Job interview activity

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This is a practice activity for listening/speaking courses, but it could also be used for courses related to English for academic purposes (EAP). Students role play as interviewers and interviewees. The teacher could decide the type of fictional job or company, or let the students decide. I have used it in my writing classes to supplement my unit on writing resumes and cover letters, and so the students decided, and the interviewer might have a draft version of the student's written materials in this course. Supplementary vocabulary could also be provided, depending on the class level.


Someday you will graduate, and Mom and Dad will kick you out of the house and make you get a job. To get a job, you will have to do many job interviews to persuade an employer to hire you. Below are some common job interview questions. With a partner or group, take turns interviewing each other. As interviewers and interviewees, here's what you need to do:

Interviewees: Decide what kind of job you want, what kind of company you want to work for, and what kinds of skills and experience you have (pretend it's the future, after you have graduated). As much as possible, try to give specific, detailed, and convincing answers, and show the interviewer that you are the best person for the job.

Interviewers: Ask the interviewee questions for the type of job or company that he/she is interested in. Ask questions about his/her background, and some of the question below (not all of them). Don't just accept his/her answer, but ask follow-up questions when possible, to get more specific information from the person. After the interview, decide if you would want to hire the person, and why.

Interview questions.

  1. Tell me about yourself (in other words, "What are your basic qualifications, and what strengths or skills do you think you can bring to this position / company?”).
  2. Aren't you under-qualified for this job? (don't have enough experience)
  3. Aren't you over-qualified for this job?
  4. How do you make major decisions – what steps do you take in making an important decision?
  5. What have you learned from your mistakes?
  6. How have your education (and other training) prepared you for this job?
  7. Do you feel you are ready for a more responsible job? Tell me why you think so.
  8. Why do you think this company should hire you?
  9. Why do you want this job? / Why do you want to work at this company?
  10. What are your long-term goals? How long will you stay with this company?
  11. How do you plan to do to improve yourself?
  12. Of all the challenges you have ever handled, which was the most difficult, and how did you overcome it?
  13. How well can you work with others as members of a team?
  14. What is your greatest weakness? (And how have you dealt with it?)