Practice for Interviews in French – Questions and Answers

How To Ace An Interview In French: Common Interview Questions and How To Answer

As we’ve talked about in previous blogs, speaking a second language—especially French—can be a huge advantage for you in the Canadian job market. But before you can get a job in the French-speaking world, you’re usually going to have to prove yourself and your command of the French language in a job interview in French. 

 

It can be a tall task to do an interview in French because of the amount of pressure that’s on the candidate during the process. These pressure situations are often the ones where words in our second language elude us at the worst possible moment. Trust us, we’ve all been there. To help you avoid these pitfalls, we’ve put together this blog which covers the most common interview questions in French as sort of a French interview example to help you get prepared.

 

Preparation is the best way to avoid feeling under pressure or getting flustered during a job interview in French, or in any language really. With that in mind, here are some examples of French interview questions and answers. 

1. Pourquoi est-ce que nous devrions vous embaucher? → Why should we hire you?

you should definitely prepare for this one. To do so, you’ll want to consider how your experience and talents relate to the position for which you’re applying. 

 

A couple of phrases to think about when formulating your answer: 

  • Je pense que je suis bien adapte pour cette position parce que… → I think I’m well-suited for this job because…
  • Mon expérience à l’école/dans mes emplois précédents m’ont préparé pour les responsabilités de ce poste de la manière suivante… → My experience at school/in my previous jobs have prepared me for the responsibilities of this job in the following ways…
  • Mes talents avec X m’aideront avec les tâches qui sont demandés par ce poste de la manière suivante… → My talents with X will help me with the tasks that are demanded in this job in the following ways…

2. Quel est votre parcours scolaire? → What is your academic background?

No French interview example would be complete without this extremely common question. Depending on the job, your academic background might be more or less important to your success during your job interview in French, but either way it’s likely to be asked, and you want to be prepared for everything!

 

A couple of phrases to think about when formulating your answer:

  • J’ai fréquenté l’école X pendant X années et la j’ai appris X, Y, et Z, et je crois que ces leçons seront vraiment avantageuse pour cette position parce que… → I attended school X for X amount of years and I learned X, Y, and Z, and I think those lessons will be very advantageous for this position because…
  • Je suis allé à l’université X ou j’ai étudié X, et le degré que j’ai gagné là-bas m’a préparé pour un poste comme celui-ci parce que… → I went to university X where I studied X, and the degree I earned there prepared me for a position like this because…

3. Selon vous, quelles sont les qualités requises pour ce travail? → According to you, what qualities are required for this job?

A common interview question in French is to have the interviewer ask the interviewee about the position itself, to see if the candidate understands exactly what it is they’re applying for. They want the person they hire to hit the ground running, so understanding what you’re getting yourself into is crucial. For that reason, we had to include it on our list of interview French questions and answers.

 

A couple of phrases to think about when formulating your answer:

  • Je crois que les qualités requises pour cette position sont… qui aidera à accomplir toutes les tâches requises par… → I think the qualities required for this job are… which will help to accomplish all the tasks required by…
  • Les qualités requises pour cette position sont X, Y, et Z, et j’ai acquis ces qualités par… → The qualities required for this position are X, Y, and Z and I’ve acquired those qualities by…

4. Quels sont vos points forts? → What are your strengths?

It would be a surprise to see any job interview be completed without the interviewer asking their prospective candidate this question. While you don’t want to come off cocky, you always want to sell yourself during a job interview, and a little shameless self-promotion doesn’t usually hurt.

 

A couple of phrases to think about when formulating your answer:

  • J’ai fini premier de ma classe secondaire/en université en… → I finished top of my class in high school/university in…
  • A travers mon expérience professionnelle j’ai acquis des talents et qualités comme… → Through my work experience I’ve acquired talents and abilities such as…
  • Je suis très habile quand il s’agit de… → I’m very skilled when it comes to…



5. Pourquoi est-ce que vous quittez votre ancien emploi? → Why are you leaving your previous job?

You want to answer this question well and without hesitation, because this is a question asked in a job interview in French to see what kind of person you are and what might have pushed another company to part ways with you. Try to be as honest as you can while also portraying yourself in a good light.

 

A couple of phrases to think about when formulating your answer:

  • J’ai quitté mon ancien emploi parce que j’avais des différences créatives avec mon employeur → I left my old job because I had creative differences with my employer
  • J’ai quitté mon ancien emploi parce que je pensais que c’était le temps pour un nouveau challenge → I left my old job because I thought it was time for a new challenge
  • Mon ancien emploi ne me défiais pas assez → My old job wasn’t challenging me enough
  • J’ai quitté mon ancien emploi en bons termes → I left my old job on good terms

6. Où voyez-vous dans cinq ans? → Where do you see yourself in five years?

If there was ever a classic interview question, this is the one. You don’t need to overthink this one or over prepare for it. Simply ask yourself this question before the interview, and let your mind flow through other questions like, where do I WANT to be in five years, what do I WANT right now, what are some paths that can take me there?

 

A couple of phrases to think about when formulating your answer:

    • Je me vois travailler en… → I see myself working in…
    • J’aimerais avoir une bonne vie sociale/familiale ainsi que le succès avec les buts de travail, et mes buts sont… → I’d like to have a good social/family life as well as success with my professional goals, and my goals are…

 

7. Avez-vous des questions? → Do you have any questions?

This is one of the most common interview questions in French and one that people sometimes take for granted as a free pass to skip to the end of the interview. When they ask this question it’s always smart to have a couple of questions of your own to ask because not only does it make you seem more interested in the company/job, but it also makes you seem like you have your own expectations and levels of competence that you’re looking for in an employer as well.

 

Here are a few examples:

  • Quand puis-je commencer? → When can I start?
  • Y a-t-il des opportunités de promotion dans l’entreprise? → Are there opportunities for promotion/advancement in the company?
  • Comment se déroule une journée type? → What does a typical day look like?
  • Qui sera mon patron? → Who will be my direct superior?

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