EFL/ESL lesson plans: Job Interviews
Level: Intermediate and above (B1-B2)
Skills: speaking and writing
Vocabulary: personality traits
Functional language: formal business English (job interviews)
Grammar: question structures
The aim of this lesson is to prepare students for their future job interviews. By the end of the lesson, students should be able to talk about their educational background and work experience, using the correct lexis and grammar.
This lesson works well if you have a big group and an even number of students. I've carried out this lesson with both teens and adults, and it has always been a success.
Step 1: Introduce the topic
Ask students about their current jobs. Do they enjoy it? What does the job entail?
More often than not you'd have at least one student who's either unemployed or still studying at college. Let's call this student Yoyo. Ask Yoyo what job he'd like to have in the future. You'll be building the next part of the lesson on Yoyo's situation.
Step 2: The Job Hunting Process
Tell your students that Yoyo wants to find a job.
Ask: What should he do first?
Possible answer: look for vacancies on the internet/ in newspapers
Ask: So Yoyo finds a vacancy for his ideal job. What should he do next?
Possible answer: Send a letter of application and a C.V.
Ask: Let's assume that the employer thinks that Yoyo would be perfect for the job. What's the next step?
Possible answer: a job interview
Write a summary of the job hunting process on the board:
Step 1: Look for job vacancies
Step 2: Send a letter of application and C.V
Step 3: Go for a job interview
Step 3: Writing a vacancy
Focus on Step 1 of the job hunting process. Ask students what information is usually included in a job vacancy.
Brainstorm the following:
- job description
- duties and responsibilities
- working hours
- qualifications and work experience (requirements)
- character traits
Put students in pairs. Ask them to imagine that they are managers of the same company, and are looking for someone to fill a vacant position within their company.
Give them an example: If you are the owners of a hotel, you might be looking for a .................?
Possible answers: receptionist, waiter, marketing manager, gym instructor
Give the students at least 10 minutes to produce a vacancy advert in their groups/pairs.
Follow this up with a feedback session. Get students to read their vacancies. Make a list on the board of any interesting vocabulary or phrases that students come up with. Spend a few minutes reviewing the most common character traits that employers look for in their candidates.
Step 4: Interview questions
Divide the board in two sections:
questions asked by the employer | questions asked by the candidate
Ask students about their last job interview. How did they feel before and during the interview?
What questions did the manager/employer ask you?
What questions did you ask during the interview?
Write the answers on the board as examples. Students remain in their groups and make a list of other possible questions that can be asked during interviews. Give them a max. of 10mins to work on this, and afterwards get feedback from all the groups. Write the most important questions on the board.
Step 5: Job interview roleplay
Select a student from each pair to act the role of manager. The managers remain seated.
Ask the rest of the students to stand up and move to the next chair on their left (moving clockwise). They are the candidates.
Before starting the roleplay, the candidates should spend a few minutes reading the vacancy to get an idea of the job that they will be interviewed for.
Encourage students to use the questions on the board. Give each pair at least 5 minutes, depending on the size of the class. Tell them that once their 5 minutes are up, you'll clap your hands and they have to move on to the next manager for a different job interview.
Monitor the groups and make a note of any grammatical mistakes and pronunciation problems that crop up during their speaking practice.
Once they have been interviewed by all the managers (except the one they've worked with on the vacancy ad), ask them to return to their seats.
If you have enough time left, you can repeat the roleplay by swapping roles.
Step 6: Conclusion
Conclude the lesson with a correction session. Highlight any problems/mistakes that you've picked up from the roleplay exercise.
You can also have a feedback session on the result of the interviews. Ask the managers if they have a favourite candidate, and why they've chosen that particular person for the job.