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Archive for July, 2011

A potential Ikea interview?

An important part of the service at Euro London is preparing our candidates for the interview process – a prospect that strikes fear into many and leaves others running for the door! By talking candidates through possible interview questions, as well as giving them tips on how to make a positive impression, we aim to make our candidates feel confident to tackle the real thing.

After all, interviews should be viewed as the perfect opportunity to show off your personality and make a positive impact. 

Follow these simple tips and you may be one step closer to bagging your dream job…

Appearance – You’ve heard it all before, but it’s true! First impressions count. So, make sure to dress professionally. If you are unsure about the company’s dress code, always verge on the side of caution. After all, it is better to be too smart rather than too casual.

Timing – Set that alarm and find that watch, because being on time is essential. It may sound simple but lateness is the quickest way into the interviewer’s bad books. Plan your journey and familiarise yourself with the location to ensure that you arrive promptly. If a situation arises in which being late is inevitable, remember to keep the interviewer informed.

Research – Just like the well known Scout motto, always be prepared. Take time before the interview to research the company as much as possible. Information can range from the business’s main competitors to their core company values. The more clued up you are the better. Doing your homework will also highlight your enthusiasm and interest in the company, which can only be a good thing.

Mobile – Turn off your phone. It may seem simple but here at Euro London we’ve come across our fair share of interviews interrupted by bleeping mobiles.    

Listen – Take time to consider your answers. Pacing yourself demonstrates thought and control, qualities the interviewer will value over rushed and confused answers. Keep information relevant and ask if you do not understand the question – this is particularly applicable if not being interviewed in your mother tongue.

Questions – Always ask questions. An interview is a two way process; not only is it an opportunity for the interviewer to find out about you but also for you to gain information about them and the available role. Being inquisitive demonstrates a thirst for knowledge as well as an interest in the role.

Finally, remember to stay positive and do your best!

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Graduate employment has been hit hard by the recession, with students finding it increasingly difficult to find a job following graduation. Although there is a reported 2.6% rise in graduate opportunities this year, finding employment is still a daunting prospect for many students. 

At Euro London, we meet language graduates who are finding it difficult to find their niche in the world of work, leaving them feeling despondent about their job prospects and overlooked in favour of their European counterparts. They often find that although speaking a language can lead to certain opportunities, if not combined with relative work experience it can be difficult to find employment.

The year abroad, that is a mandatory requirement for many language degrees, offers you the chance to demonstrate your ability to adapt to a foreign environment and interact with people from different cultures. This is an invaluable skill in the workplace and makes you an appealing candidate if a job involves travel.

However, at Euro London we also actively encourage language students to support their language skill with extra activities such as internships, holiday jobs and work experience. Seeking experience in the fields that you enjoy is just one way to increase your chances of standing out from the crowd. In addition, work experience can be an excellent opportunity to test out different job sectors and discover which one suits you best.

Combining your language skill with other experience and qualifications ensures that you have a varied and well-rounded CV that increases your value to any employer.

Do you feel your language skill is valued by employers? We would love to hear your opinions and experiences, so leave your comment below.

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This article will be part of a series of blogs focusing on language graduate employment.

Here at Euro London, we often encounter students who are unaware of the career opportunities available to language graduates – with many perceiving translation or teaching as the only options to utilise their language skill. We aim to dispell this myth!

Although a career in translation is a viable option for many multilingual individuals, it only represents a small minority of the employment opportunities available. We deal with companies that want multilingual individuals for a diverse range of sectors, recruiting professionals with languages into banking, office support, igaming, HR, marketing, sales, IT and customer service – proof that languages are a valuable commodity within a wide range of careers!

While a language will not always be advertised as essential to a role, it can be advantageous to an employer. In particular, languages provide an important means of communication to businesses with overseas clients. Within international businesses it is also increasingly expected to trade in the buyer’s language, therefore fueling the need for those with language skills.

So whether you wish to to be in HR or PR, an accountant or an actuary, your language may have a niche value. Taking a look at these broader options will enlighten you to the alternative career choices that your language degree could hold!

Don’t forget to check out next week’s blog for ways that you can add value to your language degree…

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Whether you’re a natural when picking up the lingo on holiday or just can’t get your head round your adiós and au revoir, we all have different learning styles when approaching languages. The process in which you learn a language can often determine whether you throw your books down in frustration or reel off vocabulary with ease.

As individuals, we have a natural preference for a particular style of learning. Discovering which style is best suited to you can enhance the process of language learning, as well as making it a far more enjoyable enterprise. Here at Euro London, we encourage anyone and everyone to take up new languages and whether you are a visual, kinaesthetic or auditory learner here are some handy tips to help.

Visual – Do you delight in drawing mind maps? How about scribbling down lists? If yes, then you may be a visual learner. Visual learners thrive on seeing vocabulary written down and therefore flash cards can be a useful prop to learning.

Kinaesthetic – If you enjoy learning through the act of role play and interactive group work then you are most probably a kinaesthetic learner. Kinaesthetic learners prefer to reinforce the act of learning through a physical activity. Interactive language games are perfect for those who prefer this style of learning.

Auditory – Do you find yourself singing Adele’s latest hit, word for word? Then you may favour auditory learning. Auditory learners tend to pick up conversational language more rapidly than others and rely largely on the spoken word to process information. Making up rhymes to remember vocabulary and listening to language tapes are both ideal approaches to learning a language for these individuals.

Discovering whether you favour visual, kinaesthetic or auditory learning may just be the key to unlocking your language potential!

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