Andrew Dib Andrew Dib

Extreme Interviews - Listening and Speaking
B2 (Upper Intermediate) level


In this lesson, students will practice the receptive skills of listening and establishing meaning from context, as well as productive skill development in speaking fluency, through engaging with a voice recording of five participants’ experience of strange questions they’ve received during “extreme” job interviews and then role-playing their own peer interviews.


Main Aims

  • To provide Ss with practice in listening for specific information and detail in the context of extreme interviews.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To practice/consolidate work done on questions. To give Ss practice in speaking for fluency.


Stage 1 - Lead In (3-4 minutes) • To introduce the lesson theme of job interviews and strange questions.

Ask WC: Who here has attended a job interview or two or three? How did they go? Do you remember what kind of questions they asked you? Do you recall the feeling of being in the interview? Did you get the job? Sometimes the questions can be quite strange, even in regular interviews. I have often wondered for days after an interview what the meaning of the questions was. Here’s a 2 and half-minute video clip representing my inner experience of most job interviews I’ve attended.

Pre-Listening (4-5 minutes) • To give a context and some potentially problematic vocabulary to SS for the following listening exercise.

Conduct 2 mock interviews. Just 3 questions each. With volunteer students. The teacher will ask a few questions in a role play format. Interview 1: The position is an editor of a publishing company, selling travel books about Turkey. Question 1: What is the one thing you would like to promote about this great country? Question 2: What kind of thing would you like to hide about Turkey? Question 3: If you could change the name of Turkey to another animal name, what might it be? Interview 2: The position is with an advertising agency. Your key responsibility will be to promote the President of the United States, Donald Trump, to the world. 2 questions. Question 1: What kind of hairstyle would you recommend for President Trump? Question 2: Pretend you believe in reincarnation. What kind of creature do you think Donald Trump will come back as? Question 3: To prevent Donald Trump making public offensive and sexist remarks, would you: A: Create a clone double of him and not let the real Donald out in public? B: Dose him with a daily drug to prevent him saying outrageous things? or C: Do you get up and leave the interview now, as this is an impossible task?

Listening Exercise 1 (7-10 minutes) • To provide controlled listening practice

Provide SS with a handout with 3 exercises. Exercise 1 is on the front and exercise 2 is on the back. Only exercise one is used for this stage. SS will listen to an audio recording of 5 people talking about strange questions they’ve been asked at job interviews. Stop the recording after each person to allow SS to answer the questions and discuss within their groups.

Listening exercise 2 (8-10 minutes) • To provide controlled listening practice, this time with a focus on greater details

Play the recording again. This time, SS need to listen more closely to answer the more detailed questions in Exercise 2 on the other side of Listening Exercise 1 and 2 Handout. Again, stop the recording after each person finishes speaking for SS to discuss with their group.

Post-listening Exercise 1 (5-7 minutes) • To foster discussion and thought about the text and provide speaking practice

In their groups ask SS to discuss which of the questions they thought were good or bad to ask at an interview? Then have WC discussion.

Post-listening Exercise 2 (7-9 minutes) • To provide speaking and writing practice and to provide vocabulary use practice.

Ask SS to write three “extreme interview” questions of their own to interview each other. Provide 3 minutes to do this. Then ask SS to interview as many peers as they can within the available time remaining (5 minutes). If there is surplus time, refer to contingency: Split the class into two. Get everybody to stand up in a line at the front of the class. Ask who has been coming to this class the longest? Have them stand at one end. Have the person coming for the shortest time stand at the other end. Ask everybody else to arrange themselves in order from longest attendance to the shortest? Make half of the class Students A and half of the class Students B. Provide Extreme question HO, half to Students A and half to Students B. Instruct to ask the questions on this HO as well as their made up 3.

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