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The interview


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The interview

1. Lead-in

Consider the following questions:

What is the role of the job interview?

  1. How much attention should one pay to appearance when attending a job interview?
  2. Why is the presence of a psychologist useful in an interviewing team?
  3. How can you fight stress during a job interview?
  4. What questions do you expect to be asked in a job interview?


Job interview Advice

Before your interview, find out everything you can about the company (read their annual report which can be obtained by telephoning them). Re-read your application, thinking through your own career and the questions they might ask you. You should try to anticipate the general questions which they will ask and also prepare some questions to ask them.

To do well at the interview you will need to convince the interviewer you are technically qualified to do the job. You will also need to show that you are sufficiently motivated to get the job done well and that you will fit in with the companys organisational structure and the team in which you will work.

You should dress smartly for the interview and should leave home earlier than you need to on the day of the interview you may de delayed by traffic or for other reasons. Be courteous to all employees of the company. At the interview itself you must be positive about yourself and your abilities but do not waffle.

When you are being interviewed it is very important that you give out the right signals. You should always look attentive so do not slouch in your chair. Never lie to anyone in an interview, your body language and tone of voice or the words you use will probably give you away classic body language giveaways include scratching your nose and not looking directly at the other person when you are speaking to them.

If you have a moustache you may want to consider shaving it off people with moustaches can be perceived as being aggressive. You can always grow it again once you have got the job.


Vocabulary development

1. Match the words and phrases with their corresponding definitions:

  1. anticipate
  1. yearly
  1. waffle
  1. expect, foresee
  1. annual
  1. pleasantly neat and clean in appearance
  1. slouch
  1. polite, respectful and considerate
  1. smartly
  1. talking a lot without saying very much that is clear or important
  1. delay
  1. rub
  1. giveaway
  1. realise, notice, see or hear it especially when it is not obvious to other people
  1. courteous
  1. sit/stand/walk in a lazy or tired way, with your shoulders and head dropping down
  1. scratch
  1. cause somebody to be late
  1. perceive
  1. revealing, disclosing (usually something secret)

2. Fill in the blanks in the following sentences using a suitable word derived from the word given at the end of each sentence:

1. should be dressed smartly when attending a job interview.


2. This handbook will offer you ample on how to best use the computer system.


The auditor will have done the right thing while going through our papers.


4. You must be well-prepared if you want to succeed in being recruited for a promising job.


5. She couldnt her shyness in front of the recruitment board.


6. Your CV is sadly . We are sorry to inform you that you have not been offered this position.


7. Being prepared, you risk missing out on one of the biggest career opportunities youve ever had.


8. Thanks to her skills the candidate selection process left us with one of the best professionals we could have ever found.


9. Without wanting to sound , I think that this firm is not really one of the best.


10. The failure of certain candidates to submit a complete application package resulted in their immediate from the job contest.


4. Language focus: The Subjunctive

4.1. The Subjunctive


Synthetic: present subjunctive: identical with the short infinitive: be, have, work.

It indicates:

a possible action: It is necessary that you be here. It is important that the president inform the investors

expressions: Suffice it to say.  So be it!

Synthetic: past subjunctive: identical with the past tense simple

It indicates:

an action contrary to reality: I wish I were a doctor. (but Im not) Its time you went home. She behaved as if she were the headmaster.

It is used after:

if, if only, as if, as though

wish (to indicate regret, an unreal fact)

! ! ! The synthetic subjunctive is rarely used.



Should/ would/ may/ might/ could + short infinitive

Should/ would/ may/ might/ could + perfect infinitive

It indicates:

hypothetical facts/actions (suppositions, doubts, conditions, concessions, purposes): They took the airplane so that they might arrive in time.

A less probable condition: If he should succeed,  I will be happy.

In negative purpose sentences, after lest,  for fear, in case: They paid for fear they shouldnt get the merchandise.

It is used with:

impersonal expressions: it is advisable/ important/ essential/ desirable/ possible/ likely/ probable/ strange/ unusual/ impossible/ (un)fortunate/, remarkable, surprising: It is important  that the chairman should call the meeting.

it is/ was a pity/ shame/ surprise/ wonder: It was a pity (that) they should be fired.

the nouns: idea, hint, thought, reason, supposition: The idea that they should be present annoyed her.

the verbs: command, order, demand, insist, request, suggest, propose, arrange, offer, agree, settle: They requested the goods should be delivered fast.

adjectives: to be + glad, anxious, pleased, sorry: I was glad that he should graduate this summer.

After: although, though, whatever, however, no matter: He will win whatever he should do. // so that: They phoned so that I wouldnt be taken by surprise. I took the money so that they could buy the firm.

4.2. Put the verbs in brackets in an appropriate form, depending on the subjunctive patterns required by the context:

My boss suggested I (look for) another job.

  1. I insist they (make) all the required arrangement for the upcoming conference.
  2. We really wish you (do) us the favour of not disclosing our bank account to the press last week.
  3. If only my secretary (work) right now!
  4. The resources manager wishes you (not behave) like this at press conferences again.
  5. My advice is that you (apply for) the post of superintendent.
  6. It is essential that our company (employ) a larger number of staff.
  7. At the conference he spoke as though he (know) about our plan before.
  8. Supposing you (not be told) about this job offer, what would you have done?
  9. Its odd that such a small number of people (apply for) the job.
  10. Certain candidates are behaving as if they (not see) a computer before.
  11. The recruitment officers wish that you (include) more details on your CV.
  12. We think it is time that you (seek) employment elsewhere.
  13. The initial arrangement that we (publish) some promotional leaflets for the vacancies we have in this department was unfortunately unfeasible.
  14. Suppose you (be given) this job; would you seek promotion soon?

Pair work

Consider the job advertisement in the previous section.

Student A: Use the CV and the letter of application you have written (task 2.1) and apply to Student B.

Student B: Interview Student A for the position.

Change roles. Decide who is the better candidate for the job.

You may wish to have a look at advice on job interviews again (page 64).

Writing. Write a list of personal qualities that you would be looking for in a candidate for the position of personal assistant. Would you qualify for this position? Give reasons in approximately 250 words.

Language focus: Active/Passive Voice

Active/Passive Voice

Look at these examples:

Performances are held everywhere (3)

His photographs were exhibited..were presented (5)

Works that have never been shown (5)

Life couldnt be imagined (6)

Active/ Passive Voice

Rule: to be (any tense required) + the Past Participle of the verb to be conjugated

They give her flowers.

Flowers are given to her.

She is given flowers.

The use of the passive

  • When the logical subject is obvious or is not important: Goods should be delivered as soon as possible.
  • When the object is more important than the logical subject: The manager was informed on the situation.
  • When the speaker avoids mentioning the logical subject: The order has already been placed.
  • In formal notices: Passengers are requested not to
  • Newspapers: President sacked because
  • Processes in science or engineering: The wheel is tested

Rules for changing from active into passive



Subject + tr. Verb + direct object

I wrote a report.

S (=dir. Obj.) + passive + (by.)

A report was written (by me).

Subject + tr. Vb. + Dir. Obj.1 + Dir. Obj. 2

I asked him a question.

S1(= dir. Obj.1) + passive + Dir. Obj.2 + (by.)

He was asked a question (by me).

S2 (=dir. Obj. 2) + passive + (by)

A question was asked (by me).

Subject + tr. Vb. + Direct object + Indirect object

They will pay us the money.

S(=dir. Obj.) + passive + ind. Object.

The money will be paid to us.

S(=ind. Obj.) + passive + direct object

We will be paid the money.

Subject + intr. Prep. Vb. + prep. obj.

I rely on Tom.

Ex. to talk to/ about, to send for, to agree upon, to look at/ after, to explain to, to speak to/ of, to arrive at, to account for, to laugh at, to refer to

S (prep. Obj.) + passive + preposition

Tom is relied on.

Subject + verb phrase + prep. object

You have to pay attention to the problem.

Ex. to put an end to, to take care of, to take notice of, to make use of, to take hold of, to find fault with, to take possession of, to lose sight of, to do away with, to put up with

S (prep. Object) + passive + preposition

The problem must be paid attention to.

Passive constructions:

It is said that

It is believed that

It is understood that

It is reported that

It is expected that.

It is thought that

Intransitive verbs with a passive meaning: read, eat, wear, wash, act, sell, open, feel, taste, shut, peel, perform: Sweets sell well.

Passive forms with to have, to get: S + have + direct object + past participle: I had my car repaired.

S + get + past participle: We got stuck in the traffic.

Verbs that have no passive: escape, fit, get, have, let, like, suit, survive: The skirt doesnt suit me. They escaped from prison.

Verbs used with the passive: to be born, to be said: He is said to be a good businessman.

Passive Structures:

modals + passive: The meeting can be postponed.

  • Passive + infinitive + object: with the verbs: advise, believe, expect, feel, forbid, mean, order, report, request, require, say, teach, understand: They were advised to negotiate the price.
  • It + the passive of: agree, announce, discover, expect, hope, suggest: It was suggested that they would work hard.

4.2. Read the following text and change some of the sentences from active into the passive. The italicised words will help you.

Sometimes it is a real adventure not being sure if you have downloaded a virus or if it is only a hoax. You cannot be sure whether you are alone or not: is there someone else working on my computer or it is only me? To have more security you have to install a firewall, buy anti-virus programmes and up-date them regularly. So, you have to spend much money only for preventing a virus-caused break down or hacker-attacks. It is annoying not being sure if the money you have spent will prevent all those things or if they create a new virus and a new way of hacking into computers.

Make all the other necessary changes.

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