exploring, examining, exchanging, expressing
Friday, July 06, 2007
The Pressure
Today, at my students' request, I gave a lesson on situational job interview questions. "Tell me about a time that you... blah blah blah." These questions are hard, but they're great practice both for English in general and for job skills. I had them practice in groups for awhile, to get them used to the questions. Then they took turns in the Hot Seat, with one person in front of the whole class, being critiqued by his or her peers. Lots of pressure! But they all did quite well.

When the last student was finished, I was prepared to change the topic. But one student got a big grin on his face. He explained to the class that it might be good for them to hear from a real expert. And then he looked at me. They all agreed that I should get in the Hot Seat. Okay, that's fair. I got in front of them, just a little nervous.

Then the bold student turned to another student, telling her to ask the question. This woman is studying psychology and has recently interviewed with a major corporation in Costa Rica. When I realized they weren't going to ask me one of the prepared questions, I got a little nervous.

A teacher can show no fear.

She asked a doozie: "Tell me about a time from your childhood that has affected your present life in both a positive and negative way." I collected my thoughts and told my story. They were impressed with my answer. I must say, I was a little impressed with myself, too, since I'd never been asked that particular question before. Plus, it's been over 5 years since I've had a real job interview.

I maintained my status of authority. Woohoo!

They all agreed that I gave a great answer, and then they wanted another example. I had to answer the same question again! I pulled out another story and they were satisfied.

I had to admit to them that, even though this was just for practice, I still felt nervous. Job interviews are always difficult, even when they are fake. And it struck me how much harder it must be for them, interviewing in a different language. So I took a moment to tell them how proud I was of them, congratulating them on their hard work. They continue to impress me.


Blogger Thundy said...
What?! We don't get to know what your answers were? C'mon... Share something with the family :)