I have an interview with an English company with US locations and I have discovered that the interviewer is English. Is there anything I can do to impress him? Anyting I should not do?

I would like to think that our business customs are similar but I don't want to be caught off guard by doing or saying something that he would find offensive by accident.

I'm looking for cultural do's and don'ts - not basic business stuff...

Any help would be appreciated.

wendii's picture
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Gosh we're not THAT different to you!

I think that anyone who is abroad should be culturally adjusted to the country they are in. Therefore, you should be yourself and the interview should adjust to you.


MsSunshine's picture

Bottom-line: Don't assume anything based on someone's nationality. Use the guidelines on adapting to the DISC styles as a guide to moderate your style while staying true to yourself.

Interviewing would be one critical time when I'd want to moderate my style to the person(s) I'm talking with. I'm higher in D, I and S (5-5-5-2). But I work in a software development company. So, I moderate my style in interviews/conversations with those high C's to adapt. MT had some great podcasts on the DISC profile and adapting to other people's style. For example, I am very passionate and animated during conversations, but I'll try to keep my hand motions in check a little more with high C's. But I would never (and probably couldn't) suppress my passion from coming through.

I think everyone is working across countries and cultures more and that will grow. So, there are some other basic rules of thumb for me in conversations:
1. Don't use slang or expressions that they probably won't know. These can be really hard to recognize because we're used to them. But have an eye open for a blank look when you say something. Then say something to the fact that you'll make it a little clearer.
2. I am always more conservative in dress and behavior at the start. It's easier for me (and natural!) to open up more if they respond than to get them back into the conversation if I was too forceful at first.
3. If I think I've make a blunder by their reaction (and am usually not exactly sure why), I quickly say something like that I get the sense that I need to clarify my last comment. Then I'll carefully concisely rephrase what I said and ask if that made it clearer. The key is that I'm trying to get a response from them to indicate the misunderstanding.

melliott's picture

[quote="wendii"]Gosh we're not THAT different to you![/quote]

lol - I assumed that but you know what they say about assuming anything...

Thanks all. I'm nervous but your comments make me think I'm just over thinking it a bit more than I should.

Thanks again!

thaGUma's picture

Ditto and the interviewer will in all liklihood be familiar with US mannerisms and character as the company has US locations.

Good luck

mptully's picture

I would give you one piece of advice, which is to make sure that the interviewer is actually English (as opposed to working for a company based in England) before calling them so!

England is only one of the four countries of the United Kingdom and if your interviewer is Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish ... believe me, they will NOT appreciate being called English!!!

(Northern Irish working in England, where half the people think she is Scottish!)