Course: Job Readiness
Unit: Employment Interviews
Lesson: Preparing for the Interview
Competency Objectives: The adult learner will understand what to do and what not to do during an
Suggested Criteria for Success: During role-play (mock interviews), the learner will
? demonstrate positive interview behaviors in role-play,
? avoid negative actions that affect the interview and the employment
? be prepared for the interview.
Suggested Vocabulary: interviewing techniques first impressions
body language dressing for the interview
posture personal appearance
qualifications interview questions
experience work history
interview preparation appropriate/inappropriate
Suggested Materials: ? pens or pencils and paper
? attached handouts, one per person
? chalk/markers and black/white board
? newspapers, magazines, catalogs with clothing pictures
? lesson plan from http://www.spring-institute.org/ . Click on Projects, then on
English Language Training Project (left side of screen) then on Free
Resources/Publications. Now click on SCANS Plans: Completing Interviews.
Suggested Resources: ? Interview handouts obtained from local career centers
? Any favorite or available Job Readiness and/or Job Search Workbooks,
pamphlets, brochures, and handouts Some material may need to be modified for
? NCSOICC (North Carolina State Occupational Information Coordinating
Committee) site has wealth of information on all job readiness and search topics
at http://www.nccareers.org/. Click on Begin NC Careers.
? Resources available through your local Public Library, County, State, or
Federal Employment Centers, JobLink Centers, Local Community College
Career Centers, and Human Resources Development Programs.
Preparing for the Interview 1
? http://www.ncesc.com/ The Employment Security Commission of North
Carolina. Click on Individual Services.
Suggested Methods: ? Open discussion, introduction, and/or review of terminology and vocabulary.
? Explanation and presentation of the interview’s purpose and intent
? Modeling and demonstration of interview techniques.
? Individual/paired practice activities.
? Role-play interviews before the class.
? Guest professional(s) to address the class.
Some Suggested Steps
First Impressions. Explain the interview process. Define the terminology and vocabulary associated with
interviewing. Explain that there are expectations and techniques that allow learners to present themselves
Demonstrate positive and negative techniques for the start of an interview. Include first impressions,
introductions and handshakes, body language, posture, and personal appearance in your
lecture/demonstration. Encourage students to role play each of the following aspects of interviewing with
you or with another student:
? How to greet the interviewer and make proper introductions, including handshakes
? How to enter the room
? Good posture and proper sitting
? Unspoken or “body language” and the impact it has on interviewing
Provide ample time for individual practice. Let the groups/class critique performances and allow students
to try out the suggestions for improvement in a “repeat performance.” If your class is large, learners may
practice in pairs or small groups before appearing before the whole class.
Interview Questions. The questions on the “Questions Often Asked During An Interview “ handout are
ones that can be expected during an interview. Even though each learner will respond differently to the
questions, it is the intent of this lesson to inform the learner of potential questions and the meanings behind
Learners can first respond independently to the questions by thinking about and making notes for their
answers. Then pair learners to interview one another.
Next ask for volunteers to demonstrate their question/answer practice in front of the class. Ask the class to
constructively critique this activity. Explain and demonstrate positive interviewing behavior.
Allow all learners to practice/demonstrate interviewing techniques. Help the class identify behaviors and
reactions that can affect the interview outcome. Allow class members to critique role-plays, thereby
helping participants to strengthen their positive responses and to identify and avoid their negative behaviors.
Assist the learners with understanding the reason why each behavior may be viewed as positive or negative.
Learners may choose to share personal interview experiences. Ask learners to supply additional questions
that they have been asked during past interviews that are not found on the lists.
Make learners aware of questions that are inappropriate and/or illegal for the interviewer to ask during
the interview. Explain why these questions should not be asked. Assist learners with ways to respond to
inappropriate questions. You may want to invite a guest speaker to address this issue.
Learners also need to know questions that are appropriate for the interviewee to ask during the interview
session. Working with the students, develop a list of questions appropriate for to ask the interviewer during
an interview. Again, have each student partner with a classmate to practice responses to answers one might
Preparing for the Interview 2
Dressing for the Interview. Assign learners to small groups to identify and discuss proper and improper
attire for interviewing. Use newspaper advertisements, catalogs, or magazines to select proper and
improper examples of interview dress. Discuss, and address all questions or concerns.
Discuss general hygiene and appearance. Work with the class to create a checklist of personal appearance
item such as clean hands and nails; clean, pressed clothes; shined shoes; smoker’s breath.
Pick a day for learners to practice dressing for interviews. Invite a guest speaker from an employment
agency, career center, or local company’s human resources department to talk about the employer’s expectations relative to dressing for an interview.
After the Interview. Show learners how to keep a file containing interviewing paperwork and notes for
Preparing for the Interview 3
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN INTERVIEWING
The employment interview is often the final hurdle in the job search.
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
? Practice answering questions often asked in an interview.
? Research the prospective employer before the interview.
? Bring copies of your résumé to the interview.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
? Wear appropriate clothing.
? Be on time.
? Know the location of the company before the initial interview.
? Know something about the position and the company.
? Know the name of the person who will be interviewing you.
? Ask relevant questions about the employer and the job.
? Maintain eye contact during the interview.
? Fill out the application and paperwork completely and directly.
? Be alert, cheerful, and truly interested.
? Try to mention all your strong points and do not be afraid to talk.
? Present yourself in a positive manner.
? Never chew gum while on the interview.
? Don’t fidget during the interview. ? Don’t smoke during the interview.
? When job hunting do not go with friends. Visit the company alone.
? Never take children with you on the job hunt.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW ? Write a post-interview thank-you.
Preparing for the Interview 4
Questions Often Asked
During an Employment Interview
? Tell me about yourself.
? Why did your last job end?
? What are your three best qualities?
? What is your greatest weakness?
? What are your long-range career goals?
? Why do you want to work for this company?
? What are you looking for in your next job?
? How would your former employer describe you as a worker?
? Why should I hire you?
Preparing for the Interview 5
Course: Job Readiness
Unit: Employment Interviews
Lesson: Preparing for the Interview
Suggested Resources: Resources we employ are Real Life English, English ASAP and the Ellis
? English ASAP Connecting English to the Workplace. ISBN# 0-8172-
7950-4. Publisher: Steck-Vaughn.
? Real Life English. ISBN# 0-8114-3212-2. Publisher: Steck-Vaughn
he@7+record@7050 Type 0-8114-3212-2 in Advanced Search.
? Oxford Picture Dictionary. ISBN# 0-19-470-059-3. Publisher:
? Ellis Software, Introductory Level. This software contains visual and
auditory interactive lessons with a great deal of immediate positive
feedback. Learning categories for each lesson include active lesson in
listening comprehension, vocabulary, phrases, grammar, American
culture, and pronunciation. The vocabulary lessons also enable student
comprehension by featuring auditory interpretation in the student’s
background language. each unit is then concluded with a vocabulary
game and a final diagnostic test. http://www.ellis.com Click on Ellis
Academic, then on Ellis Basic.
Additionally, work vocabulary that includes directions and modes of
transportation are stressed. (English ASAP and Oxford Picture Dictionary).
Appearance. Initiate this lesson with a focus on appearance and personal hygiene. A handout that
addresses the appropriate look for American employers is included at the end of these suggestions.
Drill. Incorporate back-to-back verbal drills with partners. This activity improves the student’s listening
comprehension by not allowing visual reinforcement as English is spoken.
Interview. Questions for the interview may be found in English ASAP, and Real Life English. (See
resources listed above.) Examples include:
? What’s your name?
? Where are you from?
? What’s your experience?
? What kind of work have you done in your native country?
Preparing for the Interview 6
PERSONAL HYGIENE CHECKLIST
? Fingernails (clean or dirty)
? Hands (clean or dirty)
? Face (shaven or unshaven)
? Shoes (clean or dirty)
? Hair (combed or not combed)
? Hair (washed or not washed)
? Clothes (dirty or clean)
Preparing for the Interview 7