12 marca 2018

How to prepare for a language skills assessment?

If you apply for a job and knowledge of your mother tongue is one of the requirements,   you are, as a native speaker,  a lucky person :) and have to concentrate only on the English part of the job interview.  If you are not a native speaker, the article below might be worth to read.
In a typical scenario, the assessment of language skills is conducted via phone and by use of external written tests with (more or less) practical tasks. Apart from a conversation in English, which usually can be run by HR professional,  phone interviews in recruitment processes are in most cases carried on by teachers or native speakers of the target language.
Your interlocutor will assess, how fluent you communicate in a foreign language: your vocabulary, fluency, the correctness of structures, your pronunciation. If you apply for the position, where you will have to talk with customers in a foreign language, your accent will be also taken into account.
You can expect a  conversation about general topics like your motivation to join the company, previous work experience, your daily routine at work and typical tasks,  your plans for the future. The aim of the conversation is to prove how you communicate on a daily basis at a workplace, how you face problems with people, how you react in a foreign language.
Depending on the position you apply, during this part, your knowledge of professional vocabulary can also be verified. If you apply for a help desk position, you can be asked to explain how to use a printer, install a mailbox or remove an application from the computer. If you apply for a job in the finance and accountancy field, you can expect to talk about issuing of invoices or preparing of financial statements.
The best way to prepare for the oral part of the language check is to think before the interview, what to say (how you are going to answer questions asked by the recruiter) and how you say it in a foreign language.  Practice your Q&A session at home. Try to predict some questions and prepare your answers (including special vocabulary and structures).
There are different options to evaluate your written language skills, depending on the specific needs of the employer. In some cases, you will be asked to answer an email, to do a task by use of excel or to write an essay about a specific topic (e.g. "describe a person, which you admire").  To complete the task, you will get a link to the external platform and you will have limited time to do it.
How long does the language assessment last? The phone interview takes approximately 15 - 30 minutes, for the written part you need approximately 1 hour.
Hope that this article might be useful for you. Do you have further questions regarding language assessment during a recruitment process? 
Simply ask a question or leave a comment via Facebook or LinkedIn, we appreciate your input. :)
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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash