To work internationally, you must be able to ask and answer basic business questions. Yet sometimes, the simplest questions can be confusing. Not because you don’t understand them, but because you’re not sure of the grammar and vocabulary needed to answer correctly.

The list below covers over 100 basic business questions and answers. Don’t try to memorize them all! Instead, try the following:

  • Read the questions and answers aloud so you get used to saying and hearing them.
  • Choose one question from each section and learn how to ask it correctly.
  • Go to the practical application section at the end.
  • Use the templates to write answers about yourself.
  • Practice your personalized answers out loud till you can say them easily and quickly.

You can practice in three ways:

  • Alone – Write out the questions on index cards with your answers on the back. Shuffle the cards. Make sure you can answer each question easily and quickly until you can do it perfectly.
  • With a friend – Take turns asking and answering questions.
  • In a group or class – Give this resource to your teacher. You could sit in small circles and practice asking and answering different questions. As a variation, ask one question and hear everyone’s answers to the same question. You could also walk around the room asking and answering questions.

With practice, you will be able to ask basic business questions to others and also be ready to reply correctly and confidently when someone asks about your professional life.

Questions & Answers

What do you do?
What’s your job?
What kind of work do you do?
What do you do for a living?

I’m a __________. (job)
I’m a doctor.
I’m a student.
I’m a graphic designer.

I’m an __________. (job)
I’m an engineer.
I’m an accountant.
I’m an economist.

I’m in __________. (field)
I’m in education.
I’m in banking.
I’m in advertising.

I work for __________. (employer)
I work for BMW.
I work for Air Canada.
I work for Google.

I work as a ____________. (job)
I work as a chef.
I work as a legal secretary.
I work as an electrical engineer.

What’s your position?
Which department do you work in?
Which division do you head up?

I’m __________. (position, area)
I’m Chief of the financial studies division.
I’m Head of the marketing department.
I’m Vice-President of the sales division.

I’m the __________. (position, area)
I’m the manager of the translation section.
I’m the supervisor of the production department.
I’m the principal of the school.

What line of business are you in?

I’m in the __________ business.
I’m in the music business.
I’m in the fashion business.
I’m in the interior design business.

Which sector are you in?

I’m in the __________ sector.
I’m in the agricultural sector.
I’m in the public sector.
I’m in the manufacturing sector.

What industry are you in?

I’m in the __________ industry.
I’m in the pharmaceutical industry.
I’m in the automotive industry.
I’m in the airline industry.

Where do you work?
Who do you work for?

I work for __________. (emphasizes the company as employer)
I work for Microsoft.
I work for Sony.
I work for IBM.

Where do you work?
Which branch?
Which campus?
Which location?

I work at __________. (emphasizes the physical location of employment)
I work at the downtown branch of Royal Bank.
I work at the Mount Royal campus.
I work at the Intel headquarters.

Where do you work?
Which city?
Which country?

I work in __________. (city, country or continent)
I work in Miami.
I work in Brazil.
I work in Africa.

Where do you work?

I work in __________. (building)
I work in a hospital.
I work in a research lab.
I work in a restaurant.

Where do you work?
Which floor?

I work on __________. (outdoor or specific locations)
I work on a farm.
I work on an oil rig.
I work on a ship.
I work on a construction site.
I work on the 16th floor.

When do you work?

I work from 9 to 5.
I work from Monday to Friday.
I work on the weekends.
I work the night shift.

What are your hours?

I work from 12 to 8.
I work 10 hours a day.

When do you start work?

I start work at 8am.

When do you finish work?
When do you get off work? (informal)

I usually finish work at 10pm.
I usually go home at 6pm.

How long have you worked here?
How long have you been working here?

I have worked here for 12 years.
I have been working here since 2005.

Who do you work with?

I work with the head of Marketing.
I coordinate with the art department.

Who do you report to?

I report to Mr. Teodori.

Who do you manage?

I manage a team of eight architects.

What are your main responsibilities?
What are your duties?

I am in touch with our clients weekly.
I help customers who need assistance.
I assist callers with their complaints.
I counsel students regarding their scholarships.
I negotiate with our suppliers.
I’m responsible for PR.
I’m in charge of the annual budget.

Practical Application

Now, fill in your own information below. Then, read the sentences aloud until you can say them confidently.

What do you do?

I’m a/an ____________________. (job)
I’m in _____________________. (field)
I’m in the ____________________ business. (business)
I’m in the ____________________ sector. (sector)
I’m in the ____________________ industry. (industry)

Where do you work?

I work for ____________________. (name of employer)
I work at ____________________. (location of employment)
I work in ____________________. (city)
I work in ____________________. (country)
I work in ____________________. (continent)
I work in ____________________. (type of business or building)
I work on ____________________. (outdoor location)

What are your working hours?

I work from _____ to ______.

What are your main responsibilities?

I am responsible for ____________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________________________________.

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