Prepare for interview & Setting up your own business – 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 – “How to prepare for an interview” & “Setting up your own business”

Read the text below and answer Questions 15-21.

How to prepare for an interview

Why prepare?

There are three main reasons.
One:     Although you can’t guess every question you might be asked, if you are prepared you can tailor your answers to fit.
Two:     If you’re well prepared, you will have more confidence and this will affect the way you come across.
Three:   Attitude matters. Prospective employers will choose a not-quite-perfect but willing candidate over a brilliant one who obviously isn’t bothered.

What to prepare?

Find out about the organisation
•    Visit the website and read any materials that you have been sent. If nothing has been sent, phone the company to ask for any reading matter they may have.
•    Talk to anyone you know who works there already.

Find out about the job
•    Ask for a job description or specification. This will tell you the duties that go with the job.
•    Talk to anyone you know who is familiar with the work you may be doing.

Find out what the employer is looking for
•    Make a list of the skills specified in the job advertisement.
•    Think of examples to back up claims that you have these skills.

You can then answer most of the questions that will come up, such as ‘Tell me more about how you work in a team’.

Add in a few ‘lessons learned’ – what you did and how you might have done it better. You can also outline any voluntary work you have done for a charity, or any experience of paid work in an unrelated sector.

Preparing for other kinds of questions
Interviewers are also looking for someone who is likely to stay with the organisation and progress within it. Prepare to answer questions about your ambitions for the future.
You may also be asked to account for gaps in your career history, if you have any. Be positive and accentuate the learning or experience you gained during these periods.

Preparing your own questions
•    Do ask technical questions about software, systems and structures and how things are done.
•    Do ask about possibilities for training.
•    Don’t ask about salary unless you have been offered the job.

When you’ve prepared as much as this, you’ve got a good chance of success.
Good luck!

Questions 15-21

Complete the sentences below.
Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 15-21 on your answer sheet.

15. By preparing for your interview, you will gain ………….. which will help you present yourself well.
16. Read through any documents you have received about the company and also go to their ………….. .
17. Check the job description to find out what ………….. are involved in the post you have applied for.
18. Interviewers may be interested to hear about any unpaid help you have given to a ………….. .
19. Be ready to talk about your ………….. for the development of your career.
20. Explain any ………….. that there are in your work record and clarify how you used the time to improve your skills.
21. Questions about ………….. should be delayed until a later stage.

Read the text below and answer Questions 22-27.

Setting up your own business

Here are some ideas about how you should start:

Know your market
So you know what you want to sell – the most important thing is that it should be something that people want to buy. Start by thinking about who your target customers are. Are they people who live locally? Are they a particular group of people?

Now look at your competitors. What is different about what you will be doing and how will you persuade people to come to you instead of going to someone who is already established?

How will you reach the customers?
Will you promote your product by phoning people, or visiting local traders, or advertising in magazines or online? Will your delivery system be direct or through shops?

How will your business work?
Now think about what your business needs to succeed. Do you need to look for premises or can you work from home? Do you need to invest in manufacturing equipment to start with?

Is the business something chat you can do on your own, or if you get more work will you be looking to recruit staff? If so, what skills would they need?

Whether you’re a sole operator or are looking to recruit a team, effective management is essential.

The law regulates how companies are run and you need to set aside the time to see that this is done properly, in relation to issues like accounting, insurance and tax.

The money!
As you are working our die prices for your products, you need to make sure you build in all your costs. Remember you will probably need help from an accountant at least once a year, so build that in too, and do a forecast of how much money you think will flow in and out of the business.

Look at what you expect to happen over the next three years — and work out what you need to do to break even, as well as the turnover that you hope to achieve to give you a profit. If you think you will need to find some funding to help get the business off the ground, how much will you need and who will you approach to get it?

Your business plan
Now write it all up and call it a business plan.

Questions 22-27

Complete the sentences below.
Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the text for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 22-27 on your answer sheet.

Step 1:
Decide who you are going to sell to and compare yourself with the  22 ……………   you are going to have.
Step 2:
Consider how you will market your product and your method of  23 ……………  .
Step 3:
Decide if you will have to find  24 ……………  to work in, or buy equipment.
Step 4:
Think whether you will need to take on staff as your business grows.
Step 5:
Make sure you deal with the accounts and other essentials in accordance with the  25  …………… .
Step 6:
Calculate all the  26 ……………  involved in your business when deciding how much to charge.
Step 7:
Calculate the turnover you are aiming for in order to make a profit in the first three years.
Step 8:
Consider if you require any  27 ……………   to start your business, and where to find it.

15. confidence
16. website
17. duties
18. charity
19. ambitions
20. gaps
21. salary
22. competitors
23. delivery
24. premises
25. law
26. costs
27. funding