At job interview: which candidate to appoint | Speak English | ELT & ESL |Intermediate level | Tasks

Before you watch
Match the words and phrases in the table to their definitions.
1. good on paper 2. counterfactual 3. references 4. arrogant
5. vague 6. convincing 7. self-assured 8. a rejection

a. Not clear in meaning or intention
b. Not reflecting or considering the facts
c. Feeling or showing self-importance and contempt or disregard for others
d. Able to persuade somebody to believe that something is true
e. Qualifications and experience that are impressive on a CV
f. A statement concerning somebody’s character or qualifications, usually given to a potential
g. Behaving in a relaxed manner that displays confidence that your views and abilities are of
h. A letter to tell a candidate that they have not received the job

Comprehension Task
Reordering: Put the ideas expressed in the video into the correct order.
Daniel Watson was too confident.
Sarah Timms was persuasive.
1 Daniel Watson made a good first impression.
You should always tell the truth on your CV.
They will offer the job to Sarah.
Philip Hart is concerned about Sarah’s experience.
Business notes

In the seventh video in the series Marcia and Philip discuss and compare the two interviewees before making the decision about who to give the job to. In doing this they use a number of adjectives to describe the characters of Daniel and Sarah, such as convincing and arrogant. Adjectives can often have a positive or negative connotation – here are a few more adjectives that could be used to describe someone in an interview situation:
————————————————————- Positive                                                Negative

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Marcia writes an email to one of the candidates
giving them the news that they have not got the job. You’re Hired – Episode

Before you watch
Match the words and phrases in the table to their definitions.
1. moderate 2. accept 3. direct 4. We regret to
inform you
5. absolutely 6. promising 7. feedback 8. fact check

a. Agree to take something
b. Completely or totally
c. Straight and honest
d. To become less great, extreme, violent, or severe
e. Showing the potential for success
f. Information about how well you did something
g. An expression used in a formal letter to deliver bad news
h. Confirm that what is written is true

Comprehension Task
True or false
Read the following statements and decide if they are true or false.
1. Marcia offered the job to Sarah.
2. Sarah is going to start in a week.
3. Marcia does not want to write to Daniel.
4. Philip does not think that the letter should be completely honest.
5. Marcia suggests including some information about what he did badly.
6. Marcia hopes Daniel will be more successful in the future.
Business notes
Telling someone that they didn’t get the job is not an easy thing to do. Philip helps Marcia to word the
rejection letter in a suitable way. Here are a few things you should do in a rejection letter.
• Address the candidate by name.
• Thank the candidate for the time, effort and interest in the company.
• Write a supportive sentence about the candidate’s qualifications, experience or, at very least,
enthusiasm or motivation.
• Make it clear that the reason you didn’t hire the candidate was because you found someone
else with better qualifications and experience.
• Offer some feedback on how they could improve their interview performance.
• Wish the candidate good luck in his or her career development.
• Close the letter formally with “sincerely” or “best wishes.”
• Sign your name, including your title.

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Before you watch
Match the words and phrases in the table to their definitions.
1. fire away 2. specifics 3. a pay scale 4. a fixed salary
5. compensate 6. bonus 7. stock options 8. provisionally

a. a salary that doesn’t increase over time
b. the opportunity to buy shares in a company
c. a pay range for a particular type of work or for all types of work within a particular organisation
d. temporarily or conditionally
e. precise qualities or details
f. to pay somebody for work done or for something lost
g. an informal invitation to ask a question
h. an amount of money given in addition to normal pay, especially as a reward

Comprehension Task
True or false
Read the following statements and decide if they are true or false.
1. In this episode, Sarah Timms starts work.
2. Sarah isn’t happy with the conditions of her offer.
3. Sarah wants a bonus for meeting her sales targets.
4. Marcia refuses to offer Sarah the bonus scheme.
5. Marcia offers Sarah more holiday time.
6. Sarah is a good negotiator.

Business notes
In this video Sarah meets Marcia to negotiate on some of the details in her contract.
Companies are often used to people negotiating so, as long as you’re realistic and polite, and can
justify your requests then it’s likely that you will get something out of it.
Negotiating is more than just about your salary though, you can also negotiate on, for example,
monthly salary, bonuses, car allowance, pension contributions, healthcare contributions, number of
days holiday or even future salary review dates.
Some companies have fixed policies about benefits, depending on the level of the position. This can
make negotiation tricky, as the employer may literally have little say over the package. This was the
case with Marcia who was unable to offer Sara a higher salary or more days holiday.
If this is the case, simply ask them where they could be flexible – and negotiate from there. Sarah was successful in getting added to a bonus scheme and changing her start date through her persistence.

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