You have a great vocabulary. You understand sentence structures in English. You're comfortable talking to native English speakers.
So why is interviewing for a job in English so difficult?
Honestly? It's difficult for native speakers too. That's why perfecting your interview technique is so important when applying for a job in an English speaking country. Time and again, I receive feedback from recruiters about qualified non-native speakers who didn't get the job because their interview sounded more like a dictation and less like a conversation.
Sound Like a Native When You Interview
So how can you solve this problem? How can you sound like you're having an actual conversation when you already feel nervous and stressed about answering questions in a different language from your mother tongue?
First, you want to make sure you are comfortable having normal conversations in English. There are many ways you can practice this such as finding a conversation partner or signing up for a class that focuses on speaking and pronunciation.
Next, it's always a good practice to do some preliminary research about the company whose job you are either applying for or interviewing for. The more information you know about the company, the job you want, and even the team (think managers), the more comfortable you'll feel about giving intelligent answers in an interview.
Finally, you'll want to research what are some frequently asked interview questions for your job, industry, and company. Websites like Glassdoor are excellent resources for finding these questions. You can often find questions for specific jobs from the specific company you are applying for.
But besides being prepared for questions about your technical capabilities, the most important questions to be prepared for are what are called behavioral interview questions. These are the questions that Fortune 500 companies really like to focus on because typically past behavior will predict future behavior of employees. Answering these questions completely and succinctly are the key difference between getting the job of your dreams or missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
Job interviews are also a challenge for native English speakers who don't prepare with the right methods.
Enter the STAR Method
The STAR Method is a technique that helps you reply to behavior-based interview questions in a way that gives the interviewer a clear answer. STAR stands for Situation Task Action and Result. Typically, answers structured in this way leave a better impression on the interviewer or recruiter who is trained to ask such questions.
When you think about it, the STAR Method is just another English conversation structure to practice and model when you are preparing for a job interview. It's not something that may come naturally to you at first, but with some practice and preparation, you'll be interviewing like a STAR in no time!