English is the language of business. In a globalized world, where money and trade flow across borders, a good command of English is essential. A recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (Competing across borders: How cultural and communication barriers affect business) states that the executives in charge of multinational companies such as Heineken, Samsung and Renault believe that in the near future, over 50% of their workforce will need to speak English.

Here in Malaysia, many people already use English at work. But how many of us can honestly say we wouldn’t benefit from improving? Perhaps you need English to communicate with colleagues in other countries? Maybe you need more confidence speaking English on the phone? Does your boss ask you to make presentations to the team, but afterward, you often feel you need something more to get your message across? What about meetings? How can you make your voice heard?

These are all common issues, and ones we here at the British Council are aware of. That’s why we made myClass – to help you. myClass is an exciting course, tailor-made for professionals who want to make the most of their language learning and fight back against the problems mentioned above. What’s best is that you can choose when you attend lessons, making your English learning work around your busy schedule.

One thing we often get asked about is how to succeed at interviews in English. Of course, being on time, looking interested and being well-dressed are some of the key points to bear in mind. But remember, an interview is a discussion – you will have to open your mouth and speak! In English!

Here are 5 common interview questions. Take a minute to think about how you would answer them:

  • Describe a situation where you worked in a team.
  • What do you expect to be doing in 5 years’ time?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What has been your greatest achievement? 

If you have never thought about these things, it is a good idea to come up with a standard answer that you can adapt and use for whatever interview you might attend. Remember, if you can give examples closely related to the questions, this will make your answers even better. A good way to do this is to use the S.T.A.R format.

Star stands for “Situation, Task, Action, Result” and is a great way to structure your answers. Take for example, the question about working in a team:

Situation – Our team was asked to plan the company party.

Task – My job was to send out the invitations.

Action – I made a spreadsheet with everyone’s contact details and mailed out the invitations.

Result – People got their invites on time. The party was a success.