Where Linguists Can Work and How to Pass Job Interviews


Linguists are experts in the science and technology of language studies. They apply scientific principles to the study of languages. Some however study specific languages and their technologies.

As result, there are experts in Yoruba Language, Yoruba Studies, English Language, French Language, German Language and others.

Taking Nigeria as an example indigenous languages such as Yoruba, Efik, and Igbo (just to mention a few) are studied in Nigerian schools.

The dominant foreign language used as a medium of instruction is, however, English and other foreign languages such as French German and Portuguese are studied to varying degrees in Nigerian universities and colleges.

English is the medium of instruction or communication, especially from primary school level to tertiary level while Mother Tongue (MT) is the official language of teaching at nursery primary schools.

It is the stage of administration in an all-official setting within the country. All the media use it. It is the language used to seek international aid and advance the nation’s economic ties with wealthier nations.

It is also an international language as has been a language of commerce used in international trade and commerce. It unites Nigerians because the nation is a multicultural country.

English in Nigeria aids inter-ethnic interaction and so reduces the suspicion. It is a language used in seeking employment opportunities.

Nigeria’s education industries produce graduate experts in the English language and English studies on a steady basis.

This has led to competition for few available job opportunities. The general unemployment toll which is moving toward the rooftops in Nigeria has gravely affected job search by language experts.

This is even more so in the case of languages whose status in Nigeria schools have worsened over the year the diagnosis seems very sad, particularly with the dwindling resources exploited in the process of producing ill-prepared and half-baked graduates of English thus worsening the ridiculously high employment rates for graduates in this category.

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It is however reliving that graduates of English, who have proved their mettle in colleges and universities, have a gamut of job opportunities available to them.

These include:

• Teaching at various levels particularly as a Proprietor – teacher
• The Mass Media: The radio and television industry (both publicly and privately owned
• Public relations industry with politicians and industrialists as targets.
• Language clinic where various languages can be learnt and in this case English • • •  Language for non-native speakers of the English Language.
• Advertising industry where slogans and jingles are prepared through coinages.
• Publishing industry as editors, proofreaders and public letter writers.
• Religious calling can be exploited by the eloquent graduate to wit.
•Further education in areas such as Law, International Relations, Journalism and • Computer Studies is also possible for job enhancement.
• A peep into the foreign language industry is also desirable for becoming multilingual(French, Portuguese, and German can be studied for job enhancement).

After taking a decision  on any of these and having implemented them, the fresh graduates need to watch out for these when going for an appointment interview:

• Research into the company’s mission statement and vision.
• Put up a good physical appearance.
• Ensure that you take along the Curriculum Vitae (C.V) and your credentials.
• Arrive early (earlier than scheduled).
• Have a good night’s sleep before the interview
• Display courtesy, do not sit until you are told to do so
• Be positive at the interview. Do not underestimate yourself.
• At the interview centre, give and accept compliments.
• Ask for the job; don’t beg.
• Listen attentively to questions and comments.
• Look into the eyes of the panel of interviewers. Do not be timid.
• Avoid arguments with interviewers.
• Prepare for surprises
• Ask questions if requested.
• Be familiar with the information in your CV.
• Sharpen your communication skill and overcome mannerisms.
• Rehearse answers to commonly asked questions.
• Be abreast of current affairs locally and internationally.
•Be Computer illiterate

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Above all, you should master your body language during interviews. Hiring professionals pay attention to your verbal answers and they also look at how you deliver them.

You should not look them in the eye, fidget, play with your pen or fold your arms across your chest.

All of these nonverbal cues play a part in the impression you make. Your eye contact, handshake and posture can all help or hinder your chances of landing a job.

There are positive nonverbal cues that you can send during an interview to help the interview team view you favourably such as a good smile and a sweet face, not a frown.

In general, sitting up straight indicates that you’re paying attention, and a slight lean forward conveys interest and engagement. A warm and genuine smile makes everyone feel more comfortable.

You should also have a firm and moderate handshake, but not too firm – crushing hands is no way to win favour.

It is good to have hand gestures during the conversation but refrain from fidgeting, such as shaking your leg, tapping your fingers or playing with a pencil.

If you can maintain good eye contact, it will attract the attention of interviewers. Do not stare but make an interviewer uncomfortable by looking the speaker in the eye.

To look away with slight breaks is polite. Try that your goal is to be engaged and interactive. Looking someone in the eye when they speak to you and while you respond indicates respect for the person. If you look away frequently while talking to them conveys disinterest.

The diagnosis may be sad as discussed but the prognosis is convincingly cheerful for graduates of English who have updated their knowledge adequately and are ready for the challenges in the world of work.

What the graduate of English needs to do is to brace up for one or more of the opportunities listed above.

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He should be skilled in all aspects of English Studies (Literature Inclusive). Writing basic books on English can also be a past time pastime for the graduate of English. With this, all hands will be on deck to improve the status of English in Nigeria.

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