Interview in English (Video class) – how to talk about your strengths and weaknesses!
When was the last time you had an interview?
How did it go?
We hope it went well! Have you ever had an interview in English?
If not, we recommend you start preparing for it now – just in case! 😊
Typically, in many interviews, they ask candidates about their “strengths” and “weaknesses”.
So, in this lesson, we’re going to look at some useful words and expressions for talking about this; and then you can see an example of someone talking about their strengths and weaknesses in the video.
Are you ready for your practice interview?
OK, let’s go!
VIDEO CLASS – Level: Intermediate (B1) to Upper Intermediate (B2)
Here are some useful words that appear in the video.
A “position” at a company or business is a job that you can apply for: “I interviewed for the marketing manager position.”
A pet store
A “pet store” is a shop that sells pets (animals you keep at home: cats, dogs, rabbits…), pet food, pet accessories…
If you do an “internship” at a company (as an intern), you work at that company for a low salary (or no salary) so you can get some experience.
A “strength” is something that you’re good at, or something positive about your personality or character.
A “weakness” is something that you aren’t so good at, or something a bit negative about your personality or character.
If you’re “under pressure”, you have a lot of work and not much time to do it. This can often make you feel stressed.
If you “sign” a contract with a company, you both put your names on a document that explains how you will work together, how much you’ll be paid…
If you’re “proud of” something that you’ve done, you’re very pleased about this thing.
To please people
If you try to “please people”, you do good things for them so they’re happy with you.
To stick with a decision
If you “stick with a decision”, you keep that decision, and you don’t change anything about it.
A hard worker
Someone who is a “hard worker” works a lot and for many hours.
You’re going to watch an extract from a job interview. Which the video and answer these questions. [answers below]
What position is Megan applying for?
How long was she working in sales with an online business?
Where did she do her internship for a few months?
What are the two main strengths that she mentions?
What two weaknesses does she mention?
How positive do you think the interviewer is about Megan working at the pet store?
PS It’s important to watch the video once without stopping. Don’t worry if you don’t understand everything – just try to get the gist of what they say (a general understanding of it). This will really help with your listening skills.
Watching & reading!
Now watch the video and read the script (see below) at the same time. This is great for your listening skills!
Now talk about this topic with a friend or classmate. Make notes and try to use as much of the new language as you can.
Interviewer: So, tell me, why do you want a position as a sales manager at our pet store?
Megan: Well, I have a lot of qualifications and a lot of experience. Before this I was working at a marketing agency in their sales department, [OK.] and before that I was working in sales with an online business for about five years or so.
Interviewer: Oh, very good, and have you ever worked with animals before?
Megan: Yes, I’ve been a pet owner and I still am a pet owner, and then I had an experience to work with, erm, I had an internship at a zoo for a few months actually, which sounds kind of crazy at first.
Interviewer: That’s so fun!
Megan: That was an interest of mine before studying sales, [OK.] so I’ve worked with a lot of exotic animals.
Interviewer: We are looking for that, that’s so cool, some diversity. And what about your strengths and weaknesses?
Megan: Erm, I’m really good at managing a team and working well under pressure. [OK.] Erm, we recently had to meet a deadline a few months ago, and I got us all finished before, er, the scheduled date, and we had a really great client who just signed with us for quite a big price, [Perfect.] so I’m pretty proud of that.
Interviewer: OK, very good, and any weaknesses you’d like to share?
Megan: Erm, well, I would say sometimes, sometimes I want to please a little too much, [OK.] and maybe sometimes I need to work on sticking with what I think is best, even if maybe it’s not the answer that everybody wants to hear.
Interviewer: Absolutely, well it sounds like you’re a very hard worker and I think you’d be a great addition to our team.
Megan: OK, amazing
Interviewer: Yeah thanks for coming in today.
Megan: Well, thank you for talking with me.
- What position is Megan applying for? Megan is applying for the position of sales manager at a pet store
- How long was she working in sales with an online business? She was working there for about five years
- Where did she do her internship for a few months? She did her internship at a zoo.
- What are the two main strengths that she mentions? She’s good at managing a team and working under pressure.
- What two weaknesses does she mention? She says they are wanting to please people a little too much, and not sticking with the decision that she thinks is best.
- How positive do you think the interviewer is about Megan working at the pet store? The interviewer seems to be very positive about Megan working there.