One of the most frequent questions during a job interview in French is “Can you talk to me about your professional experience?”. In your response, you should give a brief summary of your professional experience and convince the recruiter that you have all the skills required for the job. It is also the opportunity to demonstrate you can speak clearly in French.
Here is some advice to succeed!
Prepare your pitch in advance
To answer this question in the best possible way, improvising is out of the question! Prepare yourself in advance to describing your professional experience. Look at your curriculum and select the experiences that are the most important to address. Think about what they brought to you and the results you obtained that you can share. French recruiters value concrete results with data, in particular in sales jobs.
Build your pitch with strong sentences in French
To describe your professional experience during a job interview, the easiest is to follow a chronological order. Here are a few examples of sentences in French to describe your experience:
- “J’ai débuté mon expérience professionnelle au sein de l’entreprise X au poste de Y ” / “I started my career in the company X in the position of Y”
- “J’étais responsable de la gestion de X au sein d’une équipe de Y personnes” / “I was responsible for X within a team of X people”
- “Cette expérience m’a permis de renforcer mes compétences en… ” / “This experience allowed me to reinforce my skills in…”
- “J’ai ensuite décidé de relever un nouveau défi” / “I then decided to take up a new challenge.”
- “J’ai choisi de rejoindre l’entreprise X au poste de Y” / “I chose to join the company X in the position of Y.”
Use French action verbs
To make the description of your professional experience dynamic, it is strongly recommended to use action verbs. When describing your tasks, in order to present them in the best light, use the active form and French verbs such as analyser (analyse), créer (create), coordonner (coordinate), diriger (lead), mettre en œuvre (implement), mener à bien (carry out) or lancer (launch). For example say “J’ai lancé une nouvelle plateforme de gestion des événements” (I launched a new event management platform) rather than “Parmi mes missions, il y avait le lancement d’une nouvelle plateforme de gestion des événements”. (My missions included the launch of a new event management platform).
Think about keywords
In each industry there are keywords the recruiter wants to hear during the job interview. It shows him you understand the key challenges of the job. Work on the French vocabulary specific to your industry. You can explore the website of the company you are interviewing for as well as the websites of the competitors. You may also want to have a look at the LinkedIn profiles of people working for the company and the skills they have highlighted. Take note of the keywords to include in your pitch.
Practice speaking French as much as possible
Practice talking about your professional experience in French, for example with a Live-French.net teacher. A French teacher can help you build your sentences and become more fluent before the big day. In addition, it is important to repeat your pitch to native French speakers: this will help you feel more at ease and be natural during the job interview.