BEP 100 – Job Interview English: Discussing Salary

BEP 100 - business english job interview

You’ve had your first and second interview in English, you’ve performed well, and you’ve been selected. You’re one of the lucky few – you’ve succeeded: You’ve got a job offer in hand. But now comes one of the hardest parts of the whole process – negotiating your salary. If you make a mistake here, all of your time and effort might be wasted.

For salary negotiation, preparation – doing your research – is obviously important. In the internet age, there are many websites that focus on salary information, so investigating the market is much easier than it has been in the past.

Knowledge, however, is not enough. We also need to have the confidence to broach, or bring up, the subject and the tools to bargain up the initial or first offer in order to reach a compromise. You will only get what you deserve if you ask for it. So in today’s episode, we’ll focus the skills you need to successfully talk money.

Fun Beverages International has already emailed an offer to Yala Santos for an HR manager position in one of its Brazilian business units. Yala has written back asking to talk with the HR director, Ted, about the details. We’ll be listening to their conversation.

Listening Questions:

1. Why does Ted say he needs Yala to begin work by the suggested start date?
2. How does Yala broach the subject of compensation?
3. How much over the median or average market rate does Ted say Fun Beverages offered Yala in recognition of her skills and experience?
4. What is the final compromise they discuss?

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BVP 02 – Human Resources: Training Manager

In the second part of our new ESL podcast series on business vocabulary, we continue with the topic of human resources (HR) by looking at useful language and collocations to describe the role and responsibilities of a training manager.

In this fast-changing global world, everything is moving. To make a successful business, it’s not enough just to follow yesterday’s trend. Companies and people need to constantly acquire new skills to succeed in tomorrow’s marketplace. This means driving new training initiatives to enhance performance. However, not all training is equally successful. To ensure training effectiveness, it’s important to track results and to have standard criteria for measuring outcomes.

BVP 01 – Human Resources: HR Manager

Today we’re kicking off a new series of ESL business vocabulary podcasts based on people talking about their jobs. In these episodes, we’ll learn vocabulary and language that are useful across a wide range of different professions and industries.

In this podcast we’ll hear an HR manager, Greg, describe his work and responsibilities. Afterwards, we’ll study some key vocabulary. In particular we’ll be focusing on how words are collocated, or used together. Then we’ll practice what we’ve learned.

BEP 76 ADV – Performance Appraisals: Setting Goals (Part 2)

This is the second in a two-part Business English Pod series on performance appraisals. In the first lesson, we covered giving feedback. In this ESL podcast, we will discuss setting goals.

The American poet Carl Sandberg once said, “Nothing happens unless first we dream.” To this we can add the words of time management expert Diana Scharf Hunt: “Goals are dreams with deadlines.”

To reach our dreams, it’s necessary to set goals. Without goals, there is no change, no development, no success. This is just as true for an individual as it is for an organization. That’s why, along with feedback, goal setting is a very important part of the appraisal process. So in this follow-up podcast on job appraisals, we’ll be focusing on strategies and expressions for setting goals during the appraisal interview. Much of the language we’ll be learning in this lesson is also useful in any meeting where we need to discuss and set targets.

Wendy and Derrick, Wendy’s manager, have already discussed her progress and set goals for the areas of customer satisfaction and job training. As the listening continues, they turn to talking about two important productivity measurements.

Pay attention to the language Derrick uses to structure the conversation and to negotiate and agree goals with Wendy.

Listening Questions:

1) What are the two important productivity measurements that Derrick discusses with Wendy?
2) How does Derrick feel about Wendy making one-off (that is, special) solutions for each customer?
3) What does Derrick advise Wendy to tell a customer who has not booked enough bandwidth?

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BEP 75 ADV – Performance Appraisals: Giving Feedback (Part 1)

Performance appraisals – sometimes called job performance evaluations or reviews – are a powerful way to develop staff’s potential. These skills are important not just for HR (Human Resources) professionals, but for any manager or supervisor who has responsibilities over other staff.

For performance appraisals to succeed, however, it’s important that they are conducted in a structured way. In addition, it’s important that skill and diplomacy are used to handle the two main tasks of the appraisal – giving effective feedback and setting goals.

So this is the first in a two-part Business English Podcast lesson that focuses on structure, skill and diplomacy in performance appraisals. In this podcast, we will deal with giving feedback. In the second, we will handle setting goals.

This episode focuses on giving effective feedback that creates a positive environment and builds trust. These feedback skills are useful not only in performance appraisals, but also in any situation that requires making critical comments to someone about their work.

Wendy is a new hire at ConStar’s videoconference call center. She has been working there for about 10 months, including training, so now it’s time for her first six-month performance review. Derrick, the manager of the operations department, will be giving Wendy her appraisal.

As a “videoconference coordinator” for ConStar, Wendy’s job requires using special equipment to set up and connect videoconferences for Fortune 500 clients. ConStar’s customers hold regular remote meetings among multiple locations all around the world. Wendy’s job is to make the connections between locations and to solve customer’s problems when they call into the help desk.

What kind of feedback will Derrick give Wendy? She is really smart, but she tends to get hot under the collar when she works under pressure. That means, she gets upset when she feels job stress. Sometimes she loses her temper, and her colleagues have complained about it.

Listening Questions:

1) How many meetings is Wendy handling per day at the moment?
2) What’s the main issue that Derrick wants to give Wendy feedback on?
3) What advice does Derrick give Wendy to help her correct the problem?

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