How to Interview for a Job in American English, part 1/5


Youre hired! Two words everybody loves to hear. But before we hear these words comes

(dun dun duuuuhn!) the interview. Today’s video is part one in a series that’s all

about preparing for a job interview.

This is part one of a five part series on preparing for an interview. Interviewing for

a new job can be a huge source of stress and anxiety. And if youre interviewing for

a job in a non-native language, the stress can be even higher. In this video youll

see me interview for a job. Throughout the interview, well discuss some of the most

common interview questions and how to answer them. Youll also learn some basic information

to get you started on creating your own answers to these questions. Let’s begin.

TK: Hello Ms. Smith, I’m Tom Kelley. Thanks so much for coming in.

RS: It’s my pleasure, thanks so much for meeting with me.

TK: Of course. Did you have any trouble finding the office?

Small Talk. Most interviews will start out with a handshake and some small talkthis

may include questions about how youre doing, your travel to the interview, the weather,

how your weekend went, and more. All you need to do is be polite and friendly. Keep your

answers short. You can also feel free to turn the question back to the interviewer. For

instance, if the interviewer asks you how your weekend was, you might respond, “It

was great, we celebrated my Mom’s birthday. How was your weekend?” Small talk is used

to build a more comfortable environment before the interview begins. It may seem silly, but

you can practice small talk on your own by asking yourself simple, easy-to-answer, non-personal

questions. You could also practice with a friend. Here is an example of small talk:

>> How are you doing? >> I’m great, thank you, and you?

>> How are you doing? >> I’m doing really well. It’s such a

nice day out there. >> It is! It was perfect weather all weekend.

>> It was.

>> Did you do anything interesting over the weekend?

>> Yes, I went to the park with my family for a picnic.

>> That sounds nice. >> It was. And you?

>> I worked this weekend, but I got a lot done, so that was good.

>> It does feel good to get work done!

You can see we haven’t said much of importance, but the conversation is friendly and open,

and can make two people feel more comfortable in each other’s presence.

TK: Hello Ms. Smith, I’m Tom Kelley. Thanks so much for coming in.

RS: It’s my pleasure, thanks so much for meeting with me.

TK: Of course. Did you have any trouble finding the office?

RS: Nope. The directions on the website were great.

TK: Good. Would you like some coffee or water before we begin?

RS: I’m okay, thank you. TK: Alright. So, to get started, why don’t

you tell me a little bit about yourself. RS: Sure.

Common Question: Tell me a little bit about yourself. It’s very common for interviewers

to simply ask you to tell them about yourself. That can feel overwhelming! But don’t worry;

what they really want you to focus on is your education and work history. You can also let

them know what areas you have a lot of experience in, or what your interests are when answering

this question. Here are a few different ways to begin your answer.

I studied at Harvard University and graduated 2012 with a degree in business.

I’ve been working at Smith Incorporated for 10 years as a manager.

I have 12 years of experience in graphic design.

Because of my time at Verizon, I have a lot of experience in providing customer service.

If you're preparing for an interview, practice talking about yourself and your work history.

Record yourself with a video camera if possible. Make sure it's not too long, maybe around

a minute. Go back and listen or watch, and write down phrases that worked well to use

again. If there was anything you stumbled over or left out, write down some possible

phrases you could have used. The next day, do the same exercise. It's important that

you don't just write a paragraph and memorize it, but simply practice free-talking with

some key phrases. The more you practice before the interview, the more comfortable youll

feel answering the questions during the interview.

TK: So, to get started, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself.

RS: Sure. I studied at the University of Florida and graduated in 2010 with a Masters Degree

in Toy Design. After graduation, I was hired at Happy Kid’s Creative. I’ve been there

for the past five years and am currently the Director of Toy Production. During that time

sales have grown steadily. It’s been a great experience, but I’ve run out of room to

grow with HKC and I’m looking for new opportunities. I have a lot of experience leading teams in

the creative process and finding new markets for the products that we create.

T: That’s great.

To be continued! Well pick it up from here in the next video in this series. In the next

video, well go over three more common interview questions: ‘How did you hear about this

position’, ‘what attracted you to our company?’ andwhat’s your greatest


I hope this video on job interviews has been helpful. There’s nothing better than walking

out of an interview feeling that you were fully prepared!

If you have interview-related questions or stories, please post them in the comments

below. I’d love to hear them.

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That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.