The New


This is a role-play scenario to work on with your teacher.

You will play someone who works in a medium-sized company. Your teacher will play your new manager, who has come to meet you for the first time.

This is a great exercise for building confidence in conversational business English!

The Scenario

You are working as a senior engineer with Banana Computers. You may or may not have a small team of people working for you.

Your previous manager left the company three months ago, and your new boss only started last week. He is working his way through the important people at the company, arranging meetings to get to know them.

Today he's asked you to come to his office to meet. He wants to know what you're like as a person, what your responsibilities are, and understand any problems you may have.

Your job is to give him as much information as possible. You may also want to use the opportunity to ask some questions of your own!

Useful Vocabulary

Go-to guy

The person who really knows about something, or how to do something. People “go to” him or her

My door is always open

Said by managers to encourage people not to be afraid to email or otherwise contact them

Staff turnover

People leaving and joining a team or company over time. High turnover is often bad - but very low turnover can lead to stagnation

To be hands on

To get personally involved in the details of how something works

To wave a magic wand

To do the impossible. "I'll try, but I can't wave a magic wand".

What’s your role?

Specifically: what’s your job or title? More generally: what do you do in the company?


Sharing knowledge with another employee. Usually done when going on holiday or leaving a job


Service Level Agreement. A contract or document which says how quickly you will respond to a customer and fix problems caused by your service

Technical debt

When features are prioritised over bug-fixing and refactoring code, problems can build up. This is known as technical debt

To deputise

To do work normally done by a superior, for instance when your boss is busy or on holiday

What do you bring to the party?

What skills/value do you contribute to the team, project or company?

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