Recognize your international knowledge, skills and experience by Identifying Your Global Competencies. Effectively present your international experience by Capturing Your Global Competency in a Resume. Demonstrate your experiences abroad by Articulating Your Global Competency in an Interview. (from the Career Development Center, Binghamton University)
Identifying Your Global Competencies
The following list of questions is intended to help you begin to identify some of the international knowledge, skills and experience you possess:
Language and Communication Skills:
- What languages do you speak? Write? Understand? In what languages are you fluent?
- Do you have a professional network (i.e. professional contacts) in other countries?
- Do you have an ear for understanding different accents?
- Are you able to recognize different meanings in gesturing from more than one culture? For example, hand waves and head nods can mean vastly different things from one culture to the next.
- Do you understand slang words in more than one language or dialect?
Knowledge of Culture, Both Traditional and Popular:
- With what cultures and nationalities have you had close dealings?
- What ethnic or religious traditions do you observe?
- Are you familiar with the nuances of ethnic or religious traditions beyond your own?
- Can you cook traditional or popular dishes associated with your country or culture?
- Are you closely familiar with specific cultural, religious or national festivals and their significance?
- Can you identify traditional and/or contemporary forms of art from multiple countries?
- Are you familiar with social trends in other counties (i.e. what's popular in music, fashion, movies, etc.)?
- Do you use, or are you familiar with, technologies or gadgets that are currently popular in other countries?
- Do you know of websites that are popular in other countries?
Knowledge of Business and Employment Practices:
- Are you familiar with the predominant management styles in more than one country? Can you articulate differences and similarities of these styles?
- Are you familiar with labor standards and/or hiring practices in other countries?
- Are you aware of specific labor laws from other countries?
- In how many countries have you studied?
- Are you able to articulate the similarities and differences in educational systems with which you are familiar?
- Have you observed a noticeable difference in teaching and/or learning styles in different countries?
Ability to Adapt:
- How many countries have you visited? Lived in? Worked or volunteered in?
- Do you adjust quickly to new surroundings?
- When faced with a new environment, do you fit in quickly?
- Are you comfortable using public transportation in multiple countries?
Global Thinking Skills:
- Do you follow the news from multiple countries on a regular basis?
- When news happens in one country, do you often think of its implications on other countries?
- Can you clearly describe the political parties from at least one other country?
- Do you know how to access social services in another country?
- Have you participated in providing humanitarian aid in another country?
Capturing Your Global Competency in a Resume
To effectively present an international experience on your resume, ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I trying to communicate to a potential employer about my international experience? About its relationship to my major?
- What skills did I gain? What cross-cultural competencies did I develop? Did I become proficient in a language?
- Where should I include this experience on my resume so that it will have the most impact and support what I am trying to communicate?
- Did I gain research experience through conducting an independent study project? Have I become well versed in some aspect of my host country‘s culture?
Articulating Your Global Competency in an Interview
Think of examples related to your experiences abroad that have demonstrated your ability to:
- Creatively solve problems by applying familiar concepts to unfamiliar situations
- Be self-confident, yet able to listen and learn from people whose value systems are different
- Take personal risks and act independently
- Be flexible and adaptable to rapidly changing situations
- Have a basic command of the local language, and be able use it in practical situations
- Imagine, forecast, analyze or address business situations from a different cultural frame of reference
Sample Interview Questions: Directly Related to Study Abroad
Employers are looking for specific examples of ways in which you bettered your communication skills, adaptability to new circumstances, flexibility and cultural awareness. Think of a specific story as related to your overseas experience that best highlights your newly acquired skills.
- Why did you choose to study abroad?
- Why and how did you choose your study abroad program and location?
- How did study abroad change you? How will this be helpful to you in the future?
- Tell me about your volunteer and work experience while abroad.
- What did you learn oversees that would help you in this job?
- In what ways are you more adaptable, open-minded and observant?
- Describe your role of working with students from different cultural backgrounds.
- Tell me how you immersed yourself in an unfamiliar environment.
- Can you identify cultural differences? Can you identify a specific time when you needed to modify your behavior to accommodate cultural norms?