Discussing Your Personal Qualities (Adv)


Students will learn how to describe their personal qualities in a job interview situation.
Student Level: 
Unit Group: 
General Business - Interviews

Warm Up (5 mins)

 Make a list of all the words for positive personal characteristics you can think of.

 Choose 3 which you think "best" describe yourself. Can you give examples of what each one means?

Listening (5 mins)

 Watch the following video.

The presenter will describe one way to answer the question "What is your biggest weakness?"

1. Why might "being a perfectionist" be considered both a strength AND a weakness?

2. Can you imagine any other ways to answer the question "What is your biggest weakness?"

Reading Comprehension (10 mins)

Read the following article.

1. Summarize the 5 types of questions most commonly asked by interviewers.

2. Imagine you are applying for a job at your dream company. How would you answer each of the 5 questions.

Conversation Skill (10 mins)

Story Telling

Conversation Skill Point: 

The ability to describe even a routine event as an interesting adventure rather than through short, generic statements is one of the signatures of a strong communicator.

Story telling conveys part of the speaker's personality and make it easy to keep a conversation going.

Successful story telling utilizes the following skills:



Grab attention from the beginning (using words like "funny" or "unusual" is always good).

Poor - "Let me tell you how I met my girlfriend."

Good - "Let me tell you about the funny way I met my girlfriend."

Invite the listener to use their imagination

Poor - "I opened the door there was a huge spider on the floor."

Good - "What do you think I found when I opened the door?"

Vary your voice

As you speak, raise and lower the volume of your voice.

Speed up or slow down the tempo to match the story.

Choose one of the following scenarios.

Use your imagination and story telling skills to describe the events:

You bought an old desk at a flea market. When you brought it home and opened it you found it contained a valuable diamond necklace.
One day your dog ran away from you in the park. Two days later it arrived by itself back at your home.
You were hiking alone in a forest one day but suffered an injury. You had to get to medical care by yourself.


Vocabulary (5 mins)

Word or expressionExample sentence
flexibleOur plan needs to be flexible in case the economic situation changes.
professionalEmployees must maintain a professional attitude to customer service.
productiveTheir team has been much more productive since they started using the new software.
sincereI was impressed by his sincere apology for the mistake.

Role Play (15 mins)


Case Study (15 mins)

Imagine you are applying for a job at General Exports Ltd, a large multi-national company with many business units in a range of industries.

The successful candidate will be put into a leadership "fast track" training program which will see them moved around the world through a variety of management positions with the goal of providing a strong strategic overview of the company.

The HR interviewer for General Exports is satisfied with your academic background and work experience. The key factor in successfully getting the job will be convincing the interviewer that you have the right personal qualities.

The company is looking for someone who has:

  • Patience - the company will require you to train and learn for many years before giving major responsibilities
  • Teamwork - GE wants employees who can work effectively with others to solve problems
  • Adaptable - you will be asked to work in a lot of unfamiliar and at times difficult environments
  • Independent - the successful candidate will often have to make decisions without support from head office

Think of how you can convince the interviewer that you have these qualities. Give examples or tell stories of situations from your life that highlight these qualities in yourself.

Your instructor is the HR interviewer.

Extension Activity

 What kind of personal qualities do you think are needed to succeed in your dream job e.g. good communicator, patient listener etc.

 Do you think your personal qualities have changed over the years? If so in what way?

Review and Quiz (5 mins)

Do you have any questions about this lesson?

What did you learn today?

Did you learn any new vocabulary or expressions?

Ask your instructor for tips on how you can improve your English.

Finally, don't forget to take the quiz after all your lessons are finished today.

Thank you !