This is the first in a two-part Business English Podcast series on talking about your previous experience. It is one of a longer sequence of podcasts that will focus on the complete English job interview process.
When you sit down to start a job interview, more than likely you will be a little nervous. Interviewers have a variety of techniques to get you to relax and to feel at ease. Usually, they will make some small talk and generally try to lighten the atmosphere. One of the biggest mistakes you can make, however, is to interpret this friendliness as an invitation to be informal.
Another reason interviewers try to get you to relax is to make you drop your defenses so they can see “the real you.” That’s why successful job hunters will tell you, “Don’t let your guard down!” – that is, don’t lower all your defenses. That is the main message of this lesson – the first of eight themes we’ll be exploring during this and future episodes on the topic of job interviews.
In this lesson, we’ll be examining a bad example of what not to do. Since previous experience usually comes up at the beginning of an interview in English, we’ll look at the casual discussion that takes place when an interview starts. Then, in the next episode, we’ll hear a good example, and we’ll focus more closely on further language for highlighting your experience.
Let’s turn to the listening. In this bad example, Alexander, who has recently graduated with a Master’s degree in philosophy, is being interviewed by Michael for a job as assistant manager in an electronics store.
1. Is everything Alex says to the point?
2. Does he seem overly friendly or informal at times?
3. How does Alex account for the gap in his resume?