You are here

Episode 04

Daniel's interview doesn't go too well. What mistakes does he make?

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


Daniel: Hi there!

Marcia: Good morning, Daniel!

Daniel: Oh, Dan, please.

Marcia: I'm Marcia Boardman – we spoke on the phone – and this is Philip Hart, our CEO.

Philip: Hello!

Daniel: Nice to meet you both.

Philip: So, it says here on your CV that you’re interested in rock climbing.

Daniel: Yeah, I love it!

Philip: Great, so do I! When did you last go climbing?

Daniel: Er, well, it was a while ago, now.

Philip: Anywhere interesting?

Daniel: Yeah, I walked up the hill behind my house. Took me about 30 minutes!

Philip: Oh.

Marcia: OK, erm, Daniel, can you tell us a little bit about your current position?

Daniel: Certainly. As it says in the CV, I'm part of the European sales team at Networld. We're the world's leading supplier of IT hardware.

Philip: Why do you want to move on?

Daniel: Well, they're too small for me!

Marcia: Networld are too small for you?

Daniel: Yeah, I'm looking for something much bigger.

Philip: Well, we're not a big company by any means, but we are looking to grow! Er, what first attracted you to WebWare in particular?

Daniel: Well, I see WebWare as kind of like a stepping stone ...

Marcia: Sorry?

Daniel: Yeah, start here, gain the necessary experience, then move on to something bigger.

Philip: OK ... well, I do admire your ambition!

Daniel: Thanks. I've got lots of it!

Marcia: Let's move on to managing people. Can you give an example of a time when you had to deal with a particularly difficult managee?

Daniel: Sure, well, I think that's one of my strong points, actually. Er, a couple of years ago, I was working with a guy, he wasn't pulling his weight, basically being lazy – so I told him to get out.

Marcia: Oh, you didn't give him a performance review or a warning or perhaps try to develop his motivation?

Daniel: No, no, no, no. None of that rubbish. If someone's not working hard enough, then they're out! That's the way I work. I'm a hard man.

Marcia: I see.

Philip: Erm, how would you handle a rapidly changing market?

Daniel: Basically not change anything at all! Just continue on as normal, regardless.

Marcia: Erm, according to your CV you are fluent in Mandarin ...

Daniel: Well, I wouldn't say 'fluent', exactly, but I like Chinese food a lot so I can read the menu.

Philip: So you can't actually speak the language?

Daniel: Er, no.

Marcia: Can you tell us about a time you had to close a particularly challenging deal?

Daniel: I haven't had one. They're all easy for me. I close deals all the time.

Marcia: OK, well, do you have any questions for us?

Daniel: No.

Philip: Oh. OK. Erm, thanks.

Marcia: Let's move on to the presentation ...



Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


Hello Diona,

A stepping stone is a stone in the river which we can stand on when we want to get across. We use the phrase also in a metaphorical sense to describe something which is a step alone the way to our goal. For example, if my ambition is to become a political journalist then starting a political blog might be a stepping stone on the way to fulfilling that ambition.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I think Daniel is quite conceited! He wrote he spoke Mandarin in his CV but it isn't true. I'd never give him that job.

what is the meaning of "out-right lying never pays"?

Hello Anwr,

When we say something doesn't pay we mean that there is no benefit or profit from it, or that it is not good for the person doing it.

The adjective outright means obvious or undisguised (you can see a definition here).


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

This video content is instructive for me , may be ))

the notes in the task 2 had too much information about the mistakes in the business

this video is very interesting, fun and useful for people which interesed to fluent their english

The video is very clear and lets me see and know what I should do and what not to go to an interview

what is the meaing of "close a challenging deal "?
is that mean "achieveing some goal that offer from someone"?

Hello Roberto Cesar,

When you 'close a deal' you reach a successful conclusion. In other words, you succeed in your negotiation and agree terms with the other side, leading to signing a contract, for example. The deal is challenging if it is difficult to negotiate for some reason. Thus, 'close a challenging deal' means to successfully complete difficult negotiations.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team