1. Work or studies
毫无例外地，work or studies保持着每年甚至每场必问的高频率。其实询问关于工作和学习的状况一直被看作是正式考试前的一个必经步骤，是考官正式开始对话前的一个铺垫。同时，这也是考官决定将要在接下来的时间里问你哪些话题而不问哪些话题的一个指示灯。换言之，如果你是工作人士，考官自然不会过多地把话题主动涉及到喜欢的学科和学校等，而是更多地关注生活和工作等方面。如果你是一个高中生，考官也不会刻意去问你关于员工福利、加班工作等问题。但是我们要意识到一点，作为整场考试的一个开端，它决定了考官对你的第一印象。夸张点说，考生一张嘴，考官就默默地在心里开始给你打分了。所以严肃认真对待第一部分的第一个话题是每个考生的任务。由于每一类话题的题量较多，我们只选择其中一部分题目进行分析。
Q1: What work do you do?
A: I’m working as an accountant in a private company now and I have been in this position for more than two years. Besides, it’s actually my first job.
Q2: Why did you choose to do that type of work?
A: Well, accounting was my major in university and it seems natural to be an accountant. More importantly, I love this major and, of course, this work, because it’s actually rewarding, particularly when we, all accountants, wrap up the year-end financial statement. It’s like I’ve done a huge work that significantly affects the whole company.
Q1: What subject are you studying?
A: （高中生）I’m studying a range of subjects like maths, chemistry, biology and English, and I like most of them, particularly maths. Every time I work out a hard question, I can feel greatly rewarded.
A:（大学生）Well, my major is management accounting, so I learn a lot of subjects related to management like fundamental accounting for management decisions and so on.
Q2: Do you prefer to study in the mornings or in the afternoons?
A: I definitely prefer to study in the mornings because my mind is clear and I can easily stay focused with a clear mind. However, if I study in the afternoon, particularly after half-day work or other activities, I can hardly put myself completely in study because I feel exhausted.
2. Home or Accommodation
Q1: What kind of housing do you live in? /Do you live in a house or a flat?
A: I live in a flat with my parents now and we have been living in this flat for almost ten years.
A: Now I live in a dorm with another five girls in university. We are all good friends and most of the time we eat together and have classes at the same time, so it’s really nice living in a dorm.
Q2: Are the transport facilities to your home very good?
A: I would say yes. There are several buses coming to my home and I can reach quite a lot most-visited places in my city. Also, there a subway line going near my home so I can catch the subway on conditions of rainy or snowy days.
Q3: What part of your home do you like the most?
A: My bedroom is obviously my favourite. It’s like my own little world where I can enjoy my privacy and time completely. I do assignments and enjoy movies at my desk, play my guitar near my windows, and when I’m tired, I just lie in bed and read a novel. It offers me peace so I fancy my bedroom most.
Q1: What’s your hometown?
A: My hometown is Qingdao, a coastal city in the east of Shandong province. I was born there and I have lived there for the first ten years of my life.
Q2: Is it a big city or a small city?
A: I would say it’s a big city, but not that big like Beijing or Shanghai. It’s a quite chic and cool city because you can spot architectures in German style and typical Chinese buildings at the same time. It’s a rather unique experience visiting different parts of Qingdao as you may experience different cultures and times, which you can’t have in many other cities.
Q3: Is there anything you dislike about it?
A: Yes, there is. It’s the traffic that bothers me lot. I’m not saying that there’s much traffic. I’m saying that there are countless one-way streets in city, in outskirt, in everywhere. People like me who are not familiar with these streets break traffic rules, and apparently are fined several times a day just because of those one-way streets. So I really think that relevant authorities should re-consider the rules.
Q1: How many hours do you sleep every day?
A: Mostly, I sleep 8 hours on average every day. But my sleeping time often varies if I’m in revision week or holidays. I mean, if I have much work to do, I could stay rather late at night and probably sleep for only 4 hours. And on public holidays I could sleep up to 12 hours if I don't have schedule.
Q2: Do you think it is necessary to take a nap at noon?
A: Yes, absolutely. I think taking a nap allows us to refresh and recharge ourselves so we can stay focused on what we are going to do, particular during workdays. Besides, it benefits our health because our bodies can have a little break and our mind can just be relaxed.
Q3: Do old people sleep a lot? Why?
A: I don't think they actually sleep a lot. Like my grandparents, they sleep at 11 at night and get up at 5 or 6 in the morning. I guess they can’t sleep a lot because they don't consume as much energy as working people or kids. And it may also because their organs work slower and can’t afford to give the elder people a long sleep.
Q1: Who gave you your name?
A: My name was given by my grandpa and I heard that he looked up each word in a dictionary in order to give me a good name.
Q2: Does your name have any particular meaning?
A: Yes. My dad told me that he gave me this name to want me to live happily and don't be bothered by disgusting things.
A: Well, actually my name has nothing special. My dad gave me this name simply because he thought it was easy to pronounce.
Q3: Who usually names babies in your country?
A: It varies. In some families, it is parents who usually name babies while in some other families like my family, it is grandparents who often give babies names. But, there’s also a special situation in China that some families, those doing business in particular, would like a fortune teller to name their babies.
Describe a situation when you received some useful advice.
You should say:
What the situation was
Who gave you the advice
What the advice was
And explain how this advice was useful to you
I remember clearly that before the time when I had my first interview in my life, my dad gave me some really helpful advice. Last year, the second year I’ve been a college student, I thought I didn't do anything meaningful and it seemed like I was wasting my college time. So I decided to get a part-time job to pull me out of my boring life. I personally wanted to find a part-time job in a real company, even to do some basic tasks like typing or filing will make me feel satisfied. I mean, I just wanted to have an experience of communicating with different people, cooperating with my co-workers to finish a group project, and having a little taste of real social life. But the thing was, if I wanted to get a job like this, I had to pass an interview which I hadn’t experienced ever. So I turned to my dad, who is now a senior manager in a joint adventure and has been working in his field for almost 30 years, for some useful advice for a successful interview. He was happy to know that I wanted to do something new, so he told me some really meaningful suggestions. First, he told me that it was my first interview, and I had no experience of working in a company, so I had to show my difference from those who had such experience. And he said that a very important thing I had, which is also probably most university students have, was fast-learning ability. Well, that inspired me a lot, because I was a sort of depressed for my inexperience in the field. My dad’s words were like a fire lighting me, letting me notice that I have something useful for a company. Another thing he let me know was that confidence and positive attitude were important things that an interviewer was looking for. You could have no experience, and you might not be good at the job at first, but you had to show your confidence in yourself and your positive attitude towards the job and possible difficulties. He said that you couldn't just say “I don't know, I’m afraid of making mistakes and I don't want myself to look like an idiot”. I thought his words were correct and I bear those words in mind. During my first interview, I was quite honest. I said I was inexperienced, but I could learn fast and I had confidence that I could handle what I had to do at the expense of minimal mistakes and cost. Finally, I made it! And I thought it was my dad’s suggestions that made my first interview successful.
Describe a book you have read recently.
You should say:
What book it was
Who recommended it
What the book was about
And explain what you learned from it.
The book I have recently read was called What Makes You Stand Out, which was recommended by my dad. It talks about how to stand out in an interview and let interviewers see your strengths so that you can win in the interview. My dad recommended it to me because I had an interview in January this year but I unfortunately had no experience in such situation. So my dad told me that book might be suitable because it offers much advice for people like me who don't have much experience. From the book I got to know that for us inexperienced, the first thing that we have to let the interviewers know is that we learn fast. As a college student, I have to learn different subjects simultaneously, and handle different projects, you know, individual works and group works all at the same time. If I did not learn fast, I couldn't make all subjects pass. Besides, it was my ability to process multi-tasks at the same time that made me a competent university student. And more importantly, my performance on academics was quite satisfying. The second thing I knew from that book was that I had to show my confidence and positive attitude towards the job I got to do. I couldn't just say “I don't know, or I’m afraid what is coming to me.” Otherwise, interviewers would definitely not grant such an employee who couldn't offer benefit to their company. I thought that book was quite useful. I mean, previously, I thought I couldn't give a company much, but it was the book that made me realise that I had so many advantages that could benefit a company and gave me confidence not only in an interview, but anything I’m going to do or experience in the future.
Describe a person you know who is good at cooking.
You should say:
Who the person is
What your relationship is with this person
What kind of food he or she cooks
And explain why you think this person is good at cooking.
My friend Wang Yu is the person who is most good at cooking I have seen among my friends. I think he has a gene in cooking. I mean, his farther is one of the most well-known master chefs of Shandong Cuisine, and he learned cooking, without his father’s help, from a very early age, at least early than most young people. He’s now working as a chef assistant in Shandong Hotel, which already proves his cooking skill. I got to know his cooking skill, apart from what has been mentioned above, in a birthday party of our friend. He actively assumed the responsibility of cooking for the party and right at that time I was impressed by his cooking skill. He was good at Shandong cuisine, so he mainly cooked Shandong food with a bonus of fabulous desserts to us. I think he is great because he could cook a very difficult dish called fried fish in sweet and sour sauce which thousands of cooks spend years practising in order to make the fish beautiful and tasty. The hardest part of making this dish is to use a knife to slice the fish without tearing the slices apart from its body, and to use boiled oil to shape the fish like it is jumping. Surprisingly, he did it, successfully. Another thing I thought he was really good at was that he could keep the kitchen clean throughout the whole process. I cook myself, and when I cook, I just can’t stop messing the kitchen. So I really admire those who can keep the kitchen clean and cook tasty food at the same time. I think cooking itself is not an easy task, cooking without messing the kitchen definitely deserves my respect.