Debating cancelling an interview as a bilingual wetland educator, here’s the story.

  • Bilingual position, I selected strictly English on the application.
  • Company called and asked prelim questions;
  • Asked a question in French which I could answer with broken French.
  • Asked if I could speak to wetland species in French, I said I couldn’t.
  • Interviewer told me to practice my French and come in this week. She will be asking me questions about wetland species to be answered in detail, in French.

She knows I can’t speak every day French well, I told her I can’t do wetland species in French, yet she wants me to come in. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time but this is a dream position.

Should I cancel the interview, or continue with it?

closed as off-topic by Philip Kendall, Dukeling, gnat, mcknz, OldPadawan Apr 1 at 8:18

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions asking for advice on a specific choice, such as what job to take or what skills to learn, are difficult to answer objectively and are rarely useful for anyone else. Instead of asking which decision to make, try asking how to make the decision, or for more specific details about one element of the decision. (More information)" – Philip Kendall, Dukeling, mcknz, OldPadawan
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  • 1
    Can you estimate how likely you'd be to achieve the desired level of competency talking in French on this subject within a reasonable timespan? Did you select "strictly English" because you can't speak about these topics in French or because your French is so limited that you don't have a basic working proficiency even on everyday topics? – Lilienthal Mar 31 at 18:32
  • 2
    If you show an improvement over your first interview, that my be good enough. She thought you were good enough to be given a chance to show some improvement. – さりげない告白 Apr 1 at 6:15
  • 1
    Just memorize as much literature about the subject in French as you can and do your best. Don't cancel the interview. I once conducted an interview in a secondary language and the interviewer was super patient and understanding. Don't blow your chance and do your homework – Xander Apr 1 at 8:34
  • This question is not off-topic, and you should definitely try! – David Apr 1 at 14:38
  • @asdf : OP asked "Should I cancel the interview, or continue with it?", and this open-ended, opinion-based question is covered by the VTC parts "Questions asking for advice on a specific choice [...] Instead of asking which decision to make...". To your "you should definitely try!", I say "No, you shouldn't". Who's right/wrong? you/me/noone? or your comment was humour? ;) – OldPadawan Apr 1 at 15:35

She knows I can’t speak every day French well, I told her I can’t do wetland species in French, yet she wants me to come in.

She told you to practice your French.

If you have already concluded that you cannot practice and learn French quickly enough to be able to handle this bilingual position, then it makes no sense to attend the interview.

Otherwise, if you really want this dream positions, you'll practice as hard as you can, go to the interview, do your best, and see where that takes you.

Sometimes, dream positions are worth some extra effort and a little bit of time.


The interviewer has already talked to you in French, so they know the level of French you have. If they thought you couldn't learn enough French in the week to reach the standard they need, they would not have invited you back. Interviewers don't like to waste their time any more than you do.

Make a big effort to learn as much wetland spieces French as possible and give it a try.

  • 3
    "could speak to wetland species in French". Heh! Bonjour, mon Flamingo! – Fattie Apr 1 at 0:10
  • @Fattie Bless you, I laughed a good 10 minutes when I read that. – Xander Apr 1 at 8:32

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