You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. In most western interview scenarios, there is a belief that when you are in the interview chair, if you aren’t pumped with enthusiasm, you will be dumped, with enthusiasm.
Conversely, in the blue-suited business culture of Korea, it’s certainly not about histrionic displays of your super-keenness. What is required, however, is a more than passable fluency in the world’s lingua franca – and more and more university grads are entering the domestic marketplace with the language skills needed for an international audience.
The level of English of employees in large Korean firms – particularly those workers under 40 – has risen, including those who have never studied overseas. In the past, many Koreans may have had good scores on paper, but only those with a real ‘front line’ need developed their skills to a functional level.
Those days are gone. Standardized speaking tests like the TOEFL produce scores that are almost universally accepted. Moreover, hiring managers are relying more and more on in-house tests and regularly contract native speakers to sit in on face-to-face English interviews.
Preparation for these grueling encounters can often determine the difference between being shown the door to your new office and the door to the street.
If you are interested in learning even more about TOEFL Speaking, check out my course Clear Strategies & Tactics.
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