By Marcus Mills,2014-11-29 22:31
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    Part 1 Interview:

    Sample Scenarios

    Interlocuter: Good morning. My name is X, and this is my colleague, Y. And your names are A and B?

    A: Yeah.

    B: Yeah.

    I: Thank you. Now, first of all, we‘d like to know something about each of you. Ms A, can you tell me a bit about yourself.

    A. My pleasure. As you know, my name is A. I‘m from Jiangsu Province. I‘m now

    studying in OO University. And I‘m majoring in international trade there.

    I: Thank you. Ms A. Now Ms B, can you tell me something about your ambitions? B: Yes, I am now a student with OO University majoring in business administration. I hope I can get my MBA and join a world famous multinational company. And after I have had enough experience, I am going to start a company of my own. I: Thank you, Ms B. And Ms A, could you tell me about your ambitions? A: A big question for me indeed. I‘ve never thought about it, but I bet I‘ll work towards a CEO of a big multinational corporation. That‘s my goal in life. And that‘s why I am spending so much time on English, business English in particular.. I: Mr. A, you say you‘re spending a lot of time on business English. Do you think business English is difficult to learn?

    A: Not exactly, though it may be difficult at the initial stage. The thing is that you need to have some business knowledge before you start to learn business English. I: How about you, Ms B? Is it difficult for you?

    B: Not really. You know, I like English very much, and my major is business administration. So I have always found business English very interesting.

     * * * *

    I: Good morning, my name is X, and this is my colleague, Y. And your names are A and B?

    A: Yeah.

    B: Yes.

    I: Thank you. Now, first of all, we‘d like to know something about each of you. Miss A, can you tell me something about your work?

    A: My pleasure. I‘m working with APC Inc., which is a US-based company. I have

    worked there for three years on the international marketing side. I must say that it is a very interesting job. I love my job.

    I: Thank you, Miss A. Now Miss B, can you tell me about your activities outside college?

    B: Well, I do a lot of interesting things in my spare time. I often go shopping on weekends; something most of the young ladies like me do that in their spare time. And I have worked part time for several big companies. I think, by doing that, I can have some hands-on experience in business. That‘s very important for my future career.

    I: Thank you, Miss B. And you Miss A, can you tell me about your hometown? A: Hmm…well, my hometown is Nantong. It lies at the mouth of Yangtze River, the longest in China. It has a population of 5 million. There‘s quite some places of historical interests there. And the economy there is growing fast in my hometown. The friendly environment has attracted a lot of investment from overseas. I: Miss B, you said you‘d worked for several companies on a part time basis. Is there any other reason for you to work there apart from obtaining some work experience? B: Yeah. Obviously I can make some extra money from that. You know, my mother is now retrenched. It‘s really not easy for my parents to support me. And I don‘t want to be too heavy a burden for them.

    I: How about you, Miss A? Are you a part time by any chance?

    A: Oh, yes. But I don‘t work for companies. I teach several private students. I think teaching is a very interesting job, especially when I see my students are making progress. And just as Miss B said, money is an important consideration for me. So I teach for entertainment as well as for cash.

Other possible questions:

    Life: What‘s your name? Where are you from? Do you think the place you are living in is an ideal place for living? Where do you like to live, in the city or in the countryside? Do you live near here? How did you come here?

    Work: Where do you work? What kind of work do you like? Who do you work for? What do you like best about your work? What do you think of your present job? What do you think of working at home? Do you like your boss? What kind of boss do you like best?

    Study: Where do you study? What kind of subjects do you like best? Do you like your school? How do you like exams at school?

    Hobbies: What do you often go shopping for? Do you like sports? What kind of sports do you like best? Do you think football is more popular in China than before? What are you hobbies? What kind of extracurricular activities do you like best? Why are you interested in golf?

    * * * *

    Part 2 Mini-presentation: (1 min preparation, 1 min talk)

    The structure of a good mini-presentation:


I. Introduction: one or two sentences. No need to be very long.

    There are two ways of starting the question in BEC III how to and the importance of;and

    BEC II questions always start with what is important when doing something

    So, for how to…‘, you can always start with Well, when it comes to xxing, quite a number of

    things can be done. or Well, as is known to all, it is very important toThe question is of

    course how?

    For the importance of…‘, you can start with Well, in my view, you should not underestimate the

    importance of …‘ or Well, as is known to all, it is very important toThe question is of course


    For BEC II, you can start with Well, when it comes to xxing, several vital factors must be taken

    into account. or Well, as we all know, many factors must be considered when, the questions is

    of course which ones?

    Basically, how to…‘ asks about methods, the importance of…‘ asks about benefits, and what is

    important when…‘ asks about factors to consider.

    stII. Main body: 1 point + development sentences

    nd 2 point + development sentences

    rdth(3 , 4 points + development sentences) ……

    During the preparation, you should think of at least two points, in the form of key words or key

    phrases. Then you make a sentence using the each key word or phrase.

    There are four common ways to construct a development sentence

    1. Explanation of the point : In this way, To put it another way, In other words, That is to

    say, …so to speak, …let‘s say

    2. Stating Reasons : As a result, As a consequence, Consequently, Therefore, Due to, Thanks to,

    On account of

    3. Giving Examples: Say, For instance, For example, As a good example, By way of example 4. Negative hypothesis : If…not

    Beginning: First of all, To begin with, For one thing, At the first stage, Initially, The company will begin by…

    Transition: And, And of course, Then, Besides, On the other hand, But more than that, Not only that, Apart from that, And another thing, On top of that, What‘s more, Beyond those, But most importantly, But above all, Last but not least, Once…, Having (done)…

III. Recapitulation or Conclusion: one or two sentences.

    All in all, In short, In a word, In brief, To summarise, To sum up, To recap, In conclusion, On the whole, Altogether, In a nutshell, To cut a long story short

    You can use the pattern ‗While there are also other considerations in… I believe the factors mentioned above are the most significant ones. ‗ for ‗how to…‘ and ‗what is important…‘ questions. For ‗the importance of…‘, you can use ‗While there are also other arguments why… I believe the


reasons mentioned above are the most significant ones. ‗

    * * * *

    Sample Mini-presentations:

    A. III-1. Career Development: how to fill a key vacancy

    When it comes to filling a key vacancy, a company will usually follow the same standard procedure. (开题)

    It will begin by producing an accurate job description of what it would like the successful candidate to do. ;要点1?关键词job description From this, it can then

    produce a profile of this ideal candidate, which is a list of skills, experience, attributes and so on. ;发展1 解释;

    Having produced this profile, the company must then decide on the best recruitment method to capture a candidate with this profile. ;要点2 关键词

    recruitment method This might be an internal advertisement or an external

    advertisement in a newspaper, on the Internet say, even an agency or perhaps a headhunter. ;发展2?例子;

    Having decided on the best recruitment method, the advertisements are then placed or the headhunter contacted and a list of candidates will be then drawn up to be put through the company‘s recruitment processes. ;要点3 关键词recruitment

    processes This might be interviews, psychometric tests or even hand-writing analysis. ;发展3?例子;This will then produce the ideal candidate for the company.

    The company will then have to negotiate terms with this candidate ;要点4

    键词negotiate terms and, hopefully, this will result in terms which are both affordable for the company and attractive enough to get the candidate they want. ;发

    4 解释;

    Even though different companies vary somewhat in their efforts to fill open posts, the steps mentioned above are very much the norm rather than the exception in any industry. ;结论;

B. III-11. Recruitment: the importance of having a good CV

    Well, in my opinion, you should never underestimate the importance of having a good CV. (开题)

    To begin with, in the majority of cases, your CV is the employer‘s first impression of you. ;要点1?关键词first impression Your first chance to impress your potential

    employer, let‘s say. ;发展1 解释;As you should remember to your advantage,

    you‘ve got only 30 seconds to leave a positive impression on someone, whether he is a customer or a potential employer. ;发展1 解释;

    But more than that, your CV also showcases your essential skills in order to compete in today‘s job market. ;要点2 关键词skills In other words, it provides

    an illustration of your skills to organize, summarize, prioritize and present information effectively, say, as well as your linguistic and communicative abilities. ;发展2



    But above all, a CV, by its very nature, also indicates how your qualification and experience match your employer‘s requirements. ;要点3 关键词qualification and

    experience In this way, your prospective boss will be able to reach a sound decision on your suitability for the position. ;发展3 解释;

    Even though employers these days use a variety of selection techniques, such as analyzing your handwriting or psychometric tests, a good CV is still the single most important part of any application. ;结论;

    C. II-13. What is important when choosing a new supplier? Prices and discounts, Reputation

    Well, when it comes to choosing a new supplier, several vital factors must be taken into account.

    To begin with, I think we must consider the price of goods first. We can compare the prices offered by different suppliers and choose the one which is more reasonable. Because only if we get the supply at lower price can we make profits. Of course, it would be even better if the supplier can offer discounts to regular clients.

    Another point we should also consider is the location of the supplier. We‘d better choose one

    who is not too far away from us. If the supplier is too far away, that will most likely increase the cost of transportation.

    Besides, it‘s also very important to consider whether the supplier is reliable. We would never choose those who always deliver their goods late or those who can‘t ensure the quality of goods. Because late delivery may bring heavy loss to us, and quality is the lifeline of any business. Otherwise we may lose our own clients. So in this aspect, we must not make any concessions, and lower prices cannot be a valid mitigating factor.

    While there are also other considerations in choosing a supplier, such as reputation, means of payment, after-sales service, I believe the factors mentioned above are the most indispensable ones.

    D. II-36. What is important when choosing business premises to rent? Location, Length of contract

    Well, as we all know, many factors must be considered when choosing business premises to rent, the questions is of course which ones?

    From my point of view, we should first take the location into consideration. Some companies choose to locate in office blocks downtown; some would like to be near the largest concentrations of their target customers. It depends largely upon the type of the company in question. Companies that provide services must be located within easy access. So they usually choose those places where there is convenient transportation.

    Another important facet to consider is the size of the premises. Nowadays, more and more large companies prefer an open, spacious working floor which allows colleagues to communicate and interact freely. Of course, a small company would not rent the whole floor. That will be a waste of space and an unnecessary cost burden.

    Last but not least, the length of contract should not be neglected. A fixed-term contract is


    legally binding and can only serve to make your situation worse in times of recession. Whenever possible, flexible contract arrangement should be preferred.

    While there are also other considerations in choosing business premises, such as rent and facilities, I believe the factors mentioned above are the most indispensable ones.

    E. III-7. Career Development: The importance of acquiring a range of skills throughout your career

     Well, as is known to all, it is very important for a person to acquire a range of skills in the

    course of his career. The question is of course why?

    When he has a range of skills, first of all, he is obviously more competitive than those who don‘t and therefore has better chances of surviving a downturn. To put it another way, companies are likely to retain highly skilled staff members even when mass layoff is inevitable.

    And that‘s not the only benefit. A person with a range of skills is more likely to work his

    way to the top of the corporate ladder. In most companies, whether or not you have the appropriate skills is a relevant criterion for promotion.

    On the other hand, it will also be easier for a skilled employee to find a job outside his own company if he is not satisfied with his present job. In this way, acquiring a variety of skills in one‘s career offers more professional mobility.

    So, when all the benefits are taken into account, no wonder acquisition of skills is taken so seriously nowadays.

    F. III-8. Career Planning: how to assess the career opportunities provided by different types of companies

     Well, when it comes to assessing different career opportunities, several vital factors must be taken into account.

     First of all, the type of company should be taken into consideration. Different types of firms have their own benefits and challenges. In a multinational company., say, you can learn international business management and culture, and as an icing on the cake, you may have more opportunities to travel abroad. However, English is the working language in multinationals. You have to be very good at English to work there. So state-owned companies may better suit some people.

    Salary should be another important consideration. As everyone knows, multinational companies usually offer higher salaries. But if you have just graduated from college, you shouldn‘t be too concerned about that. As a new hand, its more

    important to gain more experience through working rather than earn quick money.

    After salary, we should not ignore other financial rewards in the form of fringe benefits. Some companies offer housing allowance, car allowance, children‘s education allowance in addition to salaries. Still others provide staff with free health club and cafeteria. And high tech firms often supplement salaries with stock options.

    Although there are also other considerations in assessing different career


    opportunities, such as training, location, and good colleagues, I believe the factors mentioned above are the most indispensable ones.

G. III-31. Human Resources: how to select the right staff for promotion

    Well, as is known to all, it is very important to select the right staff for promotion. The question is of course how?

    For one thing, qualification definitely counts a great deal. A good qualification, especially an advanced degree, normally indicates high aptitude and a wide range of knowledge and skills. Even though we often hear clichés like ‗But degrees dont

    mean everything‘, in the real world, qualification actually means a lot.

    That said, there ARE certain skills and knowledge, or what we call flair, that come only from long-time hands-on experience. So it is only natural that the next thing to consider should be experience. Only by accumulating enough experience can an employee be totally at ease with his duties. Besides, experience can also tell us about his performance, track record, and leadership potential.

    Well, last but not least, personality should also be a factor in any staffing decision. Different positions require different personal qualities. The highest virtues for an engineer engaged in R & D, for instance, would be meticulousness and creativity. Yet for a sales manager, being energetic and outgoing is much more important because sales managers have to leave a good first impression upon their clients. But for any position, hard-working people are always welcome.

    So to recap, qualification, experience and personality are the three promotion criteria that we all need to keep in mind.

H. III-62. Product Promotion: how to promote an imported brand

    With so many people these days making a conscious decision to buy domestic products, the pressure on those companies wishing to promote imported brands is greater than ever before.

    Initially, a company needs to show how their product is superior to the local equivalents. Maybe it‘s better quality; maybe it‘s more stylish; maybe it‘s better image. Anyway, a company needs to show customers the benefits of being more adventurous in their buying decisions, in order to encourage them to move away from the home brands they currently use.

    Well, beyond that, if you market a product as something exotic or unusual, say, you‘re bound to attract new clients. As you may also have experienced, most people

    have a strong craving for things novel and unfamiliar. Of course, when the sense of curiosity wears off, such a strategy will usually fall short of expectations.

    Last but not least, cultural stereotypes are also a powerful selling tool. A cosmetics range associated with French chic, for example, is sure to attract customers. And if people are looking to buy a reliable car, there‘s no better label than ‗made in


Germany‘. These national associations can also be exploited at the point of sale.

    Playing French music in supermarkets, for example, is proven to improve the sales of French wine.

    All in all, if you want to successfully promote an imported brand, you need to give your customers a good reason to try something a little bit more exciting than their own home brands.

I. III-70. Advertising: the importance of stereotypes in advertising

    Well, I‘m very much convinced that you should never underestimate the importance of stereotypes in advertising.

    First of all, a stereotype is something enduring and easily identifiable to a whole national group. When an Asian audience see Eiffel Tower in an ad, they instantly conjure up the romantic image of Paris at night. And with that in mind, any product associated with French chic, say, cosmetics, perfume, and fashion, will become an easy sell. As another example, the German Audi designers in white lab coats are obviously obsessed with perfection. And so we can guarantee that any product we buy from them is going to be designed to perfection the moment we see this ad.

    What‘s more, stereotypes can make us feel good about our own value systems or customs. An ad targeted at a British audience might pit a refined Londoner against a brash New Yorker and that‘ll give the impression that the product we‘re selling is

    obviously full of taste and discretion. And in this way, stereotypes reinforce the positive qualities in the minds of the viewers.

    And lastly, stereotypes make good comedy because everybody wants to laugh at other countries and people who are different. A fictitious aboriginal tribe once served as the backdrop for a celebrated cell phone ad. The contrast between the modern and the primitive kept the audience in stitches. And of course, if they‘ve had a laugh, they‘re more likely to remember the advert.

     So to sum up, stereotypes are useful to advertisers because they‘re basically a shorthand. You‘ve got thirty seconds to get your main selling point across. And with a stereotype you can do that in two.

    J. III-84. Marketing: the importance of packaging products appropriately

     In recent years, numerous factors have made packaging an important marketing tool.

     Increased competition and clutter on retail store shelves means that packages now must perform many sales tasks -- from attracting attention, to describing the product, to making the sale. Among these, the first one is undoubtedly the most crucial function. Companies are realizing the power of good packaging to create instant consumer recognition of the company or brand. Nowadays, in an average supermarket, which stocks 15,000 to 17,000 items, the typical shopper passes by some 300 items per minute, and 53 percent of all purchases are made on impulse. In this highly competitive environment, the package may be the seller‘s last chance to influence buyers. It

    becomes a ―five-second commercial‖. The renowned Campbell Soup Company, say, estimates that the average shopper sees its familiar red and white can 76 times a year, creating the equivalent of


$26 million worth of advertising. However, everyone‘s favorite success story on packaging

    involves the ubiquitous red Coke can. Marketers everywhere have emulated but rarely equaled the marketing power of its simple design. More recently, the picture of a smiling Tiger Woods, the golf guru, appears on the boxes of a certain brand of cereals, apparently to convey an image of fitness, energy, and vitality. The effort has not been wasted its sales tripled in one year.

     In brief, while good packaging can serve many practical purposes, it is with its utility in effective product promotion that marketers are primarily concerned.

K. III-87. Customer Relations: how to maintain customer interest in a company’s products

    Well, as is known to all, it is very important for a company to maintain customer interest in their products. The question is of course how?

    I think there are several ways to do that. For one thing, we should always make sure that we provide our customers with quality goods and quality after-sales service, as these two aspects are indisputably the lifeline of any business. Continuous new product development and innovation in service are also necessary in reinforcing and expanding customer base.

    Apart from that, enough emphasis should be laid on the feedback from our customers. If necessary, prompt action should be taken to take care of their needs and demands.

    Finally, if possible we should provide some incentives to repeat customers. For example, we can grant a certain rebate to them if their purchases reach a certain amount. And offering coupons and free delivery to customers are also effective and feasible methods.

    All in all, we should try our utmost to keep our customers satisfied and fulfill their expectations. Only by doing so can we maintain clients‘ interest in our products.

L. III-113. Production Development: the importance of R & D to a company

    To illustrate the importance of research and development to some firms, the level of annual investment in research and development by the top ten listed corporations in the States can serve as a telling indicator: each of these firms typically spends more than $1 billion on research and development per year. The question is, why?

    First of all, firms invest funds in research and development primarily in order to design new products. For instance, Procter and Gamble‘s R & D resulted in its

    two-in-one shampoo and conditioner technology. This new technology has been used in its famous Pantene, Head & Shoulders products, which now enjoy a significant market share in various countries.

    On the other hand, companies also use R & D to improve the products they already produce. Again, Procter and Gamble has improved the technology of Tide detergent more than seventy times. And not surprisingly, Tide is now the leading detergent in North America.


    What‘s more, R & D can allow one firm a huge competitive advantage and therefore improve revenue streams dramatically. For example, Pfizer, one of the pharmaceutical titans, has successfully obtained patents for such best selling drugs as Benadryl, Listerine and Viagra. In other words, Pfizer now has the monopoly in these lucrative drugs. This ‗license to print money‘ comes directly from Pfizer‘s R & D activities.

    In short, firms that spend money on R & D have found to their delight that the benefits almost always exceed the expenses.

    M. III-130. Health and Safety: the importance of a safe working environment for maintaining staff morale

     Firms that create a safe working environment not only prevent injuries but improve the morale of their employees as well. I feel strongly that this is something indispensable for any company.

     First of all, a safe working environment offers peace of mind to staff members and therefore can significantly motivate staff to enhance a firm‘s productivity. As a result, many leading firms,

    such as Intel and GE, now identify workplace safety as one of their main goals. Not surprisingly, these are some of the best performing firms anywhere in the world.

    What‘s more, a safe environment can reduce the occurrence of workplace accidents, which are

    usually a source of staff dissatisfaction and low trust in the management. Taking safety measures can enhance staff loyalty and, in turn, moral. For instance, Levi Strauss and Co. imposes safety guidelines not only in its US facilities but also in Asian factories where some of its clothes are made. Starbucks, meanwhile, has developed a code of conduct in an attempt to improve the quality of life in coffee-producing countries, in an effort to buck against sweatshop-like working conditions. These two companies have been rated highly by their employees.

    In short, if you want to boost morale among your staff, or to put it in plain words, if you want to see enthusiasm, confidence, or loyalty in your workforce, then safety should have your prior attention.

    N. III-137. International Business: the importance of a global presence for a company

    With more mergers and acquisitions than ever before, I think it‘s becoming quite clear that a company in the future will need to have a global presence in order to compete in tomorrow‘s market place. This presence can give a company many competitive advantages.

     To begin with, say, it can give access to local market knowledge, which can help avoid some very, very expensive mistakes on account of cultural conflicts. The Matsushita Firm of Japan learned this at a price, when they, without knowing the negative connotations of the word in the US, first launched their products under the brand name of ―National‘. Only when they switched to ‗Panasonic‘ did the flat sale

    become brisk.


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