[This part of the test begins with the examiner introducing himself or herself and checking the candidate’s identification. It then continues as an interview. In the interview, the examiner asks the candidate about his/her home, work or studies and other familiar topics.]
Q. What kinds of thing make you laugh?
Answer: People tend to laugh for different reasons under different circumstances. However, when it comes to me, funny conversations with friends/families, a good humour/joke, funny stories, funny movies, and funny acts/facial expressions would make me laugh anytime and anywhere.
Q. Do you like making other people laugh? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Even though I like to laugh at every opportunity, I don’t necessarily like to make other people laugh mainly because of the fear that it would offend someone, or they just might not be in a mood for a good laugh because of the negative circumstances in their lives.
Q. Do you think it’s important for people to laugh? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: Yes, I think that it is absolutely important for people to laugh, no matter what the circumstances are, primarily because the laughter seems to bring a positive vibe in one’s life, and it helps create friendly relations among people by bringing them closer to one another, especially, when “time” is just not too kind on us.
Q. Is laughing the same as feeling happy, do you think? [Why/Why not?]
Answer: No, laughing is not necessarily the same as feeling happy because happiness is a “feeling” at our hearts, which may not be visible always, while laughter is an “expression”. People can laugh, without feeling happy at all, just to go with the “flow” of the time and situation around them.
[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 an idea you had for improving something at work or college.
You should say:
when and where you had your idea
what your idea was
who you told about your idea
and explain why you thought your idea would make an improvement.
[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.]
This is absolutely a great topic to talk about. Before I start my talk, I would like to thank you for the opportunity you have given me to speak about an idea I had to improve something at my college or office.
I have been working as a “Business Relation Manager” in a large multination company for the last couple of years. But I will never forget the days when I worked as a “Call Centre Agent” during my college years. This was my first job and I had learned quite a lot from it. As a student, I took the job to support my finances as well as to gain some practical experiences. Within a few weeks of my joining, I felt that there was a serious problem in the office despite a great working environment. I did realize that employees were working really hard but the management was not happy about their performance as they expected continual progress.
I had been working sincerely and vigorously too, and when I learnt that the higher management is really disappointed with our performance, it deteriorated my spirit. I was thinking really hard for a solution as I knew that it will worsen the situation if it continues and I won’t be able to work there anymore. After a day or two, I was talking to our manager and then an idea popped in my head!
I realized that we did not have any direct communication with the higher authority in the office and they were getting all the updates from their managers only. I thought that must have been creating some confusions and miscommunication. I shared my idea with my team-lead and manager and they also agreed that we should talk to the higher management more often and have one of them among us during the office time so that they could realize how sincerely their employees were working.
Initially, I was not sure if this would eliminate the gaps between us (employees) and them (the management) but when I, along with my manager, talked to one of them, I was absolutely convinced that it would work. In fact, when we had been given the opportunity to meet someone from the higher authority once in a week and one of them started spending more time with us during the office hours, the dissatisfaction and misunderstanding were mostly gone and we had been better rewarded for our hard work later on. I learnt an important lesson from that event- “Never be shy to share an idea with your colleagues if you are convinced that it would make a difference.”
Ideas and education:
Q. Some people think that education should be about memorizing the important ideas of the past. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
Answer: No, I don’t agree with the proposition that education should be about memorizing the important ideas of the past because the world is changing every minute, and so are we, the humans, with it. Therefore, the things, which we may have learned and discovered or invented in the past, just might not prove out to be enough to deal with the crisis and situations during the present time as well as in the future. Besides, it is very much ingrained into the characteristics of us, humans, to keep learning and discovering new things as time progresses even if there is “seemingly” no need for them.
Q. Should education encourage students to have their own new ideas? Why?
Answer: Yes, the educational system should encourage students to have their own new ideas as the practice helps the students to come up with the new solutions and new discoveries for the purpose of making this world a better place for living. Besides, students are our future generation of leaders. So, without the liberty to have their own new ideas, the students would never really be confident enough to share and exchange their views freely on important issues, which are affecting this world, with the people in charge in order to bring the necessary and positive changes.
Q. How do you think teachers could help students to develop and share their own ideas?
Answer: Teachers can help students to develop and share their own ideas by challenging them to come up with new and better solutions to the existing problems and problems in foreseeable future, not only in the classrooms but also outside of the classes. Teachers may also equip themselves with new ideas and opinions and then share those with their students in order to encourage them to develop their own ideas and share them with each other. Besides, students are generally curious about new things, and it is incumbent upon the teachers to channel the students’ curiosities in the right directions in order to connect them with their thoughts on a more practical level.
Ideas in the workplace:
Q. Should employers encourage their workers to have new ideas about improving the company? Why?
Answer: Yes, employers should always encourage their workers to have new ideas about improving their companies mainly because each and every employee, with new ideas, is a potential “stakeholder” of those companies, and when a company does well, the workers do the same as well. Besides, allowing the employees to come up with new ideas make them feel ‘empowered’, and the more empowered the employees feel, the better usually they perform by becoming more productive and responsible. Having new ideas and sharing them with each other in a company generally ensures a better working relationship also among all levels of workers.
Q. Do you think people sometimes dislike ideas just because they are new? Why?
Answer: Yes, I do think that people sometimes dislike new ideas mainly because we, in general, are always a bit skeptical, if not afraid, about the “unknown”. And, that’s exactly why we don’t like the ‘darkness’ at night, nor do we like to get close to an animal which is completely new to us. Besides, it usually takes extra efforts and time to learn new things, by completely giving up the old habits and old ways of doing things, and people aren’t exactly always ready for such ‘troubles’ unless, of course, they are offered a very certain and ‘favorable’ picture of the possible outcome(s) as a result of adopting the new ideas.
Q. What is more difficult: having new ideas or putting them into practice? Which is more important for a successful company?
Answer: I would say that putting new ideas into practice is more important for a successful company than actually having them in the first place. Of course, it all depends on how radical the ideas really are, and how difficult or easy they really prove out to be when put into practice. But, generally speaking, the workers are always reluctant to learn new ways of doing things by giving up the “advantages” of trying the “old and trusted” methods of doing things, no matter how inefficient they may be, unless of course they are offered some additional incentives for trying the “new” ideas and methods.