ELT Experiences

Experiences of an English Language Teacher

Job Interviews: A Student’s Guide (Part 1)

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It had to happen one day, my students were looking for work yesterday.  In a way, it is a good opportunity for my adult learners to develop those all important life skills, albeit during a lesson.  Yes, we were covering the topic of employment and job interviews during the lesson and the learners were keen to share their experiences of work, interviews and career expectations.  We initially looked at particular vocabulary and collocations associated with work and applying for a job: write up a CV, go for an interview, get promoted, work freelance, etc.  Once a lot of collocations and phrases were written up on the whiteboard, I got the learners to try to put them in chronological order.  This got them thinking and associating the vocabulary to specific periods during employment.  After a brief discussion about the order of vocabulary and phrases highlighted above, I got the learners into pairs and asked them to think about questions that are asked during job interviews.  The learners came up with some pretty impressive questions.  These included: “Tell me about yourself.“, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” as well as “Why do you want to work for us?“.

To consolidate question forms and recycle some vocabulary above, I handed out a worksheet with some of the most common job interview questions.  The learners had to re-order the jumbled question forms and then ask each other questions as if one learner was the interviewer whilst the other learner was the job applicant.  It worked quite well and focused on suitable/appropriate answers for job interviews which were then scaffolded and corrected.  After some discussion about good and bad interviews, the lesson was over.  In essence this lesson was materials-light and the learners were very keen to incorporate new phrases into their mini role-play.

Tomorrow, I am focusing on a more structured role-play which recycles the vocabulary and question forms from yesterday.  It is wonderful that the learners are so keen to develop invaluable skills such as learning more about interview questions and providing suitable answers.  Over the course of the week, I will create and upload more material associated with job hunting and applying for work.  Anyhow, today I have uploaded some of the material that I have used today and the material that I plan to use tomorrow.  The more structured role-play offers learners the opportunity to develop more drama in the classroom, recording the dialogue for future listening lessons or develop more automaticity.  If anyone is willing to record the dialogue with other teachers, please let me know as I would be keen to update the write up more lesson materials with authentic listening activities which have been created with the support of my readers.  Again, if you are interested in developing classroom material, please contact me.

Job Interview Questions and Answers

Job Interview Role Play Dialogue

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Author: Martin Sketchley

I have been an English language teacher for over 10 years both abroad and now currently in the UK. I am highly interested in teaching to young learners, professional development and curriculum development.

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