Job Interview Basics-Observe, Discuss, Create

Design Guide

Designers for Learning - Adult Learning Zone

Part 1: Lesson Description

Lesson Title

Job Interview Basics-Observe, Discuss, Create


Learners will observe and discuss two similar interview scenarios. Using information from classroom discussion and input from a professional recruiter, learners will create their own unique response to the difficult prompt, "Tell me about yourself."

Learner Audience / Primary Users

Teacher, Student (aged 17-80) Low reading level Grade 1-3 Please note: the examples used are focused on a male audience but are easily applied to female learners. Although the lesson is accessible to learners with low reading levels, this lesson can be applied to all levels of instruction.

Educational Use

  • Curriculum / Instruction

College & Career Readiness Standards (CCRS) Alignment

  • Level: Adult Education
  • Grade Level: CCRS A
  • Subject: English Language Arts / Literacy
  • Strand: Speaking and Listening
  • Standard Description:
  • SL.1.1 CCR Anchor 1: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. A-Participate in collaborative discussions with diverse partners in small and larger groups. a. Follow agreed upon rules for discussions (e.g. listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion). b. Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of other through multiple exchanges. c. Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion.
  • SL.K.2 CCR Anchor 2: Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally. a. Confirm understanding of text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
  • CCR Anchor 6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. SL.K.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly. SL.1.6 Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.



Material Type

  • Lesson Plans
  • Audio
  • Video
  • Simulations
  • Teaching and Learning Strategies

Learning Goals

The purpose of this lesson is for learners to be able to:

  • Discuss 2 interview scenarios
  • Locate and record key concepts
  • Plan and demonstrate an appropriate response to the interview prompt, “Tell me about yourself.”


  • Designers for Learning
  • Adult Education
  • Job Interview Basics
  • SL
  • CCR

Time Required for Lesson

30 minutes or multiple sessions if necessary

Prior Knowledge

Learner must have an understanding of classroom/online discussion etiquette.

A Note about Reading Aloud:

The script is written at a higher reading level than this learner can handle. If learners are forced to read this script aloud to the class would be an obstacle to the objectives of the lesson. If you use the print version, please read the text to students in your best acting voice.

Placement of Lesson

This lesson has the ability to build confidence and forge a relationship between the learner, class, and teacher. If it is placed in the first few weeks of instruction, the teacher may be able to break down some communication barriers. The learner may open up about their background, culture, belief systems, etc. but only if they feel the environment is safe and supported.

Required Resources

Video link/download-If using video version

Speakers-If using video or audio version

Chart paper-markers


Resource Links Follow:

#1 Interview Scenario


Download: #1 Interview Scenario Audio.mp3


     Click here for Video Version of Interview scenario #1

Printable Script-

Download: Interview Scenario #1_2.docx

#2 Interview Scenario


Download: #2 Interview Scenario audio.mp3


     Click here for video version of scenario #2

Printable Script-

Download: Interview Scenario #2_1.docx

Interview Advice


Download: Interview Advice Audio.mp3


Click here for Video Job Interview Advice

Printable Script-

Download: Interview Advice Transcript_1.docx

Lesson Author & License

  • Lesson Author: Janet Lee

Part 2: Lesson

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, the learner should be able to:

  • Discuss effectiveness of two interview scenarios.
  • Collect and synthesize interview advice from a job recruiter.
  • Plan and demonstrate an appropriate response to the interview prompt, Tell me about yourself.

Lesson Topics

Key topics covered in this lesson include:

  • Job Interview Basics
  • Appropriate attire for an interview
  • Interview Language
  • Attitude

Context Summary

All of us have been put in a situation where we are required to talk about ourselves. Whether it is a future mother-in-law or employer, organizing our thoughts and delivering a cohesive message is an important skill. This lesson presents two similar scenarios in a job interview context. Learners must discuss the scenarios and create a list of guidelines for interviews. A job recruiter comment is supplied to add supplemental information. Learners will create a personal response to the prompt tell me about yourself.

This lesson is designed for learners with low literacy levels but can be applied to all literacy levels. To aid in accessibility for the learners, speaking and viewing will be the main medium for activities and culminating assessments however, audio and written transcripts are provided.

Relevance to Practice

Confidence in oral language is a key to success for successful living. Whether explaining your day to a spouse or describing your work history to a potential employer, it is important to speak articulately and appropriately. By observing and discussing two opposite interview scenarios, learners can collaborate a good response to the prompt, Tell me about yourself. This learning has real world applications that can translate to successful job interviews and communication in general.

Key Terms and Concepts

  •  Appropriate Language
  • Attire
  • Attitude

Instructional Strategies and Activities


Time: 3 minutes

Think about a time when you were interviewed. Remember an interview can be a job interview, mother-in-law meeting, parole officer, teacher, judge, etc.

What kind of questions did the other person ask you? How did the interview turn out?

Have learners quietly think about their answers and then turn to a neighbor for sharing. Remind learners about creating a safe environment for discussion. (e.g. allow others to speak, put your hand up and wait to be acknowledged before speaking, no disrespect) Open the floor for discussion. Record important points from the discussion on the board or on chart paper.


Time: 2 minutes

Remind learners that interviewing takes practice. Share a time when you interviewed for a position. NOTE: If you share a negative experience you once had, this might build a relationship with learners. Talk about what happened during the interview. Discuss what you could have done differently to create a more successful outcome. I interviewed for a server position one time. When the interviewer asked me how much I knew about the restaurant, I felt stuck because I had never been to the restaurant before. I hadn’t even looked up the menu. In the future, I make sure I do a little investigating before I go to an interview.

Remind your learners that if you prepare for an interview, you can appear more capable than you actually feel. Reassure learners this lesson will help them feel more confident when speaking about themselves in public.

Presentation / Modeling / Demonstration

Time: 10 minutes

We will be watching (listening to or reading) two interview scenarios involving a man named Robert. While you watch (listen or read) think about what worked well for Robert and what he could have done differently.

Use Interview Scenario #1. (video, audio, or script)

#1 Interview Scenario

Video- Click here for Interview scenario #1


Download: #1 Interview Scenario Audio.mp3


Download: Interview Scenario Script #1.docx

NOTE: Please do not force learners to act out the script from the written version. This lesson is not meant for a read aloud. If you must only use the printed version, then read the script aloud for your learners.

Allow time for the learners to think about what could have been done differently in this scenario #1. Encourage learners to share their thoughts with a neighbor before sharing with the entire class. Jot down responses on a chart paper labelled, Advice for Robert.

Tell learners to watch (listen or read) scenarios #2 with the purpose of finding the positive things Robert changed.

Use Interview Scenario #2. (video, audio, or script)

#2 Interview Scenario 


     Click here for video version of scenario #2.


Download: #2 Interview Scenario audio.mp3


Download: Interview Scenario #2.docx

Again, encourage learners to discuss the scenario with a neighbor before sharing with the group. Remind learners to actively listen to classmates so they do not repeat responses. Record the responses on the chart paper under the heading, Good work, Robert!

Tell learners that experts have studied job interviews for years. Some people actually make a living by searching out jobs for others. These people are called recruiters. Michelle Nelson is a recruiter who knows a lot about landing a job. Have your learners listen to Michelle’s advice with the purpose of comparing her information to their own chart. Your learners might be surprised to find out how much they already know about interviewing. This will build confidence.

Use Interview Advice (video, audio, or script)

Interview Advice 


     Click here for Job Interview Advice


Download: Interview Advice Audio.mp3


Download: Interview Advice Transcript.docx

Add Michelle’s advice to the chart paper under the title, More Advice.

NOTE: The scenarios offered are specific to a male applicant but these scenarios are applicable to females.

Guided Practice

Time: 5 minutes

Have learners work with a partner to discuss how they would respond appropriately to the prompt, “Tell me about yourself.” Remind learners to give each other effective feedback during the process. Encourage learners to role-play their answers with each other once or twice to gain experience.


Time: 5 minutes

Allow one or two volunteer learners to respond to the prompt in front of the class. Allow the rest of the class to respond but require them to add one positive comment and one next step for the volunteer.  


Time: 5 minutes

Have learners complete an exit ticket (orally) what is the most important thing they learned from the lesson.

Part 3: Supplementary Resources & References

Supplementary Resources




Attribution Statements


CC Attribution

This course content is offered by Designers for Learning under a CC Attribution license.
Content in this course can be considered under this license unless otherwise noted.        

(Design Guide effective March 29, 2016)

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