We’ve gathered our answers to the common questions that we get asked, in one convenient place. These answers are provided purely for educational purposes and are often used to signpost to other useful resources. They do not constitute advice.

If you have a question that you’d like us to answer, send it to us via email: mike@jobreadyenglish.com.

Always seek advice from a trained OISC-registered professional. Do not take advice from Quora, Reddit, Facebook or any forum where people are not qualified. The advice provided here is strictly for educational purposes.


Can I apply for a Tier 2 visa in the UK?

Yes, there are two types of application – in country and out of country. Companies almost always prefer to employ graduates using an in-country visa. Out-of-country visas are limited to 20,700 places a year and are generally allocated to skilled professionals who already have significant work experience.

Can I apply for a Tier 2 visa outside of the UK?

Referencing the question above, the limited number of out-of-country Tier 2 visas (20,700) makes this route highly competitive and, as a result, it’s unlikely that a company would use such a process for an international student.

Based on our experience, it would be almost impossible to secure a job from outside of the UK as a student with little work experience. This route would most often be used for professionals aged 30+.

Can I buy a Tier 2 Visa?

No. Buying a Tier 2 Visa is illegal, and we have had students and professionals contact us who have been defrauded out of up to £50,000.

If anyone tells you, you can buy a Tier 2 Visa they are everything that your parents warned you about when they said you shouldn’t talk to strangers.


More on that in this video:

Can I convert a Tier 5 to a Tier 2 visa?

You can convert a Tier 5 to a Tier 2 visa, just not while remaining in the UK. Once the two years are up on your Tier 5 visa, your employer would need to make a separate application for a Tier 2 visa.

For full details, here’s an in-depth post from the professional service firm Sable International on switching from a Tier 5 visa.

Can my spouse get a visa as well if I get a Tier 2 visa?

Yes – they will need a UK spouse visa, also known as a Tier 2 general dependent visa.

A ‘dependant’ is any of the following:

  • your husband, wife, or partner
  • your child under 18
  • your child over 18 if they’re currently in the UK as a dependant

Do I have to pay for my own Tier 2 visa?

If you’re sponsored by a large company, almost certainly not. However, some SMEs have been known to pass on part or even all the costs to international students.

What tends to be more common is that companies will pay for the Tier 2 visa, but may ask international students to pay for part or all of the immigration health surcharge, which could be as much as £1,200.

See the full list of costs associated with sponsoring international students for a Tier 2 visa.

How can I find a Tier 2 Sponsor?

We cover exactly how to this step by step in these videos:


How do I know if I have the right to work in the UK?

Many students get confused when they fill out a job application. On a Tier 4 visa you have the right to work 20 hours during term time, and full time in the holidays. This doesn’t mean you have the right to work in the UK in a full-time job. As a basic principle, if you have a Tier 4 visa, you DO NOT have the right to work in the UK full time. See full guidance from the UKCISA.

Where can I get Visa advice from?

Only seek advice from an OISC registered immigration adviser.

You can find a full explanation and a link to a list of advisers here.


More on that in this video:

Will I have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS)?

The IHS be paid by anyone applying for a visa in the UK, unless they are a tourist applying for a visitor visa. Paying the IHS gives you access to the National Health Service (NHS).

The cost of the IHS is paid on a yearly basis for the duration of the visa. For Tier 4 and Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visas, the total cost is £600 (£300 a year for two years). For all other visas, the yearly cost is £400. This means that the total cost for a five-year visa will be £2,000.

Large companies may pay for the immigration health surcharge on your behalf, but smaller companies will let international students pay their own fees.

I graduate on X date can I apply for the Graduate Route?

A question to ask your University.

Can my partner/family member apply for the graduate route with me?

A question to ask your University.

Can you recommend an immigration lawyer to use?


If you are an immigration lawyer and agency and would like to work with us, we are always happy to receive speculative applications through our Contact Us Page.

My Visa is ending soon what should I do?

A difficult place to be in. We made a video on this subject which can give you some ideas to think about:

Does the NHS sponsor graduates?

The NHS is one of the largest employers in the UK and we often get asked why we don’t recommend them for non-medical graduate roles.

The short answer is our experience, is that the interviews are long drawn-out processes and we have had multiple candidates then be told they won’t be sponsored.

The NHS does of course sponsor international students, but these tend to be medical related roles.

Why are some companies on the sponsor list then say they can't sponsor me?

This is quite a complex question, but the simplest answer in our experience is that the company has sponsored in the past or is sponsoring, just not for that role.

To explain, every year, any company that can sponsor Tier 2 Visas will submit for an allocation of CoS (Certificates of Sponsorship) this is given to employees to apply for a work Visa.

Say a company gets 10 per year and halfway through the year they have already given out 7.

They may then hold onto 3 for more senior candidates or a “just in case” scenario.

Any CoS not assigned expire on the 5th of April.

In short, it may not be that the company doesn’t want to, it’s just that they don’t have enough CoS.

The NHS does of course sponsor international students, but these tend to be medical related roles.


Can I work in the UK if I am not an international student?

There are multiple ways of entering the UK if not through a Student Visa, but a Student Visa is in our experience the easiest route to work unless you pursue the Investor or Entrepreneur Route.

The best jobs will be reserved for students who easily transition from a student to a work visa.

Can I work in the UK on a Visitor Visa?

No. Some students and professionals will come to the UK on a Visitor Visa thinking they can then apply for jobs because they are in the UK.

In our experience this rarely works and leads to a lot of frustration.

Employers who will willing allow you to work on a visitor visa would also be breaking the law.

How good does my English need to be to get a job in the UK?

Good enough to speak, listen, read and write in a business context, and by that we mean be understood and understand others.

How many international students end up working in the UK after their studies?

In 2018, just over 6,000 Tier 4 visa holders switched over to a Tier 2 visa, though this number could be greater if we include out-of-country Tier 2 visa applications. As a percentage of all international students coming to study in the UK each year, that’s about 2.5%.

How can I get better at networking?

Check out a full-length presentation Mike gave to international students at the London College of Fashion on this subject:

Which UK city should I work in?

Most students will know major cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester but truthfully most large companies have offices across the UK, and you may find there is less competition for roles outside of London.

But there is no “best” city.

More on that in this video:

What are some common misunderstanding about finding a Tier 2 Visa?

There are so many, for us the biggest ones are:

  • That you can buy one (you can’t. It’s illegal)
  • That you must pay for one (though this can be true for small companies)
  • That any company can give you one (Only Tier 2 Sponsors can)
  • That you can get a Tier 2 Visa for any job (You can’t you need a minimum salary and can only get sponsored for certain roles)

More on that in this video:

Can I work in the UK if I am not an international student?

Yes, but you will need to find an employer who is willing to sponsor you for an out of country Tier 2 Visa. 

Find out more here.

Do I need to be in the UK to find a job in the UK?

Ideally yes, and under a student Visa. Being in the UK under a student Visa is your best chance to find a job in the UK in our experience.

Best UK Job Sites for Finding jobs as an international student?

We highly recommend UK Hired as well as Student Circus.

More on that in this video:


Can I apply for a job if it asks for work experience and I don't have any?

Check the job description carefully. If it asks for a fixed period of time (say 3 -5 years) then probably they mean it. But if it simply says it’s “desirable” then give it a go.

Here’s a little secret. Companies will ask for MORE than they need in the hopes of snagging the dream candidate. If you are willing to apply, try and see.

How can I prepare for game based simulations?

There are a couple of sites out there like Arctic Shores (one of the early pioneers of Game Based Assessments) which give good explanations. We also highly recommend Debut, which is a great app and always has some live games to practise. 

It’s just finding the time and opportunity to practise in as realistic a way as possible.

How can I tell if a company is actively sponsoring?

A question that we are constantly trying to figure out ourselves.

You can do your homework, look up company on the Government Tier 2 and 5 Sponsor List or use our free web app Sponsor Tier 2. See that the company sponsors. Apply and still be told that they are not sponsoring work visas “right now”

The truth is that there is no way of telling as this is part of their internal procedures AND them saying they are not sponsoring “right now” doesn’t mean they won’t ever sponsor, it just means they may have run out of CoS (Certificates of Sponsorship) which they give to help you apply for a work visa) or those CoS are being saved for other positions.

Just keep trying.

More about that in this video:

How can I write a great cover letter?

For a short answer check out this video:


For a free course with templates and step by step videos that lasts a bit longer (26 minutes) but is VERY thorough, check out our “Cover Letters that get Interviews” course here

How do I write a business email?

We answer that in this video:


How long does it take to get a UK graduate job?

This depends on a wide variety of factors:

  • What type of job?
  • Do you have a preference where you want to work?
  • When do you need to start by?
  • How successful have your applications been so far?
  • What are your target companies?

These 5 questions form the basis for beginning to get an idea of a candidate’s background, when we first have a Discovery Call with them.

As of 2021, our premium clients take an average of 162 days from joining to getting a job offer.

If you want to find out more about that you can Contact Us

More on that in this video:


How long should I wait to chase up my application?

7 days then send a little chaser email. 

You can generally find a support email on the email sent to you when you applied or looking through their website.

Making a phone call and speaking to a human is even better, but most large companies don’t have a phone number you can call

An example chaser email

Dear <NAME/ Sir, Madam>

I recently applied for <XYZ JOB> on <DATE>

I know you guys must be super busy but just wanted to know if there was any news about this role.

Thanks for your time.


How many job applications do I need to submit every week?

A better question is how many QUALITY applications can you submit every week. On average our clients will do 1-3 applications a week, but they are high quality.

Quantity in and of itself is not important at all.

After all you could endlessly one click apply for jobs on LinkedIn and Indeed every day and submit 100 applications.

See more in this video:


How many jobs should I apply to?

Think about what jobs you are applying to, the chances of success of getting a job at those companies and how good those applications are.

Instead of thinking how many jobs, instead think:

“How can I make this the best possible application in the time that I have”

Should I chase up my application?

Yes. See our answer for “How long should I wait to chase up my application?” for a more complete answer.

What does "Professional Fluency" mean?

What it doesn’t mean is “Perfect English” a lot of international students and professional get caught up on being able to read complicated articles and understand rare words.

This is a bad route to fluency.

For us, fluency means speaking, being understood and listening.

So the route to professional fluency is spoken communication and written where needed (though most candidates who have studied in the UK have a good level of written fluency.

A good indicator of what you need to work on, will be the element of English that you avoid or makes you feel uncomfortable.

When should I submit my application?

As soon as it’s ready and not a minute later. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Make sure the quality is good and that you stick to a time limit to submit an application say, “I will get this application submitted by the end of the day.”

Then whatever you “think” , you know you have to press “submit” at the end of the day.

More on that in this video: 

Why do some jobs ask for a UK Driving Licence?

If the job you are applying to is too far to get to by public transport, or involves a lot of travelling then employers will want you to be able to drive.

More on that in this video:

Is there an age cut off for graduate entry/graduate schemes?

Depends on the graduate scheme. In the UK it is illegal to discriminate against a candidate based on their age. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

In our experience we have had candidates up to the age of 37 interviewed for graduate schemes, but experience tells us candidates over the age of 30 are unlikely to progress.

Are PhDs eligible for graduate entry/graduate schemes

Some schemes will specifically ask for PhD’s where possible, technical roles, others won’t.

Always check the eligibility requirements in the job description, as other schemes may only be targeted at particular year groups in Universities.

Though you are eligible, it may not always be preferrable.

What happens when I get stuck looking for jobs?

First, everyone gets stuck at some point. As professionals who have guided hundreds of candidates, we see it all the time.

Take a break.

Whether that be an evening off, a weekend out or just a week away. Time will give you perspective.

When you return to the issues, try to identify the root of the problem why you don’t seem to be making progress.

  • Are you applying and getting no responses?
  • Are you sitting tests and failing them?
  • Are you not getting past the interview stage

Once you begin to zero in on the issue then you can start to identify the cause and put together a solution.

If you want a professional opinion, get in touch through our Contact Us page to see what help we can provide.

More on that in this video:

How do I write a Personal Statement for University?

Check out these two great videos from our YouTube Channel with a personal statement expert:


Full video here:

How can I get better at handling rejections?

Rejections are inevitable. We have seen the best candidates with almost perfect grades from the highest ranked Universities still get rejected.

A few important things to think about:

  • It’s not about you
  • You are still awesome
  • You are one step closer to a Yes
  • You only need one yes

The first couple of rejections will sting, but honestly after a while you just accept it and move on. If you find yourself getting frustrated, angry, or depressed that’s a sign to take some time off.

Also don’t wrap up your sense of self-worth in applying for jobs. You are still amazing regardless. Lower your expectations, recharge, and then come back again stronger.

More on that in this video:

How do I write a great CV

Check out this full-length video explaining exactly how to write a CV here:


Alternatively, you can download free instructions and a CV template here:

Where do I start if I have never applied for a UK Job?

Understanding the territory. We recommend you read these 2 pages first

  • UK’s Biggest Tier 2 Sponsors
  • Companies Sponsoring International Students

More on that in this video:


Finally if you want a jumbo 9 part video guide you can watch that here:

Have you got any tips for graduate job applications

Yes , we do!

Actually, we made a long video where we cover do’s and don’ts using live examples from HSBC, Amazon and BDO.

In this video:

When should I start applying for Tier 2 Jobs?

As soon as you can. Arrive in the UK. Unpack. Start applying.

More on that in this video:


Does my Master's degree grade matter?

No, as long as you pass. The most important grade for employers in the UK is your bachelor’s grade.

More on that in this video:


What degree should I study?

Whatever brings you joy, and you honestly think will give you great skills and opportunities in the future.

Bear in mind you could study a Fine Arts Degree and learn to code in your spare time. Or study Sociology and start a side hustle.

In our experience the degree itself is not that important unless you want to do a job which is especially technical.

Can you recommend what University I should study at?

No. If you require assistance applying for a degree, we do have a trusted education consultant we work with. Send your details through on our Contact Us Page.

Can you help me to apply for a University in the UK?

No. If you require assistance applying for a degree, we do have a trusted education consultant we work with. Send your details through on our Contact Us Page.

What is the Best UK Master's Degree for a Job?

There isn’t one. Concentrate on joy, curiosity and developing useful skills for the workplace.

This guide from Marc Andreesen (probably the most successful and certainly most well-known Venture Capital investor in the US) is most helpful:


More on that in this video:


I am asked "Do you think I have enough time for this job" How do I answer and what does it mean?

A level of empathy is implied in this question. The interviewer may be thinking that they wouldn’t have the time if they were in your position. Your answer should acknowledge the interviewer’s concern and reassure them that you can address it.

For example:

“I realise that it seems like I have no time, as I study and also have other jobs, but I have carefully checked my schedule to make sure I can make this job a priority and also be well rested.”

Make sure you say priority as no one likes to feel as though they are being squeezed in, or that they are second best.

I am asked to reveal details about clients I have worked with or contacts that are confidential. What should I do?

Questions around targets, style, and process are usually aimed at understanding the candidate better. Asking for customer specifics such as names would clearly be a confidentiality breach and the company should know this.

Simply state in the interview that this is privileged information which you cannot share. A professional interviewer and company will respect your integrity.

I had an interview that went well and they said they would get back to me on a certain day. That day has now passed, what should I do?

Firstly, it’s important to respect that people are busy and their schedules may change. We would suggest waiting until the following day before sending an email or calling the company to follow up on the interview. Even if this is just for your own peace of mind, we would recommend sending a nice little note along the lines of:

“Dear X,

I recently had an interview with you on <DATE>. Firstly, I want to thank you for both your time and a great experience. Secondly, I know you must be very busy, but I remembered you saying I would hear back from you by <DATE>.

I just wanted to check in, as I really want this job and am hoping for good news.



I have multiple job interviews/ assessments what should I focus on first?

Go via deadline. So soonest first.

If you have multiple interviews or assessments for the same week then prioritise by preference and also greatest chance of success.

More on that in this video:

Is it normal for a company to ask me to send my presentation slides before an interview?

In the UK this is normal. We’ve seen this at a lot of FTSE 250 companies.

Sending your slides allows the company to:

  • Check your work
  • Prepare questions
  • See that you are serious about attending the interview

Mostly this allows the company to prepare questions and ensure that their time won’t be wasted.

Premium Coaching

Will Job Ready English send me job vacancies for my chosen industry/role?


Does Job Ready English help to source work placements or graduate roles?

We find roles, but we do not have a pre-existing relationship with any employers.

How long will it take me to get a job using your service?

Our current average completion rate is 162 days, but the service lasts 365 days in most cases. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

What are the Terms and Condition for the Bespoke Coaching Programme in terms of claiming a Refund?

Our Terms and  Conditions are standard, if a client pays the full fee up front then they have 30 days to claim their money back, less a 5% administration fee. If a client pays a 50% deposit upfront there is no refund period outside of the standard 14 day cooling off period for online goods and services. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

Does the fee need to be paid in full or can you accept a payment plan?

We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case. We do ask for a minimum of 50% fee upfront. We are unable to accept payment plans.

Can I speak to one of your former client?

Yes. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

Can you guarantee that I will find a job?


What do you mean by job or job offer?

A job from your nominated industry preference which can sponsor you for a Tier 2/ Skilled Worker Visa.

How long does the programme last for?

365 days in most cases.

I have less than 365 days left on my Visa do I still need to pay the full fee?

In most cases yes. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

Do I need to be in the UK to join this programme?

No. We do have candidates join us from abroad prior to them coming to the UK.

Can I join this programme if I am not on a Student Visa?

We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

I did not go to a "top" University can I apply to join this programme?

Yes. University rankings are largely irrelevant in our experience.

I did not get a 2:1 or my countries equivalent can I still apply?

Yes. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

Do I have enough time to get a job in the UK?

We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case. We do ask candidates have a minimum of 6 months on their Tier 4 Visa.

Will Mike provide guidance and coach me himself or do I have to do it myself?

Mike will coach you himself and provide you tasks to complete by yourself

I have already failed my applications will you still be able to help me?

Yes. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

What companies do you target?

A wide variety. Well over 200 at last count, depending on your chosen industry. We are constantly initiating coverage on new companies based upon opportunities which we check daily.

I want to start work on a particular date or month will that be possible?

That depends on the amount of time needed to get that result. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

Can you help me find a Placement/Internship instead?

Yes. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

I keep failing a particular stage of assessment (Online Test, Interview, Assessment Centre) can you help me?

Yes. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

My English is not good can I join?

That depends. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

I only want to help apply for a very specific role like Management Consulting or Front Office Investment Banking can you help me?

Possibly. Our experience is that the narrower the focus the harder it can be. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

Which industries do you focus on?

Primarily we concentrate on Professional Services, Finance, Banking and Technology, but we have a wide range of experience. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

I want a job in the Legal sector can you help me?

Probably Not. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

I want an Engineering Job can you help me?

Possibly. We have had successes in Engineering, but it depends on the role and targets. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

I really want to work with JRE but have limited funds, can you help?

That depends, in these cases we would recommend you book an hour with us, or you can watch our free content on YouTube or Skillshare. We advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case.

Other Products / Services

Can you come and do a talk?

That depends. We are a small team and Mike tries to limit how much he travels as our clients are his priority. However, if it’s online or through Zoom, then there is a higher chance he will say yes,.

We advise you contact us with the details and give at least 1 month’s notice prior to the event.

Can you give me advice about my Visa?

No. We are not an OISC registered immigration adviser. 

Find one here.

Can I just book you for an hour?

Yes. You can do that here:

Not this link is primarily for interview coaching, but Mike is happy to speak about any subject for that hour.

If you are unsure, we advise you contact us so we can look at your specific case

Do you provide any online courses?


You can find our free courses on Skillshare here:

You can find our paid courses on Podia here:

What’s stopping you?

People seek professional help in most aspects of their lives. So why not choose a coach for the career you’ve always wanted? Call 0203 4886472
or email mike@jobreadyenglish.com to find out how we can help you achieve your goals.