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!

Task 1

Task 2


Worksheet90.3 KB
Average: 4 (34 votes)

Submitted by hermann.mathow on Wed, 19/09/2018 - 17:55

Well guys, about the third question from Task 1 I would like to comment the following: Phil asks explicitly for a “five years' relevant experience, in an international company”, not necessarily an international experience. I´ve worked for a multinational for a while and yet, I haven´t been expatriated. Therefore, I´ve worked for an international company but I did not have an international experience! Could answer B be the right one? “a higher degree and five years ‘experience?” Many thanks

Hi hermann.mathow,

You have clearly understood the conversation, so I would say that yes, your answer is correct. 'five years' international experience' isn't the best wording -- I'll change it to 'five years' experience in an international company' to clarify what is meant here.

Thanks very much for taking the time to ask about this.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Abfalter Cristian on Sun, 09/09/2018 - 16:28

Great lesson and the tasks too, thank you britishcouncil !
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Submitted by Omba on Fri, 31/08/2018 - 11:34

Very good for listening. I will need to improve my speaking also
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Submitted by Aylin Bekem on Thu, 09/08/2018 - 17:54

Done with no mistakes ! good job for me :)
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Submitted by missnadya on Tue, 26/06/2018 - 10:43

Thank you very very much for these useful exercises, videos and explanation British Council!! Great job!

Submitted by julio arnaud on Thu, 17/05/2018 - 03:47

I can easily understand every phrase, it's crystal clear.