Human resources: Interviewing in English

Taylor’s Business English Podcast – Episode 10

Human Resources – Interviewing in English

Role-play conversation.

John’s a human resources manager and I am also responsible for the first round of interviewing for a new web-designer for the medium sized software company that he works for. The company is based in Spain but we’re doing the interview in English. I’m is one of 10 candidates for the position and 3 will be selected for the final interview with the CEO and department head. Really we’re focusing on the questions so when there’s a long answer we’ll going to fade out the sound to move onto the next question or follow-up question. Right, Let’s get started.

John) Hello. Would you like a glass of water or something? Dave) No thanks, I’m fine.
John) Fine. Could you tell me a little bit about yourself please?

Dave) Yes. I studied software engineering at Oviedo University and for the last 4 years I’ve been working freelance as a webdesigner and programmer. I’ve worked on ……………….
…………… As far as my free time goes – I’m keen on swimming, cycling and cooking. John) Could you tell us more about your experience with JAVA programming?
Dave) Yes. Really I started with JAVA when I was about 15 making little animations and that was my main field of expertise for the next 5 years.. I got really good at creating animations within an interactive websites so that….
…. The change to the more up-to-date coding languages has meant that I can be more flexible and with better end results but I can still work within JAVA if necessary.
John) Could you tell me about a time when you’ve had to deal with a problematic client?

Dave) I’d say that overall I’ve had positive productive relationships with my clients but there have inevitably been some that have been problematic for different reasons. For example……….
….. And they just kept changing the objectives and giving me different images and texts to use so that I’d continually have to change existing content even before it was online.
John) And what steps did you take to deal with the situation?

Dave) There were a number of steps I took. The first was to speak to the person who contracted me in an informal way about how this would affect the time spent on the project. However, as it continued I then wrote an email to the same person and in the end I wrote a more serious formal email to her and to her boss to make sure the message got across. It did and they were happy with the final product so it worked out OK.
John) What are your motivations moving away from freelance work into a company like ours?
Dave) It’s mainly timetable issues. As you might imagine freelance work can mean very long days sometimes and very little work at other….
…. The chance to work as part of team will be very welcomed after working on my own for so long. I like to be with other people but my job lends itself to hours spent alone so I think I’ll be happier and more motivated in this environment.
John) Now I’d like you to tell me time when you were unsuccessful as a programmer and your reaction to that.
Dave) 3 years ago I worked as part of an international team designing a website for a popular cheese company …. . I realise now what I should have done but at the time I lacked the experience to deal with problems like that.
John) How did you feel about that?

Dave) Extremely frustrated and disappointed with myself. But I had to carry on so I got on the phone the next day trying to get my next job and a couple of days later I was working on a great project designing an online database system for an accountancy firm. I felt better when I got that work.
John) Good. Have you got any questions for us?

Dave) I’d like to know about the co-operative system you have here. How are projects assigned and would I have some say in the direction and design of a larger project or how do these things work?

1. Could you tell me a little bit about yourself please?

2. Could you tell us more about your experience with JAVA programming?

3. Could you tell me about a time when you’ve had to deal with a problematic client?

4. And what steps did you take to deal with the situation?

5. What are your motivations moving away from freelance work into a company like ours?
6. How did you feel about that?

7. Have you got any questions for us?

 

Human resources 1: Training

Human resources 2: Contracts and working conditions 

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