The job interview requires a specific
kind of vocabulary. It also requires a certain flexibility in your usage of tenses.
When you walk in the room, the first impression you make on
the interviewer can have a great influence on the rest of the
interview. You need to introduce yourself, shake hands,
and be friendly. The first question is often a "breaking the ice"
(establish a rapport) type of question. Don't be surprised if the
interviewer asks you something like: How are you today? Did you have
any trouble finding us? What do you think of the weather lately? Don't
be surprised by the friendly tone. The interviewer wants to put you at
ease (help you relax). Answer the question without going into too much
detail. The language you use should be simple but polite.
Talking about your experience and credentials (qualifications)
is the most important part of any job interview. Your qualifications
include your education from high school, post-secondary school, etc., and any special training you
may have done in the past. Your experience is any work that you have
done that is directly or indirectly related to the job you are applying
Remember that your education took place in the past. Therefore, you need to use the past tenses, for example:
I attended the University of Helsinki from 2001 to 2004.
I graduated with a degree in agricultural planning.
If you are currently a student, you should use the following present tenses:
I am currently studying at the University of British Columbia and will graduate with a degree in Economics in the spring.
I am studying English at the Red River Community College.
Remember to include any training you may have had when talking
about your education. This includes any computer training,
correspondence courses, etc. If English is not your first language, be sure to mention your English studies.
Experience and Qualifications
Work experience is by far the most important topic of any job
interview. Therefore, you need to explain the experience you
have in detail. Generally, employers want to know exactly what you did
and how well you accomplished your tasks. This is not the time to be
modest. Be confident, and talk freely about your accomplishments in
When talking about current employment, use the present tense. This signals that you are still performing
these tasks at your current job, for example:
Smith and Co. have employed me for the last three years as a salesperson.
I have been creating customer contacts for six months.
When talking about past employers, use the past tense to signal that you are no longer working for that company, for example:
I was employed by Jackson's from 1996 to 2000 as a clerk.
I worked as a receptionist at the Bayshore Inn while I was living in Vancouver.
Talking about Responsibilities
Most importantly, you will need to demonstrate your
qualifications and skills, which are required for the job you are
applying for. The job skills that you have acquired in the past may not
have been for the same exact job. Therefore, you need to show
how your capabilities relate to the job you are applying
For example, a student from Russia who had worked as the
manager of an important theater in Moscow, had to start from the
beginning in Vancouver and wanted to get a job as a rodent exterminator.
When asked what kind of experience he had, he replied that, as the
manager of the theater, he had had to ensure that the theater was
always rodent-free and was therefore capable of doing the job well.
This is a good example of the type of adaptability most employers are
Use the Right Word
Below is a list of strong, descriptive verbs to
help express exactly what you did. These verbs are used to express
responsibilities and tasks performed.
acted accomplished adapted administered advanced
advised allocated analyzed applied arranged
blended brought built
carried out catalogued classified collaborated compared
completed computed conceived conducted constructed
consulted contracted controlled cooperated coordinated
dealt decided decreased delegated derived
designated detected developed devised directed
discovered distributed documented
edited encouraged engineered enlarged established
estimated evaluated examined explored
facilitated finalized formulated founded functioned
governed grouped guided handled headed
identified implemented improved increased indexed
initiated inspected installed instituted interpreted
introduced invented investigated
justified led localized located
made managed maintained mechanized merged
negotiated opened operated organized originated
perceived performed pioneered planned prepared
presented presided processed programmed promoted
raised recommended recorded recruited redesigned
repaired replaced restored reversed reviewed
saved screened selected serviced set up
solved sorted specified started stimulated
strengthened summarized supervised supported
tested trained transcribed transformed
validated varied verified vitalized.
|To describe your skills, the following adjectives are useful:|
accurate active adaptable adept
broad-minded competent conscientious creative
dependable determined diplomatic discreet
efficient energetic enterprising enthusiastic
fair firm genuine
honest innovative logical loyal
mature methodical motivated
positive practical productive
resourceful self-disciplined sense of humor
sensitive sincere successful
|Use these verbs and adjectives and really sell yourself.
You only have a few minutes to show how good you really are.
By using precise vocabulary and being confident, you will be able to make the best impression possible.|