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Exercise 1. Preparing for the Interview

Interviews can be nerve-wracking and preparation is very important. You will be better equipped to answer questions and you will walk in to the interview feeling more confident. Here are some tips for preparing for an interview. Read the text below and select the best option from the words in brackets.

 

If you have (gained; reached; arrived; achieved) the interview stage, your CV and letter of application must have been (effective; important; impressive; significant)! The company now wants to know more about you. But there is still more work to do if you want to get that job! Make sure you have (researched; discovered; inquired; examined) the company as thoroughly as possible use the Internet, company reports, recruitment literature etc. (remember; remind; imagine; summarise) yourself of why you applied to this company. Make a list of the skills, experience, and interests you can (show; present; offer; demonstrate) the organisation. Finally, try to (ask; suggest; give; predict) the questions you will be expected to answer imagine you are the interviewer!

 

Vocabulary

Match the words and expressions on the left with the definitions on the right.

 

1. nerve-wracking a.show

2. impressive b.to guess

3. effective c.find out a lot of information about something

4. research d.admirable

5. demonstrate e.it makes you feel nervous, scared

6. to predict f.to do what is meant to be done well

 

 

Exercise 2. Interview tips

How you look and behave at an interview can sometimes be even more important than what you say! There are lots of things you can do to make a good impression on interviewers.

Here are some tips relating to your appearance and body language. For each one select the correct missing word from the options

 

1. Make sure your clothes are clean, but _____wear obvious logos or designer names.

a. do

b. don't

c. must

2. Don't use _____ much deodorant or perfume!

a. to

b. too

c. two

3. Don't wear too much jewellery. Interviewers don't _____ like nose rings!

a. never

b. sometimes

c. usually

4. Wear _____ that are smart, but comfortable.

a. cloths

b. clothes

c. covers

5. Arrive well ____ the interview time.

a. before

b. after

c. later than

6. Make eye ______ with the interviewer when you are introduced.

a. contactation

b. look

c. contact

7. Give a firm handshake, and make sure you _____!

a. grin

b. smile

c. snigger

8. Don't ____. This will distract the interviewer from what you're saying.

a. fidget

b. twist

c. move about

9. Don't appear over-confident, for example by leaning too far back in your chair, but do try to _____.

a. relax

b. relapse

c. collapse

10. Answer each question _____.

a. concisely and promptly

b. at large and slowly

c. concisely after thinking it over

11. _____ your mobile phone before you enter the company.

a. Turn in

b. Turn on

c. Turn off

12. During the interview ____.

a. chew gum but do not smoke

b. do not chew gum or smoke

c. do not chew gum but it is OK to smoke

13. Use body language to show _____.

a. relaxation

b. interest

c. excitement

14. At the end of the interview, the interviewer asks if you have any questions. The worst thing to say is to say that you have _____ questions.

a. a few

b. no

c. a lot of

15. Thank the interviewer when you leave and, as a follow-up, _____.

a. in person in two days time

b. by telephone

c. in writing

Vocabulary

logospictures or designs which symbolise a particular company.

designer namesfamous and expensive fashion brands

eye contactwhen you look at someone directly in the eyes

fidgetto make small movements with your hands or feet, especially if you are bored or nervous

Exercise 3. FAQs

It's always a good idea to try to predict what questions you will get asked in an interview and prepare some answers before you go in. Here are some examples of quite common interview questions. Match the common interview question on the left with the suitable response from the list on the right.

 

1. Why did you choose this company?   2. What are your strengths/ weaknesses? 3. How would your friends describe you? 4. What is your greatest achievement?     5. How well do you work in a team?     6. Where will you be in 5 years? a. People say I'm sociable, organised, and decisive. b. My aim is to have a position in the Management Team. c. I have excellent time management, but I can be impatient for results. d. Because I think I will find the work environment both challenging and rewarding. e. I always support my colleagues and believe we should work towards a common goal. f. Leading the University football team to the national Championships.

 

Vocabulary

Match the words and expressions on the left with their definitions on the right.

1. an achievement a.what I want to do/achieve

2. to be sociable b.an aim or objective shared with other people

3. decisive c.good at making decisions quickly

4. my aim d.to dislike having to wait

5. to be impatient e.something good that you have managed to do

6. common goal f.to enjoy being with people

 

 

Exercise 4. Responding positively

During the interview, always be positive about your previous experiences. Never offer negative information! Instead, sell yourself using active, positive words. In the exercise below, match the words on the left to the words on the right to make 'power phrases' for interviews. (NOTE: words on the right can't be used twice)

 

1. showing a. colleagues

2. presenting b. initiative

3. solving c. ideas

4. controlling d. objectives

5. achieving e. deadlines

6. motivating f. budgets

7. meeting g. problems

8. creating h. information

Vocabulary

power phrasesstrong expressions that show how good you are at what you do

colleaguesthe people you work with

objectivesaims, goals

 

Exercise 5. Vocabulary check

There are lots of expressions using the word 'career' that you might come across. The following nouns all make word partners with career.

plan

ladder

career break

move

prospects

 

Match each definition below to the correct phrase above:

 

1. Chances of future success in your career

2. The direction you hope your career will take

3. A change you make in order to progress

4. Time when you are not employed, perhaps when travelling or looking after children

5. A series of promotions towards more senior positions


Module 2 Main Business Documents

Unit 1 Resume/CV

When you apply for a job, most employers ask for 2 important documents:

A resume or CV

A Cover(ing) Letter

Your résumé and letter are usually the first impression that an employer has of you. And because an employer may have hundreds of job applications to consider, you have about 15 seconds to make sure that first impression is a good one.

 

Résumé

In the USA people write a short biography called Résume A résumé is a self-marketing tool, designed with the goal of obtaining a job interview. Résumé information is targeted succinctly [briefly] to a career field and addresses the needs of a specific employer. Your résumé should market your relevant skills, knowledge, and accomplishments.

The word résumé is a French word, now used in English, that means summary. In the American job market, you must represent yourself on paper. The résumé is your calling card. Its purpose is to attract the interest of the prospective employer. It can be your ticket into the interview. That is why people often have more than one résumé. They choose the most appropriate one for each job that they apply for.

Preparation

It will be difficult to begin the process of writing your résumé unless you identify the career field and types of employers that will be the focus of your job search. When you know how you will use the résumé, then you will be able to write an effective, targeted résumé that gets results. You will likely spend a considerable amount of time developing your résumé, choosing the right words and phrases to describe your marketable skills and experiences. It is not uncommon to write several revisions before arriving at the final version.

One-page résumés are preferred for most entry-level positions. Two-page résumés are acceptable if the information on both pages demonstrates the skills and/or experience relevant to your profession. Well-designed résumés will be visually appealing and free from any spelling, typographical, punctuation, or grammatical errors. All résumés should be written concisely in an organized format that presents the most important information first.

Employers who read individual résumés spend very little time on each résumé - in most cases, only twenty to thirty seconds. Many large employers are now using optical scanning machines and various software programs to assist them with this initial review.

Types of Résumés

There is no correct résumé format. Your résumé format should be appropriate to your situation.

Information related to skills and experiences can be presented in a chronological format, a functional format, or a combination of the two. Each format has its advantages and disadvantages. To select the type which best supports your strategy, review the following descriptive information.

Chronological Résumé

In the chronological résumé, job history is organized chronologically with the most recent job listed first. Job titles and employers are emphasized and duties and accomplishments are described in detail. A chronological résumé is easy to read, and can highlight career growth. It is suited to those whose career goals are clearly defined and whose job objectives are aligned with their work history.

A chronological résumé is advantageous when:

  • your recent employers and/or job titles are impressive;
  • you are staying in the same career field;
  • your job history shows progress;
  • you are working in a field where traditional job search methods are utilized (e.g., education, government).

A chronological résumé is not advantageous when:

  • you are changing career fields;
  • you have changed employers frequently;
  • you want to de-emphasize age;
  • you have been recently absent from the job market or have gaps in employment.

Functional Résumé

In a functional résumé, skills and accomplishments developed through work, academic, and community experiences are highlighted. Your skills and potential can be stressed and lack of experience or possible gaps in work history de-emphasized.

The functional résumé is advantageous when:

  • you want to emphasize skills not used in recent work experience;
  • you want to focus on skills and accomplishments rather than a lengthy employment history;
  • you are changing careers/re-entering the job market;
  • you want to market skills and experience gained through coursework and/or volunteer experience;
  • your career growth in the past has not been continuous and progressive;
  • you have a variety of unrelated work experiences;
  • your work has been free-lance, consulting, or temporary in nature.

The functional résumé is not advantageous when:

  • you have little work experience or leadership experience;
  • you want to emphasize promotions and career growth;
  • you are working in highly traditional fields, such as teaching, accounting, and politics, where employers should be highlighted.

Combination Résumé

This format combines the elements of the chronological and functional types. It presents patterns of accomplishments and skills in categorical sections or a single section called "Qualifications Summary." It also includes a brief work history and education summary. This format is advantageous for those who wish to change to a job in a related career field or strategically promote their most marketable skills.

 

Both chronological and functional résumés must be succinct, emphasizing your experience and accomplishments. Résumés are often your first introduction to the employer and dramatically impact the screening process. Invest the time to create an excellent marketing tool your résumé to increase job opportunities and career advancement.

Constructing Your Résumé

Categories of information you include on your résumé should provide answers to these questions:

 

Contact section Who are you and how can you be reached? Begin your résumé with your name by capitalizing and using bold type. Include street address, city, state, and zip code. Include phone number(s) where you can be reached weekdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Designate your home phone with an "H," and work number with "W," or a "Messages" number. Add an e-mail address if it is checked regularly.
Objective statement What do you want to do? The purpose of the objective statement is to inform the employer of your career goal and targeted interests. The statement should describe the focus of your job search. A good objective includes type and/or level of position, type and style of organization, and skills/qualifications.
Experience section What can you do? A summary of qualifications can condense an extensive background by emphasizing experiences and accomplishments in brief keyword phrases. The qualifications summary is accomplishment-oriented and provides an overview of your work experience. It can also serve to summarize relevant academic, volunteer and leadership experience for those who have limited work experience. A summary is most appropriate for someone with substantial experience, for someone who is changing careers and wants to demonstrate transferable skills, or for someone with a varied background. Example: Accomplished editor, news reporter and promotional writer. Demonstrated skills in project management and staff development.
Education section What have you learned? If your education relates to your objective and is within the past three years, it should be the first section. If not, education should follow the work experience section of your résumé. Start with your most recent degree or the program in which you are currently enrolled. List other degrees or relevant education in reverse chronological order. Highlight your degree by using bold type or capital letters. If the degree is relevant to your job objective, begin with degree and emphasis, followed by university, location of university, and date of graduation or anticipated date of graduation. Example: May 1996 M.S., Communications Engineering, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Employment section What have you done? Employment Experience (Chronological) Begin with your current/most recent position and work backward, chronologically. Devote more space to recent employment. Use the first and last month and year to describe dates of employment. If your job titles relate to your current job objective, start each position description with job titles. If not, begin with the organization. Follow job title and organizational information with the organization's city and state. Example: September 1990-January 1996 Telecommunications Engi-neering Aide, Center for Telecommunications Studies, Washington, DC Describe the last three to five positions in detail. Summarize earlier positions unless relevant to your objective. Do not show every position change with each employer. Only list in detail the most recent job and briefly summarize promotions. Do not repeat skills that are common to several positions. Within each listed position, stress the major accomplishments and responsibilities that demonstrate your competency. It is not necessary to include all responsibilities, as they will be assumed by employers. Tailor your position descriptions to future job/career objectives. If writing a two-page résumé, make sure the most marketable information is on the first page. Employment Experience (Functional) Use two to four sections to summarize each area of functional skill or expertise. Develop the functional skill headings based on the skills you want to market to employers and/or that are most related to your targeted objective. Describe your skills in short phrases and place under the appropriate functional skill categories. Rank the phrases within each category and place the most important skill or accomplishment first. Examples: WRITING - Reported on-the-spot news stories for suburban Washington newspapers. - Provided in-depth coverage of Capitol Hill issues, including unemployment compensation and merit pay for teachers. - Edited and marketed a brochure for a cultural/educational program designed to focus on life in London. Resulted in a 30% increase in program attendance. Do not identify employers within functional skills sections. List a brief history of your actual work experience at the end of the section, giving job title, employer and dates. If you have had no work experience or a very spotty work record, leave out the employment section entirely or summarize the nature of your jobs without providing specific details. If you do this, be prepared to discuss your specific jobs in more detail at the job interview.

 

NB! The Employment section of your résumé chould list your contributions to the organization i.e., ways your work helped increase profit, membership publicity, funding, motivation, efficiency, productivity, quality; saved time or money; improved programs, management, communication, information flow etc. better with qualitative characteristics i.e., "increased sales by $50,000"; "reduced staff turnover by 25%"; "significantly improved staff ability to access data".

 

The following is an outline for an effective Résumé:

Heading

Name, address, and telephone number in the upper left/right hand corner or upper middle of the page. Include zip code and telephone area code.

Full Name

Street Address (House , Street Name, Apartment )

City, Zip

Home Phone Number

Cellular Number (optional)

Fax Phone Number (optional)

E-mail Address (optional but strongly recommended)

 

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