Translator interview: What questions to prepare for?

Job searches pose a big struggle for many aspiring translators. And once they overcome the barrier of finding a job, the next obstacle is, a successful interview. Regardless whether you are a seasoned translator or a newbie, the answers you give during an interview is what leaves the greatest impression on your prospective employer. Remember, acing an interview is not just about having an articulate and perfectly canned speech you blurt out to an employer, but your answers also need to showcase your experience, personality and talents.

Just like in business, you have to market yourself by showing them what you ‘bring to the table’, and be able to translate your ideas into a well-thought responses — without sounding arrogant. There are many things that you can do to become prepared, and you can leverage your chances of getting the job, by equipping yourself with proper response – by practicing with the following questions:

  1. Why should we hire you in our translator position?
  2. How many languages can you translate? What are these languages?
  3. What types of clients or people do your typically work with?
  4. How long have you been working as a translator? What made you leave your last translation job?
  5. How many years of experience do you hold, working as a translator?
  6. How do you see yourself ten years from now, in your translation career?
  7. What type of dilemmas or problems have you encountered in your job as a translator, and what steps did you do to overcome it or deal with it?
  8. Why do you want this translator job?
  9. What challenges are you looking for, in this position?
  10. Why do you enjoy being a translator?

By preparing for the aforementioned questions, you must let your employer or interviewer know that you are the best for their position, and present your qualifications to them, justifying why.