How to handle a bilingual interview

Answering questions in one language is tough enough. What if you have to use two in an interview? We've got some expert advice.

About 3 mins

Read this text in Gaelic below.

If you apply for a role where you’ll use another language, you might find yourself faced with a multilingual interview panel. You could be asked questions, and have to reply, in either language.

So how do you prepare?

Kenny Murray, Gaelic Development Manager at Highland Council, has been on both sides of a bilingual grilling. We asked him what you can do to impress an interviewer like him. Given his job, we asked Kenny about Gaelic – but you can use his advice for interviews in other languages, too.

The panel

‘The make up of the panel will depend on the role itself,’ says Kenny. ‘You might find there’s just one Gaelic speaker, or several, one English speaker, or several. It depends on the role and the level of Gaelic you’ll be expected to use in the job, and within the organisation.'

Bilingual roles

‘If it’s a bilingual role, rather than a purely Gaelic role, make sure you’re able to show that you can switch effortlessly between Gaelic and English, and show that you’re comfortable doing so,’ says Kenny.

Kenny's top tips

  • Speak to the person in charge of recruiting for the role about the level of language ability required, and how much you’d use on a daily basis. This can help you prepare and give an indication of the level you might be expected to use at the interview
  • Re-read the job spec, job description, advertisement and your own application or CV before going in to the interview. That way you’ll be able to answer questions about the role quickly, no matter what language they’re asked in
  • Practice answering questions in English and the other language, and practice with someone who can ask questions in both languages
  • Keep calm, listen to the question and use as much of the language as you can during the conversation

 

Mar a dhèiligeas tu ri agallamh dà-chànanach

Ma tha Gàidhlig agad agus thu a’ cur a-steach airson obair far am bi thu a’ cleachdadh a’ chànain, dh’fhaodadh gum bi luchd-labhairt Beurla agus Gàidhlig air a’ phannal - agus bidh dùil ann gum bruidhinn thusa riutha san dà chànan gu fileanta.

Tha Coinneach Moireach, Manaidsear Leasachaidh na Gàidhlig aig Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd, air a bhith an sàs ann an agallamh dà-chànanach air gach taobh den bhòrd. Dh’iarr sinn air innse dhuinn dè as urrainn dhut a dhèanamh feuch am bi beachd math aig agallaiche ort.

Am Pannal

‘A thaobh cò bhios air a’ phannal, bidh sin an crochadh air dè an dreuchd a th’ ann,’ tha Coinneach ag ràdh. ‘Dh’fhaodadh nach bi ann ach aon duine le Gàidhlig, no tòrr, no aon neach aig a bheil dìreach Beurla, no grunn. Tha e an crochadh air dè an obair a th’ ann agus an uiread Ghàidhlig ’s a tha iad a’ sùileachadh a bhios tu a’ cleachdadh san obair sin, agus taobh a-staigh na buidhne.'

Dreuchdan Dà-chànanach

‘Mas e dreuchd dhà-chànanach a th’ ann, an àite dreuchd gu tur Gàidhlig, dèan cinnteach gun seall thu gun urrainn dhut a dhol eadar Gàidhlig is Beurla gun strì sam bith, agus gu bheil thu cofhurtail ga dhèanamh,’ tha Coinneach ag ràdh.

Prìomh Chomhairlean Choinnich

  • Bruidhinn ris an neach a tha os cionn trusadh airson na dreuchd agus faighnich dhaibh dè an ìre fileantais a tha dhìth, agus dè an uiread a bhiodh tu a’ cleachdadh gach latha. Cuidichidh sin thu le bhith ag ullachadh agus bheir e beachd dhut air an uiread agus an ìre de Ghàidhlig a bhios iad a’ sùileachadh gun cleachd thu aig an agallamh
  • Leugh an dealbh obrach, an tuairisgeul obrach, an sanas agus an t-iarrtas no an CB agad fhèin mus tèid thu don agallamh. Ma nì thu sin, thèid agad air ceistean mun dreuchd a fhreagairt gu luath, às bith dè an cànan san tèid na ceistean a chur
  • Ruith thairis air a bhith freagairt cheistean ann am Beurla agus Gàidhlig, agus feuch e le cuideigin as urrainn ceistean a chur ort san dà chànan
  • Na biodh iomagain ort, èist ris a’ cheist agus cleachd nas urrainn dhut de Ghàidhlig sa chòmhradh