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22-06-2021

Tips for a successful job interview in French

Succeeding at an interview in French

If you are looking for a new job or want to improve your professional situation in Switzerland, chances are you will need to pass a job interview in French. But how do you go about it? What are the keys to a successful interview in French?

Here are some tips on how to succeed in your job interview:

  • It is necessary to prepare yourself beforehand. Anticipate the questions and answers you might give, especially if it is an interview in French (we would recommend that you "recruit" a friend to help you with a mock interview).
  • Define your best qualities and why you want the job.
  • As with any interview, it is essential to arrive on time and to be cordial at all times.
  • If some of the recruiter's questions are too intrusive, don't hesitate to answer: " Je ne me sens pas à l'aise pour répondre à cette question".
  • Remember to thank the recruiter at the end of the interview and send a thank you email/letter later in the day.

Useful vocabulary for a successful interview in English

To succeed in an interview in French if you’re not a native speaker, it is important to prepare the sentences, phrases and keywords you are going to say. Don't worry if you feel like you are reading from a script, preparing a list of words or phrases in advance can take the stress out of the interview and keep you on track throughout the interview!

Here is a list of a few keywords/phrases to know:

Verbs

  • Hire : Embaucher
  • Built : Construire
  • (to) Deal with : S'occuper de, régler
  • (to) Delegate : Déléguer
  • (to) Establish : Établir, créer, fonder
  • (to) Lead : Conduire, gérer, guider
  • (to) Purchase : acheter
  • (to) Review : Vérifier, relire
  • (to) Set up : Organiser, installer
  • (to) Train : former
  • (to) Upgrade : Promouvoir

Adjectives

  • Reliable : fiable
  • Trustworthy : De confiance

Nouns

  • Team player : Avoir l'esprit d'équipe
  • Resume : CV
  • Cover letter : Lettre de motivation

Expressions

  • (to) Fill the position / to take up a job : Prendre le poste
  • My current job : Mon poste actuel
  • Starting salary : Salaire d'entrée
  • Gross salary : Salaire brut
  • Net salary : Salaire net
  • Salary expectations : Salaire souhaité

Key questions :

  • Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? : Parlez-moi un peu de vous.
  • What do you know about our company? : Que savez-vous de notre entreprise ?
  • Why do you want to work for us ? : Pourquoi voulez-vous travailler pour nous ?
  • Why should we hire you ? : Pourquoi devrions-nous vous embaucher ?
  • Why are you applying for this job? : Pourquoi postulez-vous à ce poste ?
  • What are your strengths? your weaknesses? : Quels sont vos points forts ? Vos points faibles ?
  • What is your dream job? : Quel est votre job de rêve ?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years ? : Où vous voyez-vous dans cinq ans ?
  • Tell me about the salary range you’re looking for : Quelle fourchette de salaire recherchez-vous ?
  • Why are you leaving your current job? : Pourquoi avez-vous décidé de quitter votre travail ?
  • What do you like to do outside of work? : Qu'aimez-vous faire en dehors de votre travail ?
  • Do you have any questions for us ? : Avez-vous des questions à nous poser ?

Make sure to be honest about your level of French before you show up for an interview. And if you think you need a little more preparation, at Swiss French School we are here to help you in any way we can.

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