I'm a US citizen living in the US, interviewing for a software development position in Washington, USA.

My initial phone interview tomorrow will be with a female hiring manager located in India. I'm curious if there is any cultural things that I should be aware of to avoid or to address that will help make a good impression during this interview.

Maybe off-topic: Are there any external resources for this kind of information?


3 Answers 3


The only things to do a bit differently are not cultural ones as such but communication ones.

Be careful to enunciate your words clearly, if she is not a native English speaker this is very helpful.

Do not use colloquialisms, use more formal language. This can also be helpful if she learnt her English formally.

Perhaps even practice a bit, concentrate and listen to yourself talking and try and imagine someone else listening and how clear your words come across.

I work in several languages and these things DO make a difference. Some American accents make no sense to me because they talk too fast and strangely, likewise a strong Irish accent if spoken quickly. Australians and their slang etc,.

  • 5
    Do not use colloquialisms, use more formal language. That's very good advice! I do use a lot of that kind of language, I think..
    – Steve
    Sep 12, 2017 at 22:27
  • @Steve Please do not use backquotes to highlight quoted text in comments. This syntax should be reserved for code or data, not normal text. Abusing code markdown has ugly results, causes problems for parsing tools such as screen readers for the visually impaired, and is easily avoided by using italics and quotation marks instead.
    – Lilienthal
    Sep 13, 2017 at 6:07
  • 1
    Additionally, listen to some Indian tech-talks. They have a rather unique accent and way of talking, and it really helps to be a little familiar with it, you'll be able to communicate more easily.
    – Erik
    Sep 13, 2017 at 7:27
  • 2
    Great advice! Accents can be tricky both ways. A trick that I've come to rely upon... if I'm unable to make out what the other person is saying, I always blame it on a bad connection and politely ask if they could repeat themselves. It's a white lie but it sidesteps an otherwise embarrassing situation. And of course, when I hear someone use that excuse on me I usually realize I have been talking too fast and try and adjust accordingly.
    – user48276
    Sep 13, 2017 at 16:15
  • @DanK I just tell politely them they need to slow down. I don't see it as an embarrassing situation, I don't expect people to get hints or read my mind when either of us is talking in a different language. But I get what you mean particularly when it is two native English speakers just with widely different accents.
    – Kilisi
    Sep 13, 2017 at 19:48

Other than above 'enunciation' and 'not treating them any different' answers which I completely agree with, only point I can make is be careful how you address them. Calling by first name culture is catching up but still not universally accepted in India. You may want to address her as Ma'am or Ms. LastName to be on safe side or at least check how they want to be addressed.


To treat your interviewer any differently than one physically located in the United States is an insult to her.

Don't assume that just because someone is physically located in India means that they don't understand American culture and practice. In fact, it's entirely possible that she has spent many years here but moved to India. Believe it or not, she could even be an American working abroad. You just don't know and you're making too many assumptions.

Just go into the interview as you would any interview. Instead of thinking of her as an "Indian woman" think of her as "the person who I need to convince" and nothing more. That's really the only way you should be thinking heading into an interview.

  • 4
    Don't assume that just because someone is physically located in India means that they don't understand American culture and practice. .. I didn't, that's why I asked. Thanks for your response.
    – Steve
    Sep 12, 2017 at 21:39
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    It appears to me that you are making way too many assumptions. Yes, it is possible that an Indian woman working in India has spent many years in US or that she is an American working in India, but the chances of that being the case are closer to 0% than to 100%. It sounds much more reasonable to assume that an Indian woman working in India is actually an Indian who has worked several years in India. The chances of that are close to 100%.
    – Masked Man
    Sep 13, 2017 at 3:32

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