Job interviews are crucial for immigrants, refugees, and other newcomers who are trying to get a foot in the door in their new country. They want to work and make a living to support their families and to become acquainted with their neighbors and communities, just as native citizens do. Going on a job interview can be daunting, especially for those who are not confident in their English language abilities. Here is a lesson plan to help your students or your friends who are learning English gain the knowledge they need to land their next job.
Lesson Level: Intermediate to advanced
Lesson Length: 1 hour
Objective: Learn vocabulary related to job interviews.
Target Language: Answering questions such as “why,” “how,” what” (Why should I hire you? What experience do you have?”)
Vocabulary: skills, experience, job, salary, hours, schedule, education, references, benefits, on-time, dress/appearance, uniform, health insurance, resume
5 minutes: Introduction: Have students relate their experiences in looking for and applying for jobs. What was the most difficult part? What was the best part? Write answers on board.
10 minutes: Ask students what kind of questions they think they would be asked in a job interview. Write answers on board.
Write the vocabulary words related to job interviews that come out of the students brainstorming job interview questions.
20 minutes: Presentation: Using the questions that the students came up with during the introduction, present some more questions to the students that they may be asked in a job interview. Ask individual students how they might answer the questions.
Some questions might be answered with, “I have worked. . .before,” “I attended university/college at. . ., and my degree is. . .,” “My strong points are. . .,” “My weak points are. . .However, I always try to improve on them by. . .”
Questions students might ask the potential employer are important, too. Some may include:
“What are the hours?”
“What are the dress requirements?”
“What is the salary?”
“Does this position have benefits and/or health insurance?”
20 minutes: Practice: Pick one student from the class to be the person applying for a job. Ask the student some of the job interview questions. Then switch roles with the student to model how to answer questions as well.
Pair students up. Have one student be the employer of a hospitality-related company, such as a hotel. Have the other student be the interviewee. Go over some vocabulary related to working in a hotel, such as tips, cleaning, restaurant, clerk, receptionist, towels, sheets, blankets, bed, etc. before the students complete this exercise. This site has some good hospitality-related vocabulary.
5 minutes: Closing: For homework, students can write a role play of what they think a bad job interview might look like. They can share it with the class orally during the next lesson.