BEP 83 – English Job Interviews: Previous Experience (2)

BEP 83 - english job interview

This is the second in a two-part Business English Podcast series on discussing previous experience in workplace English job interviews. It is one of an ongoing sequence of ESL podcasts that covers the whole interview process.

In the first part of this series, we examined a bad example of everything that can go wrong when we talk about our previous experience. We used the theme “Don’t let your guard down!” to highlight the importance of maintaining an appropriate level of formality and professionalism, even when the interviewer is attempting to strike a casual tone.

In part-two, we listen to a better interview performance by someone who has prepared to talk about their previous experience more effectively. In this good example, Sherry Shen, from Hong Kong, is interviewing with a multinational accounting company for her first job after graduating with a Master’s in finance.

It’s her first round of interviews, and she is being asked all the standard questions by an HR officer. Although Sherry is an all-around good candidate, her resume has some problems. Her grades aren’t great, and there is a gap with no employment between her college and graduate school careers. As you listen, focus on the following questions.

Listening Questions:

1. Does Sherry let her guard down, or does she answer briefly and to-the-point with an appropriate level of formality?
2. Does Sherry seem well-prepared to talk about her experience?
3. How does Sherry account for the gap in her resume?

Premium Members: Study Notes | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Download: Podcast MP3

BEP 82 – English for Job Interviews: Previous Experience (1)

BEP 82 - Interview in English

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.

Listening Questions:

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?

Premium Members: Study Notes | Quizzes | PhraseCast | Lesson Module

Download: Podcast MP3

BEP 41 – Job Interview English: First Round Interview (Part 2)

This is the second in a two-part Business English Pod lesson on first round job interviews. learn how to answer common interview questions and useful phrases and vocabulary for English job interviews.

As you’ll remember from the first episode, Mike Barnes is interviewing William Chow for a job at the Hong Kong head office of First Mercantile International, a global bank. William had just finished telling Mike about his work history, management style and personal characteristics. Our HR manager, Mike, continues the interview with another very common first round question. Lets see what it is and think about how you would answer the question?

Download a PDF list of useful interview phrases to describe your personal characteristics here.

More ESL job interview lessons

BEP 41 – PDF Transcript

Download: Podcast MP3

BEP 40 – Job Interview English: First Round Interview (Part 1)

Today’s Business English Podcast ESL lesson is the first in a two-part series that follows job applicant William Chow through his first interview at an international bank.

In this podcast you’ll learn how to deal with some typical first round English job interview questions. Along the way you’ll also practice some great new vocabulary and useful phrases for job interviews.

In the dialogue we’ll listen as William gets interviewed for a position in the business development department of the main Hong Kong branch of Mercantile International. Mike Warner, a HR manager at Mercantile International Hong Kong, is conducting the interview.

More job interview English lessons

PDF Transcript

Download: Podcast MP3