ESL Level: Pre-Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
Focus: Practicing for job interviews, Writing, Speaking
Template download: job-posting-template.docx
This is a job posting template I use with my students at my language school. Essentially, we first we read over the template and then I have them create their own job posting using the blank template on the second page. Afterwards, they read each other’s job postings, choose one, and then interview for that position.
Job Interview Practice – Execution
Beforehand (30-90 minutes)
Before handing out the job posting template, I discuss different types of professions with my students and ask them about their experience with job interviews (this can be a whole lesson in itself). Afterwards, I brainstorm the questions that are often asked in job interviews. Usually I fill the board with questions that match this structure:
- small talk
- questions about education and work history
- questions about character (“What are your weaknesses?”) / abstract questions (“What does customer service mean to you?”)
- practical questions (“Are you willing to work overtime?”)
- A scenario question (“What would you do if a customer demanded a refund?”)
See here for a list of other questions that I use. I try to get a mix of questions from the students and also some key questions that are common in my country (Canada). I ask the students to write down some of the questions they like because they will need to use them later in a job interview activity.
Next, I erase the board and brainstorm questions that the interviewee can ask during a job interview. I tell them that it’s important to have at least one or two relevant questions to ask. After filling the board, I have them write down a few they’d like to use.
Next, for practice, I have them brainstorm some interesting jobs on the board. Then I ask them in pairs to pick a job and practice the interview questions.
Additionally, as a warm-up to this lesson, you could have students (in pairs/small groups) discuss the most difficult job interview questions (and strategies for answering them) and also what questions are inappropriate in a job interview.
Using the Job Posting Template (30 minutes)
After distributing the template, I have the students read the sample job posting for the manager position at ABC Paints (see below). I make sure that they understand the key terms (ASAP, Negotiable, Qualifications, Responsibilities).
Afterwards, I tell the students that they have their own company and they need to hire someone. I ask them to create a job posting for that position by filling out the blank template on the second page. Alternatively, this could be assigned as homework. I encourage students to write neatly as other students will read it.
Post-Activity: Practicing Job Interviews (30 minutes)
Divide the class into two groups. One group will be the interviewers and the other will be the interviewees. I take the job postings from the interviewers and tape them to the wall (or place them on a table). I ask the interviewees to come up and read the job postings. When they find one they’d like to interview for, take it and then go to the appropriate student for an interview.
In the interview, I remind them to:
- Start with small talk
- Ask and answer questions (both groups)
Usually, I let the interviewers look at their list of questions during the interview. However, I don’t let the interviewees carry around their list of questions — they must memorize some beforehand.
Before I let them start, I tell the interviewers to interview at least 3 or 4 students, and that at the end of the activity, they will have to pick one candidate to hire.
They begin. After 15 minutes, I ask them to switch roles.
Afterwards, I ask the students to announce to the class whom they would like to hire and why. I congratulate the students who were hired and wish them well in their future endeavours.
Job Posting Template Preview
There are many ways to practice job interviews. This is just one approach that you may find useful for your ESL class.
– Matthew Barton / Englishcurrent.com