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10 International job interview questions

21 October 2021

Congratulations - you’ve made it to the interview stage of your expat job application. Your application has stood out from the many others and your potential employer wants to know more about you and your experience through an interview process. You’ve passed the first hurdle but you’re not out of the woods yet.
Expat interview processes share a lot of similarities to that of standard interviews. You will be asked similar questions; you will need to be prepared and you will need to be able to promote yourself by sharing your skills and experiences. One main difference is that most international interviews usually take place on a video call – so you need to ensure that your software is set up, your camera is working and that you have a strong internet connection.
Tip: Discover our guide to video interviews here.
When preparing for an interview you should practice answering some of the common questions asked by employers so that you can give the correct answer and give it with confidence. 
Here is your opportunity to promote your personal brand. Sum up your key experiences, strengths, and broader interests in a few succinct sentences. You can use your CV / resume as a guide of what to include such as education, job experience, international experience and interests. 
You will need to research the company and the role for this answer and relate it back to yourself and your career goals. If your vision of certain goals and how this role can help you reach them is clear, employers may be more confident in deciding to hire you.
When discussing your international experience, highlight the ways in which you explored a different culture, or immersed yourself in the local way of life. This could include travelling or learning a new language. If you have no international experience yet, you can share what is motivating you to work abroad and explain that you are aware of some challenges and how to overcome them such as language barriers and culture shock.
Here you need to convince the employer that you can bring a unique skill set that another applicant can’t. This could include language skills, cultural understanding or work experience specific to the job. Whether you have directly relatable experience or not, many skills are transferable across different roles. 
Try to speak about what you do have rather than focusing on what you don’t have. 
This question gives you the opportunity to discuss how you would make the role your own. Mention your soft skills such as independence, open mindedness and good communication skills are essential for expat roles. Try to share specific examples of these skills that might be relevant for the role. 
International roles almost always include an intercultural element so it’s essential for a potential employer to know that you are aware of other cultures and can comfortably work with a team of people from different backgrounds. If you don’t have specific professional experience in this area, you can reference your personal life. 
You should use a specific example from your personal experience here if possible. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of working on a diverse team with differing values, customs and behaviours that will require some conflict management. Choose a real example that displays your levels of understanding, initiative and conflict resolution. 
Your interviewer wants to know how you work and how well you can slot into an international team. Use this answer to highlight your priorities in work such as being organised, time management, working as part of a team while also being able to work independently, collaborating with other departments etc. Avoid being too generic and share as much personal experience as you can.
You can use this question to focus on career progression. Perhaps you would like to be in a management role, leading a team, expanding your skillset, gaining more experience or progressing within the company you’re applying for. 
This question often trips candidates up. It is best answered by giving examples of how you overcame a weakness. For example, taking extra IT courses to improve your skills or taking some time outside work to stay up to date with changing trends.
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