1

Let's say my friend is jobless and lazy. I know he should find a job, but I highly doubt he will even try to look. I could say:

It seems to me that it isn't going to happen.

Which of these possibilities is better:

  1. It seems to me that he won't get a job.
  2. It seems to me that he isn't going to get a job.

I don't want to refer to any particular job interview, just to the fact that I doubt he will find a job.

Also, I'd like to know if there is a more sophisticated and colloquial expression (an idiom) that I could use, something like it's very improbable that [...].

2

Both of your options are correct. The first would be a little more informal since it uses won't.

There are several ways to express your friend's unlikely event

I doubt he will get a job.
It seems highly unlikely he will get a job.
His chances are slim to none he will get a job.
It seems unfathomable he will get a job.
It's incomprehensible he will get a job.

some common expressions to signify something is very unlikely or impossible

I'll believe it when I see it
Snowball's chance in hell
When pigs fly
When a cow jumps over the moon
(dated)
No way in hell
Ain't gonna happen
That ain't happenin'

and the very sarcastic

P1: You think he will get a job?
P2: That lazy slug? Yeah, right (slight chuckle with possible eye roll)

2

Your two suggestions are perfectly fine. In everyday speech, the second one would be more likely to become

It seems to me that he isn't gonna get a job.

You could also say

It doesn't seem likely he'll get a job.

Since you're saying it, the "to me" part doesn't have to be said explicitly. In speech you might include it to somewhat soften your negative opinion.

If you wished to be very informal, you could use @lurker's suggestion from the comments:

Him get a job? Not gonna happen.

But that would likely be understood as insulting to the person you're talking about.

1

A famous saying is sport is: "Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat."

This speaks to finding a way to win despite all the odds being stacked against you (check Google videos for "The Helmet Catch" or "Aguero in extra time").

The inverse statement would apply to your mate. Since he is lazy, and you highly doubt he will even try, it can be assumed that even if you convinced a firm to hire him and you told him exactly what to say at the interview he would:

Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • To me this sounds too specific and doesn't really work as a general statement that an event is unlikely. – ping Jan 2 '16 at 11:15

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