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4 Tips for a Non-Native Speaker to Prepare for a Job Interview

non-native speaker job interview

When looking for a new job, many individuals who speak with an accent get stressed out about how they’ll do in a non-native speaker job interview. Concerns over how they sound to the interviewer may affect their confidence and create an uncomfortable overall experience. Well, the first thing to remember is that if you have been invited to come for an interview, the employer is interested in hiring you!

So, how can you make the most of this opportunity? Obviously, you want to do a good job communicating. For tips on that, see our blog post, (link) “How to Successfully Communicate as a Non-Native English Speaker.” Your goals are to demonstrate that you have the right background and experience for the position, and to show that you are a good match for the company and its culture. Promoting yourself in a convincing manner is what an interview is all about.

As a non-native speaker, you want to make sure you make the best impression possible in your job interview. Here are four tips on how to do that.

1. Dress for your non-native speaker job interview in a way that is professional.

Looks should not matter, but they do. Ensuring that you are dressed appropriately will help you command respect. For an interview, you’ll want to look professional. A good guide is to dress one notch above what the employees wear to work.

2. Try to find out as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing with.

As a non-native speaker, the more you can find out before your job interview, the better. Look online to learn everything you can about the company. If you know employees and customers, talk to them. If you know who will be interviewing you, take the time to do some background research on them as well.

3. Research common interview questions and be prepared to answer them.

Strong answers are important for a non-native speaker in a job interview. Be specific but concise, drawing on concrete examples that highlight your skills and back up your resume. Your answers should also emphasize the skills that are most important to the employer and relevant to the position. Common questions include:

  • What do you know about this company?
  • Why did you decide to seek a position in this company?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • What influenced you to choose this career?
  • What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
  • What do you see yourself doing in ten years?
  • How would you evaluate your ability to deal with conflict?
  • Tell me about a major problem you recently handled. Were you successful in resolving it?

4. Don’t forget to interview the interviewer.

Questions you ask can help you learn about the company and the job you’re applying for. In job interview, asking questions is a way for a non-native speaker to demonstrate interest in the position. Here are some examples of ones to ask the interviewer:

  • Could you tell me more about the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
  • What are the skills and experiences you look for in an ideal candidate?
  • What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?
  • What are the biggest challenges of this job?
  • How much travel is expected?
  • Are there opportunities for professional development?
  • What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
  • Would you like a list of references?
  • What are the next steps in the interview process?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?

Interviewing is both exciting and stressful, but doing your homework can help you shine and make the most of this opportunity.


If English is not your native language, there are resources available to help ensure you’re communicating effectively. You want your interviewer to be able to understand you, and there should be no barriers to your communication. Accent reduction training can make a big difference, particularly for people who are proficient in the English language, but still have a heavy accent. With proper training, you can reduce your accent and sound more like a native English speaker.

Do you have a strong or a heavy accent?
Contact us to learn more about American accent coaching.

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