With businesses increasingly expanding their reach across borders and cultures, conducting interviews for roles related to localization has become a common task for HR personnel. These roles include:
- Localization project manager
- Localization coordinator
- Language quality assurance tester
- Localization engineer
- Linguistic consultant
Localization ensures that products, services and marketing content resonate with the local audience in a variety of markets, transcending language and cultural barriers. But to triumph in this area, companies need the right talent on their team, and to get that talent on board, localization interviews are a critical part of recruitment.
Given the unique challenges associated with sourcing top-tier talent in localization, developing an effective interviewing strategy is key. This is where localization recruitment companies like International Achievers Group come in.
In this article, we explore what is involved in an interview strategy, sharing insights into how we conduct successful interviews to find the best talent in the pool for your expanding company.
Understanding the basic skills required for localization roles
Rule number one of localization recruitment: know exactly what is needed for the job on offer. Also, it helps if the hiring company has a clear idea of what they want their ideal candidate to bring to the table. When interviewing for various localization positions, it is essential to have a deep understanding of what each role entails. This will equip hiring managers with the knowledge necessary to identify specific required skills in each candidate.
For example, a localization project manager will oversee all standard aspects of interfacing with internal client teams, while managing localization requests and the overall project flow from start to finish, including cost and timeline planning. A translator, on the other hand, will be responsible for the linguistic task of converting content from one language to another, ensuring that all content is adapted accurately for and is culturally relevant to the target audience.
Key skills and competencies in localization
Being successful in any localization role requires deep knowledge of the field. Localization is not just about translating words; it’s about tailoring the entire user experience to local preferences. It encompasses language, cultural nuances, visual elements, and even technical considerations. These can include:
- Linguistic prowess
- Cultural sensitivity and awareness
- Technical expertise in tools such as TMS, CAT and MT
- Localization knowledge related to quality processes, testing, and so on
It’s important to remember that the depth of these skills varies a lot on a role-to-role basis. Next, we’ll explore how candidates can showcase these in an interview.
How do we prepare for localization interviews?
Successful interviews are the result of substantial preparation. Here is an insight into our interview preparation process.
We define your requirements
Our first step is to craft a clear and detailed job description that outlines the specific responsibilities of the localization role. The job description clearly defines the experience, skills, and qualifications required for the position, considering whether linguistic, cultural or technical expertise is most important for your project’s needs.
We create a structured interview format
Structuring the interview ensures consistency in the evaluation process. We develop a standardized set of questions and assessment criteria for all candidates, which allows us to a) gather the necessary information to evaluate the candidate and b) compare apples to apples. We include behavioural questions, scenario-based questions, and technical assessments.
We also ask the right questions
Depending on the role at hand, these questions will also need to be very specific. For example, a candidate interviewing for a localization project management role will need to have extensive localization technology skills and project management chops.
To identify these abilities, using the example of a PM role, we use questions that assess a candidate’s knowledge of specific industry technologies, localization processes (i.e., linguistic quality and testing), and use of project management software, best practices, and processes.
How do we conduct interviews for localization roles?
Fundamental questions that we ask during a localization interview revolve around:
- Language proficiency – what languages they speak, how proficient they are in each language, and if it’s a translation role can they provide examples or samples of their translation work?
- Technical skills – what localization tools and software have they mastered, and what is their experience in content management systems?
- Problem-solving and adaptability – how they cope with tight deadlines and unexpected changes, as well as how they learn new technology
- Industry knowledge – the localization industry changes all the time, and quickly. It’s important to ask how they stay current in the industry. Do they attend conferences? Read industry magazines? Attend webinars? We’re always sure to ask what publications and thought leaders they follow
- Discipline knowledge – for each role to be effective and successful they need to keep on top of their discipline. How do linguists stay current with the language they specialize in? How do testers continue to raise the bar on their knowledge of testing? This is what we aim to find out
- Collaboration and communication – how well do they integrate within a team setting, and how successfully do they collaborate with cross-functional teams
- Time management – how they prioritize and manage multiple localization projects simultaneously, and the steps they take to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget.
Given estimations that up to 40% of candidates alter the facts regarding their skills on their resume, the interview stage provides an opportunity to separate those who have stretched the truth from the genuine article. Utilizing specific questions, as detailed above, will help to establish this.
Our method of evaluating localization candidates
Outside of the interview questions, evaluating candidates for localization roles requires a combination of assessing technical abilities, cultural knowledge, linguistic skills, and project management capabilities. Here are two methods we employ when evaluating potential candidates:
Language proficiency tests
For those interviewing for a language-related position, we conduct standardized language tests to evaluate the candidate’s fluency in both the source and target languages. For positions that require translation, candidates might also be given a sample text to translate. This will not only test linguistic skills but also their ability to convey the correct tone and context. Also, a translation test should always be paid.
Project management scenario
Localization often involves coordinating between different teams (translators, reviewers, developers). Therefore, for roles that have project management elements, we present the candidates with a hypothetical project, asking them to detail how they would plan, coordinate and execute it. This would test their organizational, communication and problem-solving skills.
How we can help you source the best localization talent with our localization recruitment services
Finding top-tier talent to fill a wide range of localization roles is a lengthy and detailed process. It takes plenty of planning. Through our localization recruitment services, we utilize our expertise to carry out all of this groundwork for you.
At International Achievers Group, we elevate your team’s productivity and maximize global impact by placing the right candidate in your critical localization roles. Our proven strategies for effective localization interviews ensure you find the right talent.
We also specialize in non-discriminatory hiring practices and data protection compliance, ensuring best practices in your hiring process.