Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the transcript at any time.
Before you watch
We suggest you do the vocabulary activities below before you watch. Then watch the video and do the task to check your understanding. You can read the transcript at any stage if you want. Finally, have a look at Task 2, which contains some business notes and a further vocabulary activity on adjectives which are commonly used to describe jobs.
In the interview Sarah is asked some difficult questions, but these are quite typical, standard interview questions. Here are a few more:
Why do you want to work for us?
Give us an example of a time when you did not meet your goals or objectives?
Give us an example of a situation where you faced conflict or difficult communication problems and how did you deal with it?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
What would your current manager say are your strengths?
What do you think are your weaknesses?
Why should we give you the job?
Do you prefer working in a team or on your own?
What is the first thing you would change, if you were to start working here?
Vocabulary: Describing jobs
Fill in the gaps in the sentences with the adjectives in the box.
Marcia Boardman: Hi Sarah! I’m Marcia Boardman – we spoke on the phone...
Sarah: Oh yes, I remember – I was having a bad day!
Marcia Boardman: ...and this is Philip Hart, our CEO.
Philip Hart: Hello!
Sarah: Hello, it’s very nice to meet you both.
Philip Hart: It says on your CV that you do voluntary work...
Sarah: Well, when I have time, yes! I do work at a centre for children with difficulties, yes...
Philip Hart: That must be very interesting...
Sarah: It’s rewarding and challenging.
Marcia Boardman: Sarah, can you tell us a little bit about your current position?
Sarah: I’m assistant sales director for a chain of language schools.
Philip Hart: So this post would be quite a change then...
Sarah: I don’t think so honestly because the skills are the same, despite the product.
Marcia Boardman: Why are you thinking of moving on?
Sarah: Well I’ve come as far as I can in my current position, I feel and I’m 28 now and would love to take on some more responsibility.
Marcia Boardman: Ok, let’s move on to managing people. Can you give us an example of when you had to deal with a particularly difficult managee?
Sarah: Well, yes, I had two people working for me who didn’t get along at all – they had no shared values, different temperaments – and they used to argue a lot, it looked like it was impossible for them to work together. So, I sat down with them, and we talked about their differences and their problems and after that, things went much more smoothly!
Philip Hart: How would you deal with a rapidly changing and uncertain global market?
Sarah: Ok, that’s actually something I wanted to talk about in my presentation...but I’d say to stay flexible and to diversify markets and sales strategies.
Marcia Boardman: It says on your CV you speak French and Spanish.
Sarah: Yes, I do. I lived in both France and Spain for a while.
Philip Hart: Any plans to learn other languages?
Sarah: I’d love to try!
Marcia Boardman: Ok, can you tell us about a time you closed a particularly challenging deal?
Sarah: Well, the biggest contract I won - and the thing I’m most proud of professionally - was with a large university in India, to provide language training. The contract was full of technicalities and the client was very picky! – But I still pulled it off.
Marcia Boardman: Ok – do you have any questions for us?
Sarah: Yes - about your ethical policy and your carbon footprint...I was wondering whether you are planning to reduce your carbon footprint and whether all your products are ethically sourced?
Philip Hart: That’s a very good question...and that’s something we’re moving towards at the moment...
Marcia Boardman: Ok, well, let’s move on to the presentation...