Practice Overseas Job Interview Questions

Job interview questions for overseas jobs aren’t that different around the world. The cultures, however, are very different. What works in an American executive interview culture may not work elsewhere. The understated British interview style and answers may bomb out badly in the US.

Researching the Overseas Job Market

If you’re going for a job overseas, it’s very strongly recommended that you get a firm grip on the business culture and the types of interview style used in that region or country.

There are a few good reasons for getting your research up to speed:

  • In Europe, having a good basic knowledge of European Union rules is common sense anyway. A European employer has to jump through a few hoops to employ people from outside the EU or the nation, so this information is highly relevant to you, too.
  • In Asia, particularly China, Japan and Korea, the business cultures and market environments are very different. For non-locals, they can be downright scary. These are advanced employment markets, too. Your competition for the job will know the business scene very well, so don’t get caught napping about basics. Practice reading local business information and learn the employer’s market.

Language Skills

For English speakers: Although most people do speak English in the foreign employment market, you’re expected to have strong conversational and technical language skills. You really do need them.  Forget about speaking “pidgin” Chinese, German, French or Japanese. It’s out of the question to employ anyone with less than adequate language skills. Train yourself to think in the new language.

For non-English speakers: There are a lot of ways of learning English. It’s recommended that NES candidates use accredited language trainers and for professionals also undertake a course in Academic English for technical fluency.

It’s advisable to research the foreign language interview sites too. These sites will give you a general overview, and you’ll get the tone of the interviews. You’ll also learn how to recognize and understand the basic question formats. This practice can be invaluable when interviewing in another language.

Interview Types

Like the US, behavioral interviews are the basic benchmark type all around the world. However, there are also a range of other types of interview, and often tests. Depending on the type of employment, you’ll need to check out the interview types commonly related to your profession.

Interview Preparation and Typical Questions

The best way to prepare for overseas job interview questions is to do a mini rehearsal and literally do a practice run through typical questions:

  • Prepare a short statement for the “Tell us a bit about yourself” question. Make sure you get the grammar right and make the information interesting. Allow yourself about 2 minutes for this question.
  • The problem solving question is one of the most common of all interview questions around the world. Select a good example which really shows a lot of relevant skills. Practice your answer until you’re word perfect.
  • Workplaces relationships questions are extremely important. You should focus on your ability to contribute to a team, and how you maintain relationships. The most important part of this question is showing a solid capacity for teamwork and understanding of the relationships issues.
  • Technical questions can be a real problem. It’s useful to sharpen up your technical knowledge and technical language usage to deal with the possible tricky issues related to the job. (The advantage of this additional preparation is that it will show a good knowledge base, and good communications skills.)