Preparing for interviews
When companies are recruiting1, they often have a set of criteria2 (e.g. three years of
experience in the field, or a degree in a relevant area) which they use to find the most suitable
candidates. If you are shortlisted3 for an interview, make sure you do your homework first:
find out as much as you can about the company, its products, markets, competitors, etc.
If you can, ask a friend to do a trial run4 with you. This will help boost5 your confidence.
The interview may be conducted by a panel [a group of people], probably including your future
line manager6. Don't forget to make eye contact with all the interviewers while you are talking.
As you arrive for the interview, body language7 is important. Give a firm handshake and
speak up8. This will help to create a good first impression.
- hiring (new staff)
- requirements you use to make a decision
- selected from a larger group
- a practice of something new
- improve or increase
- the person who is directly responsible for your work
- physical movements which show how you are feeling
- speak (more) loudly and clearly
During an interview
These are examples of things that might be said at a job interview.
A: So, can you talk us through1 your CV?
B: Well, I studied Engineering and then took a job as a trainee2 at F3
A: I"d like to ask about opportunities for professional development3.
B: We have a very good in-house4 training programme for new recruits5.
Can you give us an example of how you"ve worked well under pressure?
How would your colleagues / your supervisor6 describe you?
I"m keen to take on7 more responsibility.
A: We"re looking to fill the post8 fairly quickly. If you are successful,
how soon could you start?
B: The notice period9 on my present job is just two weeks, so I could
start very soon.
- tell us about in more detail
- a person
who is learning a new job
- training given
to employees to increase their knowledge or
- within the company
- people who
have just joined (the company)
- the person
who checks your work
- start to have
someone to do the job
- time you need to
work in your job after you have officially told the
company you are leaving
A job offer
Dear Mr Malton,
Thank you for attending the interview last week. We very much enjoyed meeting you. We are delighted to offer you
the position of Trainee Programmer. We believe your qualifications and experience will be an ideal fit for1 the job.
Please review the attached document outlining2 your salary, benefits (including paid leave3) and reporting
structure4, and sign where indicated. Return the document within five business days. Once we have received the
paperwork, we will contact you to arrange your start date.
We look forward to welcoming you as part of our team.
very suitable for
time off you are paid for, such as holiday or parental leave
giving an overview of
company structure and who you report to
Look at A and fill in the tips for a successful interview.
Before the interview,
: find out as much as you can about the
company and prepare answers to common interview questions.
- If you can, do a
to practise how you will answer the interview questions.
- You need to create a good
with the interviewers. Dress smartly and professionally.
- Remember that your
also plays an important part. Don't forget to smile! This will
make you seem more friendly, and might actually
your confidence too.
- Make sure you greet your interviewer with a
when you talk to
them – look at them directly.
- During the interview, describe all your relevant education and experience to show how you
fulfil all the
for the job.
Choose the correct word from A and B to complete the sentences.
- I"m afraid you"ll have to speak up
/ eye up / head up.
I can hardly hear what you"re saying.
- We are
taking / recruiting / searching
people for our new branch in the city centre.
- If we can't
fill / fulfil / supply the post internally,
we"ll have to advertise externally.
- If I get the new job,
I will have to take
up / over / on
more responsibility, but I will get a
- I don't like working
under pressure / under stress / by force.
I end up making mistakes.
- As part of the programme of
reporting structure / professional development / notice period,
we would like to invite you to a session on project management.
Rewrite the following sentences using expressions from A, B and C.
- Could you tell us about your previous experience in this field?
- I think we should give the job to Ruth. She seems perfectly suited to the team.
- Employees are entitled to 30 days" holiday.
- The group of interviewers will include your future line manager.
- They just called me to say I have been chosen (as one of the best candidates) for an interview.
Look at B and C opposite. There is one mistake in each of these sentences.
Correct the mistakes.
- Please find attached a document overviewing your working conditions.
- In some companies the leaving period can be as much as six months.
- I"m going to be working as a superior, in charge of a team of 4 people.
- The company doesn't do any in-office training. It's all done externally.
- My begin date for the new job is 1 July.
- I"m a trainer accountant. I haven't passed my qualifying exams yet.
Over to you
- What do you do before a stressful situation to boost your confidence?
- Would you rather have a lot of paid leave or a higher salary?
- Do you work better under pressure? Or do you prefer to have more time?
- Do you enjoy taking on extra responsibility? Or do you find it stressful?
At work: colleagues and routines
Philip is my opposite number1 in
the company's New York office. We
have a good working relationship2
and there's a lot of day-today collaboration3. Having a
counterpart like Philip in another branch is a great
support. Last month we got a new boss, who quickly
established a good rapport5 with everyone. She
likes us to take the initiative6. The company is very
hierarchical7; there's a pecking order8 for everything.
I do a job-share9 with a woman called Rose, which suits
us as we each have childcare responsibilities. My office
uses a hot-desking10 system, so I sit in a different place
every day. I socialise with my workmates11 outside of
work, but we try not to talk shop12 on those occasions.
During the day (different work patterns)
* as the same position / does the same job as me
way of communicating and working together
working together to achieve shared goals
more formal equivalent of opposite number
make decisions without being told what to do
* /ˌhaɪəˈrɑːkɪkəl/ has a structure with important
and less important people
* a system where some people have the right to get
benefits/promotions before others
* an agreement where two people each share the
* a policy of sharing desks in an office, so people
sit at whichever desk is free on a particular day
* colleagues you are friendly with (especially in
non-professional occupations); informal
talk about work; informal
I do fairly mundane1 tasks. Occasionally I have to meet a deadline2 or they need
someone to volunteer3 for something. Then the job is more rewarding4 and
stimulating5. Sometimes I have a heavy workload6 but at other times it can be
ordinary, not interesting 2 have something finished by a fixed day or time 3 offer to do something without
being asked or told to do it 4 making you feel satisfied that you have done something important or useful, or
done something well 5 encouraging new ideas or new thinking 6 amount of work I have to do
I start work at my machine at seven o"clock when I"m on the day shift. The job's
mechanical1 and repetitive2. All I ever think about is knocking off3 at three o"clock.
The shift I hate most is the night shift. I start at ten and work till six in the morning.
It's a bit monotonous4. It's not a satisfying5 job – I feel I need something a bit more
you don't have to think about what you are doing 2 the same thing is repeated every day
finishing work; informal 4 boring because it never changes 5 (does not) make me feel pleased
by providing what I need or want 6 that tests my ability or determination
I have a pretty glamorous1 job. I"m a pilot. But the hours are irregular and anti-social2.
I"m not stuck behind a desk3, but long-haul flights can be a bit mind-numbing4; most
of the time the plane just flies itself. We work to very tight schedules5. But I shouldn't
complain. I feel sorry for people who are stuck in a rut6 or who are in dead-end7 jobs.
very exciting, which everyone admires 2 do not enable one to have a normal social life 3 sitting at a
desk all day; informal 4 extremely boring 5 very strict or severely limited timetables
stuck/trapped in a job they can't escape from 7 with no prospects of promotion
I started off as a technician1. After retraining, I worked for a software company, and later I
went in with2 a friend and we formed our own software company as a start-up3 in 2009,
so now I"m self-employed. My husband is freelance4: he works for several different
companies as and when they need work done – he's a computer programmer5.
person whose job involves practical work with scientific or electrical equipment 2 formed a business
partnership with 3 a small business that has just started 4 or works freelance 5 someone who writes