Quick video activities for engaging online lessons


Online lessons can be challenging for teachers and students alike. Fatigue caused by extended exposure on the screen, and social distancing can make even the most efficiently designed lesson plan fail. Short activities that engage learners can offer an opportunity to spark interest and promote interaction in an online class. 

This blog post, the first in a series,  aims to offer  activities and ideas to the teacher of English as a Foreign Language  who is often overwhelmed by the workload of teaching online.

A millenial job interview

Disclaimer: The resources on this post are mentioned for educational purposes only. The author of the post does not own or claim the copyright. 

The following  set of  activities is based on the above video. They aim to help learners (B1-C1 CEFR level):

- Recycle or enrich vocabulary-related to personality and employment

- Practice speaking, listening and writing (through follow-up activities)

- Develop critical thinking skills

- Practice looking up word in online dictionaries

You can select which one(s) you should focus on, depending on the needs of your classes.


1.Ask learners to think of the necessary qualities for an applicant in the 21st century. Ask them to write up to 5 words on www.menti.com (www.mentimeter.com is a webtool that allows learners to form a word cloud with their input).

2. Share on screen the video and point to the title. Elicit the meaning of the word “millennial”. If they do not know it, ask learners to search the meaning in an online dictionary and write it in the chat box. Make it sound like a competition.

Tip 1: Praise the student who has found it first.  

Tip 2 :  Give them a tight  time limit. In this way, they will not have time to browse aimlessly on the internet.)

Tip 3: You may need to explain the word HR (Human Resources) and its function in a company.

2. Divide the online class into two or three groups (depending on the number of students). Ask group A to watch the video and observe the body language of the candidate. Group B to observe the register and degree of formality the candidate uses. Group C to write down the qualifications and the skills of the candidate.

While watching

Pause the video frequently and elicit from each group their views on body language, register and qualification. Ask the class prediction on whether, the candidate will be hired or not with a brief justification. With my students it worked well with the following pauses: 0:10, 0:24, 0:35, 01:25, 01:51.

Post watching

Invite learners to discuss one or some of the topics below:

- the reasons why the candidate was not hired

- what message the director of the video intended to convey

- how is technology involved in recruitment (see reading follow-up below)

- skills and qualifications required by firms

- what makes a successful job interview

- are employers biased when it comes to hiring millennials?

Follow-up tasks


Write a letter applying for the position

Write a blog post advising Amy (the unsuccessful candidate) how to do well at an interview


Students can use  Flipgrid to create a video to apply for a position and explain why they are the ideal candidates. 


https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20201102-asynchronous-video-interviews-the-tools-you-need-to-succeed  Asynchronous video interviews

Closing Thoughts

All the above are mere suggestions on how you can exploit a video as a lead-in with your classes.  You know better the needs of your classes and how you  can adapt these activities to cater for the needs of your learners.

Enjoy the brilliant acting of the actors, the sense of humour, and the interaction this video will spark with your students. 

Dimitris Primalis


  1. What a funny video! Thank you for sharing these ideas!

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