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Working at a Hostel - Interview

Many people travel the world for work. One place where jobs can be found is in hostels. Most people work in hostels for an international experience, to learn the language as well as to earn money.

Ung jente med vaskebørste og hansker. Foto.
Young girl with a part-time job as a cleaner

In the inerview below you meet Iain MacKinnon. He is the owner and general manager of Brodies hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here he gives an account of what his job consists of and the challenges he meets as a manager. His staff comes from all over the world. Listen to the interview to get an impression of what it is like to work in a hostel.

Tasks and Activities

Identify the Objects

Look at the picture from the reception. We have provided the first letter of items to be found in the picture and indicated how many letters the word contains. Try to identify these items:

Iain at work at the reception
Iain at work at the reception

K_ _ _

C_ _ _ _ _ _ _

C_ _ _ M_ _ _ _ _ _

W_ _ _ _

D_ _ _

C_ _ _ _ _ _ _

M_ _

W_ _ _ _ _ _ S_ _ _

  • Keys
  • Computer
  • Card Machine
  • Watch
  • Desk
  • Cupboard
  • Map
  • Welcome Sign


Brodies Hostel in Edinburgh is going to hire new staff. They put up this ad on the entrance door:

We need new staff ASAP.
Interested? Please contact
Brodies Hostel,
Manager Iain MacKinnon on tel. +446314051811

You have a gap year from school and have planned a backpacker tour for one year. Part of this year you intend to spend in Scotland to improve your skills in English. You notice the ad and decide to call up Iain about the job.
One of you should be the applicant (arbeidssøkeren/arbeidssøkaren). The other one should be the manager, Iain MacKinnon.

The applicant should:
Greet (hilse/helse) the manager, introduce yourself, be polite (høflig/høfleg), interested and have relevant questions for Iain.
Prepare by looking up appropriate words and terms.

The one who is going to act Iain's part, may:
Listen to the interview once more and make up his mind regarding requirements for the job such as reliability (pålitelighet/pålitelegheit), communication and language skills and attitudes.

Self Assessment

Evaluate your accomplishments in the telephone conversation. In what ways did you succeed? What could have been better? Based on this telephone conversation, do you think you would have had a real chance of getting the job? Give reasons.

Creative Writing

  1. Look at the picture from the reception in Brodies. You are one of the keys in the key box on the counter. Tell the story of your experiences during the last 24 hours.
  2. Write Iain's diary from one day at work.
  3. Look at the pictures of the entrance doors of the hostels. Daytime and nightime a lot of people pass their doorsteps. Make an imaginary conversation where the two doors, talk about what they observed in the last 24 hours.

Learning content

The Work We Do




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