Online Job Interviews

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Since I mostly teach English online, I’d like to share a lesson I’ve been working on for conducting job interviews via Skype. I hope it will be helpful to you and I would appreciate any of your suggestions on how to improve it even further. 🙂

So, let’s begin:

1. Start the lesson by asking your students some simple questions like:

How many job interviews have you had in the past 10 years?
How do you usually feel before a job interview?
What’s the longest job interview you’ve ever had? Why was it so long?
Were you asked any questions that you think were weird? What were they?
Is always telling the truth a good strategy for job interviews?

2. Have your students watch the video and say which question they thought was weird. Then, have them choose which questions were the job seekers asked.

3. After getting answers from your students and watching the video till the end, give them the following questions to discuss:

Are these questions common for most job interviews?
Which questions would you expect to be asked in your job interview?
If you were the HR manager, which employee would you hire? Why?
Have you ever had to lie at a job interview? If not, do you know anyone who did and got the job?
If you had to pick 1-2 things each person interviewed did well, what would you pick and why?
In some countries like the USA, talking about your salary is considered taboo. Is it common to talk about one another’s salary in your country?

4. While they’re discussing the questions write the following questions on the board:

  • How are you today?
  • Did you have any trouble finding us?
  • Isn’t this great weather we’re having?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Why are you interested in working for our company?

After getting feedback, have them look at the questions and answer 2 questions:

Why do HR managers ask these questions?
What’s the best way to respond to these questions?

5. Divide your students to groups and tell them to imagine that they’re applying for a job abroad or a remote job. They’re going to have an online interview. Which things should they think about before the interview?

6. Get feedback from each group and have them make notes of it on the board. Then, have them watch the video below and ask them to put a tick if they see any of their ideas in the video (Stop the video at the 3:24 mark).

If you’d like to use the video above in your meetings or events, click here.

7. Find out which of their ideas they’ve seen in the video and then share your ideas with your students. Ask them what they think of your ideas and why this advice is good or bad. I’ll put my ideas below:

Technical: Delivery:
Check your software for updates. Exchange Skype IDs beforehand.
Test your audio/video & connection. Don’t use unprofessional usernames.
Stop downloading anything. Be in the center of the video.
Buy a better mic & headset. Smile and look into the webcam.
Check your employer’s time-zone. Look and talk confidently.
Stay calm in case of technical issues. Dress appropriately.
Turn off all notifications on your PC/phone. Practice makes perfect.
Don’t wear glasses. Make sure you’re in a quiet room with no noise and interruptions.

In case you were wondering, wearing glasses can make your potential employer see what’s on your screen, so if you’re watching a movie while talking or looking for answers on Google, take off your glasses before you start the interview. 🙂

8. Since each student is different, you can’t have them go through a job interview with the same questions so ask your students which questions they’d expect to be asked at their job interviews. Give them time to think of and write down at least 5 general questions and 5 questions relevant to their careers.

9. Once your students are done, have them swap their questions and interview each other in pairs. Ideally, you can send each pair to a different room so they could hear each other better. Each student should make notes about their answers and any questions they’d like to ask each other. When they’ve gone through all their questions, have the “employers” become “employees” and vice versa.

10. Get feedback from your students by asking each pair what kind of questions they asked each other, what they made notes of during the interview and if they think their partners would hire them.

Because I’ve taught a similar lesson online, what I did was record the interview I’ve had with my students and e-mailed it to them to think of a few things they’d change during their future online interviews so here’s my question to you: if you taught this lesson, what would you give your students as homework? 🙂

Feel free to let us know in the comments section and see you next weekend!

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