Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan (Intermediate)

Download the Job Interview ESL lesson plan here: Job-Interview-ESL-Intermediate05022012.doc

Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan: Intermediate

Study our lesson about job interviews.

Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan: Warm-up (Pair Work)

1)    What was your first job? What is the worst job you have ever had?
2)    Do humans need to work? If you were rich and didn’t work at all, could you be happy?
3)    What questions are inappropriate for an interviewer to ask in an interview?
4)    Brainstorm: Take two minutes to make a list of things you should and shouldn’t do before, in, and after an interview. When finished, share your list with the class.

Job Interviewing — Key Vocabulary in Context

Due to the economic crisis, competition for jobs is intense in many parts of the world. People are being laid off from their jobs. Therefore, when the opportunity for an interview arises, it’s important to perform well. Interviews, however, are still a source of anxiety for many people.
According to workplace experts Joyce Lain Kennedy and Rebecca Corfield, many job seekers make the mistake of revealing too much negative information about themselves without realizing it. Hasty answers to questions such as “Why are you out of work?” can highlight your own weaknesses. Kennedy also suggests minimizing criticism about former co-workers and bosses. Rather, she believes it’s better to say that you get along with everyone. Showing interest in the position is also important. Job seekers can do this by showing they’ve done adequate research before the interview and by asking questions in the interview. In addition, experts recommend avoiding premature talk of salary and perks (unless the interviewer brings it up). It’s best to focus on what you can offer the employer, and not vice versa.
While most companies claim to be equal opportunity employers, inappropriate questions are not uncommon in interviews. In the US, it is illegal to ask about nationality, religion, age, marital status, military background, health, union membership, and even place of residence. Of course, verbally punching an interviewer for asking a discriminatory question will greatly reduce your prospects of getting hired. The key is to redirect the question to a safer topic.
People go to great lengths to get hired. Some lie about their qualifications and experience. This behavior may be supported by the belief that getting a job is harder than actually doing it. (278 words)

Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan: Follow-Up Questions

1)    According to the author, why is doing well in interviews now more important than ever?
2)    What do the experts say you shouldn’t do in an interview?
3)    Why do they say you should do?
4)    What does the phrase equal opportunity employer mean (in your opinion)?
5)    True or False: In the US, it’s illegal to ask, “Do you have a history of health problems?”
6)    What should you do if you are asked a discriminatory question?
7)    Idiom: what does it mean to go to great lengths to do something?

1 – It is more important than ever because of the economic downturn; there are fewer jobs available.
2 – You should not: criticize yourself, criticize your ex-boss or co-workers, come unprepared, or talk about money prematurely.
3 – You should come prepared, ask questions in the interview, say you get along well with people, and focus on what you can offer.
4 – It should mean that the employer does not discriminate — it hires people of all backgrounds and ages.
5 – Yes. (Particularly, I imagine, when the question is not related to the qualifications of the particular position.)
6 – Try to redirect the question to another topic.
7 – The idiom means to make great effort in order to achieve something.

Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Matching

Match the words with their meaning as used in the news lesson.
lay off sb (phrasal verb)
reveal (verb)
highlight (verb)
  • intense – extreme, great, strong
  • lay off sb – terminate the employment of sb
  • anxiety – worry or fear about sth
  • reveal (verb) – show or tell sth that was hidden/secret
  • hasty – done quickly without enough thought
  • highlight (verb) – emphasize sth; make sth easy to see
  • criticism – negative talk about sth/sb
  • adequate – enough
  • premature – too early
  • perk – an added benefit you get from an employer
  • residence – where you live
  • prospect – chance, hope, possibility
  • qualification – a necessary skill or experience you need for a job/activity

Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan: Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.

government / uprising
competition / intense
anxiety / lay off
reveal / lying
hasty / answer
highlight / strengths
criticism / colleagues
perk / Lexus
qualifications / adequate
premature / decision
residence / new
prospect / unemployment


Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan: Difficult Interview Questions

1)What are some difficult interview questions?
2)What is the best way to answer the below questions?
– How long would you stay in the position?
– What is your weakness?
– Describe a time when you failed.
– Why are you leaving your present job?

Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan: Job Interview Role-Play (Pair Work)

1) You and your partner will take turns interviewing. First, decide who will be the first job seeker. Next, choose one of the below jobs to apply for. When you’ve chosen, read your role below.

Project Manager, IBM
Duties: Manage projects on time and on budget. Responsible for risk management, project tracking & planning.
Required: Bachelors degree, experience in project mgmt, and expertise in MS Office. Must have excellent leadership & interpersonal skills.
English Instructor, ABC Learning.
Duties: Teaching group & private classes in businesses
Requirements: university degree in related field, fluent  English, and teaching experience.
Must be: well-organized, energetic, professional, and  qualified to work.
Head Chef, Antonio’s
Duties: delivery of food services
Requirements: Certificate III in Hospitality or similar, and exp. with food prep. and delivery.
Must be: well-organized, & knowledgeable about food safety

(note: each student reads his/her role only)

Student A
You will be interviewed. This is a role-play so you may pretend to have the appropriate background for the position. Take a minute to prepare. Soon, the interview still start.
Student B
Decide how you want to structure the interview and what questions to ask (optional: include an inappropriate question). Also, try to think of a scenario related to the job and ask the interviewee how he/she’d behave in that situation. Take a few minutes to prepare. When ready, begin the interview.

Job Interview Writing Homework (optional)

Write a cover letter for one of the above positions.

Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan: Discussion Questions

1)    Do you have any interesting job interview stories?
2)    Should interviewers be prohibited from asking about age, marital status, residency, etc?
3)    Post-Graduation: How difficult is it to find a job after graduation in your country?
4)    Idiom: What does it mean to think outside the box? Is this required for your job?
5)    Verbs: How are the verbs “to fire, to lay off, to resign, to retire, to quit” different?

Job Interview ESL Lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of

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4 comments on “Job Interview ESL Lesson Plan (Intermediate)

  1. Rohan (Posted on 2-11-2015 at 03:01) Reply

    Thank you for this lesson lan, looks great. Reckon it will be a lot of fun.

  2. Oliver (Posted on 10-6-2015 at 23:20) Reply

    I appreciate this site man! Lots of great stuff. Super useful.

  3. Anonymous (Posted on 4-12-2020 at 09:02) Reply

    Thank you so much for this great lesson plan.^^

  4. Matt (Posted on 8-5-2021 at 10:18) Reply

    I’m glad I found this site.
    Thanks for sharing!

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