English for Human Resources

A Trinity College London Registered Examination Centre


Job interviews

Establishing rapport and relaxing a candidate
It’s nice to welcome you here and I hope you’ll enjoy the interview.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.
I’m going to start by … and then we’ll talk about … Finally, we can deal with any points you would like to raise.
Please ask about anything you are not sure of.

Giving information
I’d like to tell you something about …
I’m afraid we don’t …
We’d be happy to …
Let me fill you in on the details of …

What experience have you had of … ?
What aspect of your job do you like best?
How would you handle … ?
How do you go about dealing with … ?
What do you know about managing … ?
Why do you want to leave your present job?
Could you outline your experience in … ?

Asking follow-up questions
Could you tell me more about … ?
What exactly do you mean by … ?
Could you enlarge on that?
I wonder if you could give me an example of …
Why did you deal with the situation in that way?

Appraisal interviews

What do you like most about your work?
Could you tell me (how things are going with …)?
How do you see (your team developing …)?
Would you like to give me more details about … ?
When did you realize that … ?
Would you mind giving me more information on … ?
Is there anything else we should talk about?

Talking about problems
I’d like you to tell me (how you see your progress over the last year).
Has there been anything you have found difficult to cope with?
How are things with the rest of the department?
Have there been any problems?
Could there be a (personality) problem between … ?
Why weren’t you able to talk about it?

Softening disagreement
With respect, I think …
To be quite frank, I don’t think …
(I’m) Not sure I agree with you there.
Frankly, we should deal with that differently …
I respect your opinion, but …
I’m afraid we can’t … / I’m sorry but we can’t …
To a certain extent I agree, but …


It would be to your advantage to …
It might be in your interest to …
We can reassure you on that point totally.
It’s the best offer around. You won’t find a better one.
I was wondering if you had any thoughts about … ?
Wouldn’t it be an excellent idea if … ?

Bargaining and compromising
We could consider (doing) that if you promised to … ?
How would it look if we offered … ?
Sorry, we’ve already had a better offer, so …
We would agree on one condition: …
Our pay deal is conditional on …
If you agree to … , we can …
If you threaten us, we’ll withdraw the offer.
If we had to … , it’s unlikely we could …
We might put a better offer on the table, provided (that) you …
I’d go along with that on condition that you returned to work.
Unless you return to work, we’ll withdraw our offer.
That seems a good compromise, as long as there is …

Arranging an appointment

What date would be convenient for you?
What time would suit you?
Would Monday at 10.30 suit you?
Is the 5th of March at 6 pm convenient?
Can you manage … ? / How about … ?
Tuesday would be good for me.
Monday’s bad for me, I’m afraid.
That sounds fine.
Yes, that would be good for me.
I think that should be possible.

Exchanging information

Can we just have a word about … ?
I’d like to be kept up to date on what’s happening.
So where / what are you planning to … ?
Well, firstly I thought I would …
I’ll look into it (though).

Asking for somebody’s opinion or ideas

What is your view on this?
Could I have some feedback?
Could I have your input?
Could you please prepare a summary … ?

Giving an opinion or feedback

Good idea. / That’s fine.
As far as I’m concerned …
It seems to me that … / In my opinion …
Why don’t we … ?
Well, I’m definitely in favour of …
By the way, shouldn’t we … ?

Agreeing and disagreeing

I entirely agree.
Yes, (that’s a) good idea.
I’m inclined to agree with you on that.
Yes, but have you considered … ?
You have a point there, but …
I’m afraid I can’t go along with that.
Sorry, but I really can’t agree.

Making recommendations and suggestions

We need to introduce …
‘My proposal is to put …
Maybe we should also look into …
I recommend introducing / that we introduce …
It’s essential that we take up references …
I (can) recommend talking / that we talk …
It’s high time (that) we introduced …
I suggest we might …
What do you think about … ?
I believe we should consider …


Could you repeat that?
Sorry, I didn’t quite get that.
What exactly do you mean by … ?
As you know, we really do need to …
I’ll fill you in on …


Could I just say that … ?
I’d like to add a point here.
Excuse me, can I just come in here?

Key HR word families




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