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  1. Panel Interviews

Ex. 1. Work in groups. Think of the last interview you attended and discuss these questions:

– What was the worst thing about it?

– What difficult questions were you asked?

– Why do you think you were successful or unsuccessful?

– If you could go through the interview again, what would you do differently?

– In an interview, do you always have to be completely honest?

– What impressions do you try to give in an interview?

Ex. 2. You’ll hear extracts from two interviews. Use this assessment form to decide which candidate performed better on a scale of 1 to 5.


  Sue Jones Tom Richards
work experience    
overall impression    


Ex. 3. Listen to the interview again, but this time with pauses. Pause the recording after the questions of the interviewer and give your own answers to each question.

Then play the real response so that you can compare what you said with the answer on the recording.


Ex. 4. Work in small groups. Imagine that a friend of yours is about to attend his or her first interview. Note down some more advice that you would give:


Do your homework: find out about the company

Prepare some questions to ask about the company and what the job entails

Wear smart, formal clothes Don’t smoke

Arrive a few minutes early Sit up straight

Look straight at the interviewer


Expect the unexpected—and don’t panic!



Ex. 5. Work in pairs. Some interviewers give candidates a hard time by asking them difficult questions—like the 13 questions below. Listen to the recording and discuss these points:

- Can you think of three more questions you might be asked at an interview? Add them to the list.

- What would your own answers to each of the questions be? Rehearse your answers with your partner and make notes.

1. Tell me about yourself.

2. What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses?

3. We have a lot of applicants for this job, why should we appoint you?

4. Which is more important to you: status or money?

5. How long do you think you’d stay with us if you were appointed?

6. Why do you want to leave your present job?

7. What would you like to be doing ten years from now?

8. What are you most proud of having done recently?

9. What is your worst fault and what is your best quality?

10. Don’t you think you’re a little young/old for this job?

11. What are your long-range goals?

12. What excites you about the job you’re doing now?

13. How would you rate your present boss?


Ex. 6. Work in groups of three. Take it in turns to be the Interviewer, the Candidate and the Observer. Allow enough time for each of you to have a turn at being the Candidate.

Interviewer. Ask the Candidate the questions you discussed in the previous exercise. Avoid asking Yes/No questions. Perhaps try to give him or her a hard time by asking supplementary questions like these:

– Why do you think that? In what way exactly?

– Could you explain why you think that? What do you mean exactly?

– Can you give me an example of that? Are you quite sure you mean that?


Candidate. Do your best to answer the questions and try to keep cool!

Observer. As you listen to the interview, make notes on these points:

– What impression did each person give?

– If they were nervous, how did this affect their performance?

– Were there too many Yes/No questions?

– Which questions did they answer badly?

– Which questions did they answer well?

– What advice would you give them for their next interview?



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