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Resume Butler has partnered with ResumeEdge.com the internet's leading portal of resume writing services to provide you with the most comprehensive free Job Interviewing Center on the internet. In this section you will learn some strategies to handle language barriers in a job interview.
For candidates whose primary language is not English, interviewing can be intimidating. While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not allow employers to require that English is the only language used in the workplace without compelling reasons, language difficulties can cause problems during interviews.
The importance of your English fluency as a candidate depends in part on the job and company. If you are working with numbers or computer programming, refined English skills are less important. If other colleagues speak your primary language, you need not rely as heavily on English. If you are applying for a job as a manager or you will be interacting with English-speaking clients regularly, language fluency could be significant.
In addition to the job itself, language skills can pose barriers during interviews. Employers need to feel like they can connect with you. Even if you are friendly and accomplished, interviewers will begin to feel uncomfortable if they cannot communicate with you effectively. People feel weird about themselves when they cannot understand you or are not confident that you understand them. If interviewers feel uncomfortable around you, they will feel uncomfortable with you. The last thing you want to do is leave an interviewer with the impression that you are nice and talented, but that he could not tell if you understood what he was saying. Feeling like you cannot express yourself well can also cause you to lose well-deserved and much needed confidence.
There are ways for you to overcome these negative outcomes. Language difficulties are best resolved by learning English very well. The more fluent you are, the better and more confidently you can connect with the employer. If you are still struggling with English, consider these other tips:
Be sure to write a thank you note that highlights your fit with the position. Repeat what you have to offer the company and what enthuses you about the company. Be sure to have someone edit the note for grammar before you send it. This way, the lasting impression of you should focus on your abilities and not your English.
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