With the start of the year, many people decide to look for new job opportunities, or to try their luck in other countries. In both cases, English becomes a basic factor on which our success in our new professional goals depends.
But what are the main mistakes we make when interviewing for a job in English or applying for a job in another country? Do we, the Spaniards, have a better level of English than we think?
ABA English, the leading digital English academy in e-learning, and from Daniel Zabala, its recruitment and career counseling expert and co-founder of Career4Talent, offers a series of tips and guidelines for you to account to find the desired job opportunity in 2021.
Insecurity and literal translations play a trick on Spanish
One of the things Daniel highlights after his experience as an interviewer is that fear and insecurity limits Spaniards in job interviews more than their true level of English.
“When during an interview we tell the interviewee that we are going to do a game in English, we automatically notice an instant blockage in the vast majority, when at the moment of truth they have a good level of English, or at least a better level than they do, they think so, ”Zabala says.
Another element that the experts emphasize when confronted with the motivation letter (cover letter) or the curriculum vitae (curriculum) of the candidates is the adaptation they make from Spanish to English.
Daniel Zabala places particular emphasis on the attention given to the translation which is carried out because “when we literally adapt what we have written from Spanish to English, there can be up to 70% of meaning which is lost because of the phrases and expressions we use ”.
To avoid making such mistakes and to succeed in our interviews and selection processes in English, ABA English experts and Daniel Zabala agree on one key factor: preparation.
Natalia Casal, Learning Specialist at ABA English, explains that “if we know we are going to face an interview in English, we have to carefully consider all the vocabulary and technical details that we know we are going to have to deal with depending on the nature of our profession ”.
In this sense, Daniel Zabala adds that if we want to apply for a position abroad, “let’s do a brief survey on how this market works and express ourselves since, for example, job titles are something that varies considerably. From one country to another. another to another and we tend to not know how they are translated correctly ”.
Both agree that an option to prepare for our interviews in English may be the STAR method – acronym for Situation, Task, Action and Results – since it will allow us to “break down the job description of the position we are applying for into tasks and prepare an example of the situation of each of them, being able to prepare our speech ”.
What are recruiters looking for in an English recruiting process?
Of all the English skills, as a recruiter, Daniel Zbala is clear that what recruiters look for the most is for respondents to be able to craft and deliver a message with total clarity. Thus, he emphasizes that, although depending on the position we are applying for, “speaking and reading are the basic skills most in demand during interviews”.
Moreover, experts agree that certain filter questions are always asked to determine whether this person has a good level of English or not. These usually describe yourself and explain your background; Describe the situations you experienced in your previous job and explain how we would see ourselves in the job we applied for.
Finally, Zabala underlines the importance of having an updated and correctly adapted online professional profile: “Today, a large part of the employment opportunities are provided by online platforms, so it is essential to have an English profile on the recruiting pages and that it is up to date and corresponds to the Spanish version ”.