Interviewing in the United States
Lindsay: Okay. So here we are. In today’s episode, you’re going to learn how to answer the most common interview question in the US.
Gabby: And more.
Gabby: Hey guys. In this episode, we are going to break down some phrases and some different parts of our conversation from our ‘Meeting Monday’, our last episode, Episode 1. And so you can always go back and listen to that conversation and hear how we used these phrases. Um, but Lindsay has a couple of great phrases for us. And, and these will help you understand conversation, but also, you know, to, to talk to create your own conversations. So, so Lindsay, what are your, your two, two, uh, phrases for us?
Lindsay: Okay. So the first phrase that we have, this is a phrasal verb, which I know can be tricky for students sometimes. And this expression is ‘to fill out something’, right? To fill out an application. Right?
Lindsay: When would you use this?
Gabby: Yeah, I think that’s the most common use, is to fill out an application. And really, whenever we need to use an application — I mean that even sounds funny to say ‘use an application’ – we, we don’t use any other verb. I mean you always fill out, uh, an application, unless you’re, you’re creating an application, if you’re on the other side of things.
Lindsay: Right. Right. But anytime you’re – like if you’re going in for a job interview. Right. You’re gonna (going to) sit down and the person – you’re gonna (going to) say “I’m here for the interview,” and the person’s gonna (going to) say, “Please fill out this application.”
Lindsay: Every time.
Gabby: You might fill out an application by hand, using a pen. You might fill out an application online using a computer.
Gabby: Uh, but it’s a really important phrasal verb to know for those contacts that you mentioned…
Gabby: …for school and for work.
Lindsay: Definitely. So remember that one. Okay. Great. So the next one is ‘the key’, right? So we said that education – Gabby said that she thinks that education is the key to freedom. Right? So what does that mean? What does that mean? Whaddya (what do you) think?
Gabby: ‘The key’ is something that unlocks, uh, an opportunity or a door. Right? You use a key to unlock a door, but it’s kind of an analogy the way we’re using, um, this, this – it’s figurative speech, right? I am allowing an opportunity to happen. I’m, I’m going after an opportunity, so I need education in order to be free.
Lindsay: Be free. And another example would be, “I think that hard work is the key to success.”
Gabby: Ah! Excellent.
Lindsay: Right? So that’s another example of that. All right. So those are my teachings. How ‘bout (about) yours Gabby? Whaddya (what do you) have?
Gabby: Yeah. So I have a couple of teachings that are a little different. One is a really important phrase or question actually. Um, and the other one is pronunciation, so let me start with the phrase and it is “Tell us about yourself.” So this is a phrase that you’ll hear often. When might we hear this phrase? What would you say?
Lindsay: Well I would think about an interview again. The interview situation it’s so common when you sit down and interview in the US and the person says – the first thing they might say to you is “Tell me about yourself.”
Gabby: Totally. And even in casual conversation, like in our conversation, it wasn’t an interview, but you know, I, I think I asked you, “Well, tell us about yourself,” and that’s something that you could hear at a party, you know?
Gabby: If you’re meeting people for the first time.
Lindsay: I guess. So yeah. I — for me, in my mind, it stands out as being a little bit more formal, right?
Gabby: Yeah sure.
Lindsay: But yeah, sometimes you might hear it at a party or in a conversation like we just had.
Gabby: Tell me about yourself. Tell me more.
Lindsay: Tell me about yourself.
Gabby: So it’s a really good idea to plan out your answer, um, and have something ready to say — more than just your name and what country you’re from. You know maybe talking about your interest, or your career. Not too much, but you know, maybe like 30 seconds of something that you want other people to know about you.
Lindsay: Yeah, there you go. What else?
Gabby: Uh, okay. So we said a couple of times “What… do… you… do?”
Lindsay: Did we say it that way?
Gabby: No, we didn’t.
Lindsay: We would be so boring if we said it that way.
Gabby: That’s really slowed down. So we said it in a natural way because we want you all to hear what native, natural conversation sounds like, and I’m gonna (going to) say it again just the way that we said it and I’m going to pause afterwards so that you can repeat it. ‘K (okay)? So get ready. Here we go. Whaddyado?
Gabby: Yeah, so we use this talking ‘bout (about) work. We ask, you know, whaddya (what do you do) do for work and we also asked “Whaddyado?” (what do you do) on the weekend. So this is a super common chunk of English, a phrase that – these words just get stuck together. I mean, we don’t, we don’t pronounce each word separately, “What… do… you… do?”
Never. Never, never, never. So memorize this question as just one chunk – like it almost sounds like one word, “Whaddyado?”
Lindsay: Good advice. I like it.