Monday, May 26, 2014

Resumes and Job Interviews in an ESL class

This week we did resumes and job interviews in an A2 class. It was great. At first, I was nervous that it would be chaotic because of the class size of 22 and another class size of 24. They are not big classes, but I am more comfortable with classes with a maximum of 20 students. Class sizes of 16 or 18 are ideal to me. 

Well, I would just like to explain how we did it, so that if any teachers are looking to do a similar activity they can use it or adapt it to the needs of their class. I would also appreciate any feedback or alternative ideas.

First, I split the class into two groups. Each group has to both be an interviewer and an interviewee. Every two students should be the interviewers together. So, I had each group come up with five jobs that they wanted to be the interviewers for. 

Then, every two students will choose a job to apply to from the jobs that the other group proposed. That way the interviewers will choose the student who is best suited for the job.

The students will be shown a template of a resume then they will have to make their own. For the personal and contact information they can put their real information. As for the education, work experience and skills part it should be appropriate for the job they are applying for. For example, one of my students who applied to a photographer vacancy put photography as a skill.

I then have the students put their line in a table and every two students will write the job on a piece of paper and fold it to put it as a template on their table, so that the interviewees will know where to come for their job interviews. 

One group of students holds the interviews, while the other students are the interviewees. The interviewers must then discuss who they chose for the job and why. You might get some funny answers like: We didn't choose X because she was spinning around in her chair and eating gum. That is great if they take it seriously because it is like a mock interview to get students ready for real ones.

The students then switch roles; the interviewees become interviewers and vice versa. 

As a follow up activity for a different class, you could have the students write their real resumes. That way you can help edit them, and they can use it when applying to jobs!