Role Plays: Job Interviews
Lessons Objectives: To improve students spoken English and communication skills. Review and use what has been learned in previous lessons (direct/indirect speech, clarification, intent, body language etc.)
Activity: Begin with guided class discussion about job interviews, then the students will work in small groups to prepare and perform a role play of a panel interview as practice for their group assignment and presentation.
Class Discussion – General Job Interview Advice: Before your interview find out everything you can about the company (for example read their annual report), read through your application form again, thinking about the questions they might ask you. You should also prepare some questions to ask them.
To do well at the interview you will need to convince the interviewer you are qualified to do the job. You will also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the company and the team in which you will work.
You should dress smartly for the interview and should leave home earlier than you need to on the day of the interview – you may be delayed by traffic or for other reasons. Be polite to all employees of the company. At the interview itself you must be positive about yourself and your abilities – but do not waffle.
Questions you may want to ask an interviewer: The interview is a two-way process. The company interviewing you will want to find out whether you are suitable for the position and you will want to find out if the company and position are right for you. You should therefore ensure that you have enough information to make up your mind whether you want the job. For example:
• What will be my responsibilities?
• Where will I fit into the overall organisational structure?
• Who will I report to?
• Where does he/she fit in the structure?
• Who will report to me? How experienced are they?
• What do you expect me to do in the first 6 months?
• What level of performance do you expect from me?
• Who are your customers?
• Where is the company going? Upwards? Expansion plans?
• What are the chances of advancement/promotion in this position? When?
• What will be my salary, benefits and bonuses?
• Will travelling be required in this position?
• Will relocation be required now or in the future?
• What training do you provide?
• When will you decide on the appointment?
• What is the next step?Group interview tests: Group tests are used by an employer to see how you react in a group. They will want to see if you help or hinder the group reach its objectives. An observer will be watching to see how you take criticism, whether you take on leadership roles and involve less communicative group members. If you chair the meeting the observer will be checking on how you plan and keep control of the meeting. If you are leading a group activity the observer will be interested in seeing how good you are at delegating tasks and how much of the work you keep for yourself.
Panel interviews: Most people hate these sort of interviews. To do well you will need to identify the important figures on the panel and which role each person has. The chairperson is easy to identify as they will generally make the introductions. You will also need to identify the person whom you will be working for directly – make sure you give them plenty of eye contact.
When you are talking to the panel, remember that you are talking to all of them and not just the person who posed a particular question – your answer has to be the correct one for each panel member! If there is one particular panel member who everyone else seems to agree with, you should make sure you impress him or her.
Job interview body language: When you are being interviewed it is very important that you give out the right signals. You should always look interested – so do not slouch in your chair. Never lie to anyone in an interview, your body language and tone of voice or the words you use will probably give you away – classic body language giveaways include scratching your nose and not looking directly at the other person when you are speaking to them.
Factors that can stop you getting the job:
• Being unprepared for the interview.
• Poor/limp handshake.
• Saying unfavourable things about previous employers.
• Not being able to communicate clearly and effectively.
• Being aggressive or acting in a superior way.
• Making excuses for failings.Interview questions you may be asked: Before attending an interview you should think about your responses to the following questions. Your answers may depend on the job or company in question, so you should go through your responses just before each interview.
• Why do you want this job? Think carefully about this question. Talk about the positive aspects which have attracted you to applying for this position. Do not mention the negative aspects of your current job or the job in question.
• What qualities do you think will be required for this job? Their advertisement for the job may help you a little bit, but you should also think of the other qualities that may be required. These may include leadership ability, supervisory skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving, analytical skills, etc.
• Why do you want to work for this company? Emphasise the positive reasons why you
want to join their company, but avoid aspects such as more money or shorter hours.
• What do you know about this company? This is your chance to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of their company. Give them a run down of their products or services, sales figures, news, company figures, customers, etc.
• What interests you about our products (or service)? Again, your research into the company should aid you in answering this question.
• What can we (the new company) offer that your previous company cannot offer? Do not mention money. Talk about opportunities for personal growth, new challenges, etc.
• You have not done this sort of job before. How will you cope/succeed? Say that you are the sort of person who aims to succeed at everything you do and that you are very determined and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
• Why should we employ you? The answer to this question will be based on your previous experience and achievements which relate to the company. At the end you could add that you think there is a good fit between you and the job, and do ask the interviewer for their opinion.