Hot Vegetables This Summer & Seven Tips to Nail a Skype Interview – IELTS General Reading Passage

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 15-27, which are based on Reading Passages below.

Write answers to questions in boxes 15-27 on your answer sheet.

GT Reading Sample – “Hot Vegetables This Summer” & “Seven Tips to Nail a Skype Interview”

Read the text below and answer Questions 15-20.

Hot Vegetables This Summer

The following is a list of vegetables that will be hot this summer season:

1. Arugula
Arugula is an excellent source of folate and vitamin C. Although arugula is typically mildly flavored, larger leaf varieties can have a more peppery, almost hot taste than the smaller, softer leaf variety, so choose your arugula accordingly! Arugula is typically best served in a salad with olives, hard-boiled eggs, onions and salty cheeses.

2. Avocados
Although available year round, avocados are at their peak in the summer months! Touted most frequently for their high quantity of good fat avocados are also an excellent source of potassium, folate and vitamins C and B6. To pick the perfect avocado, look for those that have a uniform and unblemished skin that gives gently when pressed.

3. Cucumbers
A member of the squash family, cucumber’s high water content makes it a refreshing addition to summer menus. Cucumber is also a good source of vitamin C and silica, which is important for connective tissue health and also does wonders for the skin (both when ingested and applied topically to reduce swelling or redness). In additionn, the skin of the cucumber is a great source of fiber, potassium and magnesium.

4. Eggplant
Although it is assumed that an eggplant would have a purple skin, eggplants can come in just about any shade from black to a near-translucent white. Although selecting an eggplant is easy enough – again, just look for those with smooth, taut skin and those that feel heavy for their size -cooking can be a little bit more complicated. If the eggplant is young, the skin is edible, but if it’s a little bit older, the skin will taste bitter and is best removed.

5. Kohlrabi
Often referred to as cabbage turnip, this green vegetable looks almost like an oversized radish, complete with a ball-like bulb and bushy sprouting leaves. When selecting a kohlrabi, look for smallish, firm bulbs less than 3 inches in diameter. Kohlrabi is an excellent source of vitamin C as well as potassium. When raw, it can be added to salads and vegetable platters or served as relish. When cooked, it can be steamed for inclusion in casseroles or hollowed out, and stuffed with a meat or vegetable filling.

6. Mushrooms
Different types of mushrooms are available year around. With low sodium and fat content and high levels of fiber and riboflavin, niacin, potassium and riboflavin, mushrooms are an excellent way to add bulk to a meal without dramatically changing the nutrition content of foods. When shopping for mushrooms, they should be dry and firm and, if open, should have gills that are intact and appear fresh.

7. Shallots
Of all the vegetables in the onion and leek family, shallots have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants. In addition, they have also shown to have anti-bacterial, anti inflammatory, and anti-allergic properties. Shallots are associated with a reduction in risk for several cancers, including those affecting the liver and colon as well as heart disease and diabetes.

Questions 15-21
Fill in the blanks, using not more than TWO WORDS for the text above.
Write the answers in boxes 15–21 on your answer sheet. 

15. The Arugula you buy should be based upon what kind of a ……………….. you prefer.
16. If the avocado feels slightly soft, then it is probably ……………….. .
17. Even if you eat it, cucumbers are very beneficial for the  ……………….. .
18. It is okay to ingest the skin of eggplant if the eggplant is ……………….. .
19. The Kohlrabi looks like a ……………….. that has grown much larger than its normal size.
20. Adding mushrooms is a great way to increase the ……………….. of the meal, without compromising on its nutrition value.
21. In this family of vegetables, shallots have the most densely packed ……………….. .

Read the text below and answer Questions 22-27.

Seven Tips to Nail a Skype Interview

A. Look the Part
Do your research: Check out the company’s website, Facebook page and Twitter feed to get a feel for how employees dress and behave, then take your cues from that when prepping for your interview.

Next, clean up. If your at-home appearance leans towards the casual, take some time to polish up. It’s always better to err on the side of freshly-scrubbed-even if you’re an aspiring trek leader, carefully dressed in her best khakis.

Assuming your bottom half will be hidden under a desk, you may be tempted to wear your favorite sweatpants, but it’s best to dress from head to toe. What if you have to stand up to adjust your equipment?

B. Prepare Your Surroundings
Take your call in a quiet, businesslike setting, ideally in a room with a door. Look behind you, because that’s what they’ll see. A cluttered background may distract your audience, not to mention send the wrong idea of your organizational skills. Also, rid the area of personal items no need to share too much information. A blank or neutral background is best, with a well organized desktop.

Be sure to inform anyone else at home about the meeting; you don’t want to be interrupted by a sudden blast of stereo music or someone bellowing your name.

C. Practice It First
Your first few video calls are bound to feel awkward as you figure out where to look, what to do with your hands, or how loudly to speak. But it’s easy to work out those kinks ahead of time. Conducting a practice interview with a friend can be very helpful; record it so that you’ll have an accurate idea of how you come across on video,” advises Cheryl Palmer, career coach and owner of Call to Career, a career coaching service.

D. Don’t Forget to Smile!
At an in-person interview, you’d naturally smile upon arrival, and try to keep a pleasant facial expression for the duration.

It’s more difficult to do this with a remote interview. Lacking a ‘live’ person in front of you, and sidetracked by thoughts of equipment or cameras, you might be less likely to smile reflexively. If that’s the case, you can seem like you’re staring wide-eyed at the camera. Smiling is the best way to break the ice and develop rapport with your interviewer.

E. Stay Present
One may suggest interjecting listening sounds (“hm,” or “yes”) as your interviewers speak. In addition to making your conversation more pleasant, it also reassures the other party that the technology is functioning correctly and you are, indeed, still listening. And even though they can’t see you, never tinker with your computer during a call.

F. Go Ahead and Cheat
One advantage to a video interview is that you don’t have to remember everything you want to mention. You can have notes in front of you-without your interviewer knowing. Place your resume in front of you, news about the company, questions you want to ask and potential talking points.

Of course, you don’t want to be reading off the page verbatim, so make sure you’re familiar with your material.

G. Address Tech Problems Immediately
When you’re relying on video equipment, there’s a good chance you’ll experience a technical glitch: a weak connection, interference or garbled signals.

You may hesitate to draw attention to the problem, but you don’t want to give an inaccurate answer because you didn’t understand the question. If you’re getting too many blips, it’s good to stop the call and redial.

Questions 22-27
Choose the right answer for each of the questions below.
Write the correct letter, A, B, or C, in boxes 22–27 on your answer sheet.

22. When dressing for the interview –
      A. since the interview is from home, you may dress casually.
      B. check how the company employee dresses at work and get an idea from there as to how to dress for the Interview.
      C. although you will be seated, it is good to wear formal, laced shoes.

23. For your surroundings during the interview, you should:
      A. lock the door to keep interruptions out
      B. ensure the background is not cluttered, because it could be distracting for you and your audience.
      C. inform others at your home that you will be at an interview.

24. As you practice the call, you may find:
      A. your friend with whom you practice is very helpful.
      B. all the kinks can be rectified before the actual interview.
      C. initially you will not know what to look at.

25. The point about smiling during an interview is:
      A. it develops rapport with the interviewer.
      B. it is not more difficult to smile during a remote interview.
      C. since you are side-tracked by thoughts of cameras and equipment, you are only able to smile reflexively.

26. One advantage of a video interview is:
      A. you can cheat the interviewer.
      B. since you cannot read off the page verbatim, you should commit the points to memory.
      C. you need not memorize all that you want to ask.

27. The thing about technical glitches during video interviews is that:
       A. they should be fixed immediately before they get worse.
       B. you should hesitate before drawing attention to the problem.
       C. if there are too many blips, it is better to stop the call and re-dial. 
15. flavour
16. perfect
17. skin
18. young
19. radish
20. bulk
21. anti-oxidants
22. B
23. C
24. B
25. A
26. C
27. C