A year ago, I had an ambitious plan to create a course on job interview preparation. This idea was abandoned for a bit too long, but I think that this time I’m back on track, and hopefully, I will be able to finish it! For a change, I structured myself and created a list of lessons, starting with lesson 1 – an introduction to job interviews.
There are times when I have a lot of great ideas accumulating in my head, but I lack the push to complete them. This is exactly what happened with the job interview preparation course. The thought of it was brewing until I finally received a message from one of my students asking if we could change our current general English lessons, and try preparing for job interviews. I took it as a sign and decided to outline the course for further motivation.
Even though I have already prepared one lesson plan on job interview preparation, B1/B2 – Job interview – Soft skills, I needed a direction to structure the rest of the course. That’s when ChatGPT came to the rescue! So far, I’ve been using it to help me draft lesson plans, but this time I asked it to generate a 10-hour-long course on job interview preparation. And wouldn’t you know it, the previously crafted lesson plan on soft skills and the STAR method, perfectly fit into this syllabus.
The first class titled Introduction to Job Interviews consists of a presentation and worksheet + teacher’s notes, which are available to download at the end of the post.
The objectives of this class are to discuss the purpose and importance of job interviews and the strategies for preparing and succeeding at job interviews. Put students into groups or pairs and ask them to think about different types of job interviews. If this question is too confusing, you can elicit some examples, such as face-to-face or online. Students write the six common types of job interviews and then look at some of them described by Indeed.com in an article 15 Major Types of Job Interviews. Give some time to read the description of job interview types and match their names.
I decided to include this activity to help students remember their past job interviews and the types they have attended before. As a group, discuss the questions and elicit how successful the students were at their job interviews. Elicit reasons why companies may prefer some types of job interviews over others.
Say that job interviews are equally as important for the interviewers as the interviewees. Put students into pairs and come up with three reasons why job interviews are key for the interviewers and the interviewees. Collect and discuss some of the ideas.
Divide students into groups (A and B) and give each one a text to read. Group A reads about the reasons why job interviews are important for interviewers (for example, judging personality and screening for red flags). Group B reads about the reasons why job interviews are important for interviewees (for example, demonstrating skills not shown in the resume and negotiating compensation). Once everyone finishes reading, ask them to order the reasons based on their importance.
Finish this activity by putting students into pairs (student A with student B) and ask them to explain the importance of job interviews for either, an interviewer or interviewee. Once students present the points to each other, they decide whether job interviews are more difficult for an interviewer or an interviewee. Elicit some of the answers and compare them amongst the pairs.
At this point, students have worked enough in pairs, so give them a short break to think individually. Ask them to look back at their working past and write down three things they always do before a job interview to make a good impression. Students share their answers with the rest of the group and say how successful these methods were in the past.
Now, you can decide to do the next activity in two different ways. The first one is to write on the board How to prepare for a job interview? and write down the answers mentioned by the students around it. Some of the answers will probably repeat, so you should be able to get at least six unique answers. If you do it with a small group, or in one-to-one lessons, use the pre-made prompts, as seen below. Discuss which of the things students typically do before an interview and why they do them.
Then similarly to PET/FCE Cambridge Speaking Part 3, pose a question to discuss in pairs. Students discuss which of the preparation strategies is the most important to them and how their preparation would change depending on the type of job interview. I thought this last question would nicely wrap up the class and remind the students about the vocabulary mentioned at the beginning of the lesson. Monitor the activity and provide students with speaking feedback.
Finish the class by summarizing the points mentioned in the lesson and discussing how students can be successful at their next job interview.
Click the links below to get the presentation and the worksheet with the teacher’s notes.
How do you prepare for job interviews? What kinds of job interviews are you familiar with?