If you’re employed, getting the necessary qualifications for a job, or still trying to decide what kind of career you’re interested in, you’ll need to be able to tell the examiner about this if you’re asked questions about work.
Read the following IELTS-style questions and answers below and pay attention to the phrases in bold. Use the ‘Definitions’ section at the bottom of the page to check the meaning of any phrases you don’t understand.
Part 1-style questions
Examiner: What do you do?
Sasha: I do a job-share with a friend in a boutique … I enjoy it … I like working with customers … unfortunately it’s only temporary work but one of the perks of the job is I get a discount on the clothes …
Examiner: Do you have any career plans yet?
Carly: Yes … I’d like to be my own boss one day … I’m interested in programming and I’d like to create apps for myself or for other companies … I know being self employed would be a challenge but the idea of doing a nine-to-five job doesn’t appeal to me at all …
Examiner: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years time?
Marie: I’d hope to be working … not a high-powered job … but I’m quite a creative person so something where I can work with my hands would be nice … as long as I’m not stuck behind a desk doing something boring in a dead-end job I’ll be happy …
Part 2-style task
Describe your ideal job. You should say:
- what this job is
- whether you would need any qualifications
- whether it would be easy to find work
and say why you would enjoy this job in particular.
Max: I’ve always loved watching wildlife programmes on TV and often thought how much I’d enjoy working with animals … perhaps in a safari park … something like that … you’d probably need a degree to have any chance of being called for an interview and whether there are many full-time jobs I don’t know … I’m sure a lot of parks rely on voluntary work so it might not be easy … and it probably wouldn’t be well-paid either but money isn’t everything … I’d get so much job satisfaction … I can’t imagine it being the kind of job where you get stuck in a rut … and I think I’d be good at it as well … I’d love to work with animals I enjoy manual work and I’m a good team player … so even though the working conditions might not be the best I think that would be my ideal job …
Part 3-style questions
Examiner: If there are a limited number of jobs available who should be given priority, young people or older people with more experience?
Anna: Things are so different these days … a few years ago older employees would often take early retirement or go onto part-time contracts and there were always opportunities for younger people but now jobs are so scarce … I think younger people need to be given the chance whenever possible …
Examiner: What are some of the important things a candidate should find out before accepting a job?
Ali: Well … you’d need to know about your area of responsibility … and your salary of course and then there are things like holiday entitlement … maternity or paternity leave … if you’re thinking of having children … and what the situation is regarding sick leave … that kind of thing …
Examiner: What are the advantages of having your own business rather than working for someone else?
Julie: Well … unfortunately being an employee at the moment is very stressful … people have very heavy workloads … they’re always under pressure to meet deadlines … running your own business isn’t easy … but I do think it would be far more satisfying …
- to be called for an interview: to be invited to attend an interview
- to be your own boss: to have your own business
- a dead-end job: a job with no promotional opportunities
- to do a job-share: to share the weekly hours of work with another person
- a good team player: somebody who can work well with other people
- full-time: the number of hours that people usually work in a complete week
- a heavy workload: to have a lot of work to do
- a high-powered job: an important or powerful job
- holiday entitlement: the number of days holiday allowed
- job satisfaction: the feeling of enjoying a job
- manual work: work that requires physical activity
- maternity leave: time off work given to a woman about to have a baby
- to meet a deadline: to finish a job by an agreed time
- a nine-to-five job: a normal job that consists of an 8 hour day (approximately)
- one of the perks of the job: an extra benefit you get from a job
- part-time: working less than full-time
- to run your own business: see ‘to be your own boss’
- to be self-employed: see ‘to be your own boss’
- sick leave: time allowed off work when sick
- to be stuck behind a desk: to be unhappy in an office job
- to be/get stuck in a rut: to be in a boring job that is hard to leave
- to take early retirement: to retire early (retire: to reach an age when you are allowed to stop working for a living)
- temporary work: work done for a limited time only
- voluntary work: to work without pay
- to be well paid: to earn a good salary
- working conditions: the hours, salary and other entitlements that comes with the job
- to work with your hands: to do manual work