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Based on Welcome Aboard!


Unit 1...2
Unit 2...4
Unit 3...6
Unit 4.10
Unit 5.....12
Unit 6.14
Unit 7.....18
Unit 8.20
Unit 9.....25
Unit 10.......29
General Announcements...32
Conversations Between Passengers and Flight Attendants...........35
Countries and Nationalities...40
Parts of an Aircraft....42
Phrasal verbs..52
Cabin crew announcements manual..60
Speeches para emergncia preparada....62
Flight attendants........................................................................................................................................64
What the recruiter wont tell you (about flight attendant job)..66
Caution: celebrity onboard....67
Seven tips for effective resume writing....69
Interview questions...70
Example of a job interview...70
Tips and steps for a good job interview....71
Interview questions you may be asked..71
Job interview body language.74
Interviewing information...74
Fifty standard interview questions.....97
Unit 1

Nature of work

Flight attendants are responsible for the passengers safety and comfort. At least one hour before each
flight, attendants receive a briefing from the captain on such topics as expected weather and a special
passengers problem. The attendants see that the cabin is in order, that supplies of food, beverages,
blankets and reading material are adequate, and that first aid kits and other emergency equipment are
aboard and in working order. As passengers board the plane, attendants greet them, check their tickets,
and assist them in storing coats and carry-on luggage.
Before and after take-off, the attendant performs a variety of duties, including:
Instructing passengers on the use of emergency equipment
Checking that seat belts are fastened and seat backs are in the forward position
Answering questions about the flight (arrival times, connecting flights, meals, etc.)
Distributing magazines, pillows and blankets
Helping those in need (handicapped, ill, injured, children, the elderly)
Serving meals and beverages
After the plane lands, attendants assist passengers-in-need as they leave the plane and thank the others
for choosing their airline.
Assisting passengers in the rare event of an emergency is an important function of the flight attendant.
This may range from reassuring passengers during occasional encounters with strong turbulence to
opening emergency exits and inflating evacuation chutes following an emergency landing.
Many passengers choose an airline based on the flight attendants service. It is therefore critical that the
attendants be friendly and courteous, provide the highest level of service, and go the extra mile
whenever possible.

Choose the correct answer based on the text above:

1. Flight attendants are responsible for:
a) The weather briefing
b) The passengers safety and comfort
c) The airplane
d) The flight
2. Various passengers choose an airline company based on:
a) The name of the airline
b) The size of the airplane
c) The flight attendants service
d) The type of meals that are served
3. One of the duties of a flight attendant is to answer questions about:
a) Arrival times
b) Meals
c) Connecting flights
d) All of the above

Answer true or false

1. A flight attendant should never instruct a passenger on how to use the emergency equipment.
a) True
b) False

2. A flight attendant should always assist passengers-in-need as they leave the airplane.
a) True
b) False
3. Flight attendants are briefed by the ticket agent
a) True
b) False
4. The flight attendants duties end as soon as the airplane lands.
a) True
b) False

What is your name? My name is Cindy.
Where are you from? I am from Canada.
What is her name? Her name is Noriko.
Where is she from? Shes from Japan.
What are their names? Their names are Paul and Sheila.
Where are they from? They are from England.

Fill in the blanks and practice the following dialogues.

1. ______________________ name?
His name ___________ Roger. _________ a pilot.
2. ____________________ she from?
____________________from New Zealand.
3. ____________________ you from?
__________________ from Brazil.
4. _________________ their names?
____________________ Mark and Wendy.
5. _________________ it from?
Its from Italy.

Complete the above dialogues using the following contractions.

What is = whats Where is = wheres
You are = youre He is = hes
She is = shes It is = its
We are = were They are = theyre

Unit 2

The flight crew hierarchy

The flight crew is made up of a group of people who work in an aircraft when it is flying from one city
to another on a domestic or international flight.
The flight crew is organized into two groups. The first group, the captain and the co-pilot or first
officer, works in the cockpit. Some airplanes still require a flight engineer to monitor the planes
engines and systems. Nowadays, most airplanes have two-man crews who are responsible for
monitoring all the systems.
The second group, called cabin crew, consists of a flight director/purser and flight attendants that
assist the passengers in the cabin. They perform a variety of duties in order to offer safety and comfort
to all the passengers. The flight director/purser/1st flight attendant is responsible for all the flight
attendants, and he/she relates important information to the captain.

Fill in the blanks:

a) In small airplanes, the ____________________ is responsible for the flight attendants.
b) The __________________ assists the pilot in the cockpit.
c) The __________________monitors the state of the aircrafts engines and other systems.
d) The ___________________ has the full responsibility for every flight.
e) The ______________________________ may hold the same rank as the captain.
f) The _____________________________ is responsible for the passengers safety and comfort.
g) In a large aircraft, the _____________________________ is responsible for the flight

Answer true or false:

1. Nowadays most airplanes require three-man crews.
a) True
b) False
2. The flight director/purser is responsible for all the flight attendants.
a) True
b) False
3. Flight director/purser is not responsible to the captain.
a) True
b) False

Positive Question
I am Am I?
You are Are you?
He is Is he?
She is Is she?
It is Is it?
We are Are we?
You are Are you?
They are Are the

Short answers
Yes, I am. No, I am not. Or No, Im not.
Yes, you are. No, you are not. Or No, youre not.
Yes, he is. No, he is not. Or No, hes not.
Yes, she is. No, she is not. Or No, shes not.
Yes, it is. No, it is not. Or No, its not.
Yes, we are. No, we are not. Or No, were not.
Yes, you are. No, you are not. Or No, youre not.
Yes, they are. No, they are not. Or No, theyre not.

Am I late for my flight? No, you are not.

Is she from Brazil? No, shes not.
Are you from Germany? No, Im not. I am from Brazil.
Are you a businessman? Yes, I am.
Is that passenger from Cuba? Yes, he is.
Is the flight engineer French? No, he isnt. he is Canadian.

Fill in the blanks and practice the following dialogues:

1. ________ the flight engineer from Spain?
No, ___________. Hes from Jamaica
2. _______________ flight attendants?
Yes, _____________. They work for a Japanese airline.
3. ________________ the airplane ready to leave?
No, ___________. It needs more fuel.

Write three dialogues like the previous ones.

1 _____________________________________________________________________________
2 _____________________________________________________________________________
3 _____________________________________________________________________________
Unit 3

The captains briefing in the operations room

Crew meets at the operations room in order to prepare for the flight.
Captain files his flight plan.
Captain has all the information, such as weather conditions, to complete the flight safely.
Captain tells his crew about the weather conditions.
Captain is told any relevant information about the passengers.
Crew checks for any VIPs. They receive special treatment.
Purser briefs the flight crew about any passengers special requirements such as meals
(vegetarian, kosher) seating arrangements for handicapped or ill passengers, and
unaccompanied minors (Ums).

Referring to the text above, link the words.

a) Unaccompanied ______ arrangement
b) Operations ______ conditions
c) Seating ______ room
d) Weather ______ plan
e) Flight ______ minor

Safety equipment
These are the items that are checked during the pre-flight check*:
Bassinet Flight attendants life vest
CO fire extinguisher Flight attendants mask
Crew life vest HO fire extinguisher
Crew mask Infant life vest
Demo life vest Life raft
Drugs kit Megaphone
Dry chemical extinguisher O bottle
Escape slide Passengers O mask
Extinguisher Radio beacon
Fire axe Rope
First aid kit Smoke goggles
These items may vary from aircraft type to aircraft type. This is only given for language-training purposes.

Match the words and the pictures.

1 Fire axe 4 Megaphone
2 Life raft 5 First aid kit
3 HO fire extinguisher 6 Escape slide

__________________ __________________ ________________

__________________ __________________ ______________________

Departure lounge announcement

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.
AirSky Flight #609 to Paris is now ready for boarding at gate 7A.
Passengers who need assistance and those with children should proceed now to the gate.
Please extinguish all smoking material before leaving this lounge.
Boarding will take place according to the seat number shown on the boarding pass. Please do not
proceed through the gate until your seat number is called.
Thank you for your cooperation.
First class passengers are requested to board now, please.
Thank you.

Seat allocation
The aircraft is usually divided into three classes:
First class Business class Economy class

Sentences used as the passengers board the aircraft.

Write down possible responses to the following sentences.
a) Good morning/afternoon/evening. Welcome aboard!
b) Madam, could you please keep your seat in the fully upright position?
c) May I rearrange your luggage in the overhead compartment?
d) Are you having trouble finding your seat, madam?
e) Could you please avoid obstructing the aisle, sir?
f) Would you mind changing seats with that lady?
g) Please, remember to read the safety leaflet.
h) May I help you to find your seat, sir?
i) Where can I put my briefcase?
j) Im sorry, but this is someone elses seat.

k) Im sorry, sir, but smoking is not allowed in this aircraft.
l) May I slow your coat in the wardrobe compartment, madam?

Write your own response to the following questions, then practice the conversation:
1. Can I look after your bags?
2. Can you tell me where I can put my duty free bags?
3. Im sorry, but would you mind stowing my briefcase in the overhead compartment?
4. May I ask you to put that small box under the seat?

Demonstrations and safety announcements

Ladies and gentlemen,
Our cabin pressure is controlled for your comfort, but should it change at anytime during the flight, an
oxygen mask will automatically fall from the overhead compartment. If this happens, please put out
your cigarette immediately, pull down the mask and place it firmly over your mouth and nose, securing
it with the strap. You should secure your own mask first, before helping those who need assistance.
Continue to breathe normally, until you are advised that the oxygen masks are no longer required.

Life jackets
Ladies and gentlemen,
As part of our flight today is over water, international regulations require that we demonstrate the use
of the life jacket. Each passenger is provided with a life jacket which is located beneath your seat. Your
cabin crew is now demonstrating how to use it.
Pull the life jacket over your head.
Fasten the jacket with the straps around your waist as the crew is now demonstrating.
DO NOT, repeat NOT, inflate your jacket until you have exited the aircraft.
The jacket is automatically inflated by pulling these tags, or, if necessary, by blowing air into this tube.
A light and a whistle are attached to the life jacket.
Thank you for listening.

Seat belts
When this sign is illuminated, please fasten your seat belts.
For safety reasons we advise you to keep your seat belts fastened during the entire flight.

May I ? Is equivalent to Is it ok to ? / Can I ?
Can I? or Could I? is equivalent to Is it ok to (do something)?
May I see his boarding pass? Yes, you may.
Would you mind showing me their boarding pass? No, I wouldnt mind.
Can I see your boarding pass, please? Yes, you can.
Could I see your boarding pass? Yes, you could.
Im sorry, but I need to see your boarding pass.
Im sorry, but I must ask you to show me your boarding pass, please.

Fill in the blanks and then practice the following dialogues:

1. May I see her boarding card, please?
Yes, ________________. This is my daughters boarding pass.
2. __________________ show me your boarding pass?
Yes, I can.
3. __________________ see their boarding pass?
Yes, you can.
4. __________________ mind showing me your boarding pass?
No, ______________ mind. I just need to find it.
5. _____________________, but I need to see your boarding pass.
This is my boarding pass.

Unit 4

Preparation for take-off

Now we are ready for take-off. When the passengers have taken their seats and the doors are closed, the
airplane is pushed back from the airport terminal.
Next, the pilot taxies to the runway for the take-off. During this time, the flight crew performs very
important tasks to assure the safety and comfort of all the passengers. The crew makes sure that:
All moveable galley items and catering equipment is secured.
All the internal doors and curtains between different sections of the cabin are secured open.
Overhead luggage compartments are closed.
Hand luggage placed beneath seats is secured.
No one is smoking.
Seatbelts are fastened.
Seats are in the fully upright position.
Tables are stowed.
No passenger is walking down the aisle.
No one is in the lavatory.
Some companies elect to offer some type of passenger service while the airplane is taxing towards the
runway. An airline company may offer:
Reading material.
Complimentary drinks.

Pair up with a friend and practice a conversation by using the following examples:
1. Madam, would you like a blanket for your comfort?
Yes, I would.
2. Would you care for a sweet to avoid ear discomfort?
Yes, please.
3. May I offer you a magazine with our compliments, sir?
No, thanks.

Now, replace the words highlighted above with the words below and practice the dialogues again.
A pillow A sweet A magazine
A blanket A A pen
A hot drink newspaper Headphones

There is / There are
Question Statement Contraction
Is there? There is (not) There isnt
Are there? There are(not) There arent
Is there an empty seat in the smoking area? There are some seats available in the smoking area.
Are there any magazines left? No, there arent, but there are some newspapers.
There is some ice in you juice, madam.
Some / Any
Use some in positive sentences. There are some magazines left.
Use any in questions and negative sentences. Are there any magazines left?
There arent any magazines left.
We normally use some (not any) when we offer things Would you like some?

Fill in the blanks and practice the following conversations using there is, there are, is there, are there,
some and any.
1 ____________________ a person smoking in the non-smoking area?
Yes, _____________. He is not supposed to smoke in that area.
2 ___________________ pillows left?
No, _________________.
3 ___________________ anyone in the lavatory?
Yes, _______________. Its occupied.
4 ____________________ a briefcase under your seat?
No, __________. I have put mine in the overhead compartment.
5 ________________ snacks left?
Yes, _____________ left. Ill bring you some, sir.

Fill in the blanks using there is, there are, is there, are there.
1 _________________ any blankets in the overhead compartment?
2 _________________ three passengers walking down the aisle.
3 _________________ a passenger smoking in the lavatory.
4 ________________ a lady asking for a snack?

Unit 5


The bar and meal service begins. The bar trolleys start from each end of the aircraft, immediately
followed by the meals trolley. The type of service that will be offered to passengers depends on the
time of the day, the duration of the flight, and the class of passenger. Generally, first-class passengers
receive a restaurant-type service, which offers a menu. The economy-class passengers service offers a
pre-set tray, but sometimes the service may offer a choice of poultry, fish, or meat.
Airlines usually offer vegetarian and kosher meals to passengers that requires special attention.
Snacks and drinks are also served between meals.

Match each question to its answer.

a) Would you like some lunch, sir? ______ Yes. Can I have lamb instead?
b) Here we are, madam. Enjoy tour meal. ______ No, thanks. Im not feeling very
c) Excuse me. Would you care for a well.
snack? ______ Thank you so much.
d) Breakfast, madam? ______ Yes, I can do that.
e) Im sorry, sir, but could you please pass ______ Yes, I would.
this tray to the lady by the window? ______ No, thanks. I rarely eat breakfast.
f) Would you like something else instead?

Pair with a friend and practice a conversation by using the following responses.
1. I do apologize, madam. Ill see to it immediately.
2. Im very sorry, madam. Ill ask the purser to come and have a word with you personally.
3. Im sorry, sir, but we ran out of it.
4. Im terribly sorry, madam. Ill bring you another one immediately.

Fill in the blanks and practice the following dialogues by using the responses above:
You have not given me a drink.
Do you have any more fruit salad?
My tea is cold
I ordered a vegetarian meal and you tell me you do not have any left. That is unacceptable.

Match the two columns.

1. Would you like some ice? ______ It is $ 3.00.
2. Would you care for a drink, madam? ______ No, thanks.
3. Can I have some peanuts, please? ______ Sure. Here we are.
4. I would like some vodka. How much is ______ Yes, hat is available, please?
it? ______ Yes, two slices, please.
5. Should I pay for it now? ______ Yes, please sir.
6. Would you like some sliced lemon in
your drink?

Indefinite articles a / an
A is used in front of nouns that begin with a consonant sound.
AN is used in front of nouns that begin with a vowel sound.
Can I have a fork, please?
May I have an extra slice of cheese?
Dinner will be served in an hour, sir.

Fill in the blanks using A or AN.

1. I would like to have just _____ snack.
2. May I have _____ soft drink and _____ orange juice?
3. ______ can of beer, please.
4. Can I have _____ cup of coffee?
5. Can I have ______ empty cup, please?
6. It comes with _____ egg.

Unit 6

Duty-free sales

Duty-free announcement
Ladies and gentlemen,
We will now commence with the sale of duty free items. Please, pay attention to the details of our
selection of cigarettes, which are on special on todays flight. We also have perfumes, small gifts,
toysYou will find all of these items and many more in the in-flight duty-free magazine, which may
be found in the pocket of the seat in front of you.
On todays flight we can accept the following currencies: US dollars and euro. We also accept
travelers checks and major credit cards. Thank you for your attention.

Now, replace the boldfaced words above with the words below and practice the duty-free
announcement again.
Cigarettes  perfume / toys / wine / scarves
US dollars and euro  real (Brazil), yen (Japan), Canadian dollar (Canada), pound (United
Kingdom), peso (Argentina)
(for a list of currencies see the end of this unit)

Answer the questions using one of the following examples, and then practice them with a friend.
1. I am sorry, madam, but theres none left.
2. Im sorry, sir, but we are sold out.
3. I am sorry, but we do not carry that brand.
4. I am sorry, but we do not accept that currency on this flight.
5. Im sorry, sir, but we only carry small ones.
6. Im sorry, madam, but we only have that one in red.

a. Do you have Rothmans cigarettes?

b. Do you accept US dollar?
c. Is there another size?
d. I like this one here. Do you have it in blue?
e. I would like a Chanel number 5.
f. Ill take a CK perfume.

Read the following text and answer true or false.

Passengers flying on economy class usually look for duty free items that are not too expensive.
They like to compare brands and prices before purchasing. Most passengers end up buying some
duty free item for personal use, or to give as a gift to someone.
An eau de toilette usually costs anywhere from $30.00 to $50.00 (US), and small gifts anywhere
from $5.00 to $20.00 (US).
Cigarettes are the most sold items, followed by perfumes and drinks. Some duty free items sell very
quickly while others will not sell at all.
Considering that there are duty-free allowances in the destination, a passenger must be attentive to
the amount of items that he/she is allowed to take into the country.

a. A passenger should not worry about the amount of duty-free items he/she is purchasing. ______
b. Passengers only buy duty free items for personal use. ______
c. Economy class passengers like to compare brands and prices before purchasing an item. ______
d. Perfumes are the most sold items, followed by cigarettes and drinks. ______
e. Small gifts usually cost anywhere from $30.00 to $50.00 (US). ______
f. Economy class passengers like to purchase duty-free items that are not too expensive. ______

Practice the following conversations.

Conversation 1
PAX I would like one Benson and Hedges.
FA Would you like to light one or?
PAX No, Ill take the regular one, please.
How much is it?
FA Its $5.00 dollars, sir.
PAX Do you have change for a $20.00 dollar bill?
FA Yes, sir. I think I do.
Here is your change, sir. Anything else?
PAX No, thanks. That will do.
FA Thank you very much, sir.
Conversation 2
FA What would you like today, madam?
PAX I am looking for an eau de cologne.
FA Let me see. We have two brands.
PAX Can I see both brands, please?
FA You certainly can, madam.
PAX Uh! I like both of them, but I think Ill take this one, please.
FA That was a very good choice.
PAX Thank you.
FA Thank you, madam.

Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns
How much s this perfume? It is US$30.00.
How much is that cigarette lighter shes holding over there? Its
How much is it? Its
How much are these small gifts? They are US$ 5.00.
How much are those cigars? Theyre
How much are they? Theyre
Show proximity Show distance
Singular This That
Plural These Those

Fill in the blanks using how much / this / that / these / those and then practice the following dialogues:
1. _________________________ cigarette lighters?
_________________________ US$ 7.00 each.
2. _________________________ whisky, please?
_________________________ US$ 70.00.
3. _________________________ scarves?
Which ones, madam?
The ones the lady is holding over there.
4. _____________________________?
They are US$ 20.
5. ________________________ eau de toilette?
This one is US$ 40.
6. ____________________________________?
Its US$ 15.
7. How much is that after shave?
_______________________ US 30, but we have none left, sir.

Country Currency Symbol Subdivision Regime
Argentina peso (1991-) $ 100 centavos ARS 032 float
Australia dollar A$ 100 cents AUD 036 float
Austria (1999-) euro 100 cents EUR 978 float
Bolivia boliviano Bs 100 centavos BOB 068 float
Brazil real (1994-) R$ 100 centavos BRL 986 float
British Indian Ocean
legal currency is GBP, but mostly USD is used
British Virgin
see United States
Canada dollar Can$ 100 cents CAD 124 float
Central African
franc CFAF 100 centimes XAF 950 Euro (655.957)
Chile peso Ch$ 100 centavos CLP 152 indicators
China yuan renminbi Y 10 jiao = 100 fen CNY 156 m.float
Colombia peso Col$ 100 centavos COP 170 m.float
Cuba (external) Cuc$ 100 centavos CUC US-$ (0.93)
Cuba (internal) peso Cu$ 100 centavos CUP 192 CUC (24)
Ecuador (15-Sep-
country has adopted the US Dollar
2000 -)
100 piasters or 1,000
Egypt pound E EGP 818 m.float
European Union
euro 100 cents EUR 978
The euro is only used in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy,

Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal; it is not used in other E.U. countries.
British Pound
Falkland Islands pound F 100 pence FKP 238
France (1999-) euro &euro 100 cents EUR 978 float
Great Britain see United Kingdom
Greece (2001-) euro &euro 100 cents EUR 978 float
US-$ (7.73
Hong Kong dollar HK$ 100 cents HKD 344
central parity)
Ireland (1999-) euro &euro 100 cents EUR 978 float
Italy (-1998) lira (pl. lire) Lit no subdivision in use ITL 380 euro-1936.27
Italy (1999-) euro &euro 100 cents EUR 978 float
Korea, North won Wn 100 chon KPW 408
Korea, South won W 100 chon [*] KRW 410 float
Mexico peso Mex$ 100 centavos MXN 484 float
Monaco see France
Netherlands (1999-) euro 100 cents EUR 978 float
New Zealand dollar NZ$ 100 cents NZD 554 float
Peru new sol S/. 100 centimos PEN 604 float
z dashed
Poland zloty 100 groszy PLN 985 m.float
Portugal (-1998) escudo Esc 100 centavos PTE 620 euro-200.482
Portugal (1999-) euro 100 cents EUR 978 float
Russia (1998-) ruble R 100 kopecks RUB 810 float
Saudi Arabia riyal SRls 100 halalat SAR 682 US-$ (lim.flex.)
Spain (-1998) peseta Ptas 100 centimos ESP 724 euro-166.386
Spain (1999-) euro 100 cents EUR 978 float
krona (pl.
Sweden kr or Sk 100 ren SEK 752 m.float
Switzerland franc SwF 100 rappen/centimes CHF 756 float
United Kingdom pound 100 pence GBP 826 float
United States of
dollar $ 100 cents USD 840 float
Venezuela bolivar Bs 100 centimos VEB 862 float

[*] indicates that the subdivision is no longer in use

Unit 7


Movies announcement
Ladies and gentlemen,
We will shortly begin our feature film. Todays film is Lost in Shades of Blue, a comedy starring Paul
Rodney and Wilma Leroy.
Our crew will now distribute the headsets. The Portuguese sound track of todays film is on channel 7,
and the English sound track is on channel 2.
We also have music channels available. Please check all the details about our movie/music channels in
the in-flight magazine in the seat pocket in front of you.
Thank you
These are some types of movies available for viewing during in-flight entertainment:
Documentary in general
Todays aircrafts are equipped with a passenger armrest control unit. This unit allows the passenger to
control a variety of features, from calling a flight attendant to plugging his/her headset. The armrest
control unit is usually equipped with the following features:
1 Volume control low/high
2 Electrical headset socket
3 Audio channel selector button
4 Flight attendant call/cancel button
5 Channel indicator
6 Pneumatic headset socket
7 Light switch on/off button
Some aircraft have the service unit with the flight attendant call/cancel button and the light switch
on/off button right above the passengers seat. This type of service unit also has the air conditioning
outlet nozzle.
Pair up and practice the following dialogues.
1. FA Can I offer you something to read, madam?
PAX Yes, please. Do you have the Financial Times?
FA Yes, I do.
PAX Thank you.
2. FA Would you care for a magazine, sir?
PAX No, thanks.
3. FA Would you care for a newspaper, sir?
PAX Do you have the Globe and Mail?
FA Yes, I do, sir.
PAX Thank you.
4. FA Would you like something to read, madam?
PAX Do you have anything in Portuguese?
FA No, Im sorry. All our magazines and newspapers are in English.
PAX Thats OK. Thank you, anyway.
How, where and what questions with do and does
How do I switch the channel, please? You just have to press this button, sir.
Where does she turn the volume down? Use the third button from the left.
What button do I press to turn the light on? This one, madam.
Do you? (present simple questions)
Use do / does in present simple questions:
Positive Negative Question
I I do not I
You You or Do you
We do We dont we
They They they
He He does not he
She does She or Does she
It It doesnt it

Do / does +subject + infinitive

Do they like music?
Does she work at the airport?

Fill in the blanks using how, where, which, do and does, then practice the following dialogues:
1 _______________ I get the music channel?
Try channel 3, sir.
2 _______________ he turn the light off?
Just press the second button from the left.
3 ______________ button _________________ I press to call the flight attendant?
You press the first button from the left.
4 ____________________ I plug in my headset, please?
Oh! This is a pneumatic headset. So you have to plug it in the second socket from the right.
5 _____________________ she press to cancel the flight attendant call?
Just press the first top button from the left.
6 ________________________ I switch from channel 5 to channel 8?
You just need to press the fourth top button from the right.
7 ________________________ plug in this headset?
Oh! This is an electrical headset. So you have to plug it in the first socket from the right.

Unit 8

Technical matters

There are a great number of passengers who do not feel comfortable when it comes to flying.
Instead of relaxing and enjoying the flight, many passengers worry about noises they hear and parts of
the airplane they see moving from one position to another. Although the noise and moving parts are
perfectly normal, passengers do need to be reassured during the flight that everything is perfectly
As a flight attendant, it is important to always remember that passengers will feel much better if you
talk to them and explain that everything is under control.
Here are some of the usual questions asked by worried passengers. Write down possible responses to
the following sentences:
Why is the airplane making so much noise?
Why are the cabin lights off?
What was that loud bang?
Cruising portion
Why are the wings bending up and down?
Why are we climbing/descending again?
Why are we slowing down?
Why are some metal parts on the wings moving?
What was that loud noise?

Fill in the blanks using the words listed below. Practice the following dialogues.
12:30 pm Now
Arriving Rain
Believe Recommend
Do Supposed
Do Terminal
Downtown There is
Idea Weather
Lisbon Where
Matter of fact Would
1. Whats the ___________________ like in Toronto?
Its ______________________ to be overcast with _________________________.
2. _______________ you have any ___________________ what time well be ___________?
Our estimated time of arrival is ____________________________.
3. ________________________________ can I get a good hotel in ___________________?
I __________________________ the Hotel Grande Lisboa which is near ____________.
4. ___________________ you be able to tell me where the Air Nova check in counter is?
Yes, madam. I ___________ its located on the second floor of the main ________________.
5. ____________ you think ____________ still snow on the ground at this time of the year?
Oh yes! As a _____________, its snowing in Halifax right ___________________.

Time Zone Changes

Some flights will take you to countries where the time zone is different from where you departed. Thus,
it is necessary to be informed about these changes so youll be able to promptly inform passengers of
the time at their destination.
1. What is the local time in New York?
New York is 3 hours ahead, so its 9:45 am, madam.
2. What is the local time in Frankfurt?
Frankfurt is 2 hours ahead, so put your watch forward 2 hours. Its 12:30 pm, sir.
3. What is the local time in Ottawa?
They are 1 hour behind, so wind your watch backward. Its 5:30 pm there, madam.

Fill in the blanks using the information on the map.

1. Departing from Vancouver
Its 5:30 pm now. What is the local time in Rome?
Rome is ___________________, so its _____________________ in Rome.
2. Departing from Toronto
Its 7:30 am now. What is the local time in So Paulo?
So Paulo is ____________, so wind your watch forward _____________. Its ____________.
3. Departing from Sidney
Its 12:30 am now. Whats the local time in London.
They are ____________ so put your watch ____________________. Its _________________.
4. Departing from Rio de Janeiro

Its 5:30 am now. Whats the local time in Ottawa?
Ottawa is _________________, so wind your watch backward _______________. Its
________________, madam.
Practice more with a partner.

Nursing Mothers
Nursing mothers will usually need assistance from the flight attendants. A mother may ask for one of
the following items during the flight.
Bassinet Feeding bottle
Baby food Pacifier / soother
Baby powder Sterilizing cloth
Diaper pin Nipple
Disposable diapers

1. Would you please heat this _________________ up for me?

Yes, madam. Ill be right back.
2. There arent any _______________________ in the lavatory.
Ill see if I can find some for you, madam.
3. Would you please pour some milk in this _____________________?
Sure, thats no problem, madam. Would you like me to warm it up too?
Oh, yes. That would be perfect. Thank you so much.
4. We have a ______________________ in the lavatory, madam. You can use it to change your
babys diaper.
5. You wouldnt happen to have any spare ________________ for my babys bottle, would you?
Im sorry, madam, but we dont have one.
6. I left his ____________ pin and baby _____________________ in my bag under my seat.
Would you mind getting it for me?
No, not at all, madam.
Oh, I appreciate your help.
7. I cant find her ______________________. She wont stop crying until I give it to her.
May I help to look for it?
Sure, thanks.
8. Oh, I have only two _____________________ cloth left.
Thats OK. Ill see if I can find some extra ones for you.

Electronic Equipment on Board

Passengers should be informed that electronic devices may interfere with the aircrafts navigation
system and their use is prohibited during all phases of flight. With that in mind, flight attendants should
make sure that no one is using electronic devices such as:
Calculators Laptop computers
CD players Organizers
Cellular phones Walkman
Electronic games MP3

Pair up and practice the following conversation.

FA: Im very sorry, sir, but Im going to have to ask you to stop using your laptop computer. It
interferes with the aircrafts electronic systems.
PAX: Im sorry. I didnt know that.

Now, replace the boldfaced word with the words listed below and practice it again.
Calculator Laptop computer
CD player Organizer
Cellular phone Walkman
Electronic game

General Passengers Complaints about the lavatory

a. The waste container is full.
b. There isnt any toilet paper left in the lavatory. Do you have any more?
c. The toilet is really dirty. Can you do something about it, please?
d. The toilet is clogged.
e. The basin is clogged.
f. The taps are not working properly.
g. The flush handle is stuck.
h. Could you put some more facial tissue in the lavatory, please?

Comparative adjectives
Clean Cleaner Cleanest
Light Lighter Lightest
Small Smaller Smallest
Adjectives with ER and EST*
Big Friendly Pretty
Busy Heavy Quiet
Cheap High Safe
Clean Hot Short
Cold Large Slow
Cool Late Small
Dirty Light Tall
Dry Long Ugly
Early Mild Warm
Easy New Wet
Fast Old Young
*There are more comparative adjectives, which are not listed above

1 Its colder in Toronto than in Vancouver?
Oh, yes. Its much colder in Toronto.
2 Madam. I would just like to inform you that well be arriving earlier than we thought.
Oh, thats great. Thank you.
3 This must be one of the heaviest suitcases you have ever carried.
Its heavy, but thats ok.
4 This must be one of the largest airplanes I have ever seen.
Yes, this is a Jumbo 747,madam.

Fill in the blanks using the words in parenthesis.

1 Im worried about flying. Perhaps I should have gone by car.
Dont worry, sir. Airplanes are much _____________ than cars. (safe)
2 People say that Russia is one of the ________________ places in the world. (cold)
That could be true, madam.
3 Is this the _______________ cigarette lighter you have? (cheap)
Yes, madam.
4 Its ___________________ in here now than a few minutes ago. I think they have turned the air
conditioning down. (warm)
Comparative and superlative adjectives
More beautiful than The most beautiful
More modern than The most modern
Adjectives with more and most*
Beautiful Dangerous delicious Fascinating interesting
Boring difficult exciting Modern
Crowded expensive
*There are more superlative adjectives, which are not listed above.

1 Europe is one of the most boring places I have ever visited.
2 New Zealand is more beautiful than Australia.

Fill in the blanks using the words in parenthesis.

1 I think Japan is one of the __________________ places around the world. (fascinating)
2 This magazine is _____________________ than the one I was reading a few minutes ago.
3 This is the ____________________________________ trip I have ever taken. (expensive)

Irregular adjectives
Bad Worse Worst
Good Better Best

1 The weather is getting worse.
2 This was my worst vacation.

Write four sentences using worse, worst, better, and best.

1 __________________________________________________________________________
2 __________________________________________________________________________
3 __________________________________________________________________________
4 __________________________________________________________________________

Unit 9

Cabin Depressurization

A cabin depressurization is identified by:

 Rushing air
 Sudden drop in temperature
Immediate actions performed by the crew in case of depressurization:
 Captain positions the aircraft into a steep dive.
 Both the fasten seat belt and smoking signs are switched on.
 An announcement about the emergency is made.
 Cabin crew puts on the oxygen masks.

Listen and repeat the following announcement.

Cabin Depressurization Announcement
Ladies and gentleman,
Due to a loss of cabin pressure, we are making a rapid controlled descent for a few minutes to a safer
Please extinguish all cigarettes immediately. Please use your oxygen mask during the period. Please,
pull it down, place it over your nose and mouth, and breathe normally. Adjust the strap to secure the
mask. Parents should adjust their own masks first, then assist their children. Please keep breathing
through the masks until you are advised to remove them.
Thank you for your attention.

Forced Landing Procedures*

 Captain declares n emergency.
 Captain briefs the senior cabin crew member about the emergency.
 Senior cabin crew member assembles the flight attendants through the (PA) public address
 Senior cabin crew member briefs the flight attendants about the emergency and assigns duties to
each one of them.
*The procedures listed above are for training purposes only.

Forced Landing Announcement

Ladies and gentleman,
Please pay attention to this announcement.
We have to make an emergency landing in about 20 minutes.
Your safety and the safety of those who need your assistance will depend on you carrying out the
following instructions very carefully and calmly. Your crew has been especially trained for situations
of this nature.
Please fasten your seat belts, remain seated, extinguish all cigarettes, place your seat in the upright
position, and secure the table in front of you.
We advise you to read the card in the seat pocket in front of you for details of emergency landing
Please fasten your seat belts as tightly as possible.

When you hear the command brace for impact or the fasten seatbelt sign starts to flash, immediately
take the brace for impact position and remain in this position with the seatbelt fastened until the aircraft
comes to a complete stop.
Keep calm and wait for instructions before leaving your seat.
Fill in the blanks using the following words.
Bottom Hold
Chute Jackets
Cigarettes Leave
Escape chute Secure
Evacuate Strap
Exit Throw
Extinguish Upright
a. In case of ditching, I want you to _______________________ out the life _________________.
b. Sir, please stand near that ___________________ and help the passengers to ______________.
c. Please, do not _________________________ your seat belts.
d. Your duty will be to ___________________ passengers in clearing the area at the
_________________ of the ___________________________.
e. Your seat must be ___________________________ and the table folded.
f. I want you to _____________________ the _____________________ on the ground.
g. Please, ______________________ all ____________________________ immediately.
h. Adjust the ________________________ to ______________________ the mask.
During the emergency procedures, flight attendants will select passengers that are able to assist them
with the evacuation. These passengers are known as able-bodied-passengers (ABPs). The senior cabin
crewmember briefs these passengers about the emergency and assigns them duties. ABPs are to assist
the flight attendants:
 To operate emergency exits when ordered by the flight attendants;
 To stand near exits and help other passengers to evacuate;
 To hold the escape chute on the ground;
 To help passengers in clearing the area at the bottom of the chute;
 In case of ditching, to throw out life rafts, to help passengers get on the life raft.

Ditching Announcement
In case of ditching, the following announcement will be added:
Please remove your shoes, glasses, dentures, pens and all other sharp objects, which might injure you.
Put on your life jacket, but do not, repeat, do not inflate it until you have left the aircraft.

Words and phrases used during an emergency:

Brace for impact Move
Come Move away from the aircraft
Do not panic Single line
Evacuate now Slower
Faster Stop use the opposite exit
Go Swim towards the life raft
Go/jump That way
Heads down This way
Here Touchdown
Keep calm Use the next exit
Leave your luggage

Pair up and practice the following conversations:

1. When should I leave the aircraft?
Please, remain in the brace-for-impact position with seatbelt fastened until the aircraft comes to
a complete rest.
2. Should I inflate my life jacket now?
No, madam. Do not inflate your life jacket until you have left the aircraft.
3. Can I take my luggage with me?
No, sir. Leave your luggage in the aircraft.
4. What should I do about my glasses?
Please, madam, remove not only your glasses, but also your shoes and all sharp objects you may
have in your pockets.

Write in the names of the parts on the diagram.

_____ Light _____ Mouthpiece
_____ Cylinder _____ Whistle
_____ Straps _____ Whole for head
_____ Battery _____ Red inflation toggle

Expressing necessity: have to, have got to, should, must
1 You have to assign a passenger to stand by the exit door.
2 I have got to help the other passengers.
3 You should fasten your seat belt now.
4 You must remain seated, please.

Fill in the blanks using have to, have got to, should and must
1 Its an emergency. You ____________ keep your oxygen mask over your nose and mouth.
2 The seatbelt sign is on, sir. You ______________ fasten your seatbelt.
3 I ________________ sit down now. I dont like turbulence.
4 She __________________ remain calm.

Unit 10

The Human Body

Medical supplies usually contained in the first aid kit*:

 Antiseptic  Heart stimulants
 Anti-travel sickness tablets  Indigestion tablets
 Cotton wool  Nose drops
 Drugs  Pain killers
 Eye drops  Scalpel
 Gauze  Tranquilizers
*The above list is given for training purposes only.

How do you feel, madam?
I feel awful faint ill weak
cold feverish sick
dizzy hot strange

How are you feeling, sir?
I am feeling - a bit
a little
slightly ill. I have a toothache. I Hope it works.
+ terribly

Fill in the blanks using the words ache, pain and sore, plus the words in parenthesis.
1. I have a slight pain in my neck. (slight, neck)
2. Ive got a little headache. (a little, head)
3. Ive got a ______________ ______________ in my __________________. (chest, sharp)
4. I have a ___________________. (tooth)
5. Ive got a _______________ __________________. (throat)
6. I have a ________________ ________________ in my left __________________. (arm, bit of)
7. I think its something that I ate. Ive got a ______________________. (stomach)
8. Oh! I have a ____________________. (back)

Complete the sentences using the words below.*

Chest pain Indigestion
Desire to vomit Too cold
Faint Too hot
Fever Toothache
1. You would give an aspirin to a person who has a ___________________________.
2. You would try to find a doctor on board if a passenger had a __________________ or a
3. You would give a passenger a sickness bag if he/she had the ______________________.
4. You would increase the flow from the air conditioning outlet nozzle if a passenger felt
5. You would offer a blanket to a passenger who felt ________________________.
6. You would offer an antacid tablet to a passenger feeling ___________________.
7. You would give oxygen to a passenger who was feeling ____________________.
8. You would offer some painkiller to a passenger who had ____________________.
*The exercise above is for training purposes only.

If there is a serious illness on board of the aircraft the following announcement will be made through
the public address system:
Request for a Doctor Announcement
Ladies and gentlemen,
We would like to have your attention, please.
If there is a doctor on board, could you please contact a member of the flight crew?
This is a request for a doctor.
Thank you.

To, two, too
1 I would like to take something for my headache.
2 There are two passengers on board who are complaining of a stomachache.

3 I feel too hot. I need some air.

Fill in the blanks using to, two, or too.

1 If you dont mind, I would like one aspirin _____________.
2 I would like ____________ have a glass of water, please.
3 Try _________ keep calm. Well be arriving in __________ hours.
4 I feel pain in my legs _____________.
5 Oh! I have such a toothache. Maybe I should take ____________ painkillers instead of one.
6 Would you like me ________ bring you a blanket?
Yes, please.
Ill be back in __________ minutes.
7 Oh! I think I had ___________ much ice cream.

1. Delayed Take-off Apology
Good morning ladies and gentlemen. We would like to apologize for the delay in taking-off today.
We would also like to inform you that the delay was caused by technical problems at the Rome
We are now ready for take-off.
We thank you for your patience.

Now, practice making the announcement above using the following words:
Heavy air traffic / Detroit
Late arrival / Buenos Aires
Operational problems / Paris
Stormy weather / Miami
Technical difficulties / Montreal
Ground handling problems / Rio de Janeiro

2. Aborted Departure
Ladies and gentlemen,
We regret to inform you that due to operational problems at the Seattle airport, we are unable to
take-off as scheduled.
We are now returning to the apron.
We expect our flight to be delayed for 45 minutes. Further announcements will be made shortly.
We do apologize for this occurrence, which, unfortunately, is beyond our control.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Now, practice making the announcement above using the following words:
Technical problems / Frankfurt / 35 minutes / when we reach the apron
Stormy weather / So Paulo / 2 hours / at the airport lounge

Rewrite the sentences using the words in parenthesis.

1 (our flight, we expect , to be , further notice , delayed until)
2 (announcements will, further, lounge, be made, in the airport)
3 (inform you that due, regret to, too heavy air traffic, we, airport, we are unable, at Munich, as
scheduled, to take-off)
4 (cancelled, to be, we expect, our flight)

3 Turbulence
Ladies and gentlemen,
Our captain advises that we are approaching an area of expected turbulence.
For your comfort, please remain seated with your seat belt fastened until the fasten seat belt sign is
switched off.
Thanks for your attention.

4 Diversion
Ladies and gentlemen,
We regret to inform you that due to (technical problems / medical condition / stormy weather /
freezing rain) at the Montreal airport, we are (landing in / returning to / diverting to) (Toronto /
Ottawa). We expect to land in (50 minutes / 25 minutes / 10 minutes). A further announcement will
be made (shortly / after landing).

Now, practice making the announcement above using the words contained in parenthesis.

5 Passenger Identification
Ladies and gentlemen,
This is a passenger identification announcement.
Would Mr. Celso Freitas please identify himself to a member of the flight crew?
Thank you.

Now, practice making the above passenger identification announcement using the following names:
Mr. and Mrs. Keiko / themselves
Mrs. Janet Houston / herself
Mr. Roberto Frana / himself
Miss Sheila Davis / herself

6 Landing Card
Ladies and gentlemen,
We shall shortly begin distributing landing cards for passengers who do not hold a Brazilian
If you do not hold a Brazilian passport, you are required to complete the form. Please use a
ballpoint pen and write in capital letters.
Please keep the completed landing card with your passport for presentation to immigration officers
after landing.
Thank you for your attention.

7 Delayed Landing
Ladies and gentlemen,
We regret to inform you that our landing will be delayed by approximately 45 minutes due to fog at
the So Paulo airport.

8 Descent
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are now initiating our descent to Charles-de Gaulle airport.
Please fasten your seat belts, put your seat in the fully upright position, and fold your tray table
upright into the seat in front of you.
Thank you.

9 Final Approach
Ladies and gentlemen,
The captain has now switched on the no-smoking sign.
Would you please extinguish all cigarettes and check that your seat belts are securely fastened for
Thank you.

10 After Landing
Ladies and gentlemen,
You are kindly requested to remain seated with your seat belts fastened until the aircraft has come
to a full stop.
The weather in Boston is cloudy, and the temperature is 22C. local time is 9:25 am.
Please ensure that you take all your belongings with you when leaving the aircraft.
Passengers taking connecting flights from Boston are asked to report to the transit desk as soon as
We hope you have enjoyed your flight with us today.
Thank you for flying TAM Airlines.

11 Transit
Ladies and gentlemen,
Passengers staying with us for the flight to So Paulo are kindly requested to:
 Disembark, taking all their hand baggage with them for passport and customs control.
 Disembark. All hand baggage may be left on board.
 Remain on board. Please note that smoking is not allowed while the no-smoking sign is on.
We shall continue our flight to So Paulo in one hour.
Thank you.

FA = flight attendant PAX = passenger
*Madam, a polite or formal title used in speaking to a woman (used alone, not with a name). Maam (informal of
1 FA Good morning / afternoon / evening. Welcome aboard, maam / sir!
PAX Good morning / afternoon / evening.
2 FA Im sorry, sir, but this is someone elses seat.
PAX Oh! Im sorry.
3 FA Would you mind changing seats with that lady, sir?
PAX No, I wouldnt.
FA Thank you very much, sir.
PAX Youre welcome.
4 FA Are you having trouble finding your seat, maam?
PAX Yes, I am.
FA Let me help you.
PAX Oh! Thank you so much.
5 FA May I help you to find your seat, sir?
PAX Yes, please.
FA May I see your boarding pass?
PAX Sure.
FA Let me see, 32 B. your seat is right here, sir.
PAX Thank you.
6 PAX Where can I put my bag, please?
FA You can put it under your seat, maam.
7 FA Please, sir, remember to read the safety leaflet.
8 FA Could you please avoid obstructing the aisle, sir?
PAX Oh! Im sorry.
9 FA May I rearrange your backpack in the overhead compartment?
PAX Sure, go ahead.
10 FA Maam, could you please keep your seat in the fully upright position?
PAX Oh! Sure.
11 FA Im sorry, sir, but smoking is not allowed in this aircraft. Please put that cigarette
out immediately.
Please extinguish your cigarette.
12 PAX I asked for a non-smoking seat, but there were none left. Im sorry but I cant
hardly breathe with smoke everywhere.
FA Im sorry about this, maam. Ill see if I can find a spare non-smoking seat for
13 FA May I stow your coat in the wardrobe compartment, maam?
PAX Yes, please.
14 FA You have a special seat allocated to make feeding easier, maam.
PAX Oh! Thank you, very much.
15 FA Can I see your boarding pass, sir?
PAX Yes, This is my boarding pass.
16 FA Is there anything I can do to help you, maam?
PAX No, thanks. Im OK.

17 FA Excuse me, sir, but I think you should be in the economy class.
18 FA Im sorry, maam, but this seat is reserved for a member of the cabin crew.
19 PAX Im not sure what to do with my coat.
FA I can hang it for you in the wardrobe compartment.
PAX Oh! Thank you so much.
20 PAX Should I fasten my seat belt now?
FA Yes, sir, please.
21 FA Please fasten your seat belt, maam.
22 FA Please keep your seat in the fully upright position, sir.
23 PAX May I recline your seat now?
FA No, maam.
24 FA Tables must be folded away for take-off, sir?
May I ask you to fold away your table, sir?
25 PAX I need to use the lavatory.
FA Im sorry, maam, but we are about to take-off. Please find your seat.
26 PAX I would like to get my purse from the overhead compartment.
FA Im sorry, maam, but we are about to take-off. Ill get it for you later.
27 FA Please, sir, find your seat, we are about to take-off.
28 FA Im sorry, sir, but you must remain seated during take-off.
29 FA Would you like some breakfast/lunch/dinner, sir?
Here we are maam. Enjoy your meal.
Excuse me. Would you care for a snack?
Breakfast, maam?
30 FA Would you care for a drink, maam?
What would you like to drink, maam?
Can I get you anything to drink, sir?
31 FA Im sorry, sir, but could you please pass this tray to the lady by the window?
Im sorry, sir, but could you please pass this tray to the lady next to you?
Would you like something else instead?
32 FA How was your meal, sir?
PAX It was good, thanks.
33 PAX Can I have some more bread, please?
FA Sure, Ill be right back, sir.
PAX My coffee is cold!
FA Im terribly sorry, sir. Ill bring you another one immediately.
34 FA Tea or coffee, maam?
PAX Ill have tea, please.
35 FA Is there something wrong with your meal, sir?
PAX Yes. This food is cold.
36 FA Have you finished your meal, maam?
PAX Yes, I have.
37 FA Which one do you prefer, sir?
PAX That one, please.
38 PAX Can I have some more orange juice?
FA Yes, you can.
39 PAX Do you have a vegetarian dish?
FA Yes, we do.
40 PAX Do you have a vegetarian dish?
FA Did you order one when you made your reservation, maam?
PAX Yes, I ordered one.
FA Let me check it for you, maam. Ill be right back.
41 PAX Could you please bring me a soft drink/a glass of water/a glass of wine/some
orange juice/a whisky/a beer?
42 PAX What time will breakfast be served?
What time will lunch be served?
What time will dinner be served?
43 PAX How do I switch on my reading light?
FA Just press this button, sir.
44 PAX How do I get the film sound track?
FA Press this button to select channel 5.
45 PAX How do I make the music louder?
FA This button is for turning up the volume.
46 PAX Its very hot and stuffy in here.
FA If you adjust the nozzle, you can control the amount and direction of air
47 FA Can I offer you something to read, sir
PAX What newspapers do you have?
FA We have O Estado de So Paulo and The Financial Times.
PAX Ill have The Financial Times, please.
48 PAX Do you have anything to read?
FA Yes, maam. We have newspapers and magazines.
49 PAX Can I have a headset, please?
FA Yes, Ill be right back.
50 FA Would you like a magazine, sir?
PAX Do you have one in Spanish?
FA No, Im sorry. They are all in English.
51 PAX Are there music channels available?
FA Yes. Please check the details in the in-flight magazine, maam.
52 PAX Whats the local time in Paris?
FA One hour behind, so its 9:15 maam.
53 PAX Can I visit the flight deck?
FA Ill have to check with the captain.
The captain will probably say no as we are flying through a very busy area, but
Ill ask him.
Im sorry, sir, but the airline policy prohibits us from allowing passengers into
the flight deck.
54 FA Im very sorry, sir, but Im going to have to ask you to stop using your lap-top
computer. It interferes with the aircrafts electronic systems.
PAX Oh! Im sorry.
55 PAX The waste container is full.
There isnt any toilet paper left in the lavatory. Do you have anymore?
The toilet is really dirty. Can you do something about it, please?
The toilet is clogged.
The basin is clogged.
The taps are not working properly.
The flush handle is stuck.
Could you put some more facial tissue in the lavatory, please?
FA Ill take care of it.
56 PAX Why are the cabin lights off?
FA They must be turned off during take-off and landing. Its a safety measure.
57 PAX What was that loud bang?
FA Oh! Dont worry, sir. Its just the landing gear being retracted.
58 PAX Why are we slowing down?
FA We are preparing to descend, sir.
59 PAX Why are some metal parts of the wings moving?
FA Oh! Its OK, sir. They were designed that way.
60 PAX How many stops will the plane make?
FA Two stops, maam.
This is a non-stop flight, maam.
61 PAX What time will we be landing?
FA We will be landing at 2 oclock.
62 PAX How long is this flight?
FA Its a 5 hour flight, sir.
63 PAX Is this plane on time?
FA Yes, it is, sir.
No, sir. We have a slight delay.
64 PAX How is the weather in Seattle?
FA Its sunny and warm, maam.
65 PAX Is this the smoking area?
FA No, sir. This is a nonsmoking area.
66 PAX I have a terrible headache.
FA Would you like me to get you an aspirin, maam?
PAX Yes, please.
67 PAX Im feeling a bit ill.
FA What exactly are you feeling, sir?
68 PAX Ive got a sore throat.
FA Is there anything I can get you, maam?
69 PAX I feel like vomiting.
FA Do you think you can make it to the lavatory, sir?
70 PAX I feel hot.
FA Would you like some more air, maam?
71 PAX Im not feeling well. I think its something I ate.
FA Would you like some indigestion tablets, sir?
PAX Yes, please. Thank you.
72 PAX Oh! I feel cold.
FA Would you like a blanket, maam?
PAX Yes, please.
73 FA Are you feeling all right, sir?
PAX No, Im not feeling well.
74 FA Can I help you in any way, maam?
PAX Yes, please.
75 FA Can I be of any assistance, sir?
PAX Yes, please.



Africa African an African
America American an American
Argentina Argentinian an Argentinian
Austria Austrian an Austrian
Autralia Australian an Australian
Bangladesh Bangladesh(i) a Bangladeshi
Belgium Belgian a Belgian
Brazil Brazilian a Brazilian
Britain British a Briton/Britisher
Cambodia Cambodian a Cambodian
Chile Chilean a Chilean
China Chinese a Chinese
Colombia Colombian a Colombian
Croatia Croatian a Croat
the Czech Republic Czech a Czech
Denmark Danish a Dane
England English an
Finland Finnish a Finn
France French a Frenchman/Frenchwoman
Germany German a German
Greece Greek a Greek
Holland Dutch a Dutchman/Dutchwoman
Hungary Hungarian a Hungarian
Iceland Icelandic an Icelander
India Indian an Indian
Indonesia Indonesian an Indonesian
Iran Iranian an Iranian
Iraq Iraqi an Iraqi
Ireland Irish an Irishman/Irishwoman
Israel Israeli an Israeli
Jamaica Jamaican a Jamaican

Japan Japanese a Japanese
Mexico Mexican a Mexican
Morocco Moroccan a Moroccan
Norway Norwegian a Norwegian
Peru Peruvian a Peruvian
the Philippines Philippine a Filipino
Poland Polish a Pole
Portugal Portuguese a Portuguese
Rumania Rumanian a Rumanian
Russia Russian a Russian
Saudi Arabia Saudi, Saudi a Saudi, a Saudi Arabian
Scotland Scottish a Scot
Serbia Serbian a Serb
the Slovak Republic Slovak a Slovak
Sweden Swedish a Swede
Switzerland Swiss a Swiss
Thailand Thai a Thai
The USA American an American
Tunisia Tunisian a Tunisian
Turkey Turkish a Turk
Vietnam Vietnamese a Vietnamese
Wales Welsh a Welshman/Welshwoman
Yugoslavia Yugoslav a Yugoslav


1 Nose
2 Windshield (or windscreen)
3 Door
4 Fuselage
5 Wing
6 Wing tip
7 Slats
8 Landing gear (or undercarriage)
9 Vertical stabilizer (fin)
10 Rudder
11 Elevator
12 Horizontal stabilizer
13 Engine nacelle
14 Aileron
15 Flaps

UNIT 1 e. H
Choose the correct answer based on the text
above: Match the words and the pictures.
1. B
2. C
3. D

Answer true or false

1. B megaphone
2. A
3. B
4. B
life raft
Fill in the blanks and practice the following
1. what is his / is / he is
2. where is / she is
3. where are / I am
4. what are / their names are
5. where is
fire axe
Fill in the blanks:
a. Purser
b. 1st officer / co-pilot
c. Flight engineer
d. Captain/pilot
e. Co-pilot first aid kit
f. Flight attendant
g. Flight director/purser

Answer true or false:

1 B
2 A
3 A
HO fire extinguisher
Fill in the blanks and practice the following
1 Is / he isnt
2 Are they / they are
3 Is / it isnt

Referring to the text above, link the words.
a. C escape slide
b. D
c. B Fill in the blanks and then practice the
d. E following dialogues:

1 b you may 1. a
2 a could/can you 2. a / an
3 a can I 3. a
4 a would you 4. a
b I dont 5. an
5 a Im sorry 6. an

Fill in the blanks and practice the following Answer the questions using one of the
conversations using there is, there are, is there, following examples, and then practice them
are there, some and any. with a friend.
1 Is there / there is 1 1/2/3
2 Are there any / there arent any 2 4
3 Is there / there is 3 5
4 Is there / there isnt any 4 6
5 are there any / there are some 5 1/2/3
6 1/2/3
Fill in the blanks using there is, there are, is
there, are there. Read the following text and answer true or
1 Are there false.
2 There are a. F
3 There is b. F
4 Is there c. T
d. F
UNIT 5 e. F
Match each question to its answer. f. T
a. F
b. A or C Fill in the blanks using how much / this / that /
c. B these / those and then practice the following
d. E dialogues:
e. C or A 1. how much are these / they are
f. D 2. how much is this / its
3. how much are those
Fill in the blanks and practice the following 4. how much are these
dialogues by using the responses above: 5. how much is this
1 1 6. how much is this
2 3 7. its
3 4
4 2 UNIT 7
Fill in the blanks using how, where, which, do
Match the two columns. and does, then practice the following dialogues:
1 4 1 how do
2 1 2 where does
3 3 3 which / do
4 2 4 where do
5 6 5 where does
6 5 6 how do
7 where do
Fill in the blanks using A or AN.
UNIT 8 h. Strap/secure
Fill in the blanks using the words listed below.
Practice the following dialogues. Write in the names of the parts on the diagram.
1 Weather/supposed/rain 1 Battery
2 Do/idea/arriving/2:30 pm 2 Cilinder
3 Where/Lisbon/recommend/downtown 3 Hole for head
4 Would/believe/terminal 4 Light
5 Do/there is/matter of fact/now 5 Mouthpiece
6 Red inflation toggle
Fill in the blanks using the information on the 7 Straps
map. 8 Whistle
1 9 hours ahead/2:30 am
2 2 hours ahead/2 hours/10:30 am Fill in the blanks using have to, have got to,
3 10 hours behind/backward 10 should and must
hours/12:30 am 1 Must
4 2 hours behind/2 hours/3:30 am 2 Should
3 Have got to
Fill in the blanks using the words above. 4 Has to or should
1 Baby food
2 Disposable diapers UNIT 10
3 Feeding bottle Fill in the blanks using the words ache, pain
4 Bassinet and sore, plus the words in parenthesis.
5 Nipple 1 Example given
6 Diaper/powder 2 Example given
7 Pacifier 3 Sharp/pain/chest
8 Sterilizing 4 Toothache
5 Sore throat
Fill in the blanks using the words in 6 Bit of/pain/arm
parenthesis. 7 Stomachache
1 Safer 8 Backache
2 Coldest
3 Cheaper Complete the sentences using the words below.
4 Warmer 1 Headache
2 Chest pain/fever
Fill in the blanks using the words in 3 Desire to vomit
parenthesis. 4 Too hot
1 Most fascinating 5 Too cold
2 More interesting 6 Indigestion
3 Most expensive 7 Faint
8 Toothache
Fill in the blanks using the following words. Fill in the blanks using to, two, or too.
a. Throw/jackets 1 Too
b. Exit/evacuate 2 To
c. Leave 3 To
d. Help/bottom/chute 4 Too
e. Upright 5 Two
f. Hold/escape chute 6 To / two
g. Extinguish/cigarettes 7 Too
GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS 2 Further announcements will be made in
Rewrite the sentences using the words in the airport lounge.
parenthesis. 3 We regret to inform you that due to
1 We expect our flight to be delayed until heavy air traffic at the Munich airport,
further notice. we are unable to take-off as scheduled.
4 We expect our flight to be cancelled.


Most of this material was retrieved from Welcome Aboard!

Phrasal Verbs
Many verbs in English are followed by an adverb or a preposition (also called a particle), and these
two-part verbs, also called phrasal verbs, are different from verbs with helpers. The particle that
follows the verb changes the meaning of the phrasal verb in idiomatic ways:
drop off decline gradually The hill dropped off near the river.
While doing his homework, he dropped
drop off(2) fall asleep
stop and give something to Would you drop this off at the post
drop off(3)
someone office?
drop out cease to participate After two laps, the runner dropped out.
Some particles can be separated from the verb so that a noun and pronoun can be inserted, and some
particles can't be separated from the verb. In addition, some phrases are intransitive, meaning they
cannot take a direct object.
add up (meaning: to
Separable Correct: She added up the total on her calculator.
Correct: She added it up on her calculator.
get around
Inseparable Correct: She always gets around the rules.
(meaning: to evade)
Incorrect: She always gets the rules around (This construction makes
no sense in English.)
catch on (meaning:
Intransitive Correct: After I explained the math problem, she began to catch on.
to understand)
Incorrect: She began to catch on the math problem. (catch on cannot
take a direct object in this meaning.)
Correct: She began to catch on to the math problem. (the word to
makes the math problem an indirect object, which is acceptable in
this meaning.)
Unfortunately, there is usually no indicator whether an idiomatic phrase is separable, inseparable, or
intransitive. In most cases the phrases must simply be memorized. Below is a partial list of each kind of
add up add
back up - cause to move backwards; support; blow up; cause to explode; destroy by explosives
break down - analyze; list the parts of separately
break into - go into a house or room forcibly; suddenly; begin; bring about - cause to happen
bring off accomplish
bring on cause
bring out - publish; emphasize
bring over bring
bring to revive
bring up - raise; care for from childhood
brush out - brush the inside of
burn down - destroy by burning

burn up - consume by fire
buy out - by the other person's share of a business
buy up - buy the whole supply of
call off - cancel; order away
call up - telephone; summon for military service
calm down - become calm
carry on continue
carry out - fulfill; complete; accomplish; perform
carry over - carry; continue at another time or place
cheer up - cause to become cheerful
chew up - chew thoroughly
chop up - chop into small pieces
clean off - clean the surface of
clean out - clean the inside of
clean up - clarify; tidy
clear out - clear the surface of
clear up - clear the inside of
close down - close permanently
close up - close temporarily
count in include
count out exclude
count up - calculate; count; add to a total
cross out eliminate
cut off - interrupt; sever; amputate
cut out - eliminate; delete
cut down - reduce in quantity
draw up - write; compose (a document)
dress up - put clothes on; adorn
dust out - dust the inside of
eat up - eat completely
figure out - interpret; understand
figure up compute
fill in - complete (a printed form)
fill out - complete (a printed form)
fill up - fill completely (a container)
find out discover
fix up - repair; arrange in a suitable manner
get across - cause to be understood
give back return
give out - distribute; announce
give up - surrender something
hand down - deliver; pronounce formally; leave as an inheritance
hand over - yield control of
hang up suspend
have on - be dressed in
have over - entertain someone informally at one's home
hold off - delay; restrain
hold up - delay; rob; threaten with a weapon
keep up - continue; keep the same pace
leave out omit
let down disappoint
let out - release from confinement; make larger (in sewing)
light up - light; illuminate thoroughly
live down - live in such a way as to cause something to be forgotten
make over remake
move over - move to the side
pass out distribute
pass up - not take advantage of (as an opportunity)
pass on transmit
pay back repay
pay off - discharge a debt completely; give someone his final pay
pick up - come to meet an escort; lift with hands or fingers; learn casually;
initiate an association publicly
play down minimize
play up emphasize
point out indicate
pull down - pull in a downward direction; raze
push across - cause to be understood or accepted
put off postpone
put on - dress in; deceive or fool
put up - preserve (food); receive as an overnight guest
quiet down - be quiet
ring up - the telephone
rinse off - rinse the surface of
rinse out - rinse the inside of
rule out eliminate
run down - trace; disparage; hit with a vehicle
run off - cause to depart; reproduce mechanically
save up accumulate
see through - complete; in spite of difficulties
see off - accompany someone to the beginning of a trip
send back - send to a place where formerly located
send over - send to where someone is
set up arrange
show off - exhibit ostentatiously
shut off - cause to cease functioning
slow up - cause to move more slowly
spell out - enumerate; state in detail
stand up - fail to keep an appointment with
sweep out - sweep the inside of
take back - return; retract a statement
take down - remove from a high position; write from dictation
take in - understood; fool; deceive; make smaller (in sewing)
take over - take; assume command of
tear down destroy
tear up - tear into small pieces
tell off - scold; reprimand
think over consider
think through - consider from beginning to end
think up - create; invent
throw away discard
throw over reject
tie up - tie securely or tight
tire out - cause to be exhausted
touch up repair
try on - put on a garment to verify the fit
try out test
turn down - refuse; lower the volume
turn out - produce; force into exile, extinguish (a light)
wash off - wash the surface of
wash out - wash the inside of
wear out - use until no longer usable; tire greatly
wind up - finish, tighten the spring of a watch or machine
wipe off - wipe the surface of
wipe out - wipe the inside of; decimate
work out solve
write down record
write out - write down every detail; spell out
write up - compose; prepare (a document)
back out of - desert; fail to keep a promise
bear down on - lean on; browbeat
bear on - have to do with
bear up under endure
break in on interrupt
break into interrupt
call for - come to get; require
care for - like; guard; supervise; maintain
carry on with continue
catch up with - cover the distance between oneself and
check up on - examine; verify
come across - find accidentally
come along with - accompany; make progress
come by - find accidentally
come down with - become ill with
come out with - utter; produce
come up with - utter; produce
count on - rely on
cut in on interrupt
disagree with - cause illness or discomfort to
do away with abolish
do without - deprive oneself of
drop in at/on - visit casually without planning
drop out of - leave; quit
face up to acknowledge
fall behind in - lag; not progress at required pace
fall back on - use for emergency purpose
fall out with - quarrel with
fill in for - substitute for
get ahead of - surpass; beat
get around - evade; avoid
get away with - do without being caught or punished
get by with - manage with a minimum of effort
get down to - become serious about; consider
get in - enter (a vehicle)
get off - descend from; leave
get on - enter (a vehicle); mount
get on with - proceed with
get through with - terminate, finish
go back on - desert; fail to keep (a promise)
go for - like a great deal
go in for - be interested in; participate in
go on with continue
go over review
go with - harmonize with; look pleasing together
go without - abstain from
hang around - remain idly in the vicinity of
hear from - receive a communication from
hear of - learn about (sometimes accidentally)
hit on - discover accidentally
hold on to - grasp tightly
hold out against resist
keep at - persevere at
keep to - persist in; continue
keep up with - maintain the pace of
lie down on - evade; fail to do
live on - support or sustain oneself by means of
live up to - maintain the standard demanded of
look after - take care of
look back on - remember nostalgically
look down on - feel superior to
look forward to anticipate
look up to - respect; admire
make up for - compensate for
pass on transmit
pick on - tease; bully
play up to - flatter for personal advantage
put up with tolerate
read up on - search out information on
run against - compete against in an election
run away with - leave; escape from
run for - campaign for
see about - consider; arrange
see to - arrange; supervise
settle on - decide on; choose
stand for - represent; permit
stand up for - support; demand
stand up to resist
stick to persist
stick up for - support; defend
take after resemble
talk back to - answer impolitely
talk over discuss
tell on - report misbehavior to authority
touch on - mention briefly
turn into become
wait on serve
wait up for - not go to bed while waiting for
watch out for - be careful for
back down - retreat from a position in an argument
back out - desert; fail to keep a promise
back up - move backwards
bear up endure
blow in - drop in to visit unexpectedly
blow over - pass without doing harm
blow up - explode; lose one's temper
call up telephone
calm down - become calm
carry on - continue as before; misbehave
catch on understand
catch up - cover the distance between oneself and a moving goal
check up investigate
check out - leave; pay one's bill
cheer up - become cheerful
clear out leave
clear up - become clear
close down - close permanently
close up - close temporarily
came about happen
come along - accompany; make progress
come back return
come by - visit someone in his home
come out - appear; make a social debut
come over - come to someone's house, to where someone is
come through succeed
come to - regain consciousness
cut in interrupt
die away - fade; diminish
die down - fade; diminish
die off/out - disappear; become extinct
dress up - don fancy or unusual clothes
drive back - return by car
drop in - visit someone casually without planning
drop out - abandon some organized activity; leave; quit
drop over - visit someone casually
fall behind - not progress at required pace
fall off - decrease; lose weight
fall through - fail; not be accomplished
fill in substitute
find out learn
fly back - return by air
fly over - fly to where someone is
get ahead - make progress
get along - have a friendly relationship
get around - circulate; move about
get away escape
get by - manage; either just barely or with a minimum of effort
get in enter
get off - descend from leave
get on - enter (a vehicle); mount (a horse, etc.)
get on/along - progress; be compatible
get up rise
get through finish
give out - become exhausted
give up - surrender; fail to finish
go back return
go off explode
go on - happen; continue
go out - stop burning; leave one's residence
go over - go; succeed
grow up mature
hang around - remain idly; dawdle
hang up - replace a telephone receive on its hook
hold on - grasp tightly; persevere; wait while telephoning
hold out - continue to resist; persevere; persist
keep on continue
keep up - maintain the required pace or standard; continue
let up - diminish in intensity
lie down recline
look on - be a spectator
make out - progress; succeed
make up - become reconciled
move over - move to the side
pan out - turn out well; be successful
pass out - become unconscious
pass on die
pick up - grow; increase
pull in arrive
pull out deport
pull through - survive (barely)
ride over - ride to where someone is
run away - escape; leave; leave quickly without permission
run down - slowly lose power so as to stop functioning
run off - depart running; drain
sell out - sell the ownership or responsibility
settle up - pay one's bills or debts
show off - boast by words or actions
show up - arrive; appear unexpectedly
shut up - stop talking
slow up - reduce speed
stand by - wait; be prepared to assist
stand up - stand; rise from sitting; last; endure
stay over - remain at someone's house overnight or longer
step aside - move to one side
take off - leave the ground
take over - assume command
talk back - answer impolitely
throw up vomit
turn around - turn so that one is facing another direction
turn in - go to bed
turn out - succeed; come; appear, as at a public meeting
turn up - arrive; be found unexpectedly
wait up - remain awake in anticipation
wake up awaken
walk back - return on foot to where one was
walk over - walk to where someone is
wash out - fade or disappear from washing
watch out - be careful
wear off - fade; disappear through use or time
wear out - become unusable through use; become used up
work out - be successful

1. Durante o embarque
Dear passengers, welcome aboard. This is Gol flight number _____ to _______ and stop(s) in ____
(and ____).
Please, observe your seat number in your boarding pass.
For your comfort and safety, please stow your hand luggage in the compartment above your seat. If you
have any doubt, we from Gol will do our best to help you. Thank you.
2. Uso dos celulares
Ladies and Gentlemen,
According to ANAC Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency the use of cell phones is allowed while the
aircraft is on the ground with the doors opened and engines turned off. Thank you.
3. Aps trmino do embarque
Dear passengers, its great to see you on board. Some aviation rules must be observed:
 Its forbidden to use any electromagnetic device, smoke, use cell phone.
 Please, read the safety instructions card.
 Passengers seated at the emergency exit rows who dont want to be there, get in contact
with our team. Thank you.
4. Dedetizao da aeronave
Ladies and Gentlemen,
By determination of ______ (country) Authorities, this aircraft must be disinfected before take-off.
The spray does not contain DDT and the slight discomfort you may feel, will disappear quickly.
Thank you for your comprehension
5. Antes da decolagem
Good morning/afternoon/evening Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of Gol, Captain ________, Copilot _______, F/A _____, _____, _____, and myself Cabin
Chief ______, welcome aboard our Boeing 737-300/700/800, the most modern fleet in Brazil.
This is Gol flight number _____, to _______and stop(s) in ______, (and ______).
Please read the safety instructions card located in the seat pocket in front of you.
Fasten your seat belts, place your seatback in the upright position and be sure that your tray tables are
closed and locked.
Use your seat cushion (life vest) for flotation if necessary.
Decolagem noturna: We are dimming the cabin lights for take-off.
Thanks for flying Gol and have a pleasant flight.
Uso do colete salva-vidas
We will now demonstrate the use of your life vest:
 The vest is located under your seat (in the compartments over you);
 Slip life vest over your head;
 Clip the side tapes to the front hooks and pull them tight;
 Pull down the red tags firmly, to inflate it;
 If vest does not inflate, blow it into the side tube;
 NEVER inflate it inside the airplane.
6. Aps a decolagem
Dear passengers, our flight time to ______ will be ______.
Please, keep your set belts fastened while seated.
In accordance with safety regulations, its forbidden to smoke on board. Cell phones must be turned off
during the entire flight.
There are three lavatories in this aircraft; one in the forward and two in the aft area, one of them is for
women use only. Thank you.
7. Distribuio de formulrios (quando aplicvel)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are now about to distribute the necessary immigration (and customs) forms for your entry into
___________ (country).
Please, fill them out clearly in block letters. After filling out the forms, please put them together with
your travel documents.
We remind you that this is Gol flight number ______. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to
contact our cabin staff.
Thank you.
8. Recolhimento de jornais
Dear passengers, we wish to keep the cabin nice and tidy for you (and for the others who will board in
______). So at this moment, we will be picking up the newspapers, plastic bags, papers, etc.
It will help us to reduce our ground time. Thank you.
9. Proibio de desembarque com frutas
Ladies and Gentlemen, we inform you that by determination of the _______ (country) Departments of
Agriculture and Health, its forbidden to disembark with any kind of fruits in _____ (city). Local
authorities will submit people carrying these items to civil penalties.
Thank you.
10. Antes do pouso
Dear passengers,
In a few minutes we will be landing at _____ Airport in _______. Keep your seat belts fastened, raise
the back of your seat to the upright position and be sure that your tray tables are closed and locked.
From now on please, turn off all the electronic devices. Thank you.
Pouso noturno: We are dimming the cabin lights for landing. Thank you.
11. Aps o pouso
Dear passengers, welcome to _____. Its _____ (AM/PM) local time.
Please remain seated, with your seat belts fastened until the aircraft comes to a complete stop.
Trnsito: Passengers in transit to _____ must remain on board.
Conexo e final de vo: Passengers with destination to this city (or connecting to ______) must
disembark with all your personal belongings.
If you need assistance, our ground team will be happy to assist you.
Please dont smoke or use cell phones until you are at the permitted area at the airport.
We look forward to have you again in one of our Next Generation Aircraft.
Thank you for sharing this flight with us and have a good day/good night/good weekend/good holiday.
12. Transporte terrestre Rio de Janeiro
Dear passengers, if you are going to Jacarepagu Airport at Barra da Tijuca, please contact our ground
team to get a free transportation. Thank you.
13. Transporte terrestre Navegantes
Dear passengers, if you are going to Blumenau please, contact our ground team to get a free
transportation. Thank you.
14. Transporte terrestre So Paulo
Ladies and Gentlemen, wed like to inform you that Gol has a free transportation serving Congonhas
and Guarulhos International Airport. Please, contact our ground team for more information.
Thank you.
15. Reabastecimento com passageiro a bordo
Dear passenger, we would like to inform you that refueling is being carried out with you on board. In
accordance with safety regulations please, do not smoke, switch on the reading lights or the call button.
If necessary, follow the crew members directions.
Thank you.
16. Recolhimento de cartes
Dear passengers please, have your boarding pass available and show it to our ground team.
Thank you.
17. Atraso na decolagem com desembarque
Dear passengers, please, we kindly ask you to disembark with your personal belongings. Our ground
team will be available for any information and help you might need.
Thank you.
18. Retorno da aeronave
Ladies and Gentlemen, we inform you that we are now returning to the boarding gate (the airport)
 In order to handle a technical problem.
 Due to bad weather conditions over ______.
Thank you.
19. Turbulncia
Dear passengers, we are going through turbulence weather.
So, keep your seat belt fastened.
 During this time our in-flight service will be interrupted. Thank you.
20. Cancelamento do servio de bordo
Due to the turbulence weather our in-flight service will be cancelled and it will be hand out by the
Flight Attendants during the disembarkation.
Thank you.
21. Troca de aeronave
Dear passengers, we inform you that we will change the aircraft in this airport. Please, take your
personal belongings and follow our ground team. Thank you.


1 Alocuo de emergncia preparada pouso em terra ou gua
Attention Ladies and Gentlemen This is your Cabin Chief speaking.
The Captain has informed us that due to a technical problem, it will be necessary to make an
emergency landing (ditching) in _____ minutes.
This crew is trained to act according to the situation.
Remain calm and pay attention. We need your cooperation.
We will begin preparing the cabin now. Please do not smoke.
2 Recolhimento de servio (quando aplicvel)
At this moment, we will be picking up the newspapers, plastic bags, papers, etc.
3 Encosto das poltronas, mesas
At this time, raise the back of your seats to the upright position, close and locked all tray tables. Open
the window shades.
4 Remoo de objetos pontiagudos
Remove all sharp objects such as pens, jewelry, false teeth, glasses, neckties and scarves. Put all of
those items in the seat pocket in front of you.
Pouso em terra: Remove high heels.
Pouso em gua: Remove all shoes.
5 Remoo de bagagens de mo e objetos soltos
Put all carry-on items in na overhead compartment or place it in the aisle.
Flight Attendants will pick them up and stow.
6 Seleo dos auxiliares (ABPs) para as sadas e para os passageiros especiais
We need your assistance now. Airlines employees, Firefighters, Rescue or Military Personnel, please,
identify you to a Flight Attendant.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we will be asking some of you to change seat to better help us. Please remain
seated unless you are asked to move.
7 Uso dos assentos flutuadores DEMO (quando aplicvel)
After the aircraft has stopped, after receiving the command, take the seat cushion direct you to the
Hold the handles and jump into the water.
8 Uso dos coletes salva-vida DEMO pegar seu colete (quando aplicvel)
There is a life vest under each seat (or above your seat). Take it now. DO NOT INFLATE THE VEST
Slip the vest over your head. Clip the side tapes to the front hooks and pull them tight. DO NOT
To inflate it, pull down the red tags firmly. If it does not inflate, blow in the appropriate tube.
9 Uso do cinto DEMO
Flight Attendants take your demo positions please.
When you hear open seat belts, lift quickly the top of the buckle.
10 Posio de impacto DEMO
Attention! We will demonstrate the brace position.
Keep your belts fastened, cross your arms and lean them against the seat in front of you or bend over
your knees. Rest your forehead over your arms.
As soon as you hear the order BRACE POSITION, BRACE POSITION, take it.
Remain in this position until the aircraft has completely stopped.
11 Sadas de emergncia
The aircraft is equipped with four emergency exits with escape slides and two (four) exits over the
wing. Pay attention and identify the nearest of your seat.
As soon as you receive the order, direct yourself to this exit.
12 Sadas de emergncia auxlio de flutuao
This aircraft is equipped with auxiliary flotation devices.
The Flight Attendants will indicate the nearest exit. Emergency track lighting on the floor will lead you
to an exit. When instructed to evacuate, go to the nearest exit. The aft doors can not be opened.
13 Cartes de instrues de segurana DEMO
Ladies and Gentlemen, take the safety card and read carefully the instructions.
The Flight Attendants will be in the aisle to assist you.
14 Antes do pouso
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are dimming the cabin lights. Remember, when you hear our command,
take the brace position until the aircraft has landed and comes to a complete stop.


Flight attendants (also called stewardesses and stewards) help make flights safe, comfortable, and
enjoyable for airline passengers.
A Flight Attendant's work begins when the plane's crew meets for a preflight briefing covering route,
weather, type of food and beverage services to be offered, and passengers with medical problems or
special requests.
Each Flight Attendant is assigned a work station and specific inflight duties. On board the plane, Flight
Attendants check to see that first-aid kits and other emergency equipment are aboard and that supplies,
such as food, beverages, blankets, and, reading material are adequate. As passengers board the plane,
Attendants greet them, check their tickets, and assist passengers by hanging up coats and stowing small
pieces of luggage under the seats or in overhead compartments.
Flight attendants are responsible for passenger safety. They explain safety regulations and emergency
procedures, check to see that seat belts are fastened during takeoff and landing, and assure that other
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety standards are followed. Flight Attendants are also
concerned with their passengers' comfort.. Depending on the length of the flight, they may operate
movie and audio systems, sell and serve cocktails, and heat and distribute precooked meals. Before and
after meals, Attendants make periodic trips through the cabin to ensure passenger comfort. For
example, they might offer to help care for infants, bring magazines, or adjust seats. In the event of an
illness or emergency, Flight Attendants may distribute medicine to alleviate symptoms or administer
first aid or operate emergency equipment such as chutes to quickly evacuate passengers. At the end of
the flight they see the passengers off the plane, inspect and clean the cabin, and fill out any flight
attendant reports required by the airline.
A Flight Attendant's job is both physically and emotionally demanding. Flight Attendants are on their
feet during most of the flight and under pressure to complete their tasks within the scheduled flight
time. At times they have to serve meals and pour drinks under turbulent flying conditions. Despite
stress or fatigue, they are expected to deal pleasantly with passengers of all personality types, including
those who are difficult or rude. Although Flight Attendants enjoy the benefits of travel, they also may
have to live out of suitcases for weeks at a time. They may be scheduled to fly at any hour, weekends
and holidays. Attendants are usually required to purchase their first uniforms. Payment can be made
through payroll deductions.
Most Flight Attendants belong to a union representing all flight attendants within their airline. Among
the unions representing these workers are the Association of Flight Attendants, the Independent
Federation of Flight Attendants, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The following information is from the California Projections and Planning Information report
published by the Labor Market Information Division.
Estimated number of workers in 1993 12,060
Estimated number of workers in 2005 16,510
Projected Growth 1993-2005 37%
Estimated openings due to separations by 2005 3,840
(These figures do not include self-employment nor openings due to turnover.)
In recent years the turnover rate for Flight Attendants has declined because a greater number of career
minded people have entered the occupation. The turnover rate has also been reduced by the fact that
maximum age and marital restrictions were eliminated. However, the bulk of job openings occurring
through the year 2005 will continue to be the result of Flight Attendants changing occupations or
leaving the labor force altogether.
Population growth and increased per capita spending power are expected to enlarge the size of
passenger carriers and the frequency of flights. The result will be an increase in the number of
passengers which will translate into an increase in Flight Attendants, since FAA safety rules require at
least one Flight Attendant for every 50 passengers.
The allure of the airline industry, with its travel opportunities and promise of adventure, attracts many
job applicants and makes competition for available positions keen. Job seekers who fair best are those
with a minimum of two years of college, experience in dealing with the public, and knowledge of a
foreign language.
The prosperity of the passenger airline industry is vulnerable to periodic downturns in the economy.
When consumer confidence hesitates, pleasure travel is looked upon as a nonessential luxury. Flight
Attendants are often laid off or put on part time status during such recessionary times, with very few
new hires taking place until the economy bounces back.
Flight Attendant wages start at a range of $12,000 to $18,400 annually. With several years of
experience, Flight Attendants can expect to earn from $14,100 to $20,100 per annum. Top senior
wages can reach from $20,100 to $42,000 a year. The hourly wage paid to Flight Attendants is quite
high, but they are customarily contracted to work only from 50 to 75 hours per month. If the need
arises for them to fly more often, they are compensated at a rate of time and one half.
Many airlines offer extra compensation on international flights to Flight Attendants are fluent in a
foreign language. The pay differential for multilingual Flight Attendants can range from 50 to 75 cents
per hour.
Fringe benefits can include health and life insurance, retirement plan, paid vacation, lodging and food
costs on "layovers", uniform replacement, and free or discount air travel for Attendants and immediate
family members.
Hiring requirements are similar among all the airlines. Flight Attendants must be at least 19 to 21 years
old. Height may be between 5' 2" and 6' 0", with weight in proportion to height and bone structure.
Depending on the airline, natural vision must be at least 20/50 to 20/200; corrected vision (glasses or
contacts) must be 20/20 to 20/50. General health must be excellent; all airlines give pre-employment
A high school education is usually required. In addition, most airlines prefer two or more years of
college and/or work experience involving contact with the public. Nursing experience or training is
advantageous. International air carriers require or prefer fluency in a foreign language, such as Spanish,
German, Chinese, or French.
Personal characteristics, as revealed in interviews and tests, are extremely important. When
interviewing prospective Flight Attendants, employers look for maturity and adaptability, a pleasant
voice and good vocabulary, good grooming, and tasteful dress. Applicants are also evaluated on their
poise, tact, and enthusiasm for the job.
Flight Attendant courses, offered by some community colleges and trade schools, may provide helpful
background information on the job and its requirements. However, airline officials emphasize that such
instruction is not necessary and has little or no influence on their selection decisions. In any event, all
airlines conduct their own training programs for new hires, regardless of their backgrounds. While in
training, which lasts from four to six weeks, candidates usually receive either a small salary or free
housing and meals. They are expected to bring sufficient money to cover personal expenses during
training, plus moving expenses to their first home base. Depending on the circumstances, the amount
required may range from $200 to $1,000.
With the exception of airlines flying only within California, the first home base will probably be in
another state. This is because assignments are awarded on the basis of seniority and California is a very
popular choice. In fact, 10 or more years of service may be required for a California home base.
As seniority increases, Flight Attendants receive higher pay, better flying assignments, and greater job
security. Some advance to management positions such as flight attendant supervisor, instructor, or
inflight services manager. A few transfer to other departments such as customer services, personnel, or
One should apply directly to the airline. Candidates who meet the minimum requirements may be
invited to local group interviews by a team of recruiters. Those who pass this screening are scheduled
for individual interviews. Free air transportation may be provided to the interview location if in another
Association of Flight Attendants (AFA)
1625 Massachusetts Ave NW, 3rd floor
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 328-5400
International Flight Attendants Association (IFAA)
c/o P.R. Miller
2314 Old Windsor Pke.
New Windsor, MD 21776
Note: This is NOT a job opening. The purpose of This California Occupational Guide is to provide
you with useful information to help you make career decisions.

What the recruiter won't tell you (about flight attendant jobs)
There are many guidelines out there nowadays to instruct the flight attendant candidate in how to apply
for an airline job. But few will tell you some of the underlying truths about why some do not get hired.
Many variables enter into the recruitment equation. It is not only a matter of how well you answer
questions or how classy the clothes you wear to the interview. True professionalism requires
forethought, planning and basic common sense. In order to project a refined appearance, it is important
to remember the "little things" that can keep you apart from the rest and hold you back in your pursuit
of your goal.
Aside from the usual requirements, there are things that you need to know about flight attendant
interviews that no one will tell you. It is acceptable to apply if you have less than perfect vision or a
little bit of an overbite, but if your teeth are exceptionally crooked, yellow or out of alignment, this is
may be looked upon unfavorably.
Airlines consider the flight attendant to be along the front lines in conveying the corporate image.
There is nothing that is more of a turn-off than someone who is very obviously in need of dental care,
and it is imperative to choose people who possess a healthy and polished image.
Have your teeth cleaned prior to going to the interview and consult your dentist about any necessary
cosmetic dentistry you may need, such as repairing any noticeable gaps or missing teeth. If you need
your teeth capped or bonded and have been putting it off, now is the time to do it.
Another item that is often overlooked is the scar. If you have a small but noticeable scar on your face,
hands or arms, it is not necessary to worry few of us have baby-perfect skin. But if you have a larger
or more obvious one, a cosmetic course of action may be in order. Try applying Dermablend to the
scar. This product is what beauty pageant contestants use to cover imperfections, as it is an excellent
concealer, and can be purchased at any major department store. If the scar is distractingly obvious, you
may want to invest in some cosmetic surgery to improve your look. This is particularly important if you

are interested in a flight attendant or any other customer service type of position where you are in the
Many people speak with an accent, whether it is a southern, northern, midwestern or a foreign one, and
many times there are cultural differences in how we express ourselves. This, in itself, usually poses no
problem. But the incorrect pronunciation of words or use of poor grammar will detract youre your
professional image and lessen your chances of consideration for employment as a flight attendant.
No matter how impeccably a flight attendant candidate is dressed, it can make a recruiters skin crawl
to hear double negatives, slang words, cursing, mispronounced words or other such undignified
grammatical errors.
This is the business world, and such indiscretions are not acceptable. Brush up on your speaking skills
take a class in public speaking or ask a teacher or an articulate friend to help you if you have trouble.
Many airlines require flight attendant applicants to read a boarding card during the interview, to ensure
that they have adequate verbal skills, so make it a habit to practice using correct speech in your daily
life. If you have an obvious speech defect or a shrill, weak, monotone or otherwise annoying voice, this
will also distract from your presentation.
Work with a speech therapist will improve a voice problem or speech defect and help you to overcome
the problem. All these things can interfere with your professional life in the workplace.
An unprofessional resume with obvious gaps or one that indicates an excess of "job-hopping" will not
win you points with recruiters. Do your homework. If you dont know how to construct a resume, get
help from a professional. Its not brain surgery, but there are things you need to include and certain
ways to best showcase your experience.
If your hair needs coloring, do it before the interview! Brassy, unnatural colors and roots that are
showing are also bad news. Consult a colorist if you have difficulty managing your hairstyle or color.
There is no excuse for telltale roots or a bad hairdo ruining your looks, especially since it is so easily
fixed. If you leave something like this undone, it says to the interviewer that you dont care enough to
bother. Big poblem, easy solution. Nuff said!
Check yourself in a mirror before you go into an interview. There is no reason why you would enter
this type of situation with food between your teeth, a mascara smudge on your cheek, a slip that shows
or lipstick on your teeth, so take a quick peek in the mirror first.
Airlines really do consider how their image is perceived to the flying public. If an employees persona
detracts from that companys image, the company will not be interested in having that person represent
them to the public. Doing what it takes to get ahead in the business world will not only land you the job
of a lifetime, but will give you a more confident and self- assured outlook on the future.
---By Wendy Stafford, a former flight attendant and president and senior consultant at Airline Inflight
Resources, a professional interview coaching company devoted exclusively to airlines. Visit her
website at

Caution: celebrity onboard

by Stephanie Shaw
There are many rewarding aspects to being a flight attendant, including discount travel benefits,
scheduling flexibility, and the ability to see the world. But one of the most intriguing aspects of the job
for me has been the chance to serve celebrities.
Celebrities need to travel, just like everyone else. Although some have their own private jets, the
majority resort to transportation via regularly scheduled flights. A popular misconception is that
celebrities, especially sports teams, will often charter an entire airplane for purposes of maintaining
their privacy. Although this is sometimes the case, it is the exception rather than the rule. Sports teams
and rock bands generally fly with the traveling public, and many times they can be found sitting in
coach class!

With over 23 years of flying experience, I have had the opportunity to meet countless celebrities
traveling on my flights. Some have been good experiences, some bad, and some downright ugly. Just a
few of the celebrities I have met include: the Boston Celtics basketball team, the Washington Bullets
(now Wizards) basketball team, the Boston Bruins hockey team, the New England Patriots football
team, the Texas Rangers baseball team, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Dan Rather, Mike Wallace (of 60
Minutes), Billy Ray Cyrus, Three Dog Night (band), David Carradine (Kung Fu), Mike Tyson, Frank
Guiford, Regis Philbin, General William Westmoreland, Ted Kennedy, and the list goes on and on.
I have memories of many celebrities who were very polite and understanding of my job as a
crewmember. If the celebrity is assigned a seat in first class, we usually know ahead of time, either
from the passenger list or we get a warning from the passenger service agent. Not all celebrities are
recognizable either. Oftentimes they look very different in person than they do on the silver screen or
on your television. They usually are dressed down so as not to attract attention, and they very often
want to be left alone after they board.
Part of my job is to ensure that celebrities onboard are not harassed by autograph hounds or people who
just want to talk because they feel a certain celebrity is their best friend.
Who is Larry Bird Anyway?
One of the more memorable occasions of serving celebrities happened during the 1986 Lakers-Celtics
NBA Finals. The entire Boston Celtics basketball team was traveling back to Los Angeles and I, not
being a sports fan of any type, had no idea who the players were. The captain called me up to the
cockpit and asked if I could get an autograph of Larry Bird for his son. I told him that I did not know of
Larry Bird, which he found incomprehensible. He told me to go back and ask another flight attendant
to point him out. I went back to the cabin and thought it would be more efficient to make an
announcement. I nervously picked up the PA and said, "Would Larry Bird please identify himself by
ringing the Flight Attendant call button on the overhead." At that point, the entire team, other flight
attendants and all the other passengers onboard broke into laughter and applause. I was totally
embarrassed, because it was obvious that everyone but me knew who Larry Bird was. As it turns out,
he was so amused, he ended up signing the autograph and sending it up to the captain!
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Another memorable experience involved Jay Leno. Jay had boarded our flight early because he was
sitting in first class. The "C" flight Attendant was helping me with the boarding duties when Jay came
onboard. He caught her by surprise and she immediately began screaming, "I cant believe its really
you! My boyfriend absolutely worships you! He watches you every night!" Mr. Leno, seemingly
caught off-guard looked at his watch and said, "Where is he now? Do we have time to call him?" She
and Jay Leno then rushed off the aircraft to find a phone (this happened during the pre-cell phone era).
Apparently the boyfriend wasnt home so Mr. Leno politely left a message about flying on his
girlfriends flight and how happy he was that her boyfriend was such a fan.
My Achy Breaky Heart
Im not a real country music fan, but I will listen to it occasionally. But the day that Billy Ray Cyrus
came onboard, I was converted. It seemed that Mr. Cyrus (of "Achy, Breaky Heart" fame) was
traveling with his entourage to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. He boarded our flight in Nashville,
sat in first class, and was extremely courteous.
During the first-class service, I asked him where he was heading and he said, "Were doing a concert at
the biggest Casino in the world." Since I was based in Boston, I was quite familiar with Foxwoods,
having been there several times. I responded, "Thats Foxwoods. I dont live too far from there." Mr.
Cyrus then asked me if I would like to go to the concert. Of course, I took him up on it and he took my
name and asked how many tickets I would need. The next night, I ended up taking my parents, brother
and husband (5 of us) to the Billy Ray Cyrus concert. The complimentary seats he had reserved for us
were at the "will-call" booth and were located in the front row. It was a great night!
My Celebrity Wall
Meeting celebrities is a very rewarding experience. Since I usually carry a camera with me, I now have
a special wall in my home, which I call my "celebrity wall." There are many photographs of me at work
alongside many celebrities, most of whom I never would have had a chance to meet if I weren't for this
job. Those of you who elect to pursue a flight attendant career will also get to enjoy this seldom
discussed aspect of the profession--and build your own celebrity wall.
Stephanie Shaw is a flight attendant with over 23 years experience with a major airline.

Seven Tips for Effective Resume Writing

Pay attention to detailDon't cut corners by, for instance, not proofreading the cover letter, failing to
include information the hiring manager asked for, or beginning the cover letter "Dear Sir or Madam"
when the hiring manager's name is on the company web site. Take the time to make sure the
correspondence and information sent is correct and error-free.
Do the basicsProofread for spelling, grammar, and tone, and make sure you have followed the
instructions of the employer. Firing off an e-mail is a convenient method of communication. However,
don't let the sloppy nature and informality of e-mail correspondence seep into your communications
whether it's e-mailed or writtenwith potential employers.
Construct an effective resumeOrganize your information in a logical fashion and keep descriptions
clear and to the point. Include as much work experience as possible, even if it obviously doesn't relate
to the job you are seeking. Also, use a simple, easy-to-read font.
Customize their responseAddress the hiring manager directly, and include the name of the company
and the position for which it is hiring in your cover letter/e-mail response.
Make it easy for the hiring managerUse your name and the word "resume" in your e-mail header so
it's easy to identify. If the employer asks for informationsuch as references or writing samples
provide it.
Focus on what you bring to the employer, not what you want from the jobThis is an opportunity for
you to market yourself and stand out from the other candidates. What can you do to make the hiring
manager's life easier? What can you do to help the company?
Be professionalYou won't be taken seriously if you don't have e-mail or voice mail/answering
machine. If you don't have e-mail, set up a free account through Yahoo! and Hotmail. Provide the
recruiter with a cell phone number if your voice mail/answering machine doesn't pick up when you are
online. Also, it's a good idea to ditch the cute e-mail address or voice mail/answering machine
messages in favor of something that sounds professional.
Sources: Newsday and Job Choices

The Flight Attendant Employment Preparation Manual contains over 500 interview questions. Having
this information will give you a smoother entry into an exciting flying career.
Regular updates are made to these questions.
1) What does team work mean to you?
2) What makes you sad?
3) Why did you choose a flight attendant career?
4) What type of aircraft do we operate?
5) What is your major weakness?
6) Give an example of a bad day at work?
7) What have you learned from some of the jobs you have held?
8) Are you willing to relocate?
9) Stand up and talk about yourself?
10) What do you think determines a person's progress in a company?


A: Good morning!
B: Good morning!
A: Please, have a seat.
B: Thank you.
A: My name is Phil Bates. What is your full name?
B: Its John Smith.
A: OK, Mr. Smith, what are your professional qualifications?
B: Well, I have my major in Commerce and Engineering. Ive also taken a post graduation in
Informatics at Stanford University. I worked at T.W.A. for three years, but I was not happy with the
A: I see. Why have you decided to get in contact with us?
B: Because your add on the newspaper mentioned that you are looking for a person in order to work
with computers and I feel suitable to get this job. And the payment seemed to be pretty good too.
A: OK, would you like to ask any questions about this job?
B: Yes, I would. First of all, what will my responsibilities be?
A: Well, in case you get this job, you will have to create new software that will be used at NASA.
B: Ohit sounds interesting. What about working hours?
A: You have to work a minimum of eight hours a day on weekdays and a minimum of four hours on
B: Do you offer any kind of benefits?
A: Yes, we do. We offer a good health plan. Besides that, you can have meals at subsidized prices at
our canteen. Any more questions?
B: No, I dont have any other questions.
A: OK, Mr. Smith. I will keep your resume and I will call you in the evening, around 8:00 p.m. in order
to tell you if you have been hired or not, OK?
B: Sounds good to me. I will be looking forward to it. It was nice to meet you Mr. Bates.
A: Likewise. Bye.

Dont forget to be always very polite. Say thank you, nice to meet you, etc., whenever its
1st step: introduce yourself;
2nd step: explain your professional qualifications;
3rd step: explain why you choose the company;
4th step: ask for what will your responsibilities be;
5th step: ask about working hours;
6th step: ask if the company offers any kind of benefit;
7th step: thank and say you are looking forward to the job.


Why do you want this job?
Think carefully about this question. Stress the positive aspects which have attracted you to applying for
this position. Do not mention the negative aspects of your current job or the job in question.
What qualities do you think will be required for this job?
Their advertisement for the job may help you a little bit, but you should also think of the other qualities
that may be required. These may include leadership ability, supervisory skills, communication skills,
interpersonal skills, problem solving, analytical skills, etc.
Why do you want to work for this company?
Emphasize the positive reasons why you want to join their company, but avoid aspects such as more
money or shorter hours. These would not endear you to a prospective employer.
What do you know about this company?
This is your chance to impress the interviewer with your knowledge of their company. Give them a run
down of their products/services, sales figures, news, company figures, customers, etc.
You have not done this sort of job before. How will you cope/succeed?
Say that you are the sort of person who aims to succeed at everything you do and that you are very
determined and will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Why should we employ you?
The answer to this question will be based on your previous experience and achievements which relate
to the company. At the end you could add that you think there is a good fit between you and the job,
and do ask the interviewer for their opinion.
What do you like and dislike about the job we are discussing?
Likes: stress things such as a new challenge or the opportunity to bring fresh experience to the
company. Dislikes: Imply there is nothing to dislike about the job, which is why you are so interested.
Why did you choose a career in ?
Be positive about your reasons. If you have changed careers make a logical argument as to why you did
How long have you been looking for a new job?
If you have been unemployed for a long time this may be a rather tricky question to answer. But be
honest. If you have been away on holiday or done some voluntary work you could mention this.
Do you prefer to work in a small, medium or large company?
Remember where you are! If the company interviewing you is a small to medium sized company say
that you enjoy a close atmosphere with a good team spirit. At a large company say that you enjoy the
stability of working for a large and established company.
What are you looking for in a new job?

Make sure your answer fits in with the company who is interviewing you. A suitable reply would be
that you are looking for a new job where you can apply your existing skills and learn new ones
What would your ideal job be?
Again, remember where you are! Describe the job in terms of the criteria they have used to describe
their job. An ideal job might include things like challenging work, a fair rate of pay for the job, nice
colleagues, good career prospects, good team atmosphere, opportunity to learn new skills, apply old
skills, etc.
Are you considering any other positions at the moment?
If you are say so, but do not give too many details away - it will weaken your negotiating position later.
If you do not have any other job offers at the moment just say that you have a few irons in the fire.
How would you describe yourself? / How would others describe you?
Pick your best attributes and achievements from your career.
Do you consider yourself successful?
You should say you do. Pick some work related achievements that are in line with the position that you
are discussing.
What was your greatest success? How did you achieve it?
You should pick an achievement which is related to their needs.
What has been your biggest failure?
Try to pick a failure which you were later able to correct or something that is not really important.
How could you improve yourself?
Do not mention anything negative about yourself - the interviewer is looking for a chink in your
Are you a leader?
State how you have successfully acted as a leader, giving examples of your successes.
How do you handle criticism?
Your answer should be along the following lines: "I always think that it is important to get feedback on
how I am performing so that I can improve any areas which my manager/supervisor highlights. Do you
have regular staff appraisals and a staff development plan?"
Do you work well with others? Or are you a loner?
Some jobs mean that you have to work very closely with other people whilst other jobs mean that you
are largely working on your own, so you need to say that you are happy in both situations.
Do you need other people around to stimulate you or are you self-motivated?
You need to say that you are self-motivated.
Are you accepted into a team quickly?
Hopefully you can answer a resounding "Yes" to this question.
Can you act on your own initiative?
You should say that you can. You could ask how much responsibility you would have.
How do you run a meeting?
You could say that you must start with an agenda and stick to it. You could add that you would try to
get the views and ideas from everyone present, working in an air of co-operation. If people moved off
at a tangent you would bring them back to the item being discussed.
What motivates you?
Our suggestions are career growth, opportunity to learn new skills, good co-workers, etc.
What management style gets the best results out of you?
Try and think about how you have reacted to different managers and which factors have motivated you.
Do not say too much in reply to this question, because if your answer is contrary to the management
style of the company they will not be keen to employ you!
Do you know how to motivate other people?

Hopefully you can say "Yes", and say that you have to find out what motivates a person and give them
recognition for a job well done. You should always give them encouragement and help them when
Are you competitive?
Your answer depends on the sort of job you are doing. If you will be working as part of a team you will
need to show that you can work in the best interests of the team and not just for your own benefit.
Are you aggressive?
If you mean by this someone who gets things done, then the answer is "Yes". You need to defuse the
implications of this question.
What do you dislike doing?
Say that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done well and on time and try to do
disagreeable things first to get them out of the way rather than putting them off.
Do you feel you are ready to take on greater responsibilities?
Show how you have progressed throughout your life and how you have accepted and taken on
responsibility for the actions of yourself and others. If you have not really had many work related
responsibilities you can mention other responsibilities you have had outside work.
What would you like to avoid in your next job?
You need to be positive here and say that there is nothing in particular that you would like to avoid.
Can you work under pressure?
You need to say that you can. You could ask how much pressure the job involves.
How many hours are you prepared to work?
You would be prepared to work the necessary hours to get the job done on time.
Do you mind working for someone older than yourself? Younger than you? Of the opposite sex?
Here you can say that you are prepared to work with anyone.
What are your career goals?
Link in your goals with the company who is interviewing you.
How did you get on with your previous manager/supervisor, co-workers and subordinates?
Hopefully you can say that you got on well with everyone.
What interests do you have outside work?
Your hobbies and interests can tell an employer a lot about you, including whether you are sociable or
solitary, and whether you can take on 'leadership' roles. So you should think about which interests will
paint the right picture of you given the position you are discussing.
Have you ever been fired?
If you have, you will need to handle this question with great care. Try and put yourself in as favourable
light as possible without being too dismissive. If you have later been able to correct any deficiency
which resulted in you being fired you should tell the interviewer.
Are you too old for this job?
Tell them that you feel that your extra experience would enable you to make a bigger contribution to
their company sooner than someone younger and less experienced.
Are you too young for this job?
"No, I do not think so!" is the answer you should give and then state the reason why you are not too
young. If you have a lot of experience gained in a short time, say so.
You may be over qualified for this position?
Tell them that you feel that your extra experience would enable you to make a bigger contribution
sooner than someone with less experience.
Are you prepared to relocate?
If you are, say so. If you do not want to move then you do not have to accept the job - try and come
across as someone who is positive.
How often are you off sick?
This can be a difficult question to answer if you are frequently off sick or you have just recovered from
a prolonged period of illness. If you have generally enjoyed good health and this period of illness is not
typical then you should say so.
What level of salary are you looking for now?
Be very careful when you answer this question - you do not want to appear to be greedy. If you are
applying for a specific vacancy you could ask them what the salary range is. Once they have answered
you could say "I think my experience would place me at the top end of your range, don't you?" If they
ask you this question fairly early on in the interview you could delay answering by saying "It is hard to
discuss salary without first knowing a little bit more about the job and the responsibilities."
What will your referees say about you?
Say that you expect excellent references.
Difficult questions
If you cannot answer a question you might reply with "That's an interesting question - how would you
tackle it?"
Fantasy questions
These sort of questions can be very difficult to answer. Such questions might include: "What would
you do if you won the National Lottery?" You should give the answer, which in your opinion will give
you the best chance of getting the job.


When you are being interviewed it is very important that you give out the right signals. You should
always look attentive - so do not slouch in your chair. Never lie to anyone in an interview, your body
language and tone of voice or the words you use will probably give you away - classic body language
giveaways include scratching your nose and not looking directly at the other person when you are
speaking to them.
If you have a moustache you may want to consider shaving it off - people with moustaches can be
perceived as being aggressive. You can always grow it again once you have got the job

The interview levels the playing field. No matter where you went to school, no matter what your GPA is,
no matter how much experience you have, no matter who you know--if you aren't able to interview
successfully, you won't get the job. Following are some insights designed to help you successfully interview
and get the job you want--and then negotiate the very best job offer!
Competitive Interview Prep
No, you can't cram the night before and "ace" your interview. Take the time to fully prepare yourself for
interview success.
Mastering the Interview
What really counts in the interview...and how to master your next one!
Dressing for Interview Success
Campus fashions don't cut it here. Get the straight scoop on dressing the part.
Fifty Standard Entry Level Interview Questions
Review these most common interview questions in preparation for your interview.
Candidate Interview Questions
The interviewer is not the only one who should be asking the questions. You should be ready as well.
Here is a complete list of what to ask.
Phone Interview Success
It's not "just a phone call"--it's a real interview. Prepare properly so that it's not your last...
Company Site Interview Success

The company site interview is your moment of truth. This is usually your make or break for getting an
After the Interview
Don't sit by the phone waiting for the offer after the your part to generate job offers

Competitive Interview Prep

"Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or
Norman Vincent Peale
You finally have an interview! Your moment of truth has arrived. Whether your interview is on campus
or off, it is important to make the most of it. Because to be successful, you should always seek to retain
control of the process, and the only way to do this is to have control over the final decision. You can
always walk away from a company that you later decide you have no interest in, but you need to
remain in positive control to retain the power to pick and choose. Your objective in every interview
should be to take yourself one step further toward generating the job offer. You can do that by doing
your very best in each and every interview. Treat every interview as if it were the only one you will
ever get with that company and your only opportunity to convince them that you are the right candidate
for the position. Although there may be several interviews before the eventual offer, you must score
positively in each interview.
Successful interviewing begins with preparation. Read the following sections to be fully prepared
before your first interview. And reread the information for additional pointers as your interviewing
approach matures over time.
The Most Important Aspect of Interviewing
The One Thing You Must Do Before Your First Interview
The Insider Interview Prep Technique
Insider Company Information
Dress for Interview Success
All Eyes Are On You
The Most Important Interview Nonverbals
The Whites of Their Eyes Technique
The Nose on Their Face Technique
Winning the Body Language Game
The Nonverbal Interview Technique
Being Sincerely Honest
The Show and Tell Technique
The Sneak Preview Technique
The Proof Positive Technique
Raspberry Fudge Swirl in a Plain Vanilla World
The Interview Psych Technique
Whom Would You Believe?
The Pygmalion Technique
The Visualization Technique

The Most Important Aspect Of Interviewing

The key element to successful interviewing is not your experience, your
grades, what classes you took, your extracurricular activities, or any of
the other basic necessities. Those skills are what got you the interview.

The key element to successful interviewing can be summed up in one word: attitude. If you want to rise
above others with better experience, better grades, or better anything, you will need to work on
developing a highly positive work attitude.
Your attitude determines whether you will "make the cut" or be discarded. Remember, there are plenty
of competitors with the ability to do almost any given job-- especially at the entry level. The way most
employers differentiate at the entry level is by candidates' attitudes toward the job. Your attitude is
often what recruiters will remember when the dust has settled after reviewing ten, twenty, or even one
hundred candidates--the one who was sincerely willing to put forth their very best effort. If you have
the attitude of wanting to do your very best for the company, of being focused on the company's needs,
of putting yourself forth as the person who will be committed and dedicated to fulfilling their needs,
you will likely be the one chosen.
Why is attitude so important? Because most companies already have their full share of multi-talented
superstars who care about no one but themselves. Ask any manager who the most valuable member of
his team is, and he will point not to the overrated superstar, but to the person who has the "can do"
attitude, the person who can be counted on in any situation, the person who truly strives for excellence.
Give me a team player who is achieving at 99% and I will take her over a flashy superstar who is
running at 50% efficiency any day of the week. And so will 99% of all hiring managers.
So don't worry if you are not "superstar" quality. If you can show me, in your words and actions, that
you are ready to put forth your very best effort toward achieving excellence, you will be chosen over
the superstar.
You can show your winning attitude in the way you present yourself. Incorporate the actual words
"positive attitude," "excellence," and "striving to be my best" into your interview language. Then show
by your stories and examples how these words positively affect your life. Show me when and where
and how you have put forth extra effort above and beyond the call of duty. Show me how you beat a
deadline, how you excelled in a project, or how you made a difference by going the extra mile.
If you can show me, by words and examples, your "can do" attitude, it is you I will hire, while all of the
superstars will receive polite rejection letters to add to their growing collections.
The One Thing You Must Do Before Your First Interview
Practice. Before you go through an actual interview, you should first go through a mock interview.
Nearly every college campus offers access to a career counselor who can take you through a mock
interview (also known as "interview coaching"). Sadly, fewer than 5% of all graduating students take
advantage of mock interviews. And fully 95% end up stumbling through several interviews before they
have any practical sense of how they are doing--because that is when the rejection letters start arriving.
And those rejection letters offer you nothing in the way of constructive criticism toward future
improvement other than point out to you in the starkest terms that you failed your interview.
The mock interview is more than just a chance to work out your interview jitters. It is an opportunity to
practice your interviewing technique and answers live. It is also a chance to hear constructive feedback
from someone who can guide you toward improving your interviewing style and presentation.
Just one mock interview will result in a marked improvement in your interviewing skills. Why? For the
same reason that a speech is not a speech while it is still on paper or just floating around in your head.
It is not a speech until you give it verbally. The first time you give it in front of an audience (remember
your first speech in Speech 101?), it will come out nothing like what you prepared. It is the same with
interviewing. It is not enough to look at an interview question and say, "Yeah, I know the answer to
that one." You need to practice your answer. Live. In front of someone else. This is not the time to talk
to yourself in the mirror. Seek out a professional and practice. Ideally, have the session videotaped.
That way, you will have two opinions--the mock interviewer's and your own. Remember that there is a
totally different perspective in listening to yourself saying something contemporaneously versus the
"out of body experience" of watching yourself later on videotape. Just as your voice always sounds
different on tape, so do your answers. "Did I really say that?" Yes, you did. Aren't you glad the image
is captured on tape (which can later be erased), rather than in a potential employer's mind's eye? Yes,
you are.
Go through at least one mock interview. For maximum effectiveness, review your answers and then go
through a second mock interview. Even if you ace the second mock interview, it will be well worth it
since it will give you confidence in your first real interview.
The Insider Interview Prep Technique
The very best thing you can do to prepare for an interview with a specific
company is to interview someone who is already on the inside. There are
two basic methods of finding this person. The first is to use your network. If
the interview was the result of a network contact, call them to thank them
for helping you set up the interview, then proceed to ask for further
information about the company. If you don't have anyone on your first level
who works at the company, ask those first level contacts if they know
anyone who is working there. The second alternative is to seek out an alum.
Check with either (or both) the Career Center or the Alumni Office to find
out if any former grads are working at the company. The ideal is an
individual who went straight out of your college into the company--the more
recent, the better.
If and when you have located this contact, call as far in advance of the interview as possible. Make sure
you have done your homework so your contact doesn't have to give you all the laborious details you
should already know. Ask about the person (or persons) you will be interviewing with. Personality?
Likes? Dislikes? Any hot buttons (good or bad)? Next, ask them about the company. What are the
primary issues of focus within the company? Profitability? Quality control and improvement? Global
markets? Finally, ask about the interview process. What are the basic steps in the process?
Note that the range of questions you can ask this person is far greater than what you can ask in the
course of the interview. And it will give you insider information that can make you a standout in the

Insider Company Information

Seeking further company information?. Take special note of the information that can be gained from
the corporate annual report. Any candidate who has read the "President's Letter To The Shareholders"
will be light years ahead of the competition. You will not only have a summary of the company's
operations for the past year and plans for the year ahead, but you will also have access to all of the
current lingo and buzzwords that are in play within the corporate corridors. Some companies will even
have yearly "themes." Know what these are and you will score an instant hit with your interviewer.
You will be viewed as a true insider for having access to (and using) information that less than 1
percent of the business market is reading--and far less than 1 percent of the entry level job market.

Dress For Interview Success

While the college campus may be the perfect forum in which to exhibit
your flair for the latest in fashion style, the interview is not the place to do
so. With very few unusual exceptions (my apologies to Apple Computer),
sandals and sweatshirts are out. Oxfords and business suits are still in. I
don't like a necktie (noose?) any better than the next person, but it is still a
fact of life in interviewing. Even though many companies have relaxed the
internal company dress code, interviews still follow the conservative
standard. Don't buck the trend.

Unfortunately, most college grads are woefully underprepared with proper interview dress. They feel
they can "get by" with what is already in their wardrobe. Usually not. Dress for the world outside
college is quite different from the campus scene. Remember that stylish is not conservative. You
should be doing the talking, not your clothes.
This is not to say that you need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe. Go for quality over quantity.
One or two well-chosen business suits will serve you all the way to the first day on the job and beyond.
Then, when you are making some money (and have a chance to see what the standard "uniform" is for
the company), you can begin to round out your wardrobe. For now, no one will fault you for wearing
the same sharp outfit each time you interview. If you desire some variety within a limited budget, you
might consider varying your shirt/blouse/tie/accessories as a simple way to change your look without
breaking your wallet.
For those of you who need a quick review of the basics, follow these guidelines for successful
interview dress:
Men and Women
Conservative two-piece business suit (solid dark blue or grey is best)
Conservative long-sleeved shirt/blouse (white is best, pastel is next best)
Clean, polished conservative shoes
Well-groomed hairstyle
Clean, trimmed fingernails
Minimal cologne or perfume
Empty pockets--no bulges or tinkling coins
No gum, candy or cigarettes
Light briefcase or portfolio case
No visible body piercing (nose rings, eyebrow rings, etc.)
Necktie should be silk with a conservative pattern
Dark shoes (black lace-ups are best)
Dark socks (black is best)
Get a haircut; short hair always fares best in interviews
No beards (unless you are interviewing for a job as a lumberjack!)
Mustaches are a possible negative, but if you must, make sure it is neat and trimmed
No rings other than wedding ring or college ring
No earrings (if you normally wear one, take it out)
Always wear a suit with a jacket; no dresses
Shoes with conservative heels
Conservative hosiery at or near skin color (and no runs!)
No purses, small or large; carry a briefcase instead
If you wear nail polish (not required), use clear or a conservative color
Minimal use of makeup (it should not be too noticeable)
No more than one ring on each hand
One set of earrings only
If you are still not sure how to dress for the interview, call them and ask! That's right--call the
employer. But this is one time when you do not want to call the Hiring Manager--instead, ask to be put
through to Human Resources and say:
"I have an interview with _____ in the _____ department for a position as an _____. Could you please
tell me what would be appropriate dress for this interview?"
Sure, you run the risk of someone in HR thinking you are a social imbecile, but that's a lot better than
having the Hiring Manager distracted by inappropriate interview dress.
While many work environments have shifted to business casual as the work standard, business suits are
still the interview standard. When in doubt, it is almost always better to err on the side of conservatism.
One final note on interview dress: while it goes without saying that your interview clothes should be
neat and clean, very few interviewees give the same time and attention to their shoes. Shoes? Yes,
shoes. I am aware of at least one Corporate Recruiter who forms first impressions based solely (pardon
the pun) on shoes. This person does not have a shoe fetish--he subjectively judges that those who pay
attention to details like their shoes are also likely to be diligent in their work life. And it is not just that
person's opinion. Many have said that you can judge a person by their shoes. You will find that many
ex-military officers (many of whom have found their way into management positions in corporate
America) are especially aware of a person's shoes. It is not enough to be clean, pressed, and ironed.
Make sure your shoes are conservative, clean, and polished.
All Eyes are on You
Your choice of eyewear can also be considered a part of your interview dress. Glasses or contacts? For
those of you who have this option available, consider it wisely. There are preconceived notions (as you
are probably well aware) of what wearing glasses connotes. Specific potential positives include
attention to detail, focus and intelligence. Potential negatives include awkwardness, shyness and lack of
human interaction. While these stereotypical attributes are obviously just that--stereotypes--they are
still extant in our society.
If you have the option of wearing contacts versus glasses, use the following as the guideline for which
to wear:
Contacts - people positions - consulting, sales, advertising, customer service, etc.
Glasses - data/things positions - accounting, information systems, engineering, etc.
If you do choose to wear glasses, wear a pair with more conservative frames. While there is little you
can do to change the preconceived stereotypes surrounding the wearing of glasses, you should be aware
of the potential positives and negatives and adjust accordingly.
The Most Important Interview Nonverbals
Many interviews fail because of lack of proper communication. But
communication is more than just what you say. Often it is the nonverbal
communication that we are least aware of, yet speaks the loudest. Following
are the top five nonverbals, ranked in order of importance, when it comes to
Eye Contact - Unequaled in importance! If you look away while listening, it
shows lack of interest and a short attention span. If you fail to maintain eye contact while speaking, at a
minimum it shows lack of confidence in what you are saying and at worst may send the subtle message
that you are lying. Do not just assume you have good eye contact. Ask. Watch. Then practice. Ask
others if you ever lack proper eye contact. If they respond that they did notice, ask if it was during
speaking or listening. Some people maintain excellent eye contact while listening, but lose eye contact
when speaking. Or vice versa. Next, watch yourself on videotape. It does not necessarily have to be
your mock interview; in fact, if you were videotaped informally (that is, you were not aware you were
being taped), this will provide even stronger evidence. Then sit down with a friend and practice until
you are comfortable maintaining sincere, continuous eye contact.
Facial Expressions - It continually amazes me how many college students are totally unaware of the
sullen, confused, or even mildly hysterical expression plastered on their faces during the entire course
of the interview! It is almost as if four years of college has left some students brain dead or worse.
Some interviewers (not myself, of course) have been known to hang humorous labels on these students,
such as "Ms. Bewildered" (who looked quizzical during the interview) or "Mr. Psycho-Ax-Murderer"
(who looked wide-eyed and determined to do something, although you dare not ask what). Take a
good, long, hard look at yourself in the mirror. Look at yourself as others would. Then modify your
facial expressions--first eliminate any negative overall characteristics that might exist, then add a
simple feature that nearly every interviewee forgets to include--a smile! Not some stupid Bart Simpson
grin, but a true and genuine smile that tells me you are a happy person and delighted to be interviewing
with our company today. You do not need to keep the smile plastered on for the full interview, but
remember to keep coming back to it. Think about it--who would you rather spend thirty minutes with?
Posture - Posture sends out a signal of your confidence and power potential. Stand tall, walk tall, and
most of all, sit tall. I don't say this to offend the "short people" of the world--in fact, I am under 5'5",
which is a full seven inches shorter than your proverbial 6-foot IBMer. Height is not what's important,
posture is. When standing, stand up straight. When you are seated, make sure you sit at the front edge
of the chair, leaning slightly forward, moving within an overall range of no more than 10 back or 20
forward, intent on the subject at hand.
Gestures - Contrary to popular belief, gestures should be very limited during the interview. So please
don't use artificial gestures to try to heighten the importance of the issue at hand (pardon the pun). It
will merely come off as theatrical. When you do use gestures, make sure they are natural and
Space - Recognize the boundaries of your personal space and that of others. If you are typical of most
Americans, it ranges between 30 and 36 inches. Be prepared, however, not to back up or move away
from someone who has a personal space that is smaller than your own. Hang in there, take a deep
breath, and stand your ground. For most of us, merely the awareness of our personal space is enough to
consciously prompt us to stand firm when speaking with someone. If you have a smaller than average
personal space, make sure you keep your distance so that you do not intimidate someone who possesses
a larger personal space. P.S. If you want to have fun at a social gathering, step inside the personal space
boundary of a friend. With some practice, you can back them up around the entire room without them
even being aware of what is happening. But beware. It can also happen to you.
The Whites of Their Eyes Technique
Eye contact is an area of importance that many give lip service to, yet fail to implement in actual
practice. If you have difficulty maintaining eye contact, try this simple technique to lock in a strong
first impression. Concentrate on noticing (and remembering) the color of the person's eyes as you shake
hands. In doing so, you will not only show excellent initial eye contact, you will also create interest in
your eyes, which will be clear and focused.
The Nose on Their Face Technique
Another technique for maintaining eye contact. If you have difficulty maintaining eye contact due to
discomfort at looking someone directly in the eyes, use this technique instead. Simply start at them
directly in the nose. You will not have the discomfort of direct eye contact, yet the person you are
speaking with will perceive that you are making eye contact (even though you are busily sizing up their
nasal openings). Just make sure you don't become so preoccupied with nasal starting that you end up
being distracted from the interview.
Winning The Body Language Game
Everyone uses body language during the interview (whether they realize it
or not), but very few think about in advance and modify their body
language to produce the most positive effect. Body language is merely the
smaller, less prominent nonverbal cues that we give others while
communicating. Following are some typical interpretations of body
language cues:
Openness and Warmth: open-lipped smiling, open hands with palms visible, unbuttoning coat upon
being seated.
Confidence: leaning forward in chair, chin up, putting tips of fingers of one hand against the tips of
fingers of other hand in "praying" or "steepling" position, hands joined behind back when standing.
Nervousness: smoking, whistling, pinching skin, fidgeting, jiggling pocket contents, running tongue
along front of teeth, clearing throat, hands touching the face or covering part of the face, pulling at skin
or ear, running fingers through hair, wringing hands, biting on pens or other objects, twiddling thumbs,
biting fingernails (action itself or evidence of), tongue clicking.
Untrustworthy/Defensive: frowning, squinting eyes, tight-lipped grin, arms crossed in front of chest,
pulling away, chin down, touching nose or face, darting eyes, looking down when speaking, clenched
hands, gestures with fist, pointing with fingers, chopping one hand into the open palm of the other,
rubbing back of neck, clasping hands behind head while leaning back in the chair.
As you can see, there are far more negatives than positives--possibly more than we are consciously
aware of. This list is given not so that you can artificially adopt the positive body language techniques,
but more to help you recognize and avoid the negatives. If you have a habit of doing any of the above
negatives, remove that action from your pattern of behavior before it sends the wrong signal.
Concentrate on removing it now so you will not have to think about it during the interview.
And keep in mind the opposite side of the desk. As you talk with an interviewer, be aware of (although
not preoccupied with) their body language and nonverbal cues. Do not try to read in more than is
actually being communicated, but try to develop a sense of the interviewer's reception of you. The most
obvious example is the smile connection--when your smile brings about a smile from the interviewer.
Do your best to stay connected with your interviewer--both verbally and nonverbally.
The Nonverbal Interview Technique
Don't just give lip-service to the concepts listed previously--practice them! How? With a Nonverbal
Interview. Unlike the mock interview, this one does not require a great amount of preparation--just an
observant friend. Ask the friend to ask questions, but instead of focusing on your answers, ask him to
make note of your nonverbals and body language and the messages being sent. Or play back your mock
interview with the sound off. The results might surprise you.
Being Sincerely Honest
If you have a tendency to use phrases such as, "To be honest with you," "Just between you and me,"
"Well, I'll be completely honest about this," or other such qualifiers, eliminate them from your
vocabulary. Think about it. A person who uses such a qualifier is implying by its usage that they
typically are not being honest. If you are being honest all the time (which you should be), there is no
need to use this kind of qualifier.
The Show and Tell Technique
If appropriate (the key words here being "if appropriate"), feel free to
bring samples or copies of your work to the interview as concrete
examples of your capabilities. Use reports, projects, photos, programs, or
whatever it is that provides a tangible example of what you have done. It's
one thing to say "I developed a report," and quite another to actually show
the report you developed.
While the types of samples you use may vary, they can include any
information developed either through capstone-level classes or work
Following are a few examples that have been used successfully:
Programs and system design specs by an Information Systems major
Complex financial analysis done by a Finance major
Working product prototype developed by a Mechanical Engineering major
Be fully prepared not only to "show" but also "tell" about your sample. Be ready to answer any and all
possible questions that might come up. This should not be a casual sample--it should be an example of
your very best work. It will stand as the icon of what your capabilities are. If you are extremely proud
of something you have done, show me--and tell me why.
If possible, you might want to consider using your show and tell samples as "leave-behinds" for the
company to look at later. There is usually not enough time within the course of the interview to fully

explore a good "show and tell" item. This also puts another "hook" into the company for necessary
future contact.
Although using your sample as a "leave-behind" should only be done if the item is reproducible, you
might want to consider leaving behind "sample only" items with an employer, if you are truly
interested. Tell them: "I'll just pick it up when I'm here for my next interview" or (if this is your final
interview) "I would be more than happy to pick it up on my start date." Presumptuous? Possibly. But it
may also be your golden opportunity to close the sale!
The Sneak Preview Technique
A variation on the Show and Tell Technique is to provide the company
with a sneak preview of what they can expect of you as an employee.
While Show and Tell looks backward at material you have developed in
the past, the Sneak Preview Technique focuses on the future. This
technique works well when you have been given an indication (perhaps
in a previous on-campus interview or phone interview) that there is a
certain level of proficiency which the company is seeking. Take this as your cue to prepare for that
question in advance.
An example of the use of this technique comes from a Multimedia Developer, who was asked in an
initial interview if he knew a particular multimedia presentation software package. While he
acknowledged that he did not at the time, he promised to research the package and provide a demo of
his results at the next interview.
He found the presentation software to be very similar to one he had worked with extensively. After
developing a full presentation based on company marketing materials, he presented the results in the
office of his future manager. He noted that the presentation was put together in his spare time with little
training. The company would, of course, receive a much higher level of performance upon hiring him
full-time in the position. That sneak preview not only landed him a job offer, but also expanded the
scope of initial responsibilities on the job (and his overall pay).
The Proof Positive Technique
Another variation of the Show and Tell Technique and Sneak Preview Technique will provide you with
a way to fill a stated need, especially in a later or final interview. The need for a required proficiency
may be requested in the form of a "Have you ever . . . " question. If the answer is no, you can still show
proficiency by offering to provide them with the output or results in a short period of time. This is an
ideal way to answer the unanswerable question. Ask the interviewer for time to solve the problem, then
take it home, do your research, prepare your result and present your solution. Then ask for the job.
You cannot prepare for this in advance, as with the previous techniques. But it is an excellent way to
respond to an interview question for which you have no previous experience to reference. Everyone
says they are a fast learner. This technique is your way to prove it.
For example, a Computer Science major was asked if he had ever developed Web pages in HTML. He
stated that he had not, but went on to say that he was a quick study and to prove the point, he would
take the corporate flyer which he had been given, put it in HTML format and deliver the result via e-
mail by 8:00 a.m. the following morning.
He went straight from the interview to the library, spent the better part of the evening reading and
researching other Web sites and delivered the final product on time the following morning. Proof
positive indeed!

Raspberry Fudge Swirl In A Plain Vanilla World
Even though you have probably already gone through this exercise in the
self-evaluation phase of your career planning, it's important to go through
it one more time: know how you measure up against your competition.
And this time take very specific note of your competitive differences.
Don't go along with the mistaken impression that you can sell based only
on your own personal value--remember our discussion of product-driven
marketing versus customer-driven marketing. Know what your specific
advantage is for each specific employer. Be ready to articulate that
advantage in very precise language.
Success in interviewing involves being fully prepared. But it's more than that--you must stand out in a
world of "plain vanilla" job candidates. What particular strengths make you uncommon? What makes
you unique? Be ready to differentiate yourself. Be ready to show your "competitive advantage." And be
ready to load on the nut topping, whipped cream and cherry if they ask for it. You have to be ready to
take on the competition. Remember, your competition is sitting there in the classrooms with you. You
need to know and understand your greatest strengths in relation to them.
It is only by differentiating yourself that you can lick your competition.
The Interview Psych Technique
The night before the interview, spend some time with a friend or family member, telling them why you
would be the best for the position. Use superlatives galore! The purpose is to put you in the right frame
of mind for the interview, so that you truly believe you are the best possible candidate for the job. Why
is this so vitally important? See the next item.
Whom Would You Believe?
Before you can possibly convince me as the interviewer that you are right
for the job, you have to believe it yourself. It's amazing how many
candidates seem tentative and reluctant to express confidence in their own
abilities. Remember, you are all alone once the interview starts. No one
will sell you if you don't sell yourself. How can I believe in you if you don't believe in you? I am not
here to sell you on our company until after you sell me. Once you have sold me on you, I will sell you
on the position and the company, but not until then. So don't expect the interviewer to tell you why you
are right for the job. That is your job.
The Pygmalion Technique
So maybe you are the shy type who is uncomfortable talking about yourself in a positive way. There is
still a way for you to prepare yourself mentally for the interview. Remember Pygmalion? No? In Greek
mythology, Pygmalion sculpted a beautiful ivory statue of a woman that was given to the king of
Cyprus. Pygmalion believed so strongly that the statue was real that it was eventually given life by the
goddess Venus. Our TV/movie generation may know the story of Pygmalion and his statue through our
modern stage/movie versions: Professor Higgins and Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Eliza is
transformed from a common flower peddler to an elegant lady through the power of continuous
positive reinforcement on the part of Professor Higgins. If others tell you that you can do something,
and tell you this long enough, you will eventually come to believe it yourself and live it in your life.
To see a simple example of the power of this technique in action, notice what happens to you when you
smile for an extended period of time. Think of something (or someone) pleasant or amusing that makes
you want to smile. Right now, as you are reading these words on this page. And hold that smile until
you finish reading this technique. The end result will be that your body will react to the smile in a very
positive way. You will eventually feel like smiling naturally without having to consciously think about
it. And, interestingly enough, if others walk by while you have that silly grin on your face, they will
probably begin smiling also. Keep on smiling!

We create images in our mind of how things should be. If these images are believed, they can
eventually become self-fulfilling prophecies. If we change the image, we change the result. So if others
tell you that you are the very best person for the job long enough and sincerely enough, you will
eventually come to believe this and act upon it in a positive way.
No, this is not some useless psycho-babble--it really works. The key is to pick someone as your
supporter who is very sensitive and willing to back you in your efforts. Significant others work great,
assuming the relationship is supportive. Moms are also great for this role. Let your supporter in on the
fact that you have an interview coming up, and tell them you need their help in pumping you up. Ask
them to please lay it on thick, with the best praise they can muster for the occasion. This should be the
last person you speak with the night before or even the day of the interview, if possible.
One final note. This is also a very effective child rearing technique for later in life. Tell your kids they
are loved and wanted and they will believe you. Tell them they are wicked and worthless and they will
also believe you. Make sure you do the former.
The Visualization Technique
The use of mental visualization can be extremely helpful in preparing for
your interview. You can, by visualization, experience your coming
interview, including a rehearsal of how you would react in specific
Many great athletes prepare for competition through visualization. And
many of the great feats of history have been accomplished first through
visualization. Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to scale the heights of
Mount Everest, was asked by a young reporter how it felt to be the first
man to touch the peak of Everest. Hillary replied that it felt exactly the
same as each of the previous times. What the puzzled reporter failed to see
is that Hillary had already successfully scaled Everest many times through
In preparing for the interview, go through the motions in your mind.
Anticipate the questions which may be asked. Visualize yourself as
confident and self-assured. Not cocky, just confident of who you are and the benefit you can provide
the employer. Play the part over and over again until you feel you have truly lived it. Visualize your
success until it becomes reality.
Mastering the Interview
"To be a great champion, you must believe that you are the best.If you're not, pretend you are."
Muhammad Ali -
You are a special person. You know it. Your Mom knows it. Your Dad knows it. Your siblings know it
(but probably won't admit it to anyone else). Your Mom really knows it. Your friends and relatives
know it. But unless you convince the interviewer of your special talents and abilities, you will fade into
that great dark abyss of Interviews Lost.
Study this Section. Get comfortable with the techniques and tactics before your first interview.
Remember, every interview counts. Every time you interview successfully, you move one more golden
step toward the job offer and career of your dreams.
The Truth about Interviewing
The Personal Connection Technique
The Three Step Interview Process
The Personality Matching Technique
The Handshake Matching Technique
The Eight Types of Interview Questions
The Competency Answering Technique
The Behavioral Answering Technique
The Compelling Story Technique
The Hero Technique
The Pregnant Pause Technique
The Successful Vagabond Technique
How to Never Be Nervous Again
The Rowboat Technique
Ten Tough Interview Questions and Ten Great Answers
Fifty Standard Interview Questions
Top Ten Critical Success Factors
What to Do If You Are Asked an Illegal Question
Don't Commit One of the Worst Interview Sins
The Parroting Technique
The Safety Valve Technique
The Reframing Technique
The Experience of a Lifetime Technique
The Articulation Factor
The Dirty Dog Theory
The Abraham Lincoln Technique
The Pride of Ownership Technique
The Competitive Posture Technique
The One Question to Ask Every Interviewer
Questions to Ask the Interviewer
The Money Response Technique
The Lockdown Technique
The Truth About Interviewing
"But it seemed to go so well! We talked about everything...campus life ...the weather...the football
season. I just don't understand why I got a rejection letter... "
Beware the interview that gets too chummy. It may be that the interviewer
has already rejected you and out of politeness passes the remaining time
talking about everything but you.
The truth about interviewing is that most initial interviews only last about
five minutes. Oh, sure, the actual interview always takes longer than that.
Twenty minutes. Thirty minutes. Sometimes even an hour. But the interview is usually over in five
minutes or less. If you have not convinced the interviewer by the five minute point that you are the
right person for the job (or at least a contender who should be taken to the next level), it can be next to
impossible to recover. Recoveries do happen. But they are very rare.
In that first five minutes of the interview, I will have noted many critical aspects. Your appearance.
Your grooming. Your handshake. Your personal presence. Your eye contact. Your articulation. And,
most importantly, your personality. Notice that I did not mention anything about your coursework, your
GPA, or your work experience. That is what got you to the interview in the first place. But it is the
"soft factors" that will take you to the next level.
Having taken the right courses, having good grades (critical!), and having related work experience are
all important selection criteria. But they do not matter one iota if you are not a strong personal fit for
our company.
The truth is that most interviewers are seeking individuals who are able to personally present
themselves well in a face-to-face interview. They are seeking to recommend those who will be a good
reflection upon themselves and their selectivity. So most interviewers naturally gravitate to specific
"critical success factors" that have worked for them consistently.

The Personal Connection Technique
No matter how good you look on paper, no matter how well you present yourself, no matter how well
you answer their questions, you will not get the job unless you make a personal connection with the
interviewer. I need to know from the very start that you are someone I can trust to represent me and my
company. How do you establish that trust? Simple. At the very beginning of the interview, when the
introductions are being made, concentrate on looking directly and solidly into the interviewer's eyes,
giving them your sweetest and most endearing smile. I tend to think of it as a "shy smile," or, if we can
venture into the bounds of cuteness, a "cute smile." The bottom line is to make it a warm and friendly
smile. Then think about the fact that you are truly pleased to be there in the presence of this person.
Establish that personal connection both physically and mentally with the interviewer.
How do you know when the connection is made? When they return your smile in a comfortable,
relaxed manner, you are connected and ready to communicate on a personal level. Remember, I only
hire people I am comfortable with. If the connection is not made, I won't hire. So take the time to
establish that personal connection.
The Three Step Interview Process
In its simplest form, the interview consists of three distinct steps:
Establish rapport
Gather information
It is vitally important to understand these basic steps in order to be
successful in your interviewing. Each step carries with it a different focus
and emphasis. Each step has its own protocol and requirements. And successful completion of each
step is critical for you to go on to the next step in the process, whether that be another interview or the
actual job offer.
It is important to note that there is a dual responsibility for successful
completion of each of these steps. The employer has a responsibility to
follow through in each step, yet you have a greater responsibility. If the
employer fails in his responsibility, the company will potentially fail to hire
a qualified candidate. But if you consistently fail in your responsibility, you
will fail to be hired. So you need to take personal responsibility for your side
of the interview process.
The establishing rapport step is where the vital first impressions are formed. Some employers will
claim to be able to make a decision about a candidate in thirty seconds or less. The truth is that you will
set the tone for the interview through your physical appearance and initial responses. If you start off
poorly, you can recover, but only after a herculean effort. Your personal appearance will speak
volumes before you ever utter a word.
Many interviewers are analyzing you in reference to the company culture. Does this person fit in?
Would this person represent our company well? Would others feel I made a good selection in
recommending? And the small talk is actually big talk, since it will greatly affect how you are
perceived in the eyes of the interviewer. It's not necessarily the words you say, but how you say them.
Your verbal articulation and vocabulary will be noted, especially any variance, positive or negative,
from the standard. If you have done your interview homework and have fully researched the company,
the words will flow smoothly. If not, it will show. This is where your positive attitude and confidence
will establish the tone for the interview. And this is the step during which you have the opportunity to
make your personal connection with the interviewer.
In the gathering information step, the employer will be asking questions and matching your answers
against their critical success factors. Some of the questions will be closed-ended, such as "What was
your GPA?" Others will be open-ended behavioral questions, such as "Can you give me an example of
a time when you had to make an unpopular decision?" While preparation is important, your honesty
and sincerity in answering should be evident. Most interviewers are keenly aware of when they are
being snowed. The questions in this step will usually be probing questions which drill deep into your
background, attempting to get past the interview veneer. Although you may have pre-sold the
interviewer in the establishing rapport stage, you will need to solidify the employer's view in this stage.
The outward questions are designed to answer the inner doubts. You will be judged on attitude (Are
they always this pleasant or is there someone evil lurking beneath the surface?), work ethic (Will they
really work hard or are they just looking for a cushy job?), intelligence (Does this person really
understand the industry concepts or is he reaching?), and honesty (Is the person really this good or are
they just acting?).
You will be subject to the individual whims of each individual interviewer. Often not by design, but
due to lack of training. The only individuals who have truly been trained to interview (Human
Resources) usually do not have the hiring decision. So the hiring manager interview is usually less
structured and more subjective. And in the end, an imperfect decision will be formed from an imperfect
interview process. If you have not sold the interviewer by the end of this step, you will have great
difficulty in resurrecting.
In the close step, the interviewer will set the hook for the next step. If you have succeeded to this point,
the conversation will center around the interviewer selling you on the company and the next steps in
the hiring process. If you have failed to this point, the conversation will center on the football team, the
weather, or any other neutral subject which provides for a clean disengage. If your interview was
successful, there will usually be an indication of future steps. You may be given further company
information which is reserved for only the select few.
No matter what your view of the interview to this point, it is important to personally close the interview
by establishing continuity of the process. Understand what the next step will be. "We will be reviewing
all of the candidates and getting back to you," is not necessarily a close-out, although it is the standard
response when there is no interest. Make certain you understand the next steps and be prepared to
follow up on your side. Always pursue each interview as if it were your last. You can always back
away from it later if you truly have no interest, but you cannot back away from a company that you
failed to impress.
Understanding the basic steps of the interview is only the starting point. You need to be fully prepared
for different personality styles, different interview styles, and different questions. You need to master
your ability to present the very best you.
The Personality Matching Technique
This technique is the secret to successful interviewing. If you read nothing
else, read this technique. There is a simple key to success in interviewing
that very few people utilize. It is the process of mirroring the personality of
the person to whom you are speaking, a process that I refer to as
"Personality Matching." It is based upon the proven fact that we like people
who are like us. It is the halo effect in action--anyone who is like me must
be a good person. Result? Instant rapport.
Any good salesperson is aware of this simple technique. Want evidence?
The next time you get a call from a telemarketer, do not hang up. Instead,
stick with them a few minutes just to hear their pitch. You will probably know pretty quickly if you are
dealing with a "greenie" who is reading from a script or a seasoned professional. If it's a greenie, give
them a polite "no thank you" and hang up. But stick with the pro through the entire call. Why? Because
now we are going to have some fun.
In the beginning of the call, talk to them in a very quick and upbeat voice, possibly somewhat higher in
pitch. If they are good, they will follow right along with you, matching your tempo and pitch. If not,
they are still a greenie, operating in their own little world--end the call. But if they follow along, here
comes the fun. Gradually slow down your rate of speaking and lower your voice in both volume and
pitch. Guess what? The true pro will follow you all the way down. Surprised? Don't be. Just as a
telemarketing pro is trained to do this (and at this point may not even be conscious of what they are
doing), any good marketing person does the exact same thing. Whatever the industry, the most
successful salespeople are the ones who meet you (the customer) at your level.
In the same way, the best interviewees are the ones who have the ability to meet the interviewers at
their level. "Wait a minute, shouldn't that be the job of the interviewer?" No! The only interviewers
who have actually been trained at interviewing (Personnel/Human Resources) are usually not the ones
who make the final hiring decision. Even some of the best interviewers are totally unaware of this
technique or are unwilling to apply it.
So how does one do this "personality matching thing?" First match the voice and then the physical
characteristics of the interviewer. In matching the voice, the most important aspect is to match the rate
of speaking (tempo), then match the pitch. In matching the physical characteristics, it is most important
to match (or at least reflect) the facial expressions, then the posture (sitting back or forward, etc.).
Although you should not be trying to "mimic" (like a mime in action), you should attempt to closely
match him or her.
To be effective with this technique, you need to first understand your own personality range. For some
of us, it is quite wide and variant. For others, it may be more narrow. As an example, I consider myself
to have a very wide personality range--I am very comfortable in matching both the very flamboyant
and the very subdued. Each type is at an extreme end of my personality range. Most people, however,
operate in a somewhat narrower personality range. The key is to be able to identify your personal
bounds of comfort.
So what do we do if the person we meet with is talking a mile a minute? Should we try to artificially
match that person, if it is outside of our personality range? Quite simply, no. To attempt to act like
someone we are not would be "faking it." It's better known as being two-faced and in the business
world it can be a real killer. Some people end up getting sucked into this trap in order to get the job,
then go through a continual living hell as they are forced to fake it for the duration of the job. Don't do
it. But you should be aware of what your personality range is and be willing to move fluidly within that
range to accommodate the personality of the individual with whom you are meeting.
Personality matching does not mean perfect matching (it never is). It does mean that we should do our
best to come as close as possible to matching the other person's personality within the bounds of our
own personality range. Keep in mind that there is no "perfect personality" (or perfect anything on this
earth, for that matter) since what is perfect to one will always be lacking in some way to another.
Perfection is relative to the recipient. Remember that.
As a side note, think about someone you truly dislike. In most cases, it's because the person is outside
your personality range, usually in the upper extreme (too loud, too pushy, too cocky, too egotistical, too
stuffy, etc.)--they are "too much" of something that you do not embrace in your own personality. If you
have a "too much" area in your own personality, you are best advised to bring it under strict control, not
only in interviewing, but in your life in general.
If you put into practice this one technique, you will likely increase your chances of success
dramatically, and not just in interviewing. Personality matching is a technique that you can use in
virtually all areas of human communication.
The Handshake Matching Technique
Apply the same principle of the Personality Matching Technique to handshakes. Don't get confused by
the "too hard" or "too soft" handshake psychology baloney. There is no absolute when it comes to
handshakes because the effectiveness of the handshake is defined by the recipient. So is the handshake
unimportant? No. But it would be wrong to attempt to come up with "the perfect handshake." There is
no such thing, since each person receiving your handshake has their own definition of perfection. It's
relative to the person who has your fingers in their grasp. Therefore, a truly effective handshake is

going to be a "mirror" of the handshake being offered. Match the person's handshake the same as you
would their voice or posture.
While personality matching is dynamic and takes place over an extended period of time, the handshake
lasts just one to two seconds. So how do you adjust? Use a medium grip handshake, placing your hand
so that the soft skin between your thumb and forefinger comes in contact with the same location on the
recipient's hand. Then be prepared to squeeze down on the gorilla or lighten up on the softie, as
necessary. Don't get into a wrestling contest. Again, just as with personality matching, you don't have
to match the extremes. Just move to that end of your "handshake range." Practice a few times with a
friend. Or better yet, practice with a loved one.

The Eight Types of Interview Questions

Interviewing is not a science. Nor is it an art form. It is simply an imperfect form of human
communication designed to increase the predictive validity of potential employer-employee
relationships. And it is very imperfect.
There are basically eight types of questions you may face during the course of an interview:
Credential verification questions
This type of question includes "What was your GPA?" and "How long
were you at . . . " Its purpose is to place objective measurements on
features of your background.
Experience verification questions
This type of question includes "What did you learn in that class?" and
"What were your responsibilities in that position?" Its purpose is to verify
experiential features of your background.
Opinion questions
This type of question includes "What would you do in this situation?" and
"What are your strengths and weaknesses?" Its purpose is to subjectively analyze how you would
respond to a scenario. The reality is that "Tape #143" in your brain kicks in and plays when you
recognize the question and play back the pre-programmed answer.
Dumb questions
This type of question includes "What kind of animal would you like to be?" or "What do you think
flubber is made from?" Its purpose is to get past your pre-programmed answers to find out if you are
capable of an original thought. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer, since it is used
primarily as a test of your ability to think on your feet.
Math questions
This type of question includes "What is 1000 divided by 73?" to "How many ping pong balls could fit
in a Volkswagen?" Its purpose is to evaluate not only your mental math calculation skills, but also your
creative ability in formulating the mathematical formula for providing an answer (or estimate, as can
often be the case).
Case questions
This type of question includes problem-solving questions ranging from: "How many gas stations are
there in the U.S.?" to "What is your estimate of the U.S. online retail market for books?" Its purpose is
to evaluate your problem-solving abilities and how you would analyze and work through potential case
Behavioral questions
This type of question includes "Can you give me a specific example of how you did that?" or "What
were the steps you followed to accomplish that task?" Its purpose is to anticipate predictable future
behaviors based upon past responses.
Competency questions

This type of question includes "Can you give me a specific example of your leadership skills?" or
"Explain a way in which you sought a creative solution to a problem." Its purpose is to align your past
behaviors with specific competencies which are required for the position.
It is interesting to note that the first four types of interview questions listed
have a predictive validity for on the job success of just 10 percent. And 10
percent predictive validity is the same level that is generated from a simple
resume review. Math questions increase the predictive validity to 15 percent
(since it tests intelligence, commonly a key competency for most positions)
and case questions raise the predictive validity to 25 percent (and slightly higher for consulting
positions). Behavioral and competency interviewing, on the other hand, yield a predictive validity of 55
percent. Still far from perfect, yet much more reliable for most interviewers. Interestingly, the first four
question types are still the favored approach by most untrained interviewers, simply due to lack of
experience. Behavioral and competency interviewing is gaining greater acceptance by trained
interviewers because past performance is the most reliable indicator of future results, especially when it
is tied to the specific competencies for the position. Companies such as Accenture have modified this
approach with specific critical behavioral interviewing to target those behaviors which provide the
highest correlation with the required competencies for highly predictive positive results.
The Competency Answering Technique
Competency interviewing can often be the most difficult type of interviewing, both for the interviewer
and the interviewee. For the interviewer, it requires understanding the competencies required for
success in the position, which often can include a detailed analysis of the position as well as current
employees who have succeeded in the position (and their common competencies). Yet when performed
accurately, it can produce highly successful results.
An example of a competency is intelligence. The specific competency for a position may require
someone with a minimum intelligence level. Competency-based questions which can probe this
competency could include:
"What were your SAT (or ACT) scores?" (since the SAT and ACT provide a general guideline to IQ
and general intelligence.
"Describe how you learn new things." (which will give the interviewer an opportunity to drill down on
any specifics to better understand your learning style and approach)
"What is your IQ?" (yes, they might actually ask that question and yes, in general, they can)
These are just a few sample questions on one specific competency (intelligence). Other competencies
which may be measured may include creativity, analytical reasoning, strategic skills, tactical skills, risk
taking, integrity, drive, organizational skills, teamwork, willingness to change, enthusiasm, ambition
and life balance, just to name a few. A fully developed competency model may have as many as 30-50
different competencies that are being evaluated. And yes, it can produce a more grueling interview
For the interviewee, it may not be readily apparent that the interviewer is evaluating you on a
competency-based model. And even if you are aware of a competency question, you likely will not
know what the requirements are for the competency for the position. Just because there is a
competency being measured for a position does not mean that it must be at a high level for success.
Successful competency interviewing focuses on those key competencies which are critical to success in
the position.
So how do you answer competency questions? First, by probing the key competencies. The opportunity
you have to ask a question in a competency interview (or almost any in-depth interview, for that
matter), it should be this one:
"What do you consider to be the top three key competencies for this position?"
Or, stated in another format:
"What do you consider to be the top three critical success factors for this position?"
Note that with both questions, you are hitting on hot button phrases ("key competencies" and "critical
success factors"). In fact, if you ever hear the phrase "CSF" being used in a business setting, they are
likely not talking about a "Captivatingly Stunning Female" but rather about "Critical Success Factors."
Or "CSF's" for short.
Either question will drill to what the interviewer considers to be the key competencies for the position.
It will then be your responsibility to answer how you fit each one of these competencies. There are
three approaches you can use to answer:
Answer the three competencies in summary format as your response to their reply.
Answer each of the competencies in your following interview question responses.
Post interview in your thank you letter.
You must be ready to align these competencies with your background in order to win the position.
Don't worry though, since almost none of your competition will be going this extra step. Just by
making a sincere and focused effort, you will set yourself far apart from the field.
P.S. Don't be surprised when you get a different answer to this question from each interviewer. Seldom
is an employer so well organized and process driven that all of the interviewers are in complete synch
on the top three competencies needed for each position. But use that diversity of opinion as an
opportunity to emphasize those aspects of your background that are the most important for each
individual interviewer.
The Behavioral Answering Technique
From your side of the desk, the behavioral interviewing approach can
appear somewhat difficult at first. The interviewer will be consistently
drilling down to specific examples in your past. When you have difficulty
coming up with a specific example, a well-trained behavioral interviewer
will not let you off the hook, but will provide you with a prompt to
continue thinking until you can provide an example. The dreaded silence which follows can be
uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. Unless you are prepared in advance.
As you consider the variety of questions which can and will be posed over the course of a series of
interviews, keep in mind that you will not always have the right answer to every question. But if you
are well prepared, you will have a variety of examples to draw from which will give you the
background to formulate your answers.
The Behavioral Answering Technique involves answering questions with specific examples, whether or
not you have been asked to provide them. This technique works in lockstep with an interviewer who is
following a behavioral interviewing approach, yet it works even better with those who are not. Because
you will always be providing examples and stories which make you a real person. With real
experiences. Real experience that can benefit a future employer.
So as you go through the exercise of interview preparation, carefully consider all questions in an
"example" format. Keep in mind the "Can you give me an example . . . " follow-up that is the
cornerstone of the behavioral interviewing approach. Be prepared to use examples from your work,
classes, and extracurricular activities. And be ready to offer up not just any example, but your very best
The Compelling Story Technique
Once you have grown accustomed to the Behavioral Answering Technique, you can expand your
answers by turning your examples into compelling stories. Instead of merely providing an example that
suits the question, weave the example into a compelling story with personality, flair and interest.
Captivate your audience by providing the details and nuances that bring your story to life.
Consider yourself the author of a piece of fiction. As you put your plot into words, you must give life
and meaning to the characters and surroundings. Provide the same in telling your compelling stories.
Build the framework and background for the story. Add the elements of interest and intrigue. Give the
plot twists. And show how our hero (you) saved the day in the end.
We all have compelling stories in our past. We tell them to our friends, our
family, our loved ones. We laugh. We cry. And our hearts yearn for more.
Yet we sometimes lose these stories over time, or bury them in our long-
term memory bank, only to dredge them up at reunion time.
The key to retaining these compelling stories for your interviewing is to
write them down. Go over the questions and bring to mind the stories you can weave to provide your
example in living color. And as another compelling story occurs to you or as you find yourself in the
telling of another interesting tale, ask yourself if the story will provide potential substance in your
interviewing. If so, write it down.
After a period of time, you will have a collection of compelling stories to guide you through your
interviews. As you become proficient in angling these stories to fit your needs, you will find yourself
steering to these stories to illustrate your points.
One example of a compelling story was told to me by a recent grad, who answered my question about
her organization skills by telling me how she planned and organized the alumni dinner during
homecoming weekend, including full details of the management of twenty different student volunteers
and coordination with six different campus departments. The event was a resounding success, but there
were several challenges which she needed to overcome. And each of these challenges provided a
compelling story of its own, as she was able to show her ability to plan, organize, and develop a team
toward eventual success. In the end, she received a personal letter of recommendation from the
President of the university, which she presented to me as validation of her extraordinary efforts.
Another compelling story was given to me by a current student in reference to a question about his
lower than expected grade point average. He related to me the amount of work which he had put in to
finance his college education, averaging thirty hours per week and occasionally putting in as much as
fifty hours per week. He was eventually promoted to department manager, even though the employer
knew he would be leaving after completing his degree. He recounted the story of the meeting with the
employer in which he tried to back away from the management responsibilities, asking that one of the
other department employees be promoted. The employer called in the four other workers in the
department, who each personally asked that he take on the job as their manager. This student
successfully shifted the focus from his lower than expected grades to his outstanding performance on
the job by the use of a compelling story.
How do you know if your story is connecting with the interviewer? By eye contact. This is where the
interviewer will show their interest. If you are not connecting with your story, decrease the amount of
detail and drive home your point quickly. Depending on the personality type of the interviewer, you
may need to adjust the length of the story, yet compelling stories work with all personality types. With
the extreme driver or analytical personality types, you will need to keep the details to a minimum,
while quickly making your point. Usually two or three shorter stories are better than one long story. At
the other extreme, for feeling personality types, you will perform better with a longer story and more
details. How do you detect the difference in personality types? By continuously striving to stay
personally connected with the interviewer. If this connection appears to be lost or fading during the
telling of a compelling story, shorten the story and come to your point quickly. On the other hand, if
you have a captive audience who is hanging on your every word, provide all the necessary details.
The key to using compelling stories is that stories are remembered. Stories are what make you human.
Stories are what put a face on you in the mind of the interviewer. And stories are what they will come
back to when you are being sold to others internally. When that time comes, you have given your
interviewer ammo for helping others to see why you should go on to the next step in the hiring process.
Or be offered the job.
The Hero Technique
Has there ever been a time in your life when you saved the day? Hero stories almost always make
compelling interview stories. Was there a time when you put in the above-and-beyond effort? Or
maybe a time when you did something that dramatically changed the course of events (for the positive,
of course). Or perhaps even a time when you were a true hero, by saving someones life or an act or
great bravery? If so, work the story into your collection of compelling stories.
The difficulty with true hero stories can be in finding a successful bridge to the story. But with careful
thought, you will find ample opportunities.
A recent interviewee told of the time when he literally saved someone from drowning in a lake, while
cutting his feet on sharp objects trying to get to the drowning victim. This story came after a question
about reaching goals in his life. Not sure how he got there? His bridge (after telling about his career
goal of working for our company) was to say that he was very strong at keeping focused on the goal
and not letting side issues deter him from achieving the objective. And he then went on to tell the story
of how he saved the drowning victim, in spite of injuring himself in the process. He only realized he
had cut his feet after he had carried the girl out of the lake. Thus, his focus is confirmed and the story is
now ingrained in me, probably for posterity.
Another interviewee told of the time that she was given a surprise party by a customer of the company
she worked for. They were all so appreciative of the hard work that she put in that they gave her a
going away party when she went back to school. This story was given in response to a question about
how responsive she was of the needs of others.
Another interviewee told of the time that he hit the game-winning RBI in the final game of a softball
tournament. He told the story in response to a question about teamwork and did it in a way to show that
all the members of the team had contributed to the final outcome, even though he was the one that was
carried off the field by his teammates. He used it was an example to show how he valued the bonding
of the team and how each member was able to perform at a much higher level than would have been
possible individually.
And finally, another interviewee told the story of sinking the eight-foot putt for victory on the first hole
of sudden-death playoff in a golf tournament. He was asked a question about his ability to handle
pressure and he used the story to show that he actually thrived on pressure and performed at his peak
while under pressure.
Hero stories play well in the minds of interviewers. We all love to hear a good story and hero stories
are often some of the best. Think about the times in your life when you were the hero. And begin to
weave your hero story (or stories) into your interviewing answer repertoire.
The Pregnant Pause Technique
If you are succeeding in presenting a series of compelling stories during the interview, you will likely
develop a rapport which places the communication on a more interactive level.
However, as you are presenting information during the interview, you may need to test the waters with
the length of your answers. This can be done easily with the Pregnant Pause. As you are telling a story
or example, pause at the conclusion of the story. This will be the cue to the interviewer to take back
control with another question or redirection of the original question. But if the interviewer continues
eye contact during the pause, use this as a cue to go on and provide another example.
Most interviews do not have established ground rules, agendas, or programs. They can and do change
and adapt based on the interaction between the interviewer and interviewee. So how long should your
interview answers typically be? It is always a good idea to keep your answers within a two minute
maximum. But you will have no idea at the outset if the interviewer has two questions or twenty. By
proper use of the pause, you give the interviewer the opportunity to stick with their overall plan and
schedule. And, if appropriate, you can continue to give further details or an entirely new example.
A side note to the pause is the converse reaction--an interviewer should not have to interrupt your
answer. If you are interrupted, give control back to the interviewer. Take it as a tip that you will need to
shorten and tighten up your following answers.
One additional side note: never interrupt or finish a sentence for an interviewer. Even if they talk
extraordinarily slow, be patient. Remember, they are the one who holds the ticket for admission.
The Successful Vagabond Technique
There is a very simple key to successful interviewing which I learned from
a couple who successfully traveled around the world on a sailboat. While
not requiring a great deal of money for their journey (most of their needs
were supplied by the wind and the sea), they did occasionally have need
for provisions. So when they made a stopover in the port of a distant land,
they would often seek short-term work, usually just enough to replenish
their supplies. To compound the difficulty of this task, they were always
foreigners in a foreign land, seeking limited-term work, and asking at or
above the local prevailing wage. Yet they were always successful.
Their secret? Confidence. Simple confidence. Confidence in who they
were. Confidence in what they could do. "I can do this job and do it well."
They did not go begging for work. They would walk into a company with
confidence that they would be able to make an immediate contribution.
Confidence that they would be profitable employees. And their confidence
came through loud and clear. They found work in every port, near and far.
Every company, whether in the U.S. or abroad, seeks confidence when considering hiring new
employees. If you lack it, you will be refused. If you show confidence, it will cover for a multitude of
shortcomings in other areas. Lack work experience? Confidence will overcome. Confidence is the great
counterbalancing factor for entry level college grads.
When I am interviewing college students for entry level opportunities at my company, one of the first
things I look for is confidence. The confidence factor is one of the most quickly recognized skills in the
brief on-campus interview and one of the most highly reliable predictors of future performance.
So how do you gain this confidence? Through preparation. Knowing who you are and what you can do.
And practicing. Over and over. Until you are not only confident in yourself, but also able to project that
confidence to others. I must also be confident in your ability to do the work. Then, and only then, will I
be willing to invest in you.
How To Never Be Nervous Again
If even the thought of interviewing makes you nervous, it's important to get that emotion under control.
The interview is your opportunity to be at your best. If you allow nervousness to control your
presentation (or lack thereof), your image may be forever shrouded in the cloud of nervousness that
blocked the interviewer's total view of who you are.
Why do we get nervous? Because of the unknown. We are seeking approval, but we are unsure of
ourselves and how we will be perceived. We are afraid we won't get approval, which makes us nervous.
And to compound the problem, our increasing nervousness makes it even more difficult to gain that
approval, thereby compounding the basis for our fears. Uncontrolled, nervousness can destroy our
ability to effectively interview.
But it doesn't have to be that way. The next page has a simple technique that you can apply to
overcome your nervousness in any interviewing situation. It is a technique that I personally use in
overcoming my own nervousness, and it will work equally well for you.
The Rowboat Technique
In my public speaking, I am often confronted by crowds of hundreds and sometimes even thousands.
Do I get nervous? You bet. Every time. Is anyone aware of my nervousness? Not unless they see me in
the few minutes before I go on stage, before I have successfully applied the Rowboat Technique. This
simple technique allows me to overcome my fears and successfully speak before thousands of people I
have never met before. And it will help you in meeting with and speaking to people you have never met
before in the interviewing situation.
The Rowboat Technique is a simple contraction of the abdomen in combination with rhythmic
breathing that will allow you to fully overcome your nervousness in any situation. To understand how
to use this technique, sit forward in a chair, arms outstretched, as if you are grabbing oars in a rowboat.
Take a deep breath, then slowly pull back your arms and contract the abdominal muscle just below the
rib cage. As you continue to let out air, roll the contraction of the muscle downward, just above your
pelvic region, centering on your navel. Keep you muscles tight until all of the air has been expelled.
Count to three (don't breathe in yet!), then inhale deeply. Repeat this simple process two or three times
and you will find that your body is completely relaxed.
To better understand the Rowboat Technique, stop by the gym and sit
down at one of the rowing machines. You will gain a firsthand feel for
the relaxation brought on by the series of muscle contractions and deep
breathing that comes naturally during this type of workout.
So how can this apply with interviewing? Obviously, you don't want to
go through all the visual animations in front of the interviewer, but you
can still effectively apply this technique. Simply take in a deep breath
through your nose, then contract your abdominal muscles in the "top to
bottom roll" discussed above as you slowly exhale through slightly
parted lips. Hold it at the bottom, take in a deep breath, and you are
ready to go. If you are still nervous, simply repeat the technique one or
two more times. Even if you are not nervous at the time, it is always a good idea to use this technique
as you are waiting to meet with your interviewer. During the interview, you can use it while the
interviewer is speaking to keep any potential nervousness in check.
What if you are overcome by nervousness while answering a question? Simply pause, take a deep
breath, exhale and contract, then continue. Your nervousness will be noticeable to the interviewer (due
to the pause in your answer), but the five-second drill will also show that you are seeking to control
your nervousness. If you are able to successfully overcome, I will never hold that pause against you. I
will admire your self-control and the positive, proactive action you took to put the interview back on a
successful track.
This technique is virtually unnoticeable to anyone nearby. I make it a habit to apply this technique
several times before going on stage, whether I am feeling nervous or not. You could be seated next to
me and be completely unaware of what I am doing. Yet I will effectively put away all my nervousness
and prepare myself for a dynamic presentation. You can do the same in preparation for your interview.
Why does it work? Very simply, the muscle contractions prevent the introduction of chemical
imbalances into your system that can cause nervousness. The deep breathing helps to dissipate any
chemicals that have already been released. It forces the body to prepare physically for the upcoming
task. The body begins to focus on producing positive endorphins that will be needed for the anticipated
"rowing" ahead. And this exercise will give your mind the opportunity to focus positively on the actual
task of interviewing.
You can use this technique in a variety of circumstances in which you need to focus your mind and
body: overcoming anxiety, anger, fright, tension, nausea--even a simple case of stomach butterflies.
You can overcome interviewing nervousness, and much more, just by using this simple technique. If
you haven't already done so, give it a try right now!
Ten Tough Interview Questions And Ten Great Answers
Mental fear of the unknown is often what produces the physical symptoms
of nervousness. In addition to preparing yourself physically, you also need
to prepare yourself mentally. The best way to prepare mentally is to know
what may be coming. Fear of the unknown can only exist when there is an
unknown. Take the time to understand some of the "standards" when it
comes to interviewing questions.
The following are some of the most difficult questions you will face in the course of your job
interviews. Some questions may seem rather simple on the surface--such as "Tell me about yourself"--
but these questions can have a variety of answers. The more open-ended the question, the wider the
variation in the answers. Once you have become practiced in your interviewing skills, you will find that
you can use almost any question as a launching pad for a particular topic or compelling story.
Others are "classic" interview questions, such as, "What is your greatest weakness?" Questions which
most people answer inappropriately. In this case, the standard textbook answer for the "greatest
weakness" question is to give a veiled positive--"I work too much. I just work and work and work"--
which ends up sending the wrong message. Either you are lying or, worse yet, you are telling the truth,
in which case you define working too much as a weakness and really don't want to work much at all.
Think about it.
The following answers are provided to give you a new perspective on how to answer tough interview
questions. They are not there for you to lift from the page and insert into your next interview. They are
there for you to use as the basic structure for formulating your own answers. While the specifics of
each reply may not apply to you, try to follow the basic structure of the answer from the perspective of
the interviewer. Answer the questions behaviorally, with specific examples that show clear evidence
backs up what you are saying about yourself. Always provide information that shows you want to
become the very best _____ for the company and that you have specifically prepared yourself to
become exactly that. They want to be sold. They are waiting to be sold. Don't disappoint them!
Tell me about yourself.
My background to date has been centered around preparing myself to become the very best _____ I can
become. Let me tell you specifically how I've prepared myself . . .
Why should I hire you?
Because I sincerely believe that I'm the best person for the job. I realize that there are many other
college students who have the ability to do this job. I also have that ability. But I also bring an
additional quality that makes me the very best person for the job--my attitude for excellence. Not just
giving lip service to excellence, but putting every part of myself into achieving it. In _____ and _____ I
have consistently reached for becoming the very best I can become by doing the following . . .
What is your long-range objective? Where do you want to be 10 or 15 years from now?
Although it's certainly difficult to predict things far into the future, I know what direction I want to
develop toward. Within five years, I would like to become the very best _____ your company has. In
fact, my personal career mission statement is to become a world-class _____ in the _____ industry. I
will work toward becoming the expert that others rely upon. And in doing so, I feel I will be fully
prepared to take on any greater responsibilities that might be presented in the long term.
How has your education prepared you for your career?
As you will note on my resume, I've taken not only the required core classes in the _____ field, I've
also gone above and beyond. I've taken every class the college has to offer in the field and also
completed an independent study project specifically in this area. But it's not just taking the classes to
gain academic knowledge--I've taken each class, both inside and outside of my major, with this
profession in mind. So when we're studying _____ in _____, I've viewed it from the perspective of
_____. In addition, I've always tried to keep a practical view of how the information would apply to my
job. Not just theory, but how it would actually apply. My capstone course project in my final semester
involved developing a real-world model of _____, which is very similar to what might be used within
your company. Let me tell you more about it . . .
Are you a team player?
Very much so. In fact, I've had opportunities in both athletics and academics to develop my skills as a
team player. I was involved in _____ at the intramural level, including leading my team in assists
during the past year--I always try to help others achieve their best. In academics, I've worked on several
team projects, serving as both a member and team leader. I've seen the value of working together as a
team to achieve a greater goal than any one of us could have achieved individually. As an example . . .
Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How was it resolved?
Yes, I have had conflicts in the past. Never major ones, but certainly there have been situations where
there was a disagreement that needed to be resolved. I've found that when conflict occurs, it's because
of a failure to see both sides of the situation. Therefore, I ask the other person to give me their
perspective and at the same time ask that they allow me to fully explain my perspective. At that point, I
would work with the person to find out if a compromise could be reached. If not, I would submit to
their decision because they are my superior. In the end, you have to be willing to submit yourself to the
directives of your superior, whether you're in full agreement or not. An example of this was when . . .
What is your greatest weakness?
I would say my greatest weakness has been my lack of proper planning in the past. I would overcommit
myself with too many variant tasks, then not be able to fully accomplish each as I would like. However,
since I've come to recognize that weakness, I've taken steps to correct it. For example, I now carry a
planning calendar in my pocket so that I can plan all of my appointments and "to do" items. Here, let
me show you how I have this week planned out . . .
If I were to ask your professors to describe you, what would they say?
I believe they would say I'm a very energetic person, that I put my mind to the task at hand and see to it
that it's accomplished. They would say that if they ever had something that needed to be done, I was the
person who they could always depend on to see that it was accomplished. They would say that I always
took a keen interest in the subjects I was studying and always sought ways to apply the knowledge in
real world settings. Am I just guessing that they would say these things? No, in fact, I'm quite certain
they would say those things because I have with me several letters of recommendation from my
professors, and those are their very words. Let me show you . . .
What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
The key quality should be leadership--the ability to be the visionary for the people who are working
under them. The person who can set the course and direction for subordinates. A manager should also
be a positive role model for others to follow. The highest calling of a true leader is inspiring others to
reach the highest of their abilities. I'd like to tell you about a person who I consider to be a true leader .
If you had to live your life over again, what would you change?
That's a good question. I realize that it can be very easy to continually look back and wish that things
had been different in the past. But I also realize that things in the past cannot be changed, that only
things in the future can be changed. That's why I continually strive to improve myself each and every
day and that's why I'm working hard to continually increase my knowledge in the _____ field. That's
also the reason why I want to become the very best _____ your company has ever had. To make
positive change. And all of that is still in the future. So in answer to your question, there isn't anything
in my past that I would change. I look only to the future to make changes in my life.
In reviewing the above responses, please remember that these are sample answers. Please do not
rehearse them verbatim or adopt them as your own. They are meant to stir your creative juices and get
you thinking about how to properly answer the broader range of questions that you will face.

Fifty Standard Interview Questions

It is not enough to have solid answers only for the above questions. You need to be prepared for the full
spectrum of questions that may be presented. For further practice, make sure you go through the
required mock interview (see the "Competitive Interview Prep" Section) and for further review, look at
some of the following questions:
Tell me about yourself.
What do you want to do with your life?
Do you have any actual work experience?
How would you describe your ideal job?
Why did you choose this career?
When did you decide on this career?
What goals do you have in your career?
How do you plan to achieve these goals?
How do you evaluate success?
Describe a situation in which you were successful.
What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
What accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life?
If you had to live your life over again, what would you change?
Would your rather work with information or with people?
Are you a team player?
What motivates you?
Why should I hire you?
Are you a goal-oriented person?
Tell me about some of your recent goals and what you did to achieve them.
What are your short-term goals?
What is your long-range objective?
What do you see yourself doing five years from now?
Where do you want to be ten years from now?
Do you handle conflict well?
Have you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How did you resolve it?
What major problem have you had to deal with recently?
Do you handle pressure well?
What is your greatest strength?
What is your greatest weakness?
If I were to ask one of your professors to describe you, what would he or she say?
Why did you choose to attend your college?
What changes would you make at your college?
How has your education prepared you for your career?
What were your favorite classes? Why?
Do you enjoy doing independent research?
Who were your favorite professors? Why?
Why is your GPA not higher?
Do you have any plans for further education?
How much training do you think you'll need to become a productive employee?
What qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
Why do you want to work in the _____ industry?
What do you know about our company?
Why are you interested in our company?
Do you have any location preferences?
How familiar are you with the community that we're located in?
Will you relocate? In the future?
Are you willing to travel? How much?
Is money important to you?
How much money do you need to make to be happy?
What kind of salary are you looking for?
Don't just read these questions--practice and rehearse the answers. Don't let the company interview be
the first time you have actually formulated an answer in spoken words. It is not enough to think about
them in your head--practice! Sit down with a friend, a significant other, or your roommate (an

especially effective critic, given the amount of preparation to date) and go through all of the questions.
Make the most of every single interview opportunity by being fully prepared!
Top Ten Critical Success Factors
With all the different questions being referenced, you may wonder what exactly the employer is
looking for. And I will tell you. Following is the list of the top ten critical success factors that nearly
every employer is seeking:
Positive attitude toward work
Proficiency in field of study
Communication skills (oral and written)
Interpersonal skills
Critical thinking and problem solving skills
Show your competence in as many of the above critical success factors as possible and you will rise
above the competition.
What To Do If You Are Asked An Illegal Question
The interview is going along smoothly. You are psyched that "this may be the one." And then it
happens. Out of nowhere. "Are you considering having children?" Or, "How long has your family been
in this country?" Or, "Your people place a high value on that, don't they?" Or, "You've done amazingly
well for someone in a wheelchair. How long have you had to use one?"
On the surface the question may seem innocent enough. And most of the time, they are truly asked in
innocence. Yet the structure and format of the question is entirely illegal. So what do you do? How do
you respond?
First of all, it is important to understand the difference between an illegal question and a criminally
liable question. Even though a question or comment may have been stated in an illegal form, it does not
necessarily mean that a crime has been committed. There is a difference between criminal liability and
civil liability. For there to be criminal liability, it requires establishing a motive or intent. Most illegal
questions are asked in ignorance, not with malicious intent. Yet there can still be civil recourse, even
when there was no criminal motive or intent.
In our politically correct society, we often cry "foul" at the slightest deviation from the accepted
standard. But the reality is that most illegal interview questions are asked in true innocence. Or, better
stated, in true ignorance. Ignorance of the law, ignorance of what questions are proper, ignorance of
how the information could be used by others in a discriminatory way.
Ironically, most illegal questions are asked when the untrained interviewer is trying to be more friendly
and asks a seemingly innocent question about your personal life or family background. Therefore, any
attempt by the candidate to assert their constitutional rights will merely throw up the defense shields
and will put an end to mutual consideration. Warning lights go on, sirens sound, and the interviewer
begins backing down from what may have been an otherwise very encouraging position.
So what is the proper response? The answer is up to you, but my recommendation is to follow one of
two courses of action: answer in brief and move on to a new topic area, or ignore the question
altogether and redirect the discussion to a new topic area. The interviewer may even recognize the
personal misstep and appreciate your willingness to put it aside and go on.
Unless the question is blatantly discriminatory--and yes, blatant discrimination does still take place--
your best option is to move on to other things. But if it is blatant and offensive, you have every right to
terminate the interview and walk out.

While laws vary from state to state, there are some definite taboo areas with regard to interview
questions which employers should avoid. Following is a brief list of some of the questions that
employers should not be asking:
Questions related to birthplace, nationality, ancestry, or descent of applicant, applicant's spouse, or
(Example: "Pasquale--is that a Spanish name?")
Questions related to applicant's sex or marital status
(Example: "Is that your maiden name?")
Questions related to race or color
(Example: "Are you considered to be part of a minority group?")
Questions related to religion or religious days observed
(Example: "Does your religion prevent you from working weekends or holidays?")
Questions related to physical disabilities or handicaps
(Example: "Do you have any use of your legs at all?")
Questions related to health or medical history
(Example: "Do you have any pre-existing health conditions?")
Questions related to pregnancy, birth control, and child care
(Example: "Are you planning on having children?")
It should be noted that just because an illegal question has been asked does not necessarily mean a
crime has been committed. It is up to a court of law to determine whether the information was used in a
discriminatory manner.
Don't Commit One Of The Worst Interview Sins
One of the worst "sins" an interviewee can commit is to speak in
generalities rather than specifics. It is not enough to say, "I'm a very
goal-oriented person." You have to back it up with specifics. For
example: "I'm a very goal oriented person. In fact, I regularly update a
list of personal and business goals with specific time frames. Since I
started keeping this goal list three years ago, I've successfully reached or
surpassed over 95% of these goals. I'm confident that the other 5% are
also within reach in the coming year."
If you are prone to using generalities, a sharp interviewer will usually
follow with the behavioral question "Can you give me a specific example?" So beware! In fact, a
favorite dual interview question of mine is: "Do you consider yourself to be goal-oriented?" (which to
date has been answered 100% of the time with "Yes"), followed by: "Can you give me a specific
example?" It's amazing how many people could not answer the second question or (worse yet)
attempted to snow their way past it. The best answers came from those who didn't even need the
prompting of my second question, but gave specifics in response to my initial question. That is what a
good interviewer will be looking for.
An important aspect of being specific is to use the quantitative approach. Don't just say, "I increased
productivity." Instead use, "I increased staff meeting productivity 25% in one year within our
department by implementing a video teleconferencing system for
participants at our other location on campus, thereby reducing unnecessary
travel time. And as a by-product of this focus on the needs of our
employees, meeting attendance is up over 10%. In fact, the
teleconferencing system was showcased in the August newsletter. Let me
show you a copy."
The Parroting Technique
If a question is unclear to you, it is entirely appropriate to ask a clarifying
question or paraphrase the question to make sure you understand. "Parrot back" the question in your
own words to make sure you have the correct meaning. Don't assume or make a "best guess" of what
the interviewer is looking for. They are the only ones who truly know what they want, so a well-placed
"Just so that I understand, what you are asking is . . . " question will serve you far better than treading
down an unknown path.
The Parroting Technique will also serve you well as a temporary stall when you do not have a ready
The Safety Valve Technique
What do you do when you have been asked a question that you know you have a good answer to, but
cannot think of it immediately? Don't get caught using the typical "I know the answer to that and I will
give it to you as soon as I can remember what it is" line that is most often blurted out (either
figuratively or, I'm sorry to say, literally by some). Instead, use the Safety Valve Technique. Basically,
this technique allows some of the "steam to escape" while you formulate your answer. If handled well,
it will appear almost seamless to even the most experienced interviewer.
Here is how it works. The interviewer has just asked you a question for which you know you have a
good answer, but you just cannot think of it at that moment. First of all, repeat back the question with
the Parroting Technique. This will buy you a few precious seconds before going on to the next level. If
you still cannot put together the answer, you have two "safety valves" left. First, comment on the
importance of the question and its context--"I understand the importance of this in regard to . . . " If you
still haven't formulated your answer, turn the question back to the interviewer for comment--"Can you
tell me how _____ (subject area) specifically plays a role within your company?"
This technique takes some practice to avoid the "snow job" look, but if you practice it enough (try
attending some MENSA meetings to watch the professionals perform), you will find yourself quite
ready and able to squeeze precious seconds out of even the most seasoned interviewers.
The Reframing Technique
The word "control" is often used with regard to interviewing. Often it is
used incorrectly, by giving the interviewee the impression they should
attempt to take full "control" over the questioning in the actual interview.
This is, quite simply, a terrible mistake. If you attempt to take one-sided
control of the interviewer and the interview, you may win the initial battle,
but will certainly lose the war. I will let you take control, but I will press
the "reject" button as soon as you leave my office.
The right use of "control" in the interview is your ability to control both
the context and perspective of your answers. You can do this effectively by utilizing the Reframing
Technique. To do this, you should always attempt to answer the questions as straightforwardly as
possible initially, but then reframe the original question to illustrate an area of your background that
can further enhance your overall image. This requires a thorough understanding of your strong points
so you have a planned direction and course. By properly using the Reframing Technique, you will find
yourself covering the same core topics (which reflect your greatest strengths) in nearly every interview,
regardless of the questions used as the launching point.
For example, if you are asked who your favorite professor is, you might give a short answer about a
particular professor, then reframe the question by telling why that professor is your favorite. "She has
the ability to tie in all of the classroom theory with practical business applications; in fact, it was her
inspiration that encouraged me to participate in a two-week internship over Winter Break, where I
combined my classroom knowledge with practical experience in the field of _____."
Reframing can take many forms, but at its best there is always a solid connection between the original
question and the reframed emphasis. If the reformatting of the original question goes into a totally
unrelated topic area, it will be counted against you. The key is to stay within the same general frame
and use the question as a launch pad in a new, yet related direction (the reframed question). When done
smoothly, the interviewer will not even be aware of the slight shift in focus. And you will have the
opportunity to put forth your strongest points. Know your strong points and all the bridges you can use
to reach them so that you can use reframing to your advantage in the interview.
The Experience Of A Lifetime Technique
One of the most difficult questions at the entry level can be the "experience" question. If you have
applicable work experience in your chosen occupation, great! Make the most of it and capitalize on this
area to differentiate yourself from your competition.
But what if you don't? What if your experience consists primarily of flipping burgers at McDonald's?
Don't answer apologetically, as most do, that you really don't have any real experience to speak of.
Instead, use the Experience Of A Lifetime Technique to solidify your background and confirm your
ability to do the job:
"Thank you for asking me about my experience. I understand the need to review my past experience to
determine whether or not I'm able to accomplish the tasks necessary for this job. I have, in fact, had a
lifetime of experience that is directly related to this job. For example, I've learned . . . "
Then go on to relate life experiences and what those have taught you or how they have prepared you
for this job. These responses can include the generic, which would apply to any position ("I've learned
the ethics of hard work and seeing a job through to completion, whatever the cost, during my summers
working for my uncle on his farm. One summer, my uncle broke his leg, and the entire family counted
on me to . . . ") to the specific ("I've learned through my classes how to utilize object-oriented
development tools to efficiently develop modular systems that can be used across a series of platforms.
In fact, in the capstone project in my final year . . . ").
Then close by detailing your personal attributes: "I've learned that for a company to succeed, it needs
people who are ready and willing to put forth their very best effort. People who aren't afraid to work
hard. People who are dependable. That is the experience that I bring to you and your company."
Modify the above to suit your own needs, but please don't regress to the "I really don't have any
experience" line. The interview is as good as over the minute you say it.
The Articulation Factor
The ability to articulate your background is a combination of good
preparation (which you have full control over) and vocabulary/enunciation
(which you have little control over). Your "smartness," "sharpness,"
"quickness," "aggressiveness," and "brightness" are all attributes that are
evaluated based upon your articulation. If you have "lazy lips" you may
want to practice enunciating and forming your words more clearly. And
whatever you do, don't continually reach for elusive words to perfectly
portray your thoughts and feelings. Any practiced interviewer prefers an
individual who is comfortable within their vocabulary level than one who
is always searching at the level above.
In practicing your articulation, take careful note of the "quickie" words which we tend to develop in our
everyday speech pattern. Words like "gonna" and "yeah" and "y'know" and "kinda" are all killers. They
can make you sound uneducated and coarse. And they have a habit of repeating. We have all probably
had a parent (or sibling) point out the use of "y'know" in our speaking. In addition, you may have
particular words or phrases which you use for emphasis which can become particularly pronounced in
the interview. These would include "to tell you the truth" and "truthfully" and "basically" and "OK,
well" and "Like, . . ." As a side note, I once counted the number of times a candidate said, "to tell you
the truth" after it became particularly repetitive. She said it over fifteen times. And I began to question
her truthfulness.
Make sure you are fully prepared for the interview, on your own background (nothing will kill an
interview quicker than someone who cannot recall personal events) and background on our company.
Proper research will help you formulate your answers in a clear and succinct manner.
The Dirty Dog Theory
We all love the dog, except when he needs a bath. Same with interviewing. I have conducted countless
interviews where things seemed to be going just fine, when suddenly the interviewee began a series of
complaints about others. And suddenly the spotless interviewee has become hopelessly stained.
Is there anything worse than a complainer? Nope, nothing worse. We all know one, and we all want to
distance ourselves from that person. Company or otherwise. So remember that the interview is not your
forum for griping. If you gripe about your current or past employers or professors or make note of any
shortcomings in your life of missed expectations (even though they may be few!), you have just
relegated yourself to the position of "complainer." And complainers are all too common already within
most companies. Why would any company hire new complainers? They won't. Be positive about
everything. Case closed.
The Abraham Lincoln Technique
It goes without saying that talking down the competition is a no-no. But talking about the competition
can be quite different--if handled appropriately.
When Abraham Lincoln was arguing a case in court, he would usually argue both sides of the case to
the jury. He would first take the opponent's side of the issue and then his client's side. But note: he was
always very precise in bringing out more favorable facts for his client than for his opponent. Both sides
were covered on a positive note, although his client's side was always more favorable.
At IBM, we followed this same principle. We were not allowed to talk down
our competition. We could acknowledge them and their products, yet we
never put them down. We were required to sell IBM on the strength of IBM,
not on the weakness of others. Our customers appreciated our willingness to
accept the competition and seek to rise above on our own merits rather than
try to push the competition down to a lower level. So if you are confronted
with a comparison to your competition, be prepared to fully acknowledge
the strength of your competition, then follow with what you feel are your own greater assets.
An example in applying this technique is how to handle the potential negative when the interviewer
asks why you are lacking in a particular area (be it grades, work experience, extracurriculars, etc.). You
need to first speak well of the others. Then you need to establish your own case, which can also include
using the Reframing Technique. An example would be in response to a question about a low GPA:
"I'm sure that there are many who have put more time and energy into their GPA than I did--and I
congratulate them on their efforts. Grades are important, but my overall focus has been to develop
myself as the very best accountant I can become. For me, this has involved not only time in the
classroom, but also time in applying these skills in real world situations. Because of that focus, I have
spent 15 to 20 hours per week working as a bookkeeper during my final two years. While I was not
able to devote myself full-time to pure academics, I feel the combination of academic and work
experience has more fully prepared me for the accounting field than full-time academics alone."
Honest Abe would be proud of you.
The Pride Of Ownership Technique
Not sure how you are doing in the interview? Want to greatly increase your odds? You can do both
with the Pride of Ownership Technique. To use this simple technique during the course of the
interview, simply start giving your replies and asking your questions in terms of ownership--as if you
are already part of the company. One way is to formulate the last part of your response to a
"Teamwork" question with, "What kind of departmental structure will I be working in with your
company?" Note the important difference. You are not asking, "What kind of departmental structure
does your company have?" This is detached. You need to attach yourself--take pride of ownership--in
the company.
Why? Two reasons. First and foremost, it will establish the link between you and the company. This is
critical in helping the interviewer visualize you actually working for the company--the offer will never
come if they cannot get past this step. Second, it provides you with instant feedback as to how you are
doing within the interview. If the interviewer balks at your question or reshapes it by unlinking--
especially by adding the "if" word in restating your question--you have a pretty good indication that
you have not fully sold them on you. But if they accept your language and begin talking about you as if
you are a part of the company, you are probably in a good position to close the sale.
The Competitive Posture Technique
It's important to maintain a competitive posture in the interview. The
employer should be aware that they are not your only suitor. There is a
delicate balance between letting the employer know that you really want to
work for them and that if they don't make an offer, you will go with another
company. The best way I can illustrate it is with the dating game. Sure, you
love him/her and only him/her, but if things don't work out, there are plenty
of other hims/hers banging on your door asking for a date. Right? Well,
maybe it doesn't equate directly to your personal life, but you get the drift.
This posturing is very simple to incorporate into your interview language.
Frame it in the form of a simple 1-2-3 engage/disengage/re-engage
statement. Example:
After what I've heard from everyone here at the company, I'm more convinced than ever that I would
be an excellent contributor to your team. Just say the word and I'm ready to come to work for you.
Of course, I do still have several other interviews currently pending.
But at this point in time, yours is the company I would most like to work for.
If you feel comfortable with closing the sale, you can add the "Are you ready to make an offer?"
question to the last statement above. The point is that you have put a limited time offer on your
enthusiasm--if they want you, all of you, they better move quickly and decisively.
The One Question To Ask Every Interviewer
The opportunity for you to ask a question often comes only at the end of the interview. In fact, you are
typically offered the chance when the interview is over: "Are there any questions that I can answer for
you?" However, there is a question you should ask of every interviewer as early as possible during the
course of the interview: "Can you tell me about the position and the type of person you are seeking?"
Properly positioned, this question can provide you with your single greatest opportunity for
understanding more about the job and your ability to fill the role. The answer can show you the specific
areas of need which you should address during the course of the interview. So it is important to inject
this question into the interview as early as possible. You can do this with an out-take question. As you
finish an answer, use it as a lead to your question. Be careful not to use this technique as an attempt to
control the interview. You merely need to use this technique to inject this critical question.
For example, in answering a "What do you know about our company?" question, you can answer
directly with what you know about the company (you have done your research, right?), then state that
you do not know as much about the specific position. Turn your answer into the out-take question:
"Can you tell me more about the position and the type of person you are seeking?"
Find the strategic opportunity to inject this question as early as possible in the process. Then, as
appropriate, frame your answers around what they are seeking in the person to fill the position. Stay
within practical and ethical bounds in directing your answers, yet keep in mind the perspective of the
interviewer and seek to meet their needs for the position. You will be further ahead in the interview
than if you merely take shots in the dark, hoping for your answers to magically hit the mark.
Questions to Ask the Interviewer
Following are additional questions you may want to consider asking at an appropriate point in the
"Why did you personally decide to work for this company?"
"What are the three most important attributes for success in this position?"
"What are the opportunities for growth and advancement for this position?"
"How is your company responding to competition in the _____ area?"
"What is the anticipated company growth rate over the next three years"
Limit yourself to no more than one or two questions during an on-campus interview and no more than
two or three questions during each company-site interview. Even if you are not able to get answers to
all of your open questions before the offer is made, you will have one final opportunity at that point.
The Money Response Technique
If the "money question" is asked early in the interview (as it often is), the
best response is: "What would a person with my background and
qualifications typically earn in this position with your company?" The best
response if asked late in the interview process is: "I am ready to consider
your very best offer." This is one time you don't want to be specific. If you
give specifics, you lose--you will either be too low or too high, costing
yourself thousands of dollars or possibly even keeping yourself from getting
the job.
That said, if you are pressed by the interviewer for specific numbers, don't put them off with more than
one "end run" response. First, make sure you have done your homework on the expected salary range
for your field. The salary surveys usually are skewed toward the high end (possibly because only the
best paid graduates responded, while those with average or low pay did not want to admit what they
were earning), so take them with a large dose of conservative adjustment. The best surveys are from
those who graduated within the last year in your major from your school. You can possibly locate such
information through your Career Center, Alumni Office, or your personal network of contacts. A
business grad from Stanford is going to be earning a lot more than a business grad from Podunk U.
Know the "going rate" for your major, your school, and the field that you are considering entering. And
make sure you know it before you get propositioned with the money question.
Armed with this information, ask the interviewer: "What is the general salary range for new hires in
this position?" If the entire range is acceptable, respond with: "That would be within my expected
starting range, depending on the entire salary and benefits package." If only the top end of the range is
acceptable, respond with: "The upper end of the range is what I have been discussing with the other
companies that are currently interested." If the range is below your expected starting salary range (be
careful!), respond with: "The other companies I am currently speaking with are considering me at a
salary somewhat higher than that range. Of course, money is only one element and I will be evaluating
the overall package." Do your best not to get pinned to specific numbers, but if they do mention a
number and ask if it would be acceptable to you, respond by saying: "I would encourage you to make
the formal offer. What is most important is the opportunity to work for you and your company. I am
confident that your offer will be competitive." Remember, don't do any negotiating until you have a
formal offer in hand. When that finally happens, go straight to the "Successful Job Offer Negotiation"
Section for guidance on shaping it into the best offer.
The Lockdown Technique
If you are truly interested in the job, one thing you should do at the end of the interview is recap: (1)
why you feel you are the best candidate for the job (give two or three of
your strongest attributes and/or qualifications), and (2) restate your interest
in the position by asking for the job. Don't expect the employer to make
the first move. Let them know of your interest and desire to work for
It is interesting to note that fewer than 1% of all college students actually ask for the job. It's almost as
if they assume it to be a given. But it's not. So those who take this extra step will put themselves far
beyond the rest of the competition. If I know that you want the job--that you really want the job--it
makes my job as the interviewer that much easier and will greatly increase the odds of an offer either
on the spot (it does happen) or in the very near future.
Remember that you cannot close the entire sale except with the person who can actually make the
entire purchase. So if you are interviewing with Human Resources, close by asking to move forward to
the next step in the process, which will likely require meeting with the hiring manager. When you
interview with the hiring manager, you are ready to close on generating an offer.
Candidate Interview Questions
Does an interview consist only of the interviewer asking questions? No! You will have an opportunity
to ask questions. Make sure they are good ones.
Following is a list of the Top Five Questions to ask in each type of interview:
Human Resources (HR):
Can you tell me more about the position and the type of person you are seeking?
Tell me about an employee in your organization who is considered to be an outstanding employee.
What makes that person special?
What would you consider to be exceptional performance from someone performing in this position in
the first 90 days?
How does my background compare with others you have interviewed?
I feel my background and experience are a good fit for this position and I am very interested. What is
the next step?
Peer Interview:
Why did you decide to join this company?
What were your intial expectations? Were they met?
How have your expectations changed over time?
What do you consider your company's strengths and weaknesses?
What can you tell me about working for your manager?
Hiring Manager Interview:
Can you tell me more about the position and the type of person you are seeking?
What are the measurements for success within your organization?
How are you measured as a manager?
What can I do to make you successful?
What will be the measurements of my success in this position?
I feel my background and experience are a good fit for this position and I am very interested. I am
ready to consider your best offer!
OK, that last one isn't a question. But if you haven't said it yet, you better say it at the end of the
Phone Interviewing Success
"All of the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of one small candle." Anonymous -
Many people do not think of phone interviewing as interviewing. "It wasn't an interview, it was just a
phone call." It was still an interview. And it could affect your potential career with an employer. So
treat it with all the respect due a full interview. Three Types of Telephone Interviews
Telephone Interview Preparation
The Phone Personality Matching Technique
The Open and Available Technique
The Stand and Deliver Technique
The Vanity Technique
Three Types of Telephone Interviews
There are three basic types of telephone interviews:
You initiate a call to the Hiring Manager and he or she is interested in your background. The call from
that point forward is an interview.
A company calls you based upon a previous contact. You will likely be unprepared for the call, but it is
still an interview.
You have a pre-set time with a company representative to speak further on the phone. Also an
Telephone Interview Preparation
In preparing for your phone interview, there are several things you can do. To prepare for an
unexpected contact:
Tape your resume to a wall in view of the phone. It will be there for the call and will be a constant
reminder for your job search.
Keep all of your employer research materials within easy reach of the phone.
Have a notepad handy to take notes.
Keep a mirror nearby (you will see why in the next few pages).
If the phone interview will occur at a set time, there are additional steps you can take:
Place a "Do Not Disturb" note on your door.
Turn off your stereo, TV, and any other potential distraction.
Warm up your voice while waiting for the call. Sing an uplifting song to yourself.
Have a glass of water handy, since you will not have a chance to take a break during the call.
Speaking of breaks, if your phone interview is at a set time, make sure you answer nature's call first.
Turn off call waiting on your phone.
The Phone Personality Matching Technique
A variation on the previously discussed Personality Matching Technique (in the "Mastering the
Interview" section) is to apply the same basic principles within your phone interview. Although you
obviously cannot match the interviewer's physical characteristics, try to match the interviewer's
speaking rate and pitch. Remember to stay within your personality range, but venture toward that
portion of your range which most closely matches that of your interviewer. This is an excellent way to
establish rapport quickly over distance and phone lines.
The Open and Available Technique
You have a major advantage in a phone interview which does not exist in a face-to-face interview.
Namely, that you cannot be seen. Use this to your advantage.
Have all of your materials on yourself and the employer open and available on your desk as you are
speaking on the phone. This includes not only your resume, but also a "cheat sheet" of compelling story
subjects which you would like to introduce. It can also include a "cheat sheet" about the employer,
including specific critical points describing the employer and their products.
As I am speaking with you on the other end of the phone, I have no idea that you are actually being
prompted from a document as you are speaking. All I can hear is a well-informed, well-prepared
interviewee. Keep in mind that this preparation is not "cheating" at all. It is preparation, pure and
So have your materials open and available when you are preparing for a phone interview. They are
there to support you and enhance your value to the employer, who will greatly respect your ability to
answer questions with focus and meaningful content.
The Stand and Deliver Technique
Here is a simple technique to increase the enthusiasm and positive image that
you project over the telephone: stand up. Whenever you are talking with a
potential employer on the phone, stand up. It gets your blood flowing,
improves your posture, and improves your response time.
It's interesting to note that many telemarketing companies have come to
realize that standing can actually improve their sales, so they often provide the
telemarketers with hands-free headsets that allow them to stand and pace back
and forth. It helps give an action perspective to an otherwise passive activity.
So apply this same technique to improve your telephone presence.
The Vanity Technique
When I was in college I had a roommate who enjoyed flexing his muscles in the mirror. He could do it
for hours at a time. A little vain? A lot. Well, I am going to ask you to do the same thing (except leave
out the flexing muscles part). In prep for a telephone interview (or any telephone contact), make sure
that you have a mirror within view. Why? Because I want you to look into that mirror consistently
throughout the phone call. And smile. You will improve your telephone presence 110 percent just by
using this simple technique. You will find yourself coming across much friendlier, more interested, and
more alert. If you are at all self-conscious about seeing yourself in the mirror, you can use the mirror as
an occasional checkpoint. But for most of us, seeing oneself reflected back gives us the kind of
feedback necessary to make instant modification toward a more positive presence.
Remember, you are standing, so a wall mirror usually works best. You can pick up a small wall mirror
for a limited amount of cash. It's worth it.
Try it the next time you are on the phone. But don't do it with your roommate around.
Company-site Interviewing Success
"Experience is not what happens to a man. It is what a man does with what happens to him."
Aldous Huxley -
The company-site interview is often the final step in the interview process before an eventual job offer.
However, you first need to survive the close scrutiny that comes along with it. Instead of just meeting
with one person, you may be meeting with three or four. Instead of a simple half-hour interview, you
may be subjected to a half- or full-day of interviews. And tests. But all with the promised reward
dangling within your reach.
The company-site interview is also your final opportunity to evaluate the company. You will be given
the opportunity to see the inside of the company and meet with some of the key people. Possibly some
of the people you will be working with. And you will gain a better understanding of the true work
The Sponsor Preparation Technique
Final Arrangements
The Voice Warmup Technique
The Lobby Waiting Technique
The Company-site Interview Process
Exams and Testing
Meal Interview Do's and Don'ts
Ten Things to Never Order at a Meal Interview
Smoking or Non?
The French Onion Soup Technique
Friends in High Places
Success Signals
The Sponsor Preparation Technique
Your sponsor has a vested interest in your doing well at the company-site interview. This person, who
may have initially been a screener, is now an includer. You will be the personal representation of what
they view as a potential new employee. In a way, their professional reputation is on the line whenever a
new person is brought back to the company-site. No one wants to hear the dreaded, "Why did you
invite that person back?"
So take advantage of this turn of the tables. The person who was against you is now for you. Be
prepared to ask some questions:
"Who will I be meeting with?"
"What is this person's background?"
"What will they be looking for in the interview?"
"Will there be any other activities scheduled during the day?"
"What can I do to prepare myself further for your company?"
"Can you send me additional material about your company?"
You have a free opportunity not only to ask the questions, but to ask for recommendations. You will
get a true insider view of what it takes to be successful at your company-site interview. Your sponsor is
now your advocate. Build your personal connection to your mutual benefit.
Final Arrangements
Your sponsor will be taking care of setting your schedule and providing
you with advance materials. If you have not already filled out an
employment application, ask if one will be required. If so, ask to have it
sent out in advance, so you can fill it out neatly and completely. Note
that "See Resume" is not an appropriate answer on an employment
application. Make sure you print your neatest, since you will be judged
by your penmanship (and you thought your second grade teacher was
crazy for giving you such a hard time about your sloppy writing skills).
Your sponsor will also have the responsibility of coordinating your
travel arrangements to and from the company-site, although the actual details might be delegated to an
office assistant. And yes, you probably will have to skip some classes to interview. It's allowed.
There are four categories of travel expenses which can be incurred in your visit to the company-site:
travel (air, train, or auto), local transportation, lodging, and food.
In most cases, your arrangements will be made for you by the employer. The general rule is that the
higher the expense and further the distance, the more likely the employer will be to make the
arrangements for you. However, if you are just across town, it may be presumed that you will find your
own way without any expectation of compensation for the minimal expense incurred.
If you are flying to the interview, the flight expense is usually booked directly through the employer.
Your tickets will usually be delivered to you via overnight courier, unless the time frame is tight, in
which case they will be held for you at the check-in desk. If you are traveling by train, you may be
expected to purchase the tickets and fill out an expense report for reimbursement. If traveling by
personal auto, you will usually be given a set amount per mile, so be sure to reset your trip odometer
before starting on your journey. When you fill out the expense report, you simply double your one-way
If you will be taking a plane or train, know what your local transportation arrangements will be. The
most convenient is to use a cab and save receipts, but if the company is not located in a large
population center, they may have a rental car for you or may even have a company car pick you up at
the airport or station. If you are taking a cab, always ask for receipts. With a rental car, make sure you
have the collision damage waiver. If the company is expecting you to pay for the car, you will need a
credit card. Keep receipts for your gas and parking for later reimbursement. If the company is sending
someone to pick you up, know the designated connection point and signals. Usually the pickup person
will be standing with a company sign with your name on it.
Overnight lodging may be required, especially if you are traveling from a distant location. Again, this
is usually taken care of by the employer. Most employers have arrangements with local hotels for out-
of-town visitors. You may be required to use a credit card if you want to use any of the extra services in
the hotel. It is not advisable to indulge in either the locked liquor refrigerator or the pay-per-view
movies. Go to bed early and wake with enough time to fully prepare. Traveler's note: if you are flying,
bring your interview clothes in a hanging bag and hang it in the storage area just inside the plane door.
Never check it with your luggage, or fold it over, or store it in the overhead bin.
Food is always a covered expense when you are with the company representatives. However, most
other meals, including breakfast and dinner, are usually on your own. Many hotels offer a continental
breakfast included with the room. Always make sure you have eaten before your interview. You will
need the extra energy for what can sometimes be a grueling schedule.

Know where and when you will be meeting with the employer. Get accurate directions and a map if
you need assistance. If you are arriving the night before, an excellent psych-up activity is to drive by
the company location and visualize your interview the following day. Always plan for the unexpected,
especially when it comes to traffic. Plan to arrive early. Keep in mind that it may take ten minutes to
get from the parking lot to the front door and another five to ten minutes to get to the department
location, so allow plenty of extra time. No one will fault you for being up to ten minutes early, but do
not be earlier than that. Your target is five minutes early. If you have extra time, spend it reviewing
company materials, your resume, and any additional information. Take a restroom break before you
leave for the company, since many companies do not have restrooms available until you reach the inner
sanctum. If there are restrooms available, stop by for one final visual and mental check. Look yourself
straight in the mirror and say, "I am the very best person for this job. My job today is to convince the
company of that fact."
The Voice Warmup Technique
Have you ever been awakened by the phone in the middle of the night? "He-l-l-o?" And you wonder
where that frog-like voice comes from? Your vocal cords are simply not warmed up yet.
The same thing can happen at the company-site interview. You have little opportunity to actually speak
until you arrive at the company-site. And then you are expected to talk nearly non-stop for the
remainder of the day.
Take the time to warm up your voice on the way to the interview. If you are driving, turn on a radio
station you enjoy and sing along. Top of your lungs is just fine. If you are taking a cab, either spend
time talking with the cabbie (they have some of the most interesting stories you will ever hear) or ask
to have the radio turned on. Again, sing along--although a little more quietly than if you were in your
own car.
In any case, use and stretch your vocal cords before beginning your day of interviewing. You will
benefit with a clear and resonant voice.
The Lobby Waiting Technique
As you arrive at the company, take note of the surroundings. If this is the corporate headquarters, take
note of the grounds and buildings. These are often major sources of pride for image-conscious
When you arrive in the lobby, you should step up to the receptionist, state your name (present one of
your networking business cards if you have them), who you are there to see, and the time of the
appointment. Note that you should say you have an "appointment," or "meeting" scheduled, not an
The receptionist will phone your contact and will inform you of your
status. "Jane will be with you in just a few minutes. Feel free to have a
seat." Do not sit down. Instead, walk around the lobby, looking first at the
walls for plaques and awards. Read them all. And if there is a product
display, study it closely. Next, look for employee newsletters or other
internal documents which may be displayed by the waiting room table.
Finally, take note of the industry trade magazines which are being
This information will give you a very practical feel for the corporate
culture, as well as an excellent starting point for rapport-building small
talk throughout the day.
The Company-Site Interview Process
Usually you will initially meet with your sponsor. Depending on the
company, you may have a published agenda for the day. This may simply include names and times of
scheduled interviews, or may include additional information, such as titles and departments for each
person, and the purpose of each interview.
The interviews can range from peer level to potential managers to executives. Many companies will
have you meet with several different managers, any one of whom could be your potential manager. At
the peer level, you may be given the opportunity to meet with one or two recent graduates who have
just begun work with the company in the past year or two. The purpose of this interview is to give you
a feel for what the company and the position are really about. But do not let down your guard in this
interview or get too chummy. Even peer interviews have input into the final decision. Interviews with
potential managers two or three levels above your entry position are sometimes designed to give the
executive the final rubber stamp, but often are included as the final sell for a prize candidate.
You may also be asked during the course of the day to take an exam or test. These tests are used to
bring a level of objective standardization into the hiring process.
Exams and Testing
Be prepared for the possibility of taking an exam or test. Asking your sponsor if there will be any other
activities scheduled when making the final arrangements is designed to alert you to the possibility, yet
it may still come up unannounced. Being asked to take a test is a good sign, because employers
typically do not waste the time and money on testing someone they are not interested in.
Following are the five basic types of tests you may encounter:
Intelligence/Mental Ability Tests
These tests are designed to test your critical thinking skills, including problem solving, mathematical
aptitude, and memory. They are usually structured in a format similar to the SAT/ACT.
Work Simulation Tests
These tests are designed to provide you with example work scenarios or problems which you must
work through to a satisfactory result. For example, a test for a Programmer position may ask the person
to develop the program logic for a bank statement program.
Specific Skills Tests
For many highly specialized professions, they will test your skills in specific areas. Many of these tests
are tied into certification, such as the CPA or CNE. A subset of these certification tests is the specific
skills test. These tests are designed to ask questions at a detail level. They are very specific and very
accurate. You will be more likely to encounter these tests in technical professions, such as engineering
or computers.
Personality Tests
I did say objective, didn't I? Well, these tests are often the best indicator a
company has of someone's personality. If you are familiar with the Myers-
Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), you will understand the type of comparison
questions: "Would you rather fly a kite or read a poem?" or "Would you
rather read a book or fly an airplane?"
Honesty Tests
These tests are usually reserved for jobs in high security areas or where
there will be access to trade secrets, merchandise, or cash. Many of the questions are repetitive
comparisons ("Do you like chess better than poetry?" and "Do you like poetry better than chess?"),
although some will ask for absolutes ("Have you ever told a lie?"). You know the answer. And the test
knows if you are telling the truth.
While these tests are all an attempt at standardization and greater objectivity, they are all lacking to a
certain degree. They still have a subjective element. Be prepared, both mentally and physically, for
these tests. I am aware of at least one company that does not begin salary negotiation until after the
person has completed the series of tests. The theory is that they are so beaten down that they will accept
almost anything that is offered.
Following are certain points to keep in mind with quantitative (math, numbers, reasoning, objective)
and qualitative (opinion, viewpoint, comparison, subjective) tests:
Quantitative Tests
Get yourself mentally psyched. Clear your mind of all else and focus on the test.
Take time to fully understand the instructions before you begin.
If it is a timed test, forget about the time. Simply stay concentrated on the test.
If you have no idea, it is usually best to skip the question.
If you are unsure of your answer, it is usually best to answer the question.
If you can skip questions, skip the more difficult ones and come back to them if you have time.
Qualitative Tests
Prepare yourself mentally for taking the test. Get into a positive frame of mind.
Take time to fully understand the instructions before you begin.
Do not try to fool the test. Always give your best answer.
Answer as the professional you, not the personal you.
Answer from the employer's point of view.
Incorporate qualities that have made you successful into your answers.
Resist any impulse to lie about who you are.
With any test, keep in mind that the purpose is to further qualify you for the position. Put forth your
very best effort and do not show discouragement when you finish the test. If asked about the test, make
a comment about it being "challenging" (for quantitative) or "interesting" (for qualitative).
Meal Interview Do's and Don'ts
You may find yourself on a breakfast, lunch, or dinner interview (or an "eating meeting") during your
company-site visit. This is usually a good sign that you are under strong consideration. Following are
some of the basic do's and don'ts:
Wait for your host to gesture the seating arrangement
Place your napkin in your lap as soon as you are seated
Remember everything your Mom taught you about table manners--then
put them to good use
Order light; you are there to interview--eating is only the sideline
Know what you are ordering; avoid exotic items
Chew and swallow before you speak; no airborne food particles, please
Be polite to waiters and waitresses, but not chatty
Keep your elbows off the table (your mother was right!)
Thank your host for the meal
Bring your briefcase; your portfolio is plenty
Open your menu until your host has
Become lax in your presentation style; it is still an interview
Drink alcohol, even if your host offers
Be indecisive in ordering--make a decision and stick with it
Begin eating until everyone is served.
Attempt to pay the bill or split the cost; it will be covered by your host
Smoke, even if your host does
Criticize the meal or the restaurant
Order a doggy bag
Ten Things To Never Order at a Meal Interview
It's bad form to cut it, worse form to twirl the huge ball and worst form to slurp up the one that tried to
get away...

Ever get hot pizza stuck to the roof of your mouth? Or pulled the toppings off in a clump right into your
French onion soup (see "The French Onion Soup Technique")
This is the one soup that should come with a knife and a fork...
The most expensive item on the menu
You don't want to be an asterisk on an expense report...
The least expensive item on the menu
That includes anything on the kids menu...
Any fish with the head or bones still attached
"Hey waiter, you forgot to skin and clean this here fish!"
Any food that requires you to lick your fingers when you're finished
"Them there were the best ribs I've ever eaten..."
Any food that requires you to wear a bib
Even if the little lobster bib does look good with your suit...
Any food in a foreign language, unless you are 100% sure of the pronunciation
"Hey there, garcon, I'll have one of them there fillet mig-nons..."
Any food you're not sure how to eat
Artichokes come to mind...
Smoking or Non?
The question is asked every time we enter a restaurant. And I will always
turn to the interviewee and ask, "Which do you prefer?" Whether you
smoke or not, always respond, "It's up to you." And if you do smoke, do
not smoke, even if your interviewer smokes.
Smokers beware. Smoking is at an all-time low on the acceptance scale.
You are not a protected minority--and you are definitely in the minority. Even the smell of smoke on
your clothes can count against you. If you smoke, do not smoke the day of the interview. In fact, do not
smoke after your last shower prior to the interview. And wear fresh clothes which are free of the
tobacco smell. Tough rules? Possibly. But there are enough sensitive noses and prejudiced minds out
there that you should do your very best to avoid any and all potential negatives. And smoking is one
area that most of society looks down on.
If you do smoke, there will likely be an advantage to kicking the habit before you begin work--ideally,
before you begin interviewing, given the potential negative impact it can have on the job search
process. Most companies now force employees to smoke either in a designated smoking room or
outside the building (which can be especially rough in northern climates). The amount of time
necessary for even the average pack-a-day smoker to get their nicotine fix can amount to over 10% lost
productivity. This fact is not quickly ignored by the average manager. And it may eventually work
against you, either in your job search or in your professional career.
If you have been looking for an incentive to quit, this may be your opportunity.
The French Onion Soup Technique
College students are often under the mistaken impression that they must conduct themselves perfectly
in an interview. If they make a mistake, they've had it. Interview over. Give it up. History.
In truth, that point of view often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Occasional "stumble errors" do happen. But if you use your error as an opportunity for well-placed
humor, you can actually increase your odds.
Let me give you an example. I was on a luncheon interview with three partners from the firm I hoped
to work for after college. I made the foolish error of ordering French onion soup. Why an error? Well,
it wasn't just onion soup--it was French onion soup. So it also had that chewy, crusty piece of French
bread smothered with mozzarella cheese buried in the steaming broth. Still don't see the problem? Let
me describe it to you graphically--every time I tried to take a spoonful of the soup, I also brought with
it a two- to three-foot strand of stringy cheese. As hard as I tried, I could not
get that cheese to separate from the bowl on the way to my mouth. So there I
was, trying to convince these managers that I would make an outstandingly
graceful consultant, when I could not even gracefully handle the soup sitting
in front of me.
So what did I do? I took the spoon out one last time, lifted it high into the
air--with all eyes at the table fixed on the three-foot strand of cheese--and
stated calmly, "I promise you that I will never, ever again order French
onion soup for as long as I work for this firm. One of my greatest assets is that when I make a mistake,
I recognize it, change, and never make that mistake again!" We all broke into laughter. That broke the
tension and made everyone feel comfortable again.
P.S. I got the job.
So if you make an obvious error, use self-deprecating humor to remove the tension--and the error--from
the situation. It shows that you can admit to your own mistakes and laugh at yourself at the same time--
two valuable traits for any company employee.
I was told another story of a student who arrived for the company-site interview minus his luggage
(containing his interviewing suit), which apparently chose to take an alternate flight to Los Angeles.
Others might have considered calling off the interview in disgust, but he showed up in his blue jeans,
sweatshirt, and tennis shoes. As he met each new person during the interviewing process, he began by
assuring them that he really did own a blue pinstripe suit. Everyone got a good laugh and he got the
Friends in High Places
One of the worst mistakes you can make in your job search is to treat the secretary poorly or on an
inferior basis. The secretary usually has a great deal of influence over whether or not you will be hired-
-believe it. One of the first things I do after an interview is ask my secretary what she thinks of the
person. If they were rude to her or treated her disrespectfully, they are automatically eliminated from
consideration! That's right--no matter how well they did in the interview, if they were not equally
impressive to my secretary, I know that the person was a fake and was just putting on a good show in
the interview. The secretary is one of the best "friends" you can have within the company. But do not
go beyond standard business protocol. I have also disqualified some for coming on to my secretary. Be
One other important tidbit is to always take note of the secretary's name. It's a scary thought, but this
person may be the actual Guardian of the Gate you will need to get past when you call the manager
again at a later date. Make freinds now so that you will have an ally later.
Success Signals
Following are some of the signals that an offer may be near:
You are introduced to employees other than those you interview with.
You are given a facility or plant tour.
You are given information about the local area, including apartment rental guides.
You are given relocation information.
You are given employee-only materials, such as benefit guides and handbooks.
You are given anything that you will be expected to return at a later date (such as CD-ROM training or
expensive software).
You are introduced to or interview with your potential boss' boss.
After the Interview
"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand,
as in what direction we are moving."
- Oliver Wendall Holmes -

It's not over 'til the fat lady sings. In the case of interviews, don't get lulled into thinking that your final
"goodbye" is the end of the opera. Far from it.
The Two Most Important Post-interview Activities
The Third-party Recommendation Technique
Generating Job Offers
The #1 Statement to Generate the Job Offer
Early Offers
The Price of Membership Theory
The Multiple Offer Technique
The Refused Offer Technique
The Two Most Important Post-Interview Activities
There are two simple steps you can take to make a lasting impression after your interview and greatly
increase your odds of success.
The first is to call the interviewer to thank them for their time. If possible, you may want to add
additional information which was not discussed in the interview. An example would be: "I understand
from speaking with the receptionist that Microsoft Office is your corporate software standard. I just
wanted to mention that I'm also fully proficient in each of the tools in the Office suite." This phone call
should ideally take place the same day. If you are unable to reach the interviewer directly, leave a
voicemail message.
The second activity is to immediately write the interviewer a short note, thanking them for their time
and reemphasizing your interest in the position. Then do your best to get it to them as quickly as
possible. E-mail it, fax it, hand deliver it, messenger it, use overnight mail, whatever. But be sure they
have it before the end of the following day. Ideally, you want to get it in their hands by the end of the
day of the interview or first thing the following morning. Why? Because the quicker your letter arrives,
the greater the likelihood of affecting a positive impact.
Doesn't everyone follow up like this? Hardly. Virtually no one calls after an
interview and few take the time to write a thank you letter. Those who do
write letters generally send them via the postal service, which can arrive as
much as a full week after the interview. The simple gestures of a phone call
and thank you letter can make a big difference in separating you from your
And if you interviewed with multiple individuals, make sure each thank you
letter is unique. Common language is acceptable, but do not simply change
the name at the top of the letter. Your application, resume, and other
materials will likely be stored in a single file, usually in the possession of
the person guiding you through the hiring process. Your thank you letters will eventually find their way
back to this central file. Yes, we do compare notes. And what seemed to be a unique and original note
can actually work against you if there are two or three duplicates collected together in your file. It has
taken a great deal of effort to get this far. Take the extra time to make this final impression a positive
The Third-Party Recommendation Technique
If you want to make a lasting impression on a potential employer, ask the individuals who supplied you
with letters of recommendation to either call or write to the employer, giving an additional
recommendation. This technique will instill confidence in the employer that they are making a wise
decision in hiring you.
Obviously, this technique only works for you if you have a strong sponsor (or two) among your
references. And it has the potential for abuse--you do not want to burden your reference in every
interviewing situation. However, when you truly believe "this is the one," it may be time to cash in
some chips.
Do not give in to the temptation of using a "fill in the address" pre-written letter from your reference. It
should be unique and original, printed on letterhead or stationery. This technique works because it
shows that others think highly enough of you to take the time to call or write. There is truly no higher
compliment your references can pay you. So remember to thank them--in word now, and with a card
and a small gift when the offer comes.
Generating Job Offers
Once the thank you letter has been sent, your role in the job search is to work toward an offer. By
staying in close contact (at least once a week) with your primary company contact, you will be
continually aware of the process. And the contact will be continually aware of your interest.
Always make sure you know the next step in the process. How? By asking directly.
"I am very interested. What is the next step?"
If you are straightforward and direct, the contact will keep you posted as to your progress. If you are no
longer under consideration, you will be informed. If there are further interviews pending or your
background is being reviewed by others, you will be informed. If the company is getting ready to put
together an offer, you will be informed. Stay close to your contact and be ready to act on a moment's
The #1 Statement to Generate the Job Offer
So what is the very best statement you can make to generate the job offer? Simple. Ask for the job:
"I feel my background and experience are a good fit for this position and I am very interested. I am
ready to consider your best offer!"
Want to make it ever stronger? Replace "I am ready to consider your best offer" with:
"I would very much like to work here. May I have the job?"
OK, it may appear a little bold, but it is far and away the #1 way to generate a job offer. Hands down.
The prerequisites of this approach are threefold:
You have already sold them on you as a candidate
They have already sold you on working for them (and hopefully it shows in your passion and
enthusiasm for the job)
You are talking to the person who makes the hiring decision
OK, hold on, you might be saying. I can see having the first two, but how do I know who makes the
hiring decision? Simple. Ask. "Who will be making the hiring decision for this position?" Ask HR, ask
the managers, ask a peer level. Any of them can tell you. You just need to ask.
Then meet with that person last and tell them you want the job. Make life easy for them. If they're
sitting on the fence, this will bring them over to your side.
This is not the time to be shy. If you want to get married, you have to pop the question! And no one
says they are the only ones who can ask the question. This book is about breaking the rules in a good
way. And this is one of the best ways to break the rules and generate a job offer.
Early Offers
A rather nice situation--yet still perplexing--is to receive an "early offer"
from one of the companies you have interviewed with. By "early," I mean in
relation to other potential job offers. You may have had eight interviews in
the last month, three of which resulted in second interviews, but one of
which resulted in an immediate offer. Worse things can happen.
Yet it still creates a dilemma. Sure, if the offering company is your first
choice, accept the job and send the others your regrets. But if not, then
The Price Of Membership Theory
The first thing you should do when you receive an early offer is to make the
other companies immediately aware of the offer. Your stock will go up
markedly the moment you have been "put into play." It is simple human
nature to covet what others have, and the price of membership has just gone up for those who want to
join in the fight for the coveted prize. What is difficult to obtain always holds greater value. Interested
players are now required to react immediately or lose you. If they are truly interested, they will react. If
they have just been stringing you along with a load of others, they will cut you free. Be prepared: you
may be isolated with your lone offer. But if you are good, you may receive multiple offers.
The second thing to do is ask the company who made the initial offer for as much time as possible to
make your decision. The amount of time you request may depend on the other pending offers (have an
idea as to when they might be ready to respond). One week to make the decision is common and you
might be able to get as much as two weeks. But this is not the time to go out and start new contacts
from scratch. It's time to wind down your search and cash in your chips.

The Multiple Offer Technique

If you are willing to entertain offers from other companies, it is your
personal obligation to inform these companies of your initial offer as
quickly as possible. You may have only one or two others that are even
in the running. If so, restrict these multiple offer tactics to them.
Contact the person within the company who would be your hiring
manager. Let that person know that you have received a competitive
offer and tell the manager which company made the offer. The reason
for giving out the company name is that you usually will not have to
disclose the dollar amount, since most industry insiders have at least a
general idea what others in the field are paying. Don't be surprised if the
manager suddenly backs off, because they may realize that their
company cannot match the other company's wage/benefit package or
other perks. If you have scored your initial hit with an industry leader
such as P&G in Consumer Products, Boeing in Aeronautical
Engineering, Microsoft in Software, or another market leader, you may
find it difficult to draw a second offer, except, perhaps, from won of the other wanna-be-giants. The
true giants are tough to beat. It takes time to put together a competitive offer and some of second-tier
companies may be just as willing to back away as to put up a fight. If this happens and you have a true
preference for the other company, let them know in very direct terms that you are still more interested
in them than the company that made the initial offer. Bigger is not always better.
You will find that once the first offer comes in, it is often quite easy to generate others. If you have
done an excellent job of developing yourself differentially from your competition, employers will know
they have to react quickly to sway you to their side.
You may have the uncommon luxury of choosing who you want to work for. While others are
scratching and begging for an offer--any offer--you actually have the difficult (?) decision of deciding
which company you like best. Keep all the negotiations open and honest. You will find that honesty is
not only "the best policy," but also your greatest competitive advantage. If one company comes up
$2,000 short of what you would accept, discuss it with the appropriate party. The company would
much rather shoot at a specific target. For more specifics on negotiating your offer, see the "Successful
Job Offer Negotiation" Section.
The Refused Offer Technique
If someone you know receives multiple offers, you should congratulate them immediately. And if they
are in your field, make sure you immediately contact the losing suitors. The refused offers will leave
behind employers with jobs which have not yet been filled. Strike quickly and decisively. Even if it's
not a company you have met with yet, there may still be time if you are willing to move quickly.