Lição 4

Learn how to get that job

Most people are nervous before they do a job interview, and the experience can be even more worrying if it’s in English. So how can you prepare for interviews and make sure you get the job? In this session we find out!

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Job interviews – the DOs and DON’Ts

Stand out from the crowd

Job interviews can be a nerve-racking experience for anyone, but it can be even more daunting if the interview is in your second language. We’ve put together a list of advice that could help you use the right language, give good answers and woo the interviewers so you really stand out from the crowd.

Read the article and do the quiz

Before the interview

  • Research the company and what they do. Interviewers will not be impressed if you don’t know about the company’s history, field of work or current issues.
  • Examine the person specification carefully. The skills they ask for will tell you what type of questions they will ask you.
  • Prepare for standard questions – for example, why you want the job and what your main strengths and weaknesses are.
  • Practise answering questions out loud. Often there’s a difference between what you think you would say, and what actually comes out of your mouth.
  • Make sure you know how to pronounce keywords related to the job and industry. Look up the word stress of important words so you really sound like you know what you are talking about. If you mispronounce important words, it gives the impression that you are not familiar with the topic.
  • Make a list of your achievements and think how they relate to the job. For example does your work on a volunteer project on a farm provide good evidence of teamwork?
  • Make sure you know where the interview is and how to get there beforehand. This will help you to be punctual and arrive in a calm and composed state.
  • First impressions count, so think about your outfit before the day. It’s generally best to dress smartly, but this can be different in different industries, so find out what people wear.

The day of the interview

  • Be on time – by arriving late you give the impression that your time is more valuable than the interviewers’.
  • Remember to take off your coat, put down your bags and sit in a relaxed manner. This will help create a positive atmosphere for the interview.
  • Speak brightly and confidently. The interviewer will base their opinion on how you look and sound as well as on what you say. Vary your tone when speaking – monotone answers are very boring to listen to, especially if the interviewer has many people to see that day.
  • Listen carefully to the questions. If you don’t understand a question, ask the interviewer to rephrase what they have said. You can take some time to answer if you need to think. Tell the interviewer you are doing this by saying ‘let me think…’ or ‘could you give me a moment to think?’
  • If you find it helpful, make a note of the question before responding; this can help ensure you avoid going off on a tangent.
  • Give full answers to the questions, and give real examples of things you have done. Keep your answers focused on what skills you have that the employer will want.
  • Sell yourself! If you are not positive about yourself and your work experiences nobody else will be.
  • Be truthful – if you make things up the interviewer will see through you. If there is a question that you cannot answer, it’s better to be open about it but say how you will address the issue.
  • Ask some questions at the end of the interview. This is an opportunity to find out about the role and the company, and it also shows you are interested in the job. But don’t ask about the salary at this stage – you can worry about that when they offer you the job.

Get more advice on interviews from BBC Careers here


To do 

Did you understand all of the advice? Do the quiz to find out if you're ready for an interview!

Interview DOs and DON'Ts

12 Questions

Is this good advice or bad advice according to the article? Drag the sentences into the DO box if they are good, and DON'T if you shouldn't do them.

Parabéns! Você completou o exercício.
Excellent! Excelente! Bad luck! Você acertou:
x / y

Interview DOs and DON'Ts

12 Questions

Is this good advice or bad advice according to the article? Drag the sentences into the DO box if they are good, and DON'T if you shouldn't do them.

Parabéns! Você completou o exercício.
Excellent! Excelente! Bad luck! Você acertou:
x / y


Next we'd like to hear from you. Have you ever had a tough interview? Perhaps you give interviews. Share your experiences and advice in Activity 2.

Vocabulário desta lição

  • stand out from the crowd
    be different from the rest; get noticed

    making you feel nervous and worried

    making you feel nervous about doing something

    charm and impress; try to get their support

    the people who give the interview and ask the questions

    (here) area of work of study

    person specification
    the description of the person they want to employ

    out loud
    so it can be heard

    make the sound of a word with your voice

    word stress
    emphasis given to one part of a word

    make the sound of a word in the wrong way

    thoughts and feelings you get about somebody or something

    well-known to you

    things that someone has done successfully

    someone who offers to work without being paid

    facts that make you think something is true

    working together well in a group

    not late; doing things on time

    calm and composed
    relaxed and in control of your feelings; not rushed

    first impressions count
    the first idea people get about something is very important

    a set of clothes worn together

    important; worth a lot of money

    (here) the feeling at a place or in a situation

    (here) in a lively, happy way

    change so that something is not always the same

    (here) the way your voice rises and falls

    talking without raising or lowering the sound of your voice

    say something again using different words to make it clear

    going off on a tangent
    (idiom) talking about something not connected to the main topic

    with attention directed to something

    saying what is true; being honest

    make things up
    invent/say things that are not true

    see through
    (here) realise that you are not telling the truth

    be open about it
    don’t keep it hidden

    (here) deal with a problem or issue

    the money paid for doing a job