English Harmony lesson: 35 Must-Know Phrases for Foreign English Job Seekers

by mareq22 on January 15, 2014

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English Harmony System

Article by: Robby Kukurs from EnglishHarmony.com

Learn English to get better job

Are you a foreign English speaker and you’re fed up with your current situation at work and you’d really love to change jobs?

Are you already preparing for a job interview and you’re anxious to make the best impression possible?

Or maybe you’re in the process of creating a CV so that you can start applying for relevant positions?

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Whichever is the case, you may want to make sure you’re using relevant job-seeking related phrases and expressions! If you do so, you’ll definitely increase your chances of getting picked for the position because you’ll sound just like your native English speaking counterparts.

So without further ado, let’s get down to business and see exactly what smart English phrases you should use in your CV and during your job interviews!

Describing Your Profile

I’m a wide profile sales/marketing/customer support professional – this is a general phrase used to describe industry/-ies you’re been working in. If you say ‘wide profile’ instead of just ‘I’ve been working in …’, it will sound smarter and more professional!

I perform well under pressure is a phrase you can use to describe that you’re an employee very well capable of working when there’s a lot of pressure and you’ll do your best to get things done.

I’m used to working in a busy environment – similar to the previous one, and you can use it interchangeably with ‘I perform well under pressure’ during an interview so that you don’t constantly repeat yourself.

Customer-orientated means you value customers and you’ll be polite and efficient when dealing with them. Remember – customers are life-blood of every business, so this is what every potential employer will want to hear from you!

Meeting targets is a professional way of saying ‘getting things done in time’. In terms of work and professional environment, ‘targets’ is the word that’s used to describe tasks and assignments, so you should use it to sound like a true professional.

Handle stress easily – this phrase is especially relevant in customer support and other industries when dealing directly with customers – starting with catering and ending with direct sales.

Team player – if you’re a likeable person who gets along well with others while at the same time being able to maintain professional relationship instead of filling your workplace with gossip – then you’re a ‘team player’!

Can-do attitude – means you don’t accept defeat and you don’t get confused the moment situation gets difficult and complicated at work. You just get things done, you cheer others up in your workplace and you’re the right person for the job you’re going for!

Drive to succeed is one of characteristics of a typical career person, and you definitely want to mention that during the interview or in your CV. Your future employer will look for someone who’s naturally driven by success, so make sure to describe yourself as such a person.

Results driven – this phrase is somewhat similar to the previous one with emphasis on results. Success is a more general term; results imply you’re good at meeting targets, too.

Eager to learn – use this English collocation to stress the fact that you’re always taking opportunities to acquire new knowledge. It’s going to send a message to your interviewer that you’re not afraid of new duties and responsibilities!

Good at multitasking – use this phrase to convince your future employer that you’re not easy to give into despair when things are getting hectic and you have to juggle a lot of responsibilities at the same time.

Describing Previous Experience and Your Current Position

I have … years’ experience in the field – this phrase allows you to describe your experience precisely while using professional lingo at the same time.

Proven track record – when you say, for example – “I have a proven track record in telecommunication” – it means you’ve been working in the sector and you have an official employment history and related references.

Work against the clock – this is a perfect way of describing a fast-paced work environment in your previous or current job. Another good job-seeking related word combination to go with this one is ‘to meet deadlines’ – “We often have to work against the clock to meet deadlines during the busy season.”

SLA (Service Level Agreement) is a standard term used across industries whenever two parties have agreed on certain targets in terms of performance. It’s especially relevant for customer support based positions where every individual has to work towards meeting Service Level Agreements such as responding on e-mails within a certain period of time, logging phone calls properly and ensuring timely resolution of customer problems. So if you’ve been having similar responsibilities in your current/previous job but you didn’t know it’s called ‘meeting SLAs’ – make sure you use this smart phrase in your CV and job interview!

Liaise with other departments – it’s a fancy way of saying ‘to communicate with other departments’. If you’re willing to get the job though, you may as well learn the word ‘liaise’. When it comes to speaking about your communication between departments in your company, you’ll know exactly what phrase to use!

Explaining Why You Want This Job

This question comes up during every job interview, and oftentimes interviewees aren’t quite sure how to respond to it. It’s essential therefore that you learn a few phrases you can use exactly for this purpose!

Also remember – never speak ill of your previous/current jobs or employers! Even if you’re going for a new job because you hate your boss, never admit to it during an interview. That’s when the following phrases come in handy:

I want to further my career in sales/marketing – it’s a perfect way of saying that there aren’t any promotional opportunities in your current job without admitting to it directly.

In line with my qualifications – if you tell your future boss that you want to get this job because it’s in line with your qualifications, it’s going to send a message that you’re a person fully aware of what your expertize is. And I don’t think they’ll keep probing you during the interview until they get you to confess that you’re just unhappy with your current job. They’ll take this answer as a satisfactory response and be happy with it!

I want to take on more responsibility – a totally valid phrase you can use when aiming for a slightly higher position. Just like when using the first phrase in this section you can use this sentence, highlight the fact that you’re an ambitious professional but don’t say directly – “Nobody will promote me in my current company…”

The Tricky Part of Any Interview – Salary

In 9 situations out of 10 you’re looking for a better pay when going for a new job, aren’t you? But what if the advertised position doesn’t have a price-tag attached to it? The problem is – you can’t just tell your potential employer right upfront – I want to get paid 12$/h!

That’s when you have to be smart and use the right phrases to send a message to the interviewer that you’re aware of what your experience and skills are worth.

Competitive salary – you can’t go wrong with this one – if you say that you’re expecting a ‘competitive salary’, it means you know what the industry average is and you’d like to get at least that amount of hourly wage.

My remuneration was adequate – if you don’t want to reveal how much you earned in your previous company, this is the phrase to use!

I expect experience based remuneration – as I already told you – mentioning numbers during a job interview speaks of bad manners, so if you’re quite an experienced professional in a certain field, it’s safe to say that you expect your experience to reflect on your remuneration package.

My salary expectations are in line with my qualifications and education – same thing as the previous phrase but with an emphasis on your qualifications and education. This is a good way of emphasizing your educational background and its role in your career – of course, if you have something really relevant to bring to the table. If you expect your bachelor’s diploma to work as a salary-boosting factor when applying for a catering position – better think twice!

What Sets You Apart From Other Candidates?

It’s another one of those questions that can make or break your job interview. The thing is – while both you and your future employer know that you’re probably not a unique person among other job-seekers out there, you’ve just got to sell yourself as the best person possible for the position!

And of course – don’t forget that being a foreign English speaker, you have to sell your spoken English skills as well, so that’s when the following phrases come in handy:

I’m self-motivated – this phrase is kind of overused, but if you really mean it, it says a lot about you as a worker. It means you don’t have to be constantly supervised and you’re mature enough to take on responsibility!

I take pride in my work – this a great phrase and I bet your future boss wants to employ someone who takes pride in his/her job and is enthusiastic enough to make sure day-to-day tasks are run effectively.

I’m very attentive to detail – here’s a quality that can really set you apart from others. I know from my own experience that small mistakes can lead to big expenses down the road for your employer, so having someone on board who’s going to be meticulous when it comes data entry and similar tasks is very important!

I’m 100% involved while performing work-related duties means you’re really dedicated and your future boss won’t have problems with you not completing your tasks and assignments.

I’m good at resolving problem situations – don’t forget to mention a difficult situation from your past which you resolved successfully. Typically it involves dealing with a difficult customer, but it can also include resolving other problems – delivery issues, technical problems and whatnot.

Language Skills

It’s of the utmost importance for you as a foreign English speaker to describe your English and other language skills so that those descriptions properly portray your capability of using the respective languages. Here’s how to describe your English skills other than just ‘fluent’:

I have effective communication skills in English – both verbally and orally. It’s a perfect way of elaborating on the matter in your CV because it also explains that you’re good both at writing and speaking. ‘Fluent’ is a term that can be stretched; this phrase, however, leaves very few questions to be asked!

I’ve been speaking English for the last … years – you can use this sentence to alleviate any doubts that your English mightn’t be good enough for the job.

I’ve been working in an English speaking environment for the last … years – same as the previous one, with a slight emphasis on your work-related spoken English skills. It’s going to send a strong message to your future employer that you won’t have any problems communicating with your fellow employees and supervisors!

My English is competent for this industry – it’s a way of admitting that your English mightn’t be 100% fluent yet you can deliver 100% results in the respective industry. You’re probably better off avoiding this phrase unless you run into some English fluency issues during the interview and then this might be your last chance to salvage the situation.

As we all know, in times of stress your spoken English may suddenly sound quite bad, and I’ve written about dealing with such and similar problems extensively. Here are a few articles you should definitely read:

The biggest problem you may be facing is the following – your English is quite fluent, but stress is getting the better of you during the interview which in turn results in a lot of spoken English mistakes. Now, in your CV you’ve indicated that your English is fluent, but if that’s the case – why you’re sounding like a beginner English learner?

Therefore it’s best to prep up for the interview well in advance to avoid such situations, and if you’ve memorized at least a dozen smart phrases like the ones in this article, your chances of sounding like a fluent English speaker are much bigger!

Robby

P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!

P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

 

English Harmony System

 

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