BEP 290 – English Interview Skills 2: Handling Difficult Questions

BEP 290 - English for Job Interviews: Dealing with Difficult Questions

Hello and welcome back to Business English Pod. My name’s Edwin, and I’ll be your host for today’s lesson on dealing with difficult questions in a job interview.

In an English interview, even simple questions about your experience and background can be difficult to answer well. Even though you’ve done your preparation, you might feel nervous or uncomfortable. And then, to make it even more challenging, the interviewer asks you a difficult question.

Sure, everyone expects the question about a personal weakness. That’s one that you need to have a good answer for. But you might also get a range of other difficult questions that you can’t prepare for. And so you need to think on your feet and give the best answer you can.

Today we’ll look at some of the techniques and language for interview English you can use when faced with these difficult questions. We’ll learn how to answer hypothetical questions and leading questions. We’ll also cover softening language for talking about a weakness and stalling for time with a difficult question. And finally, we’ll look at how to explain how you’re different from other candidates and how to connect an idea back to an earlier idea.

In the dialog, we’ll rejoin Ryan, Sandra, and Victor. Ryan is interviewing for a job at a software company, while Sandra and Victor are giving him some difficult questions to deal with.

Listening Questions

1. How does Ryan answer the question about what he “would” do in a certain situation?
2. How does Ryan describe his weakness?
3. What does Ryan think makes him different from other people?

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