TOEIC lesson 5: Job Interview

Directions

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over a type-5 question from TOEIC speaking test. Your tutor will read the question to you, and you have 60 seconds to answer on your own.

Test Question

Directions: In this part of the test, you will presented with a problem and asked to propose a solution. You will have 30 seconds to prepare. Then you will have 60 seconds to speak.

Question 10

In your response, be sure to:

  • show that you recognize the problem, and
  • propose a way of deal with the problem

(Tutor: read the text to the student. The question is not presented to the student in the actual test)

Hello. This is Julia Roberts. I am scheduled for a job interview for a customer service position with your airline today at 3 p.m. I am very excited about this opportunity and that position would also be a great fit for me. I left home an hour ago to give myself enough time to arrive before my appointment, but it looks like I am in a traffic jam due to an accident on the freeway. Because of this, I am afraid that I might not make it on time. I will do my best to try to get off the freeway so that I can take an alternate route, but, just in case I can’t make it on time, would it be possible to reschedule my job interview? I don’t want all of my preparations to go to waste, and, as I just mentioned, I really want to work for your company. I will wait for your call. You can reach me on my cell phone at (123) 456-7890. My name is Julia Roberts. Thank you.

Brainstorm

How did you do? Use the following pointers as a guideline to refine your answer.

  1. Make note of the key facts
    • Who is calling? Julia Roberts and she has an interview with the company
    • Why is she calling? She is in a traffic jam due to an accident on the freeway, and she is concerned that she would be late for the interview
    • What is she asking for? She is trying to get on time, but wants to reschedule the interview in case she doesn’t make it on time
  2. Come up with a solution
    • Say who you are: Hello, Ms. Roberts. This is XXX from Human Resource Department.
    • Say why you are calling: I am retuning your voice message
    • Repeat the problem: You said that you may be late for your job interview, which is scheduled at 3 pm today, due to an unexpected accident on the freeway.
  3. Repeat the request: You want to reschedule your job interview in case you arrive late.
  4. Propose a solution:
    • I understand how important this job interview is to you.
    • It is not possible to reschedule your job interview today because several other interview have been scheduled right after yours.
    • I will leave a note for the interviewers in case you do not make it on time, but I have to let you know this may reflect negatively on your candidacy.
  5. Wrap up: Please let me know immediately when you arrive here. You can reach me on my cell phone at (213) 123-4567.

Sample Answer

Reading great sample answers is one way to improve. Go over the sample answer with your tutor. Ask questions if you have any.

Sample Answer

Hello Ms. Roberts. This is XXX from Human Resource Department at Alpha Airline, and I am returning your call. You said that you may be late for your job interview, which is scheduled at 3 pm today, due to an unexpected accident on the freeway. First of all, I am sorry to say that it is not possible to reschedule your job interview because several other interviews have already been scheduled right after yours. I will leave a note for the interviewers in case you do not make it on time, but I have to let you know this may reflect negatively on your candidacy. I understand how important this job interview is to you, so please let me know immediately when you arrive here. You can reach me on my cell phone at (213) 123-4567.

Further Study

Got more time? Here is a list of common vocab words related to the text you studied today. Go over each one with your tutor.

Additional Expressions

unexpected (adj) not expected
e.g. unexpected results
traffic jam ( traffic congestion) (n) a large number of vehicles unable to move or moving very slowly
e.g. I’m stuck in a traffic jam, so I’ll be late.
 reschedule (v) change to a new time for an event
e.g. The meeting was rescheduled for Tuesday.
due to something (idiom) because of a reason
e.g. The accident was primarily due to her carelessness.
candidacy (n) the position of a person who is trying to be elected
e.g. She is expected to announce her candidacy for president.
reflect positively/negatively on~ (idiom) to cause people to think of someone or something in a positive/negative way
e.g. This incident reflects negatively on everyone involved.
interviewer / interviewee (n) a person who is asking someone questions at an interview / a person who is interviewed
e.g. The interviewer asked the interviewee some very personal questions.  
make it on time (idiom) arrive punctually
e.g. I’m leaving early so I can make it on time.
punctual (adj) being on time
e.g. The trains were punctual.
you can reach me at …. (idiom) you can call me at
e.g. You can reach me at 012345678.
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