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قسمت یازدهم: چگونه به سوالات مصاحبه کاری پاسخ دهیم| آماده شدن برای مصاحبه کاری

Source: Getty Images / Digital Vision

در این قسمت یاد بگیرید که چگونه می توانید به سه سوال رایج در مصاحبه کاری پاسخ دهید. علاوه بر این، دریابید که مصاحبه های شغلی در آسترالیا با سایر کشورها چه تفاوت دارد.

سری پودکاست‌های 'انگلیسی بیاموزید اس‌بی‌اس' مهارت‌های شما را در زمینه مکالمه، درک و ارتباط‌گیری در آسترالیا تقویت می‌کند. قسمت‌های قبلی را این‌جا بیابید.

این درس مناسب زبان‌آموزان سطح متوسط تا پیشرفته است. بعد از گوش دادن به این قسمت، با انجام دادن آزمونی که در پایان یادداشت‌ها قرار دارد، مهارت خود را امتحان کنید.

Learning notes

Lesson language objective

How to answer three very common job interview questions:

  • What prompted you to apply for this job?
  • What are your key strengths?
  • What are your biggest weaknesses?

Different phrases for talking about yourself during a job interview: 

  • I applied for this position because I really value what your company does.
  • This job is an opportunity for me to continue building my skills and to further my career.
  • I feel my skill set is a perfect fit for your team, and, because of my past experience, I think I can start immediately contributing results for this role. In other words, I’m confident I can “hit the ground running”.
  • I'm flexible and easy going. I have a solid work ethic, and my attitude towards work is solution-oriented.
  • I have an excellent track record of consistently meeting deadlines and working successfully under pressure.

Different ways to talk about your key strengths:

  • I’m a very hard worker
  • I really enjoy my work
  • I’m very meticulous about my work - this means that you work very carefully
  • I can work well under pressure - this means that you can work quickly/to a deadline
  • I have a cool head in an emergency - this means that you don’t panic
  • I like working as part of a team or alone, whatever the position requires.
  • I’m collaborative and a good listener - this means that you work well with other people
  • I’m prepared to take the initiative - this means that you can think for yourself
  • I’m good with people
  • I have a solid practical background

Colloquial expressions:   

To read a room - means assessing your audience, understanding the general mood of the people in a room, what they want to know, and how to engage with them.


Vocabulary/Buzzwords:   
  • Detail-oriented - able to pay close attention and notice minor details
  • Easy going - relaxed and tolerant
  • Flexible - ready and able to change and adapt to different circumstances
  • Initiative - the ability to assess and take appropriate action independently
  • Multitasking – performing more than one task at the time
  • Solid work ethic – to be hardworking and always want to do your best
  • Solution-oriented –focusing on solutions, not problems
  • Soft skills in a working environment - the characteristics that make you a good employee such as getting along with other people, communication and problem-solving.
  • Hard skills in a working environment - measurable abilities such as operating heavy machinery, ability to use certain computer programs, marketing skills and so on.

Cultural information:   

In Australia, interviews can be quite informal, and you can address your potential manager or boss by their first name instead of calling them Sir, Madam, or similar. 

Although interviews in Australia can be pretty informal, you still need to show how suitable you are for the job using appropriate language. Your answers need to show you have the skills mentioned in the job description with specific examples. Also, you need to demonstrate that you are a good fit for the company, and its values and that you have some knowledge about the organisation you want to join.

Women meeting in business office
Getty Images / Digital Vision

Transcript

(Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript)

Hello, welcome to the SBS Learn English podcast, where we help Australians to speak, understand and connect.

My name is Josipa, and I know what it’s like to learn English as a second language too. Today we are learning how to talk about ourselves during a job interview.

I was invited to a panel job interview when I applied for my current job. A panel interview is when two or more interviewers interview you at the same time.

The whole experience was less stressful because I came prepared. I had learned some buzzwords and practised talking about my professional experiences.

Buzzwords are words or phrases that are trendy and important in a specific context. They tend to change over time as times change. We'll hear plenty of job-related buzzwords in this episode.

Also, we’ll hear how to answer three very common interview questions from an Australian employer.

So, let’s start. Today, Allan has applied for a vacant role, meaning a position that is available, in Maryanne’s company, and his interview is in progress. Let’s hear how he answers Maryanne’s first question.

Maryanne:
So, Allan what prompted you to apply for this job?

Allan:
I applied for this job because I really value what your company does. Also, I feel my skill set is a perfect fit for your team and because of my experience, I think I can start immediately contributing results for you in this role. 

How would you answer Maryanne’s question? Why did you apply for a job?

The first thing that comes to my mind is to say that I need more money or because of a shorter commute from home to work, but that is not what an employer wants to hear.

Employers want to hear that you are excited about sharing your skills, contributing to the company's success and furthering your career. 

If you further something, it means you help it progress and make it more successful.

Let’s hear once more what Allan said,

"I applied for this position because I really value what your company does." 

Allan values this company. It means that he considers their work to be important or beneficial.

And that’s exactly what his future employer wants to hear.

However, Allan’s answer could be even better if he gave an example of something the company does and explained how his professional skills align with those values.

Company values are the core principles and beliefs that drive business and its employees, and when you align with those values, it means you agree with them.

Let’s say that in the job description for the job I’m applying for, there is an emphasis on team leadership and project management.

I could say, “This job is an opportunity for me to continue building my leadership and project management skills, and these will help further my career”.

And then I would give specific examples of my soft skills and hard skills relevant for the job.

By the way, soft skills are also known as ‘interpersonal skills’ or ‘people skills’ like communication, optimism, flexibility, being a team player and so on.

Hard skills are abilities that you can measure, such as technical, practical skills - like the ability to use computer programs.

Now, let’s hear the second part of Allan’s answer one more time.  

"Well, I feel my skill set is a perfect fit for your team."

"And because of my experience, I think I can start immediately contributing results for you in this role."

Allan feels his skill set is a perfect fit for the team and because of his experience, he thinks he can start immediately contributing in this role.

Again, this is a great answer that could be even better if you give specific examples of your experience.

Now let's move on to the second-most often asked question,

Maryanne:
What are your key strengths?

Allan:
I have a solid work ethic, and my attitude towards work is solution-oriented. I'm flexible and easy going. I have an excellent track record of consistently meeting deadlines and working successfully under pressure. I also have strong communication skills, which helps me work well with both customers and team members.

When a potential employer asks about your key strengths, they want to make sure that your talent, personality, and knowledge are relevant to the role you are applying for.

Allan said,

"I have a solid work ethic, and my attitude towards work is solution-oriented. I'm flexible and easy going."

That is a great way to describe yourself, and if you end up using it, provide an example from one of your previous jobs that can prove your statement.

The same goes for the following phrase,

"I have an excellent track record of consistently meeting deadlines and working successfully under pressure."

Every employer wants to hear this, but these phrases won’t impress them much unless you can provide specific examples of exactly how you consistently met deadlines and worked successfully under pressure.

So, it is a good idea to think about your top three strengths and real-life examples before going to the interview.

The final question we are going to look at can be very challenging to answer.

Maryanne:
What are your biggest weaknesses?

Allan:
I am the biggest critic of my work, and this sometimes means that I can find it difficult to let go of a project. I can always find something that I could improve. To help myself become more realistic, I've started to give myself deadlines for revisions so that I don’t keep changing things right up until the last minute, so I became more proactive about changes rather than waiting until the last minute. 

Well, Allan’s answer didn’t sound like a weakness to me. And that’s the trick.

Allan chose to talk about a weakness that actually demonstrates that he is responsible and capable of helping the company to avoid minor mistakes.

What Allan did is he found a positive way to talk about his weakness. 

Another way we can answer this challenging question is to mention a weakness that is not essential for the job we are applying for.

Let’s say Maryanne applied for an accountant role in a small family company.

She could answer the question about her biggest weakness like this,

Maryanne:
I'm terrified of public speaking. While I don't need to do public speaking in this role, I still feel that it's an important skill, so I enrolled in a public speaking course, and I'm currently in training.

Maryanne mentioned a weakness that wouldn't prevent her from performing well in the role she is applying for.

It’s time we speak with our guest who is actually my boss. His name is Davide Schiappapietra. 

As a Head of Language Content, Davide, you've been a part of many panel interviews here at SBS. Are job interviews in Australia any different from, let's say, Europe or Asia?

Davide:
A little bit, yes. In Australia, interviews can be pretty informal. The atmosphere is usually somewhere between friendly and professional. Also, here you can feel free to address your potential manager or boss by their first name instead of calling them Sir, Madam, or similar.

Josipa:
What would be your number one tip for a successful performance?

Davide:
Come prepared. Your answers need to address the skills mentioned in the job description with specific examples and show that you are a good fit for the company, its values and know something about the organisation you want to join. Also, it's great if you can be relaxed, or at least overcome your nervousness, and try to read the room so that you can communicate more efficiently.

Josipa:
Read the room? Sorry, but what does that mean?

Davide:
To read the room means assessing your audience, understanding the general mood of the people in a room, even a virtual room if your interview is online, what they want to know, and how to engage them. As I said, job interviews can be quite informal here, so sometimes it's appropriate to tell a joke or to have a laugh with your future employer.

Josipa:
Thank you for your time, Davide. Much appreciated.

Davide:
Thank you for inviting me. 


Sign up for previews, updates and to provide feedback.

A big thank you to our educational consultant Professor Lynda Yates, our guests Davide Schiappapietra, Rajish Aryal, and Paul Nicholson and Coni Laranjeira who voiced the characters of Allan and Maryanne.

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