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Episode 01

Philip is the CEO of WebWare, an IT company. He needs to hire a new sales director as soon as possible.

Do the preparation task first. Then watch the video and do the exercises. You can also read the transcript.


Philip: You what? What do you mean? You've lost the DollarMart contract? Oh, Brian, tell me you're joking! That's our biggest contract and you've lost it! OK ... OK ... yes, I know you've had some personal problems recently. Yes, sure ... yes, I know our competitors have improved their offer, but really, Brian, these are just excuses. Oh, Brian, come on – you failed to meet agreed targets for the entire last quarter. We talked about this in your last performance review and I told you then it had to improve, and to be quite honest – it hasn't. Losing the DollarMart contract is the last straw. No, I'm sorry, Brian, that's it. That's your last chance. I'm going to have to let you go. Let you go. Yes, that's what it means, Brian. You're fired.

Hi, Jess. Can you put me through to Marcia in HR, please? Thank you.

Hi, Marcia. It's Philip here. Listen, I've had to let Brian go. He lost us the DollarMart account. Yeah, but it had been going on for a while, and he just wasn't pulling his weight any more. He'd been warned. His last performance review was really bad. He knew it was coming. So, we'll be looking for someone new and we'll need to decide on who that is. 

Who are we looking for? Good question. I was hoping you might be able to help me with that! Here's what I'm thinking and let me know if you agree. Well, obviously, they'll need to have a first degree. Doesn't matter what subject. And then a master's or an MBA, I'd say. 

Experience? At least five years' relevant experience in an international company. I want somebody with a proven track record. Oh, they have to be a team player – Brian never was – so strong interpersonal skills. Oh, and I want someone with vision ... yes, 'vision'! Well, I know it’s difficult to define. What I mean is, someone who knows we're in a rapidly changing market, and they can use it to our advantage.

Experience with online sales, perhaps but ... yes, I'd be interested in that. Oh, language skills. I can't emphasise that enough. Not necessarily a native speaker, but they must be very good at English. And another language as well – Spanish, or Mandarin is best.

Does that sound OK to you? Great. OK, can you get an ad out on the website as soon as possible? Oh, and the trade press as well. OK, great. Thanks, Marcia. I want a new sales director by the end of the month. Bye!



Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


Hello simon su,

I'm sorry that you're having trouble seeing the video. I've tried viewing it using Chrome (Version 58.0.3029.110) on my Mac and have had no trouble seeing the video.

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All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there, new with the platform, i have a small issue with the video watching. i´ve punched many icons but i can´t get to watch them. would you be so kind and help me. thanks alot.

Hello phillip the cat,

Have you tried updating your browser? Or trying a different web browser? That should solve the problem, but if not, please let us know what browser you're using, what version it is, and what operating system your device has.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

very helpful, thank you


I got some new vocabularies. Great.

in task- Which skills and experience are NOT essential for the new employee? how the answer is sales

Hello ahmed mohamed salem,

All three skills are positive, but they are described in different ways. For languages, Philip says 'they must be very good at English, and another language as well, Spanish, or Mandarin is best'. As far as teamwork goes, he says 'they have to be a team player'. These verbs - must and have to - show that these skills are essential. However, with regard to sales he says only 'Experience with online sales, perhaps – but yes, I’d be interested in that'. In other words, experience with sales is good, but not essential.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


hi Peter,

Very detail and helpful explanation.
Thanks a lot.