As a fully remote company, X-Team attracts developers from all over the world. Because X-Team communicates with its partners in English, developers whose mother tongue isn't English are often concerned about their level of English. Sometimes, this is a concern they voice when we interview them. Other times, they never apply for X-Team because they've convinced themselves their English isn't good enough.
If you're a talented, experienced developer, your level of English should never hold you back from applying for X-Team or any other remote job. Yes, we assess X-Team candidates on their written and spoken English, but we find that the candidates who worry about their English are often those whose English is quite good. They're mostly suffering from impostor syndrome.
Still, there are things you can do to improve your English and, mostly, boost your confidence. We asked our Brazilian X-Teamers for tips on how you can improve your English as a remote developer:
- If you don't have anyone to practice English with, join a Discord language server and start talking to people. Find someone who speaks good English and frequently chat with them.
- Don't look up the translations of the words you don't know. Instead, use an English dictionary such as Merriam-Webster to figure out the meaning of a word. Only if that fails, look up its translation.
- Record yourself speaking English. Read a paragraph of a book written in English and listen to the recording to see which sounds you're becoming more familiar with and which sounds you can still improve. Do this with a friend for twice the fun.
- Play games that depend heavily on voice communication. Think Among Us, Civilization, or Valheim. Games where you need to work together. Avoid games like CS:GO or LoL. They're fun, but they won't improve your English because they're too fast-paced.
- Prepare for your remote interview by speaking English in front of a mirror. Think of the questions you might be asked and speak out your responses multiple times. You'll be much more confident going into the interview.
Ultimately, it's not your level of English that matters. It's how well you can communicate in English. We've interviewed many developers whose English vocabulary might have been limited, but who were still precise, deliberate, and clear to understand.
Pair that with the right programming skills, and you're a developer who should never hesitate to apply for a job because of your English skills.