In this extended job interviewing listening selection, you'll hear the first few moments of a job interview. Before you listen, there are a few things you should note about standard job interview behavior, speaking forms used, and more.
Breaking the Ice
You'll notice a few questions in the beginning of the interview that concerns how the job applicant arrived and the weather. This is commonly referred to as 'breaking the ice'. 'Breaking the ice' is an important way to begin the job interview, but it shouldn't take too long. Generally, job interviewers will break the ice to help you feel comfortable. Make sure to give positive, but not too detailed answers to these 'ice breakers'.
- Give short, positive answers to questions.
- Don't go into too much detail.
- Expect questions about the weather or how you arrived at the job interview.
- It's a good idea to make a pleasant comment yourself to break the ice. Keep it short, positive and simple.
Sometimes, you may have found about a job opportunity through a referral. If this is the case, make sure to use the referral to your best advantage by mentioning it at the beginning of the interview.
- Mention the name of the referral at the beginning of the interview. Ideally, this should be done when asked about how you found the job opening.
- Provide the name of the referral, but don't go into too much detail about the relationship, unless asked.
- Give the name of the referral only once. Don't continue to repeat the name during the interview.
- Don't assume the job interviewer knows the person you are mentioning.
Relating your job experience and how it relates to the specific job for which you are applying are the two most important tasks during any job interview. Make sure to use lots of descriptive verbs and adjectives to describe your responsibilities. For example, instead of the following job description:
I talked to customers about their problems.
A more descriptive phrase with better vocabulary might be:
I counseled customers documenting their concerns, and coordinating our response to their individual needs.
In the listening selection, you will hear the present perfect, present perfect continuous and present simple used because the person is speaking about his current projects.
- Take some time to prepare descriptive sentences concerning your responsibilities.
- Use a dictionary, or this handy job interview vocabulary page to improve your vocabulary selection.
- Make sure to connect your past experience to the position by using lots of present perfect.
- Quickly review appropriate job interviewing tenses for describing experiences.
Now that you've reviewed some basic interviewing technique, open this link in a new window and listen a few times to the job interview listening selection. If you have difficulties understanding, go to the next page to see a transcription of the job interview.
Interviewer (Ms Hanford): (opens door, shakes hands) Good morning…
Job Applicant (Mr. Anderson): Good morning, Joe Anderson, it's a pleasure to meet you Ms Hanford.
Hanford: How do you do? Please take a seat. (Joe sits) It's quite the rainy day outside, isn't it?
Anderson: Yes, luckily, you have a nice underground parking lot that helped me avoid the worst of it. I must say this is an impressive building.
Hanford: Thank you, we like working here… Now, let's see. You've come to interview for the position of e-commerce manager, haven't you?
Anderson: Yes, Peter Smith encouraged me to apply, and I think I'd be ideal for the position.
Hanford: Oh. Peter… he's a great sysadmin, we like him a lot… Let's go over your resume. Could you begin by telling me about your qualifications?
Anderson: Certainly. I've been working as the regional assistant director of marketing at Simpco Northwest for the past year.
Hanford: And what did you do before that?
Anderson: Before that, I was a Simpco local branch manager in Tacoma.
Hanford: Well, I see you have done well at Simpco. Can you give me some more detail about your responsibilities as assistant director?
Anderson: Yes, I've been in charge of in-house personnel training for our Internet customer service reps over the past six months.
Hanford: Can you tell me a little bit about what you've been doing in your training?
Anderson: We've been working on improving customer satisfaction through an innovative e-commerce solution which provides real-time chat service help to visitors to the site.
Hanford: Interesting. Is there anything in particular you feel would be useful here at Sanders Co.?
Anderson: I understand that you have been expanding your e-commerce to include social networking features.
Hanford: Yes, that's correct.
Anderson: I think that my experience in customer relations via the Internet in real-time puts me in the unique position of understanding what works and what doesn't.
Hanford: Yes, that does sound useful. What difficulties and challenges do you think we might run into?
Anderson: Well, I think we'll continue to see consumers spend more of the shopping dollars online. I've been studying how sales directly relates to customer satisfaction with online services.
Hanford: Would you mind giving me a bit more detail on that?
Anderson: Sure… if customers aren't satisfied with the service they receive online, they won't come back. It's much easier to lose customers online. That's why you need to make sure that you get it right the first time round.
Hanford: I can see you've learnt quite a lot in the short time you've been working in e-commerce.
Anderson: Yes, it's an exciting field to be working in…