- Keywords: Job hunting, fluency, presentations, creative thinking
- Learner English level: Intermediate
- Learner maturity: University
- Activity time: Four classes, 90 minutes each
- Preparation time: 30 minutes per class
- Materials: Templates for creating companies, resumes, and interview questions (See appendices)
This is a creative, practical project used as the final listening and speaking project for the semi-intensive academic English course at my university. Students work in pairs to create their own companies, introduce them to the class, recruit new employees, and participate in interviews, both as company presidents and job seekers. In doing so, students get a significant amount of spoken English practice, increase confidence, develop a greater awareness of what they can offer prospective employers, and get valuable insights into the job-hunting process.
Step 1: In the first classroom meeting, instruct students to form pairs to create a company, and to fill in the questionnaire template you have prepared, such as what their company does, where the company headquarters are, who their clientele is, what their slogan is, and other basics.
Step 2: Next, students create a job opening for their company, giving information regarding the position, job responsibilities, required experience, and so on. Later in the project, students will recruit other students to work for their company.
Step 3: Each student prepares a resume, filling in a template with educational background; work experience, including part-time jobs and internships; special skills and talents; strengths and weaknesses; and their job-seeking objective.
Step 4: In the second class, students give a brief PowerPoint presentation of their company to the class, sharing the basics of their company and information about their job opening. Afterward, students sign up for interviews at the three companies they are most interested in and give these companies a copy of their completed resume.
Note: Each student will participate in six interviews on interview day, three in the role of job seeker and three as company president; this is the most logistically challenging part of the project. Because each interview takes place during a specific time slot, ensure that students pay close attention to their interview times to prevent double booking.
Step 4: During the third classroom meeting, students help each other prepare for the interviews that will take place during the fourth class period of the project. They create interview questions, practice responses, and drill each other.
Step 5: Before class begins on interview day (class 4), arrange the classroom desks to create interview stations, one for each company. Assign each company to an interview station, and put the companies’ signs on the interview stations so everyone knows where to go. The schedule for interview day is tight: each interview lasts 12 minutes. Students have 1 minute between interviews to go to the next interview station. There is a 5-minute break after the third interview so that students have a chance to talk with their partners before switching roles. Have students take notes at all interviews, both as job seekers and as company presidents.
Step 6: Because it is impossible to monitor multiple interviews simultaneously, you can assess students afterward based on their participation and completion of the related preparation tasks: the resume, company presentation, and interview questions. At the end of the project, you may choose to hold an assessed speaking conference where you ask students which company they would like to work for and which candidates they would like to hire.
The Job Fair Project is consistently one of our program’s most popular activities. It gives students excellent opportunities to be creative, learn how to market themselves, and use English for authentic communication.
The appendix is available below.