Part 1

A. Watch Part 1 of an interview with him, where he talks about helping candidates when they are applying for a job. Check () the three things he talks about.

 Checking what there is about you on the Internet.

 Choosing the right jobs to apply for.

 Choosing what photos to send with your résumé.

 Thinking about the skills and abilities a job needs.

 Writing a good cover letter.

 Writing a good résumé. 

B. Now listen again. Take notes about the advice he gives in the three areas you checked.


Sts should have checked 1, 4, and 6.


I = interviewer, J = Jeff Neil

Part 1

J   My name is Jeff Neil. I’m a career coach, and I help people discover the right career for them and actually go get that job.

 How important is the résumé when you’re applying for a job?

J   The résumé is really important because it represents you. It’s often the first presentation of your skills and abilities to an employer before they actually have a chance to talk with you.

 What are some mistakes that people make with their résumés?

 So some of the biggest mistakes that, that I’ve seen that people make on their résumé is they include everything. Right, as an employer, I don’t care what you did 20 years ago or 30 years ago. You may have been a star at something that you did 25 years ago, but as an employer I’m thinking, this has no relevancy to me. You’ve changed over 25 years. The world has changed over 25 years. So people include far too much information on their résumés. My recommendation is that they only go back about 15 years.

I   Are there any other mistakes?

J   Another completely, another completely unforgivable mistake is grammatical errors, bad punctuation, and spelling errors. When I see a résumé that has, you know, more than one error, it’s done. Right? We live in a world where résumés are expected to be perfect. So word processing has spell check on it. There’s just no reason to have something misspelled.

I   How important is a candidate’s social media presence?

J   Yeah, in today’s world, almost all hiring managers and HR staff will look for you online before they interview you. So your online profile can actually either help you get an interview, or it can stop you from getting an interview. So for your social media, you want to be really careful, particularly when you’re looking for a job. You want to be really careful about what pictures you’re showing and what conversations you’re posting, um, is public information. You also want to do a Google search on your own name.

 Assuming a candidate gets an interview, how do you help them to prepare for it?

 So the way I help candidates prepare for interviews is I, I have them take the job advertisement. Right, they can get the job advertisement if it’s posted online, or a job description from the HR office. And to go through it and simply circle what are the skills and abilities that are required to do that kind of job? And to take an eight and a half sheet of paper and make three columns, and in the first column, list the key skills and abilities that are required to do that position. And then in the second column, list where they’ve used those skills and abilities in different roles in their career. And then in the third column, to actually create stories that demonstrate how they’ve used those skills in those different companies.

Part 2

A. Read five tips for the day of the interview. Now watch Part 2, where Jeff talks about the day of the interview. Are they T (true) or F (false)? Correct the F ones.

1   It’s better to dress too formally than too casually.

2   You should try to find out beforehand what the company’s dress style is.

3   You should arrive at the place where the interview is going to take place at least half an hour before the interview.

4   Don’t take any electronic devices with you to the interview.

5   Be careful how you talk to other company employees before an interview.

B. Watch again for more detail. Do you agree with all the tips?


1 T

2 T

3 F You should arrive at least 5 minutes early.

4 F Make sure your phone and electronic devices are turned off.

5 T


Part 2

I   What tips can you give a candidate for the day itself? For example, how should people dress for an interview?

J   It’s important to dress appropriately for an interview, because if you’re underdressed for an interview it shows a lack of respect. Right? Companies, an employer’s going to look at that and say, this isn’t, this person’s not taking this interview seriously.

So I encourage my clients to actually overdress a little bit for an interview. Now, how can you determine the best way to dress for an interview? You might actually get on a company’s LinkedIn page and look at their LinkedIn photos, because that’ll give you a sense of that company’s style. Are they all dressed in suits and they’re really formal? Are they more relaxed? Another way, uh, outside of a big city is that you can often stake out the front door, you know, a couple days ahead of time and see how employees are actually going into that office. How are they dressed?

I   Obviously you shouldn’t be late, but how early should you get there?

J   So you want to show up at an interview about 5 minutes early. If you get there earlier than that, just grab a cup of coffee in a nearby, uh, restaurant or shop. And then when you walk into the interview you don’t want to have your headphones on. You want to make sure your cell phone is turned off. You don’t want to have any interruptions.

I   Do you have any other tips before the interview starts?

J   As soon as you walk into the building for a job interview, you’ve already begun the interview. The way that you greet people, the way that you greet the receptionist at the front desk, and security if there is security, all those people are part of the interview process. Because if you don’t handle it in the right way, they may tell the person that you’re interviewing with how you approached them. And your chances of getting the job can actually be eliminated. So it’s important that you treat everyone that you meet in the building as part of the interview process.

Part 3

A. Now watch Part 3 where Jeff talks about the interview itself. Complete the advice he gives.

1   If you want to ask about _________ and _________, either do this late in the interview, or wait for the employer to mention them.

2   _________ language and the _________ of your voice are just as important as what you actually say.

3   Be aware that the way you answer an “extreme” interview question can reveal things about your _________.

B. Listen again and answer the questions.

1   What’s the biggest mistake job candidates make during an interview?

2   What’s the most important thing for them to communicate in the interview?

3   Why does he mention people who were “slouched”?

4   What do you need to communicate with your tone of voice?

5   What “extreme” question did Jeff once ask?

6   What possible answers does he suggest? Why?



1 money / salary

2 Body / tone

3 personality


 One of the biggest mistakes is for candidates to focus too much on their own needs.

 The most important thing is to communicate that you can deliver value to the employer for the job they are offering.

3   They are communicating they didn’t want the job; they weren’t motivated.

4   The strength and tone of voice can communicate confidence in your skills and abilities.

5   If you could be a tree, what would it be?

6   Jeff suggests an oak tree because it is strong and steady, an apple tree because it’s beautiful and provides fruit, and a cactus because it doesn’t need a lot of support and it is persistent.


Part 3

I   Is it OK for a candidate to talk about money or salary during an interview?

J   It is OK for a candidate to talk about money and salary during an interview. But the real question is when should they talk about money and salary. And the answer is late. One of the biggest mistakes that job candidates make is they focus too much on their own needs. Right? So work–life balance is important. The number of hours I’m going to work, the amount of vacation I’m going to get, the pay, and the benefits, they’re all very important. But we have to understand that the employer is giving us money.

What’s most important is I want to communicate that I can deliver enough value for this position that you offer me the job. Once an employer believes that I’m the right candidate, and then they offer me a position − that’s the right time to start talking about money and benefits. However, I wouldn’t raise the topic. I would let the employer raise it first.

I   Do you have any other tips for candidates during the interview?

J   Body image and body language is really, really important in

an interview. I can remember interviewing someone – they were slouched back and they were down and their energy was really, really low and it just communicated to me, this person doesn’t really want this job. They didn’t feel motivated. And I can remember talking with candidates where they’re leaning forward and their, their voice is stronger. They’re making a lot of eye contact directly with me. I can tell that they’re really listening to what I’m saying. They’re hearing what I’m saying, and that they want to learn about this job to help me understand their value.

So body language and eye contact are really, really important. The tone of voice is also really, really important, because when we’re unsure or less confident we tend to, you know, not only slouch, but our voice goes down. And that’s not communicating the confidence that you, that you’re confident in your skills and abilities.

I   And just to finish, did you ever ask extreme questions during interviews when you worked in HR?

J   As a director of HR, sometimes I would ask extreme questions, such as, if you could be any kind of tree in the world, what kind of tree would you want to be? Because I want to see what it reveals about someone’s personality.

I   What would a good answer be?

J   So one good answer could be, I’d like to be an oak tree, because it’s strong and it’s steady. Another good answer could be, I’d like to be an apple tree, because it’s beautiful when it’s blooming and it gives fruit to people that they would enjoy. Another answer could be, I’d like to be a cactus, because cactuses don’t need a lot of support and they’re very, very persistent. They can survive.


A. Watch the conversation. How do they respond to the question? Write D, S, and A on the line in the appropriate place.

B. Listen again and make nots in the rest of the chart.

 Alice   Admitting you can’t do something is OK If ____

 Alice   If you say you can speak French on your CV and you can’t, ____

 Sarah   It’s OK to exaggerate a bit about something if ____

 Sarah   If speaking a language was essential for a job, ____

 Debbie   If you lie and say you can do something, ____

 Debbie   If you don’t have many hobbies, ____

A   it’s not very important for the job.

 you will have wasted the interviewer’s time and given a bad impression of yourself.

 it’s a good idea to exaggerate a bit.

D   you say you are prepared to learn.

 it might be expensive for the company when they discover the truth.

 I wouldn’t say I could do it.

C. Do you think it’s OK to slightly exaggerate on your résumé? Who do you agree with most, and why?

D. Watch three extracts where the speakers are emphasizing something and complete the gaps.

 I think it’s a _________ _________ idea to even slightly exaggerate …

 … you might find yourself in a situation where you’ve wasted their time and you’ve just made yourself look _________ _________ silly.

3   I’ve _________ exaggerated on a CV.

E. Now watch two more extracts. What does the speaker do with the missing word to make it more emphatic?

1   … but I wouldn’t do that if I knew the job was going to require me _________ that language …

2   … you shouldn’t outright lie because you _________ get caught out and a lot of the times it could cost a company a lot of money …




1 D   2 B   3 A   4 F   5 E   6 C


1 terrible, terrible   2 really, really   3 definitely


1 speaking   2 will

They give the word extra stress.




When you’re applying for a job, do you think it’s OK to slightly exaggerate on your CV?


I think it’s a terrible, terrible idea to even slightly exaggerate because I think it will always come back to hurt you. I think being as honest as you can − I think it doesn’t matter if you, if you can’t do something if you say “I’m willing to learn, I’m a good learner, I, like, I have these skills, I’m really open to learning some new ones,” but to go into an interview or, or write on your CV. Um, “I can speak, you know, a very average amount of French” when you don’t know anything, that… you might find yourself in a situation where you’ve wasted their time and you’ve just made yourself look really, really silly. I think it’s a terrible idea and I would feel really uncomfortable − um, I’d say I’m quite an honest person so, if I can’t do something, I’ll just say it.


I’ve definitely exaggerated on a CV! Um, I think you have to be – I mean, I would still consider myself an honest person and I’m not going to say I speak fluent Chinese when I don’t − but I think I’ve done, I’ve done it when it wouldn’t be an essential skill for the job, maybe just to pad − well, not even pad things out because I’m talking very small exaggerations here, but, where it’s more for the optional side of things − just to make it look a bit more…like, I might put a language on there that, yeah I can read a postcard or I can understand an airport announcement, but if you asked me to actually speak it…but I wouldn’t do that if I knew the job was going to require me speaking that language because, like you say, you’re going to be potentially in a very awkward situation if that ever comes up, um, and I’ve had, I have had job interviews where they suddenly start speaking to you in another language to check, to check whether you speak the language or not, so…but I think, I think white lies are OK, personally.


I swing between both. Um, you shouldn’t outright lie because you will get caught out and if it’s − a lot of the times it could cost a company a lot of money if they employ you to do a job and then when you turn up, you cannot do it or to the ability that you have told them you could, and there’s a lot of people to be affected. So, you shouldn’t lie because you will be asked to use it. But…the question didn’t say where on the CV, so I agree with you because when you’re talking about hobbies, that is to see what sort of person you are, whether they would like you to work with them, so if you’re quite a boring person and you don’t have many hobbies, I think you should exaggerate a few to make yourself look a little bit more interesting. So, I cook every single night, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy cooking, but I’m happy to put down that I love cooking.



1   I think it’s a terrible, terrible idea to even slightly exaggerate…

2   …you might find yourself in a situation where you’ve wasted their time and you’ve just made yourself look really, really silly.

3   I’ve definitely exaggerated on a CV.



1   …but I wouldn’t do that if I knew the job was going to require me speaking that language…

2   …you shouldn’t outright lie because you will get caught out and a lot of the times it could cost a company a lot of money…

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