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BBC 6 minute English-Odd job interviews

BBC 6 minute English-Odd job interviews

BBC 6 minute English-Odd job interviews


Transcript of the podcast

NB: This is not a word-for-word transcript

Rob: Welcome to 6 Minute English with me Rob. Finn: And me, Finn

Rob: Finn, I’d like to start by asking you: How many job interviews have you had

Finn: That’s difficult. Maybe ten interviews in my life

Rob: Ten. That’s quite a few – and do you enjoy going to job interviews

Finn: I absolutely adore them! No, I’m joking! Who does? Nobody does

Rob: Well, for me, they are torture! I hate being grilled by a panel – or group – of people. I know I can do the job but I hate having to convince them! Today, we’ll be discussing some odd job interviews and looking at some related vocabulary. So Finn, are you ready for your first interview question

Finn: Yes Rob, I am raring to go

Rob: Good to hear. Well, it’s important to know what type of job you are being interviewed for. Some job titles are a bit exaggerated. So, what type of job has been named a ‘Field Nourishment Consultant’? Is it

a) A waitress

b) A school dinner lady

c) A petrol station assistant

Finn: I think that it’s b) a school dinner lady

Rob: An interesting choice. I’ll let you know if you are wrong or right later on. Let’s talk more about job interviews. A traditional interview usually involves being asked a list of questions, and sometimes you have to give a short presentation

Finn: Yes, questions like: “Why do you want this job?” or, Where do you see yourself in five years’ time

Rob: Yeah, that’s a tricky one to answer! But some interviewers – the people who ask the questions – go a bit further and ask the interviewees – the people being interviewed – to do some inappropriate things

Finn: You mean they are asked do things are not really relevant to the job. Such as Alan Bacon, a university graduate, who last year was asked to do a dance as part of his interview

Rob: Well, maybe the position – or job – was for a dancer or a children’s entertainer

Finn: No – it was actually for a job as a sales assistant in an electronics shop; so, someone who works on the shop floor, giving advice to customers about what to buy. There’s no dancing involved

Rob: Let’s hear from him now. What did he do at the interview to look positive? And how did he really feel about doing a dance

Alan Bacon, university graduate

We all wanted the job, some of us are desperate, like myself, and the idea is just to keep smiling and go for it. On the surface I had to look positive, I was smiling, I was laughing along with it, but inside I felt degraded and humiliated especially

Finn: Oh poor Alan. He felt degraded – so he lost respect from other people – and he felt humiliated – so he felt embarrassed and ashamed

Rob: So that’s how he felt on the inside but he wanted the job so he put on a brave face – a positive attitude and a smile on his face; he even laughed

Finn: Well, later on, he did complain and he got an apology

Rob: But experts say there are now too many candidates chasing too few jobs so companies are trying unorthodox – non-traditional ways of recruiting people – to see who stands out

Finn: Yes, well, in any job interview it’s good to leave a lasting impression – that means to get noticed and make people remember you. I suppose doing a dance is a good way of breaking the ice – making people feel relaxed – but being asked to do something outside your comfort zone also seems a bit unfair to me

Rob: Yes, but I guess if you want that job, you’ll do anything

Finn: Well, almost

Rob: I’ve heard about people who have had to sing at an interview and also, role playing – pretending to be someone else and acting out a situation

Finn: I find just being asked odd or random questions in an interview can make me feel uncomfortable. And a US employment website carried out a survey about this and discovered some strange questions

Rob: Yes they did, such as: “How would you cure world hunger?” and: “If you were a computer programme, which one would you be?” Here’s one for you Finn: If you were a word in the English language, which word would you be

Finn: Which word would you be? Oh, come on, that’s unfair. Just asking like that – that’s outside my comfort zone Rob

Rob: Indeed, but I’m trying to break the ice here Finn! Never mind, I’ll give you the job anyway! Seriously, there’s no perfect way to interview someone for a job. If you are having a job interview, my advice would be to keep calm, think before you speak and if you are asked to do something inappropriate, tell them how you feel about it

Finn: And if all else fails you could use a bribe? What do you think? No

Rob: Not recommended. However you can bribe me to get the answer to today’s question

Finn: I don’t think I need to. I think I’ve got the answer right

Rob: OK, let’s find out. Earlier I asked you if you knew what a ‘Field Nourishment Consultant’ really is

Finn: I said b) a school dinner lady – but it could be a man. Is it right

Rob: It has something to do with food but it’s not school dinners. It’s actually a waitress – or waiter. I wonder how we could describe our jobs – maybe we could be Educational Dissemination Executives

Finn: Oh yes, very grand. I like that

Rob: We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s 6 Minute English. Please join us again soon for another programme

Both: Bye

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