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Restaurant interview role cards - a roleplay for ESL or EFL students


You own a restaurant. You need a server (waiter or waitress). Decide if you will hire the interviewee.


You have never worked in a restaurant before, but you really need a job (and the money)!

Teacher's notes

1. Set the scene. It seems like every text book has a unit about jobs or careers. I've always used this to supplement texts, but you don't have to wait until you get to a relevant chapter in the text. Just make sure to provide a brief warmer, perhaps students talking about their jobs or perhaps talking about unique jobs (you may want to show students the snapshot for unit 2 of New Interchange 3.

2. I always put the interviewers together so that they can plan what they're going to say and ask. While the interviewers plan together, the interviewee's get together to discuss their strategy. What are they going to say to get the job? I suggested 10 minutes planning time with the teacher visiting each group to answer questions (my students always want to check their grammar).

3. This is an opportunity for meaningful use of the present perfect. During the planning stage, make sure that the interviewers are using it correctly. During the activity you should pay special attention to use of the present perfect. After 5-8 minutes get the interviewer to make a decision and congratulate students who get hired.

4. I always let the students have more than one go at it. Have all the interviewers stand up and rotate clockwise or have students exchange role cards (you may want to let students have a few more minutes to plan if they're going to switch roles though I don't find it necessary). If there are few students and an odd number of them I usually participate, having the students rotate so everybody has to talk to the teacher.

5. Try to provide feedback after the activity. This may be a good chance to talk about style rather than grammar. Students might benefit if you tell them which bits of language you overheard are too informal for interviews and what is appropriate.

Going to restaurants is a very popular activity, so this directory of UK restaurants will be useful for anyone who needs to find a good place to eat in the UK. I'm told that Indian food, which is one of my favorites, is quite popular in the UK.