Do you like your job? Why did you choose this kind of work? What’s the most interesting part of your work? What’s the most difficult part of your work? What would you like to do in the future?
  • Sales assistant (noun) - a shop assistant.
  • To pay the bills (idiom) - to provide enough income to sustain one's lifestyle.
  • Straightforward (adj.) - easy to understand or simple.
  • Till (noun) - the drawer in a cash register (= a machine which records sales in a shop, and in which money is kept) or the cash register itself.
  • To frown on/upon something (phrasal verb) - to disapprove of something.
  • To gossip (verb) - to talk about other people's private lives.
  • Light-hearted (adj.) - happy and not serious.
  • Low-level (adj.) - used to describe someone who does not have an important job or much influence in an organization.
  • Rarity (noun) - something that is very unusual, or the quality of being very unusual.
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Questions and Answers
M: Do you work or are you a student?

R: I've been working as a sales assistant for about a year now.

M: Oh, and why did you choose this kind of work?

R: To be honest, it chose me. I just needed a job that would pay the bills. I don't plan on doing it forever.

M: And do like your job?

R: Oh, it's all right. I get on reasonably well with my colleagues. And it's pretty straightforward. Although it can be boring at times when I'm stuck on the tills or stocking shelves for hours on end.

M: What's the most interesting part of your work?

R: Well, I know it's frowned upon, but I like to gossip with my colleagues. But it's mostly light-hearted. So it's not so bad. It's also fun to see what other people are buying and chat with them as you scan everything through.

M: And what's difficult?

R: Nothing particularly. It's a pretty low-level job. So it's not very complex. Sometimes customers can be a pain, but that's a rarity.

M: What would you like to do in the future?

R: Well, ideally, I'd really like to work in marketing or something else related to business. So hopefully what I do now has prepared me well for that sort of environment since I've seen it from the inside out.
M: Yay! Nice and easy, dear listener. Huh, you see? So, here we can give shorter answers, like maybe one or two sentences, like from one to three sentences. So it's kind of, it's absolutely okay. But if you want to give more, to give longer answers, that's okay. The examiner could stop you and move to a new question, which is absolutely fine because the examiner controls the time. So when the examiner asks you do you work or are you a student? You should choose one topic. So I work or I'm a student. And then the examiner will proceed to ask you questions about your studies. In our next episode. Or about work. So here we are choosing one thing like work. You can say that both, I'm a student and I work but it's kind of, it's more difficult to talk about both of them. Yeah? So it's much easier to choose just one. And, Rory, what grammar structure have you used?

R: What grammar structure did I use? Oh, yes. Is it Present Perfect Continuous?

M: Oh, yes.

R: I've been working as. So I have been working, I've been working as a teacher. I've been working as a dentist. So work as, work as a doctor, as a manager. So you started working, you are working and you will be working. So I've been working.

R: And another thing to point out, you might be asked how long you've done your job for, or you might want to put it in your answer to this question. But please do not feel that you must give the exact time that you have been working there. Because in real life, nobody does this. So for me, I said, I've been working as a sales assistant for about a year now. Maybe it's 11 months. Maybe it's 13. I don't know. And really, I don't care. And neither does the examiner.

M: Yeah, Rory, can you ask me this question?

R: Yes. Do you work? Or are you a student?

M: I've been working as a food blogger for about two years now.

R: Have you?

M: No, that's not true. So this is a good answer to this question. Alright? Then you can say, to be honest, to be honest with you, like a nice start, like what's the intonation here, Rory?

R: What is the intonation, actually?

M: I think it's rising, because like you want to be polite and nice. So to be honest, this job chose me. So I didn't choose it. Like the job chose me. It's just a job. You know? Like, I don't really like it particularly. So you know, like the job chose me. So to be honest, it chose me. Say it.

R: To be honest, it chose me. An important thing to highlight here will be the use of it, instead of repeating the words "this job", because, or "this kind of work", because we don't want to repeat questions in our answers.

M: And you can say like, I needed a job. So I need a job to pay the bills. So we pay the bills. Or we can say I have to pay the bills. So I just have to do it. It's just a job.

R: It's just to pay the bills. It's not about principles or anything like that. I don't think you can afford to have principals if you're a sales assistant.

M: Yeah. Or if you kind of work, I don't know, in a restaurant, I'm a waiter, I am, I don't know, like a manager. I don't plan on doing it forever, for example. Or even if you do plan to do it forever, you can just say it. And then an interesting answer to the question like, do you like it, do you like your job?

R: Yeah. And so, it's alright. It just means it's okay. I don't love the job. And I don't hate it.
M: Yeah. I get on reasonably well with my colleagues. A phrasal verb. I get on well with my colleagues, I get on well with my boss, I get on well with everybody in the company. So I have a good relationship with them. And you can also say, I work for this company, and I've been working for Google, for example. I've been working for blah, blah, blah, company. It can be a little boring sometimes. It can be a little dull, and monotonous. And then Rory, you used very specific words. I'm stuck on the till.

R: The tills. Yeah. The till is the thing that you show the price worth and scan the items with. But you could be stuck on the tills. Or if you do another job, like being an English teacher, you could be stuck on online work or stuck doing online work. The idea is that you cannot move from this position. You cannot do anything else.

M: Yes. So a till or register in the United States is the drawer in a cash register. So when you go to a shop, and this machine that goes... And then like this drawer opens up and you see cash there.

R: I love the sound effects of how a cash machine works. Just imagine the cash machine went... And then...

M: Yeah. So the till opens. Yeah? So I'm stuck on the tills. Or I'm stuck... Can I say that I'm stuck on paperwork?

R: Or stuck doing paperwork.

M: I'm stuck doing paperwork. Or I'm stuck working with children. Or if you work, I don't know, as a doctor, for example. So you're a doctor.

R: I'm stuck on the wards.

M: What are wards?

R: A ward is a place where a doctor works. Working on the wards.

M: Ah, okay. So kind of rooms, like hospital rooms, yeah?

R: Yes.

M: Okay like a stacking shelf. So what do you have in a shop? So where the clothes are? Can I say like I'm stuck on this job?

R: It could be. It just means you cannot move from it. That would be a bit different, though. If you're stuck on a job, it could mean that you cannot do anything else because it's too difficult, or because you've been ordered to be there and nothing will change.

M: A cool answer. The most interesting part of my work is gossiping with my colleagues.

R: Yes. I think that's true for most jobs, though. Everybody likes to engage in office gossip.

M: And when we gossip, what do we say, usually?
R: Oh, you mean for the details of gossip? I don't know. It depends on what you're talking about or who you're talking about, but probably personal details of other people's lives that shouldn't be shared. At least in the open public.

M: Yeah, dear listener, you just like, office gossip. Yeah? When we talk about other people's private lives, okay? Usually, like in an unkind way, disapproving.

R: But it's not something that we should do openly because it is frowned on. And that just means people do not approve of this.

M: Yeah, so if you have an office job, it's a very good, like idea, answer to show off your vocabulary. So I work in an office, and you say, yeah, I know, it's frowned on. So people don't like it. But I like to gossip with my colleagues during my lunch break. And then the examiner looks at you like...

R: And I enjoy chatting with my colleagues, I enjoy like good relationship with my colleagues, you can say. I enjoy hanging out with my colleagues. So you can say that like your colleagues, the atmosphere is the most interesting part. And then the next question is usually about something difficult. And Rory goes like no, nothing in particular. Nothing particularly is difficult. You know?

R: Nothing particularly.

M: Yeah, nothing. And you see, again, you don't repeat, like, nothing is difficult. You say nothing, particularly. Like a normal conversation. Yeah? Like a question and answer. And then, details. It's a pretty low-level job. So what's a low-level job?

R: A low-level job is just something that doesn't require a great deal of complexity, or work or understanding. So being a sales assistant, in comparison to being a lawyer doesn't require that much complexity. So it's pretty low-level. The same way as... What's another job that's pretty low-level? I would imagine, being a sales rep in a shop is also relatively low-level, especially if you're just starting out. The pay in low-level jobs is usually low as well.

M: What about other jobs? Like a lawyer, a doctor, head of the department?

R: That's a high-level job.

M: Yeah, it's a high-level job. So it's demanding, it's difficult. And then you can say. Sometimes customers, or sometimes my boss can be a pain. And here, the idiomatic expression is a pain in the neck. Or pain in the... Somewhere else.

R: A pain in the behind.

M: Behind, yes.

R: Or the beouchie, if you're Scottish.
M: So you can say like, sometimes customers can be a pain in the neck. Or sometimes customers can be a pain, right? Or sometimes meeting deadlines can be a pain. Or a pain in the neck. But that's a rarity. A rarity is something that...

R: Doesn't happen very often.

M: Yeah, like almost never happens. That's a rarity. Give us a sentence with this rarity.

R: Well, this one was the customers can be a pain, but that's a rarity. In my real job, sometimes... I'm trying to think about things that rarely happen in my job. Oh, yes, sometimes I'm asked to do teacher training, but that's a rarity.

M: The final question is, usually, what would you like to do in the future? And here, like, would you like? So I'd really like to work in marketing, or I'd really like to work as a president of the world. I'd really like to eat, or I'd really like to work for Google, for example.

R: Would you like to work for Google?

M: Nah, Nah.

R: I feel like that might be a little bit difficult.

M: Demanding.

R: Yeah. Very demanding.

M: But I think like they have like interesting people and their office is fun. But I would like Google to be partners with us, you know? So we can partner up, Google and IELTS Speaking for Success podcast. That would be a nice partnership.

R: It would be nice. Yeah.

M: Yeah. But also Nike, and McDonald's. You know? Apple, if you're listening in, we're, you know, open to your suggestions.

R: Or any other company, frankly.

M: No, not any other company. We're picky. We're choosy, Rory.

R: Yes. That's why we just listed a whole bunch of companies.

M: Gucci. You know, Dolce Gabbana would be nice. You know? If you want us to advertise your bags, Dolce Gabbana bags. Yeah, Louis Vuitton. You know? Gucci again. Cartie. Cartie. What do you say? Cartie.

R: I don't... I love how you talk to me about these brands as if I know anything about watches that are worth 1000s of pounds.

M: Work, work, work, work, work, work. Thank you very much for listening, dear listener! And in the next episode, we're gonna be talking about studies. Alright? So if you're a student, do listen up.

R: And we'll see you next time!

M: Bye!
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