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Welcome to “Switch” – with the Gemeente Amsterdam and The English Center

What is Switch? Who is it for?  The Switch reschooling program is for clients of Werk, Participatie en Inkomen (WPI) and UWV. Participants in these programs can request training that is paid for by the Gemeente.

With the approval of your case manager, we will help you prepare a winning CV, a persuasive cover letter and a set of interview skills that will help you win a good job. And if your English is just generally not ready to go to work, we will help with that, too.

Read more about Switch in Dutch

Why should I request English Center private coaching for job interview and career success?

As we say in English, you only have one chance to make a first impression.

The Gemeente Amsterdam is ready to make an investment in you and your future! As soon as your case manager says “OK,” we will start with an intake appointment

Most clients receive about 10 hours training, but you may need more or less, depending on your English level.

Our approach to your job search

• We will start with your CV, also known as a resume. Is the English correct? Is your CV clear and focused? Does it fit the job you are applying for?
• What about your cover letter? Does it add something to the CV? Will it get the attention of the reader?
• Are your general writing skills good enough to get and keep the job?
• How strong is your accent?
• How good is your English under pressure?
• Are you a good listener? Can you answer common interview questions accurately and concisely?
• Are you comfortable online and in person?
• Are your conversational and diplomatic in English?

Job interviews are tough. Can you confidently answer these English interview questions?

• Tell us about yourself. Note: This is the most important question you will answer.
• Why are you the right person for this job?​
• What are your professional strengths? Weaknesses?​
• What is your leadership style at work?
• What kind of team player are you?
• Where do you see your career in 10 years?
• What do your colleagues say about you?

Research shows that communication skills and confidence are key factors in winning a new job.

Research shows that employers often choose confidence over competence, and communication over core professional skills. That means that your great education, high intelligence and solid work history may not be enough to win over your interviewer, because she is judging how well you will fit on her team. She already likes your CV, or you would not be there! Now she is trying to get a sense of your personality and communication style.

In your employment interview, listening is job #1!

The number one skill for an interviewee is not speaking, it’s listening. You must be a good listener in order to answer questions accurately. And that means being calm and attentive. And of course you have to have enough vocabulary, grammar and idiom to know exactly what is being said and asked. Only then can you give appropriate answers.

But what about speaking? How fluent are you? Can you find your words?

Your interviewer will observe your fluency. If you often pause to find the words you need to complete your sentences, your interviewer will know that your access to productive (spoken) English is not great. The interviewer will conclude that you will be the same with colleagues and clients. If you have spoken English fluency issues, you may want to consider a longer English course to really build your vocabulary and fluency.

Do you have the functional and social English you need for a good job interview?

Can you effectively “meet and greet,” describe, discuss, agree, disagree, ask smart questions and tell your career story – in English? Do you know how long to “hold the floor” (to speak?) Remember that a good job interview is a good conversation (with special rules and goals, of course.) So you may want to start with learning how to be a good conversationalist before you tackle the actual interview!

Read more about the “Fine Art of Conversation” here.

In the job interview, can you give examples (little stories) that bring your professional strengths to life?

In a job interview, it is not enough to say that you are a team player or that you are a good leader. You have to have an example ready to share. If you are not a natural storyteller and you don’t like to talk about yourself, you need to learn the skill of “business storytelling.”

Do you have a strong accent? Do people often ask you to repeat yourself?

If the answer is yes, you may want to get some accent reduction training. It is not fair, but people will judge you more negatively is your accent is strong, even if your grammar and fluency are perfect! You can read more about accent training here.

Do you want to know your current English level before your English job solicitation search begins? Take our free level test (50 questions)

MLIT Multi Level intake Test (FREE)

Are you unsure about your Business English level?

Try our free Business English test now. This test is for intermediate and advanced level speakers.

More help to prepare for a job interview in English

In addition to your teacher contact hours in the English interview training, you may like our online video Business English courses.

Call The English Center +31 20 823 0569. We are happy to speak with you!


Contact us

For more information about job solicitation training – online or in person in Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Den Haag and the Randstad – please call +31 20 823 0569 or complete our form.

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