CAE Reading and Use of English Part 8
You are going to read an article in which people talk about their experiences of job interviews. For questions 47-56, choose from the sections of the article (A-D). The sections may be chosen more than once. When more than one answer is required, these may be given in any order.
Which person mentions the following?
47 establishing how the interview will be conducted
48 the importance of keeping to the point
49 a relaxed atmosphere in the workplace
50 an abrupt ending to an interview
51 taking responsibility for past errors
52 appearing to have rehearsed responses
53 preparing inquiries to put to a prospective employer
54 awareness of body language
55 revealing what motivates you
56 advantages in being honest about your weaknesses
Tell us something about yourself
Being interviewed for a job can be a stressful experience. We asked four people what they learnt from being in that situation.
My first interview for a job taught me a great deal. I was applying for the position of junior account executive in an advertising company, which involves dealing with clients on a face-to-face basis. It follows that you have to be good at interpersonal skills, and unfortunately, that’s not the impression I gave. Like a lot of people, I tend to babble when I’m nervous. The interviewer began by asking me to say something about myself, and I started talking about my hobbies. But I got carried away and went off at a tangent, which made a bad impression. The other lesson I learnt was that if you are asked to talk about things you aren’t good at, you really shouldn’t be evasive. You could mention something that can also be a strength. For example, being pedantic is not always a bad thing in certain circumstances, and you should explain how you cope with that deficiency, but you have to say something.
In my present job, I have to interview applicants, and I can offer a few general tips. Firstly, a candidate should not learn a speech off by heart; you will come across as insincere. Secondly, it is crucial to understand what the interviewer wants you to talk about. For instance, an interviewer might ask about a situation where your supervisor or manager had a problem with your work. Now, what the interviewer is really after is to see how you react to criticism, and the best thing is to say that you tried to learn from this. Finally, don’t try to conceal your real character. Many years ago, an interviewer asked me at the end of our talk if I had any questions. I was very keen to get the job, so I asked what opportunities there were for promotion. I wondered if perhaps I had been too direct, but I later discovered that employers like you to seem eager and ambitious.
I remember one interview I attended with a company that makes ice cream and other dairy products. I turned up in a smart business suit and tie, only to find that my prospective employers were in jeans! They believed in being casual: no private offices, everyone ate in the same canteen, people all used first names with each other. I realised I should have done more research. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job. On another occasion, as the interview was drawing to a close, I was asked if I had anything to say. I was so relieved it was over that I just smiled and blurted out: ‘No thanks!’ I later realised this was a mistake. A candidate should decide in advance on at least ten things to ask the interviewer: it’s not necessary to ask more than two or three questions, but you need to have some in reserve in case the question you wanted to ask is answered in the course of the interview.
Preparation is of extreme importance; things like finding out what form the interview will take. Will there be any sort of written component, for instance, and will you be talking to one person or a panel? And of course, you need to prepare answers to those awkward questions designed to find out more about your character. For example, you might be asked about your most important achievement so far; don’t answer this in a way that makes you seem swollen-headed or complacent, as this will suggest that you don’t learn easily. Actually, it’s not so much what people say that makes them seem arrogant as the way they sit, how they hold their heads, whether they meet the interviewer’s eye, so bear that in mind. Another question interviewers sometimes ask, to find out how well you work in a team, is about mistakes you have made. You should have an example ready and admit that you were at fault, otherwise it looks as though you are the kind of person who shifts the blame onto others. But you should also show that you learnt from the mistake and wouldn’t make it again.
1 D — occasion. The meaning of ‘on occasion’ is ‘sometimes (not often), when needed’.
2 A — limb. Life and limb is an idiom that means ‘health and well-being’. In this kind of questions you can’t know every single idiom. To make an educated guess you may go for alliteration (when words begin with the same letter like in this case) and try to listen to each construction. E.g. ‘life and bone’, ‘life and flesh’ sound rather awkward.
3 B — called. ‘To call on someone’ is to ask them to do something. Pay attention to the following preposition as it is a phrasal verb and preposition is key to understanding the meaning.
4 C — host. ‘A host of something’ is a large number of it.
5 C — debt. ‘A debt of gratitude’ is a large amount of favour you owe someone because they helped you a great deal.
6 B — involved. One of the easier gaps in this text.
7 D — vital. The only widely used collocation here is ‘of vital importance’.
8 C— donations.Unlike other options listed (except D), donations are given with a general purpose of helping the cause without expecting any feedback on expenditures. Option D doesn’t fit lexically.
9 longer. ‘No longer’ is used in the meaning of ‘in the past, but not anymore’.
10 which. ‘Which’ here refers to the end of the sentence: ‘which… is very convenient’. Consider reading an article on relative clauses if you think ‘that’ would be more appropriate.
11 having. ‘Having done something’ is an example of perfect participle, which shows the interrelation between two actions: first you park the car, then you do the shopping inside the mall.
12 There. Well, you shouldn’t be asking about this one if you really have your mind-set on a CAE exam :).
13 like. Another straightforward gap. Don’t be tempted to put ‘is’ in there as there’s already an auxiliary verb in that clause.
14 to. ‘To object to something’ means to be against it, to dislike it.
15 One. One of the many.
16 with. The result of malls looking the same is the identical appearance of every city.
17 eloquently. An adverb is needed here.
18 conceivable. Make sure not to misspell this word. Remember one simple rule: ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ (which is the case here).
19 disrespect. The context clearly indicates the need for a negative prefix.
20 influential. An adjective with no spelling pitfalls.
21 discredited. ‘or called into question’ helps to understand that the preceding verb should be negative and in the past form.
22 incorporated. The meaning of the verb is ‘to implement, to introduce’.
23 unmodified. ‘Raw’ helps to get the idea of the blog material being unchanged
24 disprove. Another rather difficult case. The two pitfalls here are which negative prefix to use and how to spell the verb form of ‘proof’. Both are a matter of memorization.
25 would benefit from (taking/having)
26 no time were we (ever) aware
27 had not / hadn’t been for that accident
28 are on (very) good terms with
29 can’t have been put
30 had her bag snatched
31 C. Not an easy question, the best way to approach it is to exclude options that do not fit and gradually work from there. Answer A is not mentioned – it is not said when the information was discovered. Answer B is not mentioned again – even though there is a mention of ice age, it wasn’t the cause. Answer D can’t be used as nothing is said about the inhabitants drowning. It is also a ridiculous notion as the process of rising sea level takes hundreds of years.
32 C. The devices mentioned are ‘computers’ and ‘satellite-positioning equipment’. Option A is wrong – the sonar is located at the bottom of the survey ship. Option B is not correct either – the imagery produced by this technology has three dimensions. Option D is not mentioned.
33 A. Understanding the word ‘scathing’ is the key to this question. It means ‘bitter or hurt’. Another helpful expression is in the last sentence of the paragraph: ‘it’s an absolute scandal!’ Dr Andrews is definitely angry at the situation.
34 B. Last but one sentence of the paragraph clearly states that such findings could change how British people perceive their origin.
35 D. The practical application is the mapping capabilities of the technology that would help pick the best site for quarrying. Other answers here have no direct relation to quarrying.
36 A. The second part of the last paragraph concentrates reader’s attention at the importance of preserving the marine life and how the use of the new scanning technology could both help save the sea species and conduct the long-planned enlargement of the English Channel.
37 A. Reviewer A is the only one unhappy with the author’s style or narration: ‘excessively poetic, at times, absurd language’; Reviewer B: ‘[her ideas are] passionately and eloquently expressed’ ; Reviewer C: ‘it’s a fascinating proposition, fluently and vividly delivered’; Reviewer D: ‘rare vitality and admirable energy in Griffiths’ writing’.
38 B. Reviewer A believes the author to be too selective, as she conveniently picks arguments that support her theory: ‘a single idea of lost childhood freedom’ is taken. Reviewer B agrees: ‘She is also guilty of selective deployment of evidence’.
39 D. The only reviewer who doesn’t doubt Griffiths fairness in data representation: ‘The result, as the UNICEF surveys of well-being that Griffiths’ quotes reveal, is a generation of children who are unhappy and unfulfilled.’
40 C. Both reviewer point out that children are in fact far from the innocent beings she believes them to be: Reviewer B: ‘Part of the problem is that she regards children as originally innocent and good’; Reviewer C: ‘Griffiths ignores all the science that shows that children are, in fact, far from being the simple innocents of romantic tradition.’
41 E. ‘they work outdoors’ at the beginning of Paragraph E helps us to establish the connection with the first paragraph and refers to the field scientists.
42 C. The preceding paragraph ends with ‘everywhere is teeming with life’ and then the idea is developed at the beginning of Paragraph C with a literal example of a sprouting mushrooms.
43 F. The plural pronoun ‘they’ at the beginning of Paragraph F refers to the local community and carries on to expand the topic of their lives. Then an example of a helping a local woman is needed, with the beginning of the next paragraph contrasting with this event, giving a brief description of the author’s regular activities.
44 A. A number of relative pronouns is used throughout this paragraph and as your read through it, you understand that they refer to the ‘species’ from the previous paragraph. Then the following paragraph continues this idea, stating that usually there are no species in sight, just crawling among leaves.
45 G. ‘Rewarding’ at the end of previous paragraph is the adjective referring to what is described in Paragraph G. The thrill of discovery, the joy of sharing it with the scientific community.
46 D. This paragraph and the previous one both give brief description of the trouble of finding a job position like the one author has.
47 D. The first sentence of this paragraph encourages the reader to prepare for the interview, namely find out how it is going to be conducted.
48 A. The middle of the paragraph mentions the author talking about their hobbies and then getting ‘carried away’. That’s how they learned to keep to the point the hard way.
49 C. This one of the easier questions. The first half of the paragraph tells the story of an informal setting at a workplace and the author of the paragraph showing up for the interview in a suit.
50 C. The middle of this paragraph mentions the author responding with ‘No, thanks!’ to whether he had any questions, which briefly ended the interview for them.
51 D. Bottom half of the paragraph mentions the employers being interested in a candidate that is able and willing to take responsibility for their own shortcomings.
52 B. Second sentence suggests not to learn your responses as not to appear insincere.
53 C. Bottom half of this paragraph advises to have about ten questions ready for when the interview is over to ask your future employer.
54 D. Second part of the paragraph mentions the importance of candidate’s posture, position of hands, maintaining eye contact and so forth.
55 B. Last sentence of the paragraph gives an example of an inquiry about prospective promotion as good practice. The author encourages you not to hide your plans and intentions.
56 A. Last two sentences mention that you should not be shy about your shortcomings and weaknesses and let your prospective employer know about them. However, it is also advisable to mention how you tend to cope with them.