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0095 Nervous at an Interview II

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 95: Nervous at an Interview II.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 95. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

This episode is part two of a two-part podcast. We began with number 94 called Nervous at an Interview. Let’s get started!

[start of dialogue]

I was just in time for my interview and I was very nervous. I walked up to the receptionist. She was talking into a headset and typing on her keyboard.

David: Good morning. I'm David Laso. I have an appointment with Dale Mendoza at 10 o'clock. Could you please let her know that I'm here?

Receptionist: Please have a seat and I'll tell her.

About three minutes later, a man came out of the office and approached me. He introduced himself as Ben, Ms. Mendoza’s administrative assistant. He told me he would show me to her office.

I followed him and we stopped in front of an office door with a placard on the door with the name "Dale Mendoza" and her title "Vice President" written on it. Ben knocked on the door and opened it. By this time, I was feeling more confident and was actually looking forward to the interview.

Then I saw Dale Mendoza. She was the same woman who was in the elevator on my way up. I had been so nervous that I just couldn't stop talking. I had told her how nervous I was about this interview. I had even told her about my nightmare with a three-headed monster interviewing me for a job. And now, here she was, my potential new boss.

Dale: Hello, you must be David. It's nice to meet you.

There was a frog in my throat. My heart was beating a mile a minute.

David: It's nice to meet you, too.

Dale: Have a seat and make yourself comfortable. You see? I only have one head and I don't even bite.

Needless to say, that was not my best interview. But, you live and learn. I'll know next time to keep my mouth shut!

[end of dialogue]

In this podcast we heard the man going for a job interview, who was very nervous, and he says that he was “just in time” for his interview. “To be just in time” is the same as “in the nick of time,” meaning you get there right before the time or the moment you are supposed to be there. The man walks up to the “receptionist,” who’s the person who works in the “reception desk,” a place where you first go in an office, sort of a welcome place, welcome desk, and the woman who’s working, the receptionist, is talking into a “headset.” A “headset” (headset), all one word, is what you would wear on your head talking on the telephone, so there’s a piece that goes in your ear and there’s usually a microphone that comes out and it’s – on the top of your head there’s a band that attaches it to your head, if you will, and that is a “headset,” and you can use a headset for talking on the computer, for example. You can listen and talk in a headset.

The man says – he introduces himself, “I’m David Laso,” which is the same, of course, as “My name is David Laso,” and tells the receptionist, “Could you please let Dale Mendoza know that I am here.” “Could you please let her know that I’m here?” That’s what you would say to someone who is a receptionist if you are waiting for an appointment. “Could you let her know” means could you tell her that I am here. The receptionist says, “Please have a seat,” meaning please sit down here and wait, and a few minutes later, a man comes out of the office and that man is Ms. Mendoza’s “administrative assistant.” An “administrative assistant” is someone who helps or assists an administrator, a person in charge of something. An “administrative assistant” is someone who is a helper to the person who is the boss or the person who has a supervisor or administrator role.

The man then “shows him to her office,” meaning he walks with him and shows him or indicates to him where the office him, a. And the man notices – David notices – that there is a “placard” on the door. A “placard” (placard) is just a sign,. sSo, there’s a sign on the door with “Dale Mendoza” on it and her “title,” “Vice President.” The “title” of someone is what their position is, what they do in a company. “The President,” “The Vice President,” “The Chief Executive Officer,” all of these are “titles.” “Titles” can also be referred to political figures, “The President” of a country or “The Prime Minister” of a country. – That’s a “title,” the words “Prime Minister” and “President.” The man then realizes that the woman he is interviewing with is the same woman he talked to yesterday on the elevator – or rather talked to this – before the interview on the elevator and realizes that he has told her all of these things about him being nervous. He says, “And now, here she was, my potential new boss.” “Here she was,” meaning she’s here in front of me. “My potential new boss” – “potential” means my possible new boss.

The woman introduces herself and David says, in trying to respond, that “there was a frog in my throat.” When we say we have a “frog” (frog) – like the little green animal that jumps, a “frog.” “To have a frog in your throat” means that you’re having problems speaking. This is often because you may be nervous and so, “there’s a frog in his throat” means he doesn’t know what to say. He says his heart was beating “a mile a minute.” When we say something is going or “beating” – your heart is “beating a mile a minute,” it means that it is very – that you are very nervous and that your heart is going – the other expression would be “Your heart is racing” – means it’s beating very fast – that would be “going a mile a minute,” and, of course, going one mile in a minute. well, that would be very fast.

The woman says, “Have a seat,” and says, “You see, I only have one head and I don’t even bite,” because David said he had a dream that she was a three-headed monster. The story ends with David saying, “Needless to say, that was not my best interview.” The expression, “Needless to say,” is something you would say before something very obvious. “Needless to say, if it’s sunny outside, the temperature might be warmer” – not always true, I know, but the expression, “Needless to say,” means you’re going to say something obvious now. It would be the same as “obviously” here. David says, “But you live and learn.” That’s kind of an old expression. “Live and learn” means you make mistakes and you learn from your mistakes, you learn from your experiences. And he finally says, “I’ll know next time,” or the next time this happens, “to keep my mouth shut,” meaning I won’t talk. “To keep your mouth shut” means not to talk. We sometimes say to children, “Keep your mouth shut.” It’s kind of a rude – well, it’s something you would only say to a child. It’s very rude to say that to an adult but a parent who’s angry at their child might say, “Keep your mouth shut,” meaning don’t talk.

Now let’s listen to the story this time at a native rate of speech.

[start of dialogue]

I was just in time for my interview and I was very nervous. I walked up to the receptionist. She was talking into a headset and typing on her keyboard.

David: Good morning. I'm David Laso. I have an appointment with Dale Mendoza at 10 o'clock. Could you please let her know that I'm here?

Receptionist: Please have a seat and I'll tell her.

About three minutes later, a man came out of the office and approached me. He introduced himself as Ben, Ms. Mendoza’s administrative assistant. He told me he would show me to her office.

I followed him and we stopped in front of an office door with a placard on the door with the name "Dale Mendoza" and her title "Vice President" written on it. Ben knocked on the door and opened it. By this time, I was feeling more confident and was actually looking forward to the interview.

Then I saw Dale Mendoza. She was the same woman who was in the elevator on my way up. I had been so nervous that I just couldn't stop talking. I had told her how nervous I was about this interview. I had even told her about my nightmare with a three-headed monster interviewing me for a job. And now, here she was, my potential new boss.

Dale: Hello, you must be David. It's nice to meet you.

There was a frog in my throat. My heart was beating a mile a minute.

David: It's nice to meet you, too.

Dale: Have a seat and make yourself comfortable. You see? I only have one head and I don't even bite.

Needless to say, it was not my best interview. But, you live and learn. I'll know next time to keep my mouth shut!

[end of dialogue]

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. We’ll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

ESL Podcast is a production of the Center for Educational Development in Los Angeles, California. This podcast is copyright 2005. No part of this podcast may be sold or redistributed without the expressed written permission of the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
receptionist – someone in an office who greets guests, answers telephone calls, and guides clients or other people to the correct employee they need to speak with

* The receptionist greeted Carmen and asked her to wait until the doctor could see her.


headset – headphones with a microphone; a metal headband with speakers that sit on one’s ears and a microphone that rests in front of one’s mouth

* Glenn used a headset to answer phone calls so that he would not need to hold the phone with his hands.


to have a seat – to sit down on a chair or sofa

* When Jane walked into her manager’s office, the manager pulled out a chair and told her to have a seat.


administrative assistant – someone in an office who helps a manager or boss with basic but important tasks, like organizing meetings, keeping records, and preparing documents

* The boss was very busy and had a lot of work to do, but his administrative assistant helped him to stay organized.


to show – to guide or lead someone; to show someone the path he or she must take to reach a certain location

* The waiter showed Trent the way to his table.


placard – a small label made of metal or cardboard; a small sign that hangs on a door and gives the name of the person working inside

* The placard on the door said that the room belonged to Dr. Choi.


title – a term that identifies one’s status or position

* Dr. Richardson’s title was “Chair of the English Department” at the university.


potential – possible; something that might be or might happen

* Heidi needed to interview potential new employees to decide who she should hire for the job.


a frog in (one's) throat – a dry or hoarse throat; the feeling of having a lump in one’s throat, making it hard to speak

* Elvin was so nervous that he had a frog in his throat and could not speak well.


for (one’s) heart to beat a mile a minute – for one’s heart to beat very fast; for one’s heart to beat very fast due to being scared, anxious, or surprised

* The loud crash startled Jacquetta, and her heart was beating a mile a minute.


needless to say – obvious without needing to be said; understood even without explaining

* It is raining outside, so needless to say, the trip to the beach has been cancelled.


to live and learn – to learn from experience; to learn by going through normal life events

* Failing the test was unpleasant, but one lives and learns, and Leandro now knows to study well in advance instead of waiting until the night before.

Culture Note
“Terminated” and “Made Redundant”

No one wants to lose their job, but it’s is a “fact of life” (something that happens in life). “To be terminated” is to lose your job, meaning that your company or boss tells you that you no longer have a job there, that you can no longer work there. “To be terminated” is a formal and official way of saying this. The more common and conversational phrase is “to be fired” from a job.

In a job interview, you may be asked why you were terminated from your last job. If you lost your job because the company closed or reduced its “staff” (group of workers), you would use the term “to be laid off.” “To lay (someone) off” means to dismiss a worker, sometimes “temporarily” (for a short time), because there isn’t enough work; “to be laid off” means to lose your job for this reason. However, if you lose your job because of something bad that happened, than you were terminated or fired. For example:

- “There was a letter in her work file indicating that she was terminated for stealing.”

- “I was fired from my job because my boss didn’t like me.”

In the U.S., we don’t use the term “to be made redundant.” It’s used in Britain and many Americans aren’t even familiar with this phrase. “Redundant” means that something is no longer needed or useful. We can use it this way:

- “Now that we have computers to do that job, these workers have become redundant.”

- “This student’s long essay is filled with redundant information and, in the end, only had one or two real ideas.”

You’re probably familiar with the Terminator movies. One thing you’d never want is to be terminated by the Terminator. His job is to take away more than just your job!