I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Which factor is most crucial when looking for a new job? Rank the following points in terms of importance and then discuss your reasons:

opportunities for promotion or advancement, working hours, vacation days, pension plan, interest level, salary, benefits such as health and life insurance, sick or maternity leave

HELPFUL TIP: If you really want to impress interviewers, be prepared to ask your own questions about the company, its policies, and employee satisfaction. In this way, the company will see that you are a serious candidate for the position.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions based on the information you hear. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. In which field is the man looking for a job?

A. education

B. medicine

C. technology
2. Which statement best describes the pay for the job?

A. Employees can receive periodic pay increases based on their work.

B. The salary for the position is above the industry average.

C. Workers are paid on a commission basis depending their sales.

3. What are some of the benefits that the company provides?

A. insurance, paid vacation, and a company vehicle

B. paid vacation, opportunities for promotion, and insurance

C. opportunities for advancement, insurance, and a free bus pass

4. What does the future hold for the industry that he is considering?

A. growing, yet uncertain

B. expanding and secure

C. contracting, yet stable

5. From the conversation, what do we know about the man’s educational background?

A. He dropped out of high school.

B. He has some post-secondary education.

C. He has a college degree.

Score =
Correct answers:

Kelly: So, have you found a job yet?

Josh: No, but, I have a few leads, so things are looking up.

Kelly: But isn’t that what you always say?

Josh: Well . . . uh . . . this time is different.

Kelly: What are you looking for this time, then?

Josh: Actually, I want to work for a Web hosting company.

Kelly: What would you do there?

Josh: Well, in a nut shell, Web hosting companies provide space for people to store and run their Websites. Does it sound like I know what I’m talking about?

Kelly: Oh, yeah, sort of.

Josh: Well, And then, sort of? Well, they allow people to without having to buy and maintain their own servers, and I’d like to work in technical support, you know, helping customers resolve computer-related problems with their sites. And you know I’m a good communicator.

Kelly: So, how’s the pay for that sort of job?

Josh: Well, most people l know start out with a very reasonable salary; you can earn pay increases depending on your performance.

Kelly: So, what about benefits?

Josh: Oh, the benefits are pretty good. They provide health insurance, two weeks (of) paid vacation a year, and opportunities for advancement. And in the end, I’d like to work in a management position. You know, sitting back, enjoying the view out of the twentieth-story window of the office building. Something like that.

Kelly: Well, is there long-term job security in a job like that?

Josh: Uhh. That’s hard to tell. I mean, the Internet is booming, and these kinds of companies are sprouting up everywhere, which is a good thing, but just like the dot-com era, you never know how long things will last.

Kelly: Well, have you ever thought about going back to school to improve your job skills?

Josh: Wait, wait. What are you suggesting?

Kelly: Well, you know, more training might help you land a better job.

Josh: Wh . . . wh . . . Are you trying to say something about my current job? I mean, is there something going on here? I mean, what are you saying?

Kelly: You know, you did drop out of college.

Josh: I know, I know, but I don’t know. I’m just seeing my current job at McDonalds as a step up. [McDonalds!]. Yeah, but, you know, I don’t have the resources at the moment; however, the job I am looking at will pay for some classes after I have been with the company for six months.

Kelly: Well, it looks like you have things planned out this time.

Josh: If I last that long.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • lead (noun): information that will help you find a solution to a problem or situation
    – Although my sister has a few job leads, she knows that finding work these days will be difficult.
  • look up (phrasal verb): improve or get better
    – More companies are moving their offices to this area, so the job market is looking up.
  • in a nutshell (idiom): used when summarizing something in a very short, clear way
    – Business has been very slow over the past several months, and it will be difficult to maintain our current workforce. So, in a nutshell, we’re going to have to let some of our workers go.
  • provide (verb): give, supply, or furnish
    – The company provides health insurance for all full-time employees.
  • sort (noun): kind or type
    – Working at a restaurant my whole life isn’t the sort of job I really want to do.
  • reasonable (adjective): fair or sensible
    – I think it is reasonable for a person to ask the questions about the company and its future during a job interview.
  • earn (verb): make or bring in
    – I think it is reasonable for a person to ask the questions about the company and its future during a job interview.
  • in the end: finally, after a period of time
    – Even though the company was able to reduce costs, the result was the same in the end, and the company went out of business.
  • boom (verb): grow rapidly
    – Gold mining boomed for more than 20 years in the valley.
  • era (noun): show new growth
    – A number of small software companies sprouted in our area as a result of the demand for new applications.
  • land a job (idiom): find a job
    – It is sometimes difficult to land a job without much experience.
  • sprout (up) (verb): grow suddenly
    – A number of small software companies sprouted in our area as a result of the demand for new computer applications.