Part 1 – Introduction & Interview
[The examiner asks the candidate about him/herself, his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. What types of music do you like to listen to? [Why?]
Answer: I like to listen to any kind of music that is sweet and soothing to my ears. But if you are asking to be precise, I would say that I like soft rock and meditational music a bit more than other types of music because they usually help me set a perfect mood for relaxing. Besides, I like these types of music also because I can enjoy them pretty much in any kind of environment and situation.
Q. At what times of day do you like to listen to music? [Why?]
Answer: I don’t mind listening to music at any time of the day unless I am doing some serious works, but the best time for me is just before going to bed at night. I like it to listen to music at that time as things around us at night become much quieter, and therefore, it becomes easier for me to become more “attuned” with the appeal of the music. Of course, it makes me fall asleep quickly also.
Q. Did you learn to play a musical instrument when you were a child? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I did learn to play the guitar a little when I was a child because I thought that it was really “cool” to be able to play the guitar. Besides, I also wanted to become a “famous” man by playing the guitar. But, unfortunately, I couldn’t go very far with my “passion” because my parents had rather wanted me to pay more attention to my studies.
Q. Do you think all children should learn to play a musical instrument? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I do think that all children should learn to play some forms of musical instruments because it helps them become more creative learners. Besides, it also encourages them to become more active listeners, which works wonder in achieving “academic excellence”. Finally, learning to play a musical instrument like the guitar or drum kits allows children to capture fine “motor skills” by moving their hand and wrist muscles.
Part 2 – Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card
[The topic for your talk will be written on a card which the examiner will hand you. Read it carefully and then make some brief notes.]
Describe a shop near where you live that you sometimes use.
You should say:
- what sorts of product or service it offers
- what the shop looks like
- where it is located
and explain why you visit this shop.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]
Model Answer 1:
‘Coffee Time’ is a coffee shop located near my university campus and it offers the best coffee in the town. It is on the 4th floor of the Grand Royal Plaza building which is just 3 blocks away from my university. Thank you, sir/madam, for this lovely cue card topic.
Students, teachers and office executives who love coffee, milkshake, tea, fast food and like to play billiards mostly visit this coffee shop. Though this shop has a menu with over 20 items, coffee is their hot selling product. I sometimes drink tea or eat a sandwich, but most of the time I go there to have a refreshing cup of hot coffee. They sell both hot and cold coffee and as far as I recall, they have more than 20 variations of the coffee they serve.
I would easily attest them as the best coffee maker in the town. I love their coffee and mainly visit this shop for that. The opportunity to play billiards for free seems like a discount to me! Apart from that, they have a great environment and polite and professional staff to serve the customers. I sometimes sit there to chat with my friends or pass an hour and there is no rush to empty the seat for a new customer.
I love their music choice, interior design, and friendly attitude. They even offer a complimentary menu to regular customers. The only thing I dislike about them is the long time they take to serve an item. It’s like I have to wait around 20-25 minutes every time I order something! The delay, I guess, irritates office executives who are in a hurry! I have notified them about it and their explanation to my complaint was something like – ‘We take time to serve a customer because we value quality and the taste. And to ensure the taste, we give our best effort.’ The response might seem a little lame to others, but I don’t mind waiting for a few extra minutes especially when I have time to kill or have some friends with me to talk to.
Sample Answer 2:
The store, named “The Daily Shop”, is located near the place where I live in the city of Samsun in Turkey. This is a large superstore and sells a wide variety of products. The shop has many positive aspects. First of all, it is accessible from any part of the city for its geographical location. Further, the interior decoration of the shop is admirable. This is an interesting cue card topic and I am glad to have it. I will answer the reaming questions and describe the shop in brief. And thank you for the opportunity to let me talk about it.
This store is open to all and they have numerous types of commodities. People often go there to purchase products for their household use. Besides, this a good place to pick a gift item for someone. I guess the number of adult-male customers is higher than females and children on an ordinary day. On a weekend, however, more female customers could be seen. I am not sure why this is the case but I guess female shoppers prefer shopping on weekends rather than weekdays!
The shop mostly sells the daily necessaries like the canned food, toiletries, cosmetics, fruits, groceries, vegetables, dairy products, fish, packaged food, various types of meats like beef, chicken, soft beverages like juice and the list goes on.
I appreciate their efforts to ensure the quality of each product. I frequently visit the shop as it is adjacent to my residence. So, while returning from my office, I go there to buy something I need at home. And I sometimes visit this store to check their latest collection of toiletries and perfumes. I also like the way they serve the clients.
Part 3 – Two-way Discussion:
Q. What types of local business are there in your neighbourhood? Are there any restaurants, shops or dentists for example?
Answer: There are pretty much all types of businesses in my neighbourhood. In fact, I wouldn’t really need to walk more than five minutes in most cases in order to find and buy what I need for my daily life. Fine restaurants (serving both local and international cuisines), shopping centres, doctors, flower shops, bakery shops, gas stations, retail food chain stores, shoe stores and anything in between. It is a crowded neighbourhood, where I live, and therefore, it is fair to assume that local businesses really thrive here.
Q. Do you think local businesses are important for a neighbourhood? In what way?
Answer: Yes, I do think that local businesses are essential for a neighbourhood primarily because they contribute to the local economy to a great extent. Besides, they also create employment opportunities where local people, who otherwise wouldn’t be employable by the larger corporations, can work and earn their livings. Finally, they also bring innovation to the local communities, by creating unique business opportunities, in order to meet the “unique” needs of the locals.
Q. How do large shopping malls and commercial centres affect small local businesses? Why do you think that is?
Answer: It is a growing concern in the business world where large shopping malls and commercial centres are negatively impacting the local businesses by outcompeting them primarily because they manage to offer a better shopping experience to their customers by housing all kinds of businesses and stores under the same roof. Of course, things at those places can be a bit more expensive, but since customers, these days, are more after convenience and saving time, they don’t really mind paying a bit extra for their purchases. Honestly speaking, I also wouldn’t want to visit store after store in the rains or heat to find what I need when I am getting everything at the same place.
People and business:
Q. Why do some people want to start their own business?
Answer: For some people, starting their own businesses is probably a better choice because it allows them the freedom to do things and earn their livings at their own pace and according to their own terms and conditions. Besides, I think that some people are just too independent minded to work for others and follow their “orders”. Then, of course, there is another group of people who are overly “ambitious” and “calculating”, because of their rare talents, who see the world of financial opportunities in a certain kind of business that they want to start.
Q. Are there any disadvantages to running a business? Which is the most serious?
Answer: I would say there are many obstacles of owning and running a business which may include working longer hours, facing stiff competition from the rivals, dealing with frequent employee turnover problems, and facing the threats of legal issues from customers and government authorities. However, the most serious problem of owning and running a business is that a business owner can be completely financially ruined if he or she fails to run and manage the business in a profitable manner, which can be absolutely devastating for the business owner and his/her entire family.
Q. What are the most important qualities that a good business person needs? Why is that?
Answer: One has to have a number of great human qualities to become a good business person such as he/she has to have a cool and calm head over his/her shoulder so that he/she can face the daily challenges of running a business successfully. A businessman would also need to be very polite, well-mannered, considerate and patient so that he/she can treat his or her customers with utmost respect even if they are unruly and foul-mouthed. Finally, a person needs to be visionary, hardworking, dedicated and progressive minded in order to become a good and successful businessman.
From a broader point of view, we expect a business owner to be completely honest and fair. He or she should always abide by the laws and serve his/her customer with the best possible service and intention.