Debate during Interviews

Learning languages: Debate during Job Interviews

Debate during Job Interviews. (Photo credit: bpsusf, via wikimedia commons)

Discussions during interviews are very popular with employers. But most candidates are afraid of them. They make inconsistent demands on the candidates. On the one hand, the candidates should stake out their opinion, on the other hand they should find a way to consider the ideas and arguments of others. How should you behave in a Debate?

“I love battle of words, if the blades come from the front.” (This is a quote of the German actress Inge Meysel.)

The weapons of a good battle of words are strong facts and strong arguments, packed in a mixture of direct statements and assertiveness, but also tolerance and team spirit.  Yet another important weapon is  to listen. If you don’t listen to your opponent, you have already lost the discussion. Show respect for your counterpart, let them finish speaking, pay them your full attention  – that’s the root of success. Apply these weapons stated, and you don’t have to be afraid of a debate.  Things you also have to remember:

-          Try to be the moderator

-          Look your opponent in the eye

-          Check your posture – gestures and facial expressions, smile

-          Be cooperative

-          Don’t be aggressive

-          Precise contributions

-          Clear pronunciation

Having a discussion  in your own language is difficult. But what if you want to work at a company, which is located in Russia? Having a discussion in a different language like Russian is even more complicated. The characteristics and the recipes for success are similar. But as a non native- speaker, you enter onto unfamiliar ground. You can’t translate idioms and proverbs 1:1 into another language. It’s harder than you thought, to explain an argument clearly and precisely even when you speak the language well. So where can you learn to lead a discussion?

You could do a Russian course in your hometown. Without great expense and losing too much  time, you can expand your knowledge base. Disadvantage: You don’t get to learn about the culture first hand. To get to know the culture, you can visit a Russian School in Moscow.  Besides learning the language, you will learn something about the culture automatically. So you understand, how the people in Russia act. Disadvantage: There is a danger that you won’t talk with a native speaker, because the pupils  in school are also non native- speakers. But you can put those issues beside, if you do an internship in Russia. At work, you always have to solve problems, explain standpoints and communicate with different people. After an internship you will know how people act in a different country. Disadvantage: An internship is hard to find and costs a lot of time and also usually costs a lot of money.

As always, there is not only one solution.  To make this decision, everyone has to discuss the options with themselves. But that shouldn’t be a problem because at least, it will be in a language you’re already good at.

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