team of three, I design the language program for KAIST Graduate School Students.  Responsibilities include curriculum development, proficiency evaluation, teaching, and overseeing the language program.

Post: How should students both undergraduate and graduate prepare for an English interview?

Prof.: There are two types of English interviews one is a job interview and the other is an English proficiency interview.
 In order to prepare for a job interview in English, there are four steps to take, and they have to do with preparation.  First, get as much information on the company as possible.  Find out as much as you can about the corporate culture, the overall structure, and its global presence.  Second, find out as much information about the position as possible.  This includes the skills, academic background, and experience required for the job.  Then tailor your cover letter and resume in order to show how your academic background and experience are suited for the job.  Third, predict what questions will be asked based on the information you gather and then prepare answers that will highlight your abilities.  Fourth, when you are in the interview, you don’t want to sound memorized, but you want to sound confident and prepared, so rehearse your answers beforehand.
 In order to prepare for an English proficiency interview, the key is to provide as much information as possible to open ended questions.  The biggest mistake that the typical interviewee makes is that he wants to be grammatically perfect.  Thus, he carefully memorizes answers to questions that are generally asked, he speaks very slowly and hesitantly, and he tries to avoid questions for which he doesn’t have memorized answers.  This kind of speaker will inevitably be evaluated as a Novice.  In order to be an Advanced Speaker, one must be able to converse as the give and take of the exchange dictates on all basic topics at a normal rate of speed and with confidence.  At the Advanced Low level, grammar is not important unless it interferes with the points that an interviewee is trying to make.  So, the best advice he could give is to relax, enjoy the conversation, and talk as much as possible.

Post: How should students prepare an interview for a American Company and Korean Company?

Prof.: In an American company, it is important to highlight your skills basically you have to sell yourself.  The interviewees should be confident, direct, and from a Korean perspective somewhat boastful.  Never degrade yourself in a job interview.  Eye contact is quite important, and so is tone of voice. 
 In a Korean interview, (although he is not an expert) an interviewee needs to be more modest in his approach.  Eye contact and directness may not be assets when talking to a high-level Korean manager.  Modesty and politeness are probably better than directly stating your skills.

Post: What types of questions are asked in a consulting company and a general company?
Prof.: In many consulting companies, Mckinsey, for instance, case-based interviews are used.  These type interviews require you to solve some problem that is posed.  In most cases, the interviewer is trying to evaluate the interviewee’s ability to go through a problem-solving process, so discussing how you came up with your conclusion is just as important as the conclusion itself.  This is a hard interview to prepare for, but focusing on problem solving and business case studies are good methods to use.
 Here are list of questions that professor Dewberry uses when he conducts mock interviews with his students at KAIST.  Many, if not all, of these questions will be asked at some point in most interviews.  You can try to answer them and prepare in advance for yourself in your interview.

? Sample Interview Questions
The following are sample questions that one can use to prepare for an interview.
- Initiative and Creativity
1. What do you do when you have trouble solving a problem?
2. What is the most interesting job you've ever had? How did you do at it? Is there a lot of pressure in your present job? How do you cope with it?
3. What do you think it takes for a person to be successful in ____________ (specialty of position being discussed, such as engineering, parts assembly, and customer service)?
-Questions About Management Ability
1. What makes the best manager?
2. In what manner do you communicate with staff? With superiors?
3. What steps would you take to terminate an employee who is not performing adequately? What plan of action do you take when facing a problem?
- Career Objective Questions
1. How important to you is the opportunity to reach the top?
2. What are your long-term career objectives?
3. Are your present career objectives different from your original goals?

- Questions About The Target Job
1. If we offer you a position, how soon thereafter can you begin work?
2. Would you be in a position to work overtime if required?
3. What do you know about our company?
4. What do you know about the position we have open?
5. Who do you think are our three major competitors?
6. Do they have any advantages over our company?
7. What three trends do you see in the future for our industry?
8. What interests you about our company?
9. What single thing about our product or service interests you most?
10. Why would you be happy doing this type of work?
11. What specific ways will our company benefit from hiring you?
12. What do you believe are your special qualifications for this job?
13. How do you manage to interview while still employed?
14. Is there one particular trait or skill you possess that should lead us to consider you above other candidates?
Experience And Training Questions
1. How did you get into the type of work you are doing now?
2. Why are you leaving your present position?
3. How would you compare the quality of your work to that of others in the same job?
4. What factors contribute the most to your success on your present job?
5. What specific strengths do you think you can bring to this position?
6. Can you explain the long gaps in your employment history?
7. In what areas have you received compliments from your supervisors?

 

Modesto Tumacder Jr.  Modestotumacder@hanmail.net

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