Job Interview

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jemem

Banned
Chinese
"He will be in a job interview."
"He will be at a job interview."
"He will be on a job interview."


Could some of them be wrong? How are they different?
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    To me there is a subtle difference between the first two:

    #1 means that at whatever time you are referring to he will be undergoing the interview itself.

    #2 means that at whatever time you are referring to he will be at the place where the interview/s is/are to be held. It's a little vague - he could be waiting to be interviewed, or actually undergoing it.


    #3 to me, is not idiomatic. I wouldn't say 'on an interview'.
     
    Last edited:

    jemem

    Banned
    Chinese
    After some digging, I found this in NY Times:
    "''I haven't been on an interview in probably nine months,'' he said. 'I'm beginning to see that I have to get out there and sell myself. I'm going to get names of people behind the scenes.'"

    NY Times must have made an editing mistake.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Probably not, it is in quotes and thus exactly what he said. Why he said it that way is another matter. Your example, "He will be on a job interview." sounds to me almost as if "he" will be interviewing someone, rather than the other way around. (But is still doesn't sound right.)

    The NYT construction is, "I haven't been on..." [= haven't attended] follows the style of "I have been on many training courses/jobs like this/journeys..." It seems to imply continual action and that a lot of time has been spent (days/weeks/months) on something, yet this would not be so for an interview.

    Compare with,
    A: "What a beautiful model ship! Such detail!"
    B: "Thank you, I spent seven years on making that"
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    "Been on a job interview" is a common and colloquial way to say that you have gone somewhere for the purpose of being interviewed by someone who might give you a job. At least it is in American English. We might also say "went on a job interview", with approximately the same meaning.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    @ Cagey: I think I might say that too, when speaking in a past tense, but would you say 'I will be on a job interview tomorrow' if you were going to be interviewed by someone?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I might say that if I were explaining why I was busy tomorrow and unable to accept an invitation. However, I would probably say, "I'll be going on a job interview tomorrow."

    If I were simply explaining my plans for tomorrow, I would say "I'm going on a job interview tomorrow."
     

    jemem

    Banned
    Chinese
    So, "on a (job) interview" is acceptable American English but not acceptable British English?
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It may be an AE/BE difference. There isn't really enough evidence from this thread to say one way or the other. It could just simply come down to personal opinions and preferences. :)
     
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