Job interviews are fun things to prepare learners for. A colleague and I once prepared a student for a job interview as a hotel receptionist by sitting her in the director’s office and making spurious phone calls to her in a variety of comedy accents with demands ranging from the mundane (clean towels) to the ridiculous (arranging a private jet to pick the children up from school). I never found out whether it helped her or not….
More recently, my FCE class did a module on the working world and to finish it off we did a job interview task. It went really well. They really enjoyed it, there was loads of great language and some truly brilliant questions which, given that they are teenagers with no experience of the job market, made me very happy. So I thought I’d share it!
I divided the class into two groups. Group A were the interviewers and Group B the interviewees.
Group A worked collaboratively to decide which jobs they were interviewing for and what questions they would ask. Each interviewer had to recruit for a different job, so we had John recruiting for an astrophysicist and Mary recruiting for a babysitter and Anne for a stage prompter.
Group B worked collaboratively to think of what kind of qualities and experience might help them to get different types of jobs and to think of questions to ask about the terms and conditions, working hours etc.
The key is that Group B doesn’t know what jobs they are interviewing for, so group A have to keep it a secret!
In the interview stage, group A were sat separately around the edges of the room and paired off with someone from group B. Each pair had two or three minutes to interview / be interviewed and then the students from group B rotated to the next interviewer.
At the end of the activity, Group A got back together and decided which candidates they would hire for their job – and they had to hire someone, so there was a bit of additional negotiation going on there! Group B had to work out which interviewer was interviewing for which job – piecing it together from clues obtained during the process.
Because of time constraints, I stopped the interview process about two thirds of the way through, so that everybody had only spoken to about four or five other people. I think that also worked quite well because it added a bit more of a jigsaw element to working out the final task. I also liked that the interviewees had more of a task to do than just compare questions, which is a problem I’ve come across in the past.
Try it out yourself and let me know how it goes – or if you have any variations on the theme?