English speaking skills to work abroad


If you are thinking of finding a job or changing jobs at a foreign-affiliated company with the aim of improving your career, you may be worried that it may be difficult if you cannot speak English. However, if you can't speak English, can you really change jobs to a foreign-affiliated company?

In this article, we will explain in detail whether it is possible for people who cannot speak English to get a job or change jobs at a foreign-affiliated company, and the level of English required by a foreign-affiliated company.

Even if you can't speak English, you may be able to change jobs to a foreign-affiliated company.

Even if you don't speak English, you may be able to change jobs to a foreign-affiliated company. Even if you say a foreign-affiliated company in a word, the type of business and work content are different, and the required skills are different. Even in foreign-affiliated companies, there are cases where the business partners are Japanese companies, the colleagues are all Japanese, and English is rarely used.

Foreign-affiliated companies that require high English skills are those that use English for business and those whose official language is English. At such companies, a certain level of English proficiency is a condition for joining the company, and if you do not meet that requirement, you may not even be able to apply.

If you want to change jobs to a foreign-affiliated company, aim for a TOEIC score of 700

Then, what is the specific level of English required when you want to change jobs to a foreign-affiliated company? Generally, it is said that a TOEIC score of 700 is one guideline for foreign-affiliated companies. If you have a TOEIC score of 700 or higher, you can exchange general emails and phone calls in English. There are many foreigners in the upper management of foreign-affiliated companies, but if you have 700 points or more, you will be able to communicate within the company with almost no problems.

Depending on the foreign-affiliated company, a TOEIC score of 800 or higher may be required. If you have a TOEIC score of 800 or higher, you can participate in discussions in English and create your own report. If your work includes negotiations in English with external parties such as business partners, this level will be required.

[By industry] English level required when changing jobs to a foreign-affiliated company

I told you that a TOEIC score of 700 is a guide for foreign-affiliated companies, but the level required varies depending on the industry. Therefore, from here, we will take up six industries that are common among foreign-affiliated companies and introduce the level of English expected in each industry.

Financial industry

Foreign-affiliated companies in the financial industry include investment banks, securities companies, credit card companies, and life insurance companies. In the financial industry, using English in business requires a high level of English proficiency. Because money is directly involved in the work content, even minor mistakes can be fatal. It is necessary to have an English ability that can accurately understand the detailed nuances of English and convey it accurately so that the other party does not misunderstand.

At internal meetings and conference calls, it is very important to give your opinion. It is required not only to speak, but to speak logically in a way that convinces the other party. Therefore, in the financial industry, the practicality of English, such as whether or not you have acquired practical English, is often more important than the TOEIC score.

IT industry

Foreign-affiliated companies in the IT industry include information processing services and Internet-related companies. The level of English required in the IT industry is related to how long it has been since the company entered Japan. For companies that have just entered Japan, manuals and know-how are often the same as at the head office, so a high level of English proficiency is required. Practical English proficiency is required because it is necessary to communicate closely with the head office. It is necessary to understand IT-related technical terms in English and use them correctly.

On the other hand, if you are a long-time company that has expanded into Japan, it is not uncommon for manuals and various rules to be prepared in Japanese. In this case, it is highly likely that you will be hired even if you do not have high English proficiency.

Automotive manufacturing industry

Overall, the automotive manufacturing industry does not require that high level of English proficiency. In particular, when hiring automobile manufacturing engineers, specialized skills are often more important than English proficiency. Some companies are looking for talent while appealing that they do not need high English proficiency.

As for sales, the main work content is negotiations and meetings with domestic customers, so high English proficiency is not required. However, when submitting a sales report to the head office, it is necessary to write the text in English.

On the other hand, when working at the head office and interacting with various bases around the world, it is necessary to have a high level of English proficiency, such as being able to understand English with various accents around the world. You also need to understand the terminology related to car manufacturing.

Electronic / machine maker

At electronics and machinery manufacturers, work experience using English is important. In business, we handle specifications and drawings written in English, so high English proficiency is required, including understanding of technical terms. We often communicate with overseas bases to procure parts and check specifications, and we are required to be able to send e-mails and phone calls in English without any problems.

However, as in the automotive manufacturing industry, sales positions do not require that high level of English proficiency. Usually, I only communicate with Japanese customers in Japanese, and in many cases, my English ability is as good as daily conversation.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer

The English proficiency required by pharmaceutical manufacturers also depends on the type of job. High levels are required for medical representatives such as MRs, researchers, and developers. In these occupations, the latest information on medicines must be obtained and accurately understood in English. You also need to have a good understanding of medical jargon.

In contrast, sales positions mainly deal with Japanese doctors, so high-level English is not required. However, there are some situations where English is required, such as submitting a report, for internal communication.

Chemical industry

Foreign-affiliated companies in the chemical industry require high English proficiency in sales positions. There are daily online meetings and report submissions with foreign countries, and business-level practical English proficiency is required.

In technical positions, there are few opportunities for discussions in English, and English is mainly used by email. Therefore, if you have English proficiency equivalent to daily conversation, there will be no problem in your work. Many of the technical terms in the field of chemistry are already familiar to Japanese, and it will not be difficult to learn them.

How people who cannot speak English can successfully change jobs at foreign companies

If you understand the English proficiency required by each industry, you may have understood that "even if you are not confident in English, you can change jobs to a foreign-affiliated company if you choose well." Therefore, in order to support that feeling, I will introduce specific methods for successful career changes of foreign-affiliated companies. Even if you are not confident in English, try the following methods to get one step closer to changing jobs to a foreign-affiliated company.

Choose a company or department that does not emphasize English proficiency

The first way is to choose a company or department that doesn't emphasize English proficiency if you can't speak English. Even foreign-affiliated companies have many jobs that do not use English in their work. Read the recruitment guidelines carefully to see how much English skill you are looking for. In particular, when recruiting human resources for domestic work, there are many cases where high English proficiency is not required.

The frequency and required level of using English will vary depending on factors such as whether the business partner is a domestic company or an overseas company, and whether there are many foreigners in colleagues and senior management. If you can't speak English, the point is to choose a company whose business partners are domestic companies and whose internal communication is also conducted in Japanese.

Apply for a company that is hiring potential

The second method is to apply for a company that is hiring potential. Potential recruitment means hiring human resources in anticipation of future growth. Companies that are hiring potential may be hired with the prospect of future growth, even if their current English skills are not at the required level.

When hiring potential, the emphasis is on motivation, enthusiasm, aptitude, etc., and the target is young people up to the early 30s. Even if your English ability does not meet the standards, if you enthusiastically appeal why you want to work for this company, you will be more likely to be hired.

Hone your practical skills

The third method is to improve your practical skills, not your English skills. Of course, English proficiency is important for foreign-affiliated companies, but practical skills are more important depending on the type of job and job content. If you have specialized skills or necessary qualifications in your previous career, you can be regarded as a useful person even if you have poor English proficiency. Especially when applying for a profession, actively promote the skills and experience you have.

How to improve your English to change jobs to a foreign-affiliated company

So far, I have told you that even if you do not speak English, you may be hired by a foreign-affiliated company. However, on the other hand, it is also true that being able to speak English is much more advantageous for changing jobs. If you have a high level of English proficiency, you will be able to improve your career and annual income, so it is very important to continue your efforts to improve your English proficiency.

In this paragraph, I'll show you two specific ways to improve your English, what you can do to improve your English.

First, learn the basics of English

The first is to acquire the basics of English. Business English may have the image of high-level English, but what is actually used is mainly basic grammar. Let's firmly hold down the basic grammar such as present tense, past tense, future tense, and interrogative words so that you can actually use it when you need it.

No matter how high the level of English you study, it makes no sense unless you can actually master it. What is required in the business scene is not only knowledge but also "actually usable" English. Communication is possible if you can use even simple words and grammar.

The recommended way to learn the basics of English is to come into contact with English through foreign films and books. If you come across an English word or phrase that you don't know, look up the meaning and write it down. Also, regarding grammar, it is recommended to study using TOEIC preparation materials. If you can understand the contents of the TOEIC materials, you can think that you have almost acquired the basic skills of English, which is the basis of your business.

What is the difference between everyday English and business English?

Now let's know what is the difference between everyday English and business English. In everyday English, the main expressions are simple expressions, and abbreviations and abbreviations are often used. In the negative form, the abbreviation for not is used, and the conjunction that is omitted, and so on.

On the other hand, in Business English, polite expressions are preferred without using abbreviations very often. It is also characterized by the use of formal words such as purchase instead of buy and however instead of but. If you use proper business English in the business scene, you can give a polite and polite impression to the other person without being rude.

Output what you have learned

The second is to output what you have learned. As I mentioned earlier, "actually usable" English is required in the business scene, but output is indispensable for raising the learned knowledge to the "actually usable" level.

Output is essential, especially if you want to improve your speaking and writing skills. Get in the habit of making regular outputs, such as writing a diary or trying to speak English by yourself. It is also effective to take one-on-one lessons in online English conversation. EnglishPhonetics English conversation is recommended because you can have the opportunity to output what you have learned in conversation with a foreign teacher.

Interview measures to change jobs to a foreign-affiliated company

Finally, let's think about the interview measures that are essential for changing jobs to a foreign-affiliated company. Here are three things you can do to effectively appeal to yourself and make a good impression on your interviewer.

Gather information about companies and the types of jobs you apply for

The first is to research the company and the type of job you are applying for. If you research the company carefully before applying, you can avoid mismatches after joining the company. If you are familiar with the company in the interview, it will appeal to you that you have a strong enthusiasm for joining the company.

Practice and prepare for the interview

The second is to practice and prepare for the interview in advance. Interviews can be very tense, but if you practice in advance, you will have more room to relax and be able to respond calmly.

Since the questions asked during the interview are fixed to some extent, it is important to anticipate in advance and prepare how to answer them. The following questions are often asked during interviews.

Please introduce yourself.

What are your strengths / weaknesses? (What are your strengths / weaknesses?)

How would you describe yourself?

Why do you want to work for us?

What interests you about this position / job?

What do you think you can contribute to our company?

What have you learned from your past jobs? (What have you learned from your past jobs?)

If your interview is conducted in English, be prepared to answer these questions smoothly in English.

Communicate your opinion firmly

The third is to convey your opinion firmly. Foreign-affiliated companies prefer people who have their own opinions and can speak up positively. Be aware that you can see not only what you say, but also your attitude and facial expressions. Japanese companies prefer a humble attitude, but foreign-affiliated companies tend to judge that humility is "not confident" or "incapable." It is important to seal humility in the interview and express your opinion in a dignified manner.

In addition, be aware of the following during the interview.

Look closely at the other person's eyes and speak

Eye contact is especially important if the interviewer is a foreigner. Raise your face and talk with your eyes without being shy.

Don't talk too much about yourself

Self-appeal is important, but the standard time for self-introduction is 3 minutes. Talk about your background, skills, qualifications you have, future prospects, etc., and be careful not to talk too long.


Even if you don't speak English, it is quite possible to change jobs to a foreign-affiliated company if you choose an industry or occupation. Also, if you continue to study English and improve your English conversation skills, the possibilities will expand further. Get ready to join the company you want by learning the basics of English and practicing the output.