You are in a room waiting for your name to be called. Your hands start to shake and they feel cold. Your heart beats faster and faster, and then you hear your name. What are you going to do? Breathe. Relax your tensed body and mind. Go inside the interview room. The following are some helpful tips that will guide you on this challenging, yet fulfilling day.
The speaking section tests your skills in using English. Thus, you need to give long, comprehensive and detailed answers. Avoid short answers, such as “yes”, “no”, “have”, “can”, “can’t” and the like. It is important to elaborate your answers and make it a lengthy response. For example, when asked about your favorite movie, you may talk about the plot or some of its memorable scenes. When you give details to your answer, it will demonstrate your willingness to explain your answers confidently.
Coherence is one of the things that the examiners are looking for in your responses. Hence, present a well-organized response. This is for the examiner to easily follow your ideas and understand what you are talking about. To fulfill this, use connectors such as “first of all”, “secondly”, “last” and others. Basically, the more sophisticated the connectors are, the better chance you have of attaining good points for fluency and coherence.
Questions with “why” are very common in the speaking section. Therefore, present two or more reasons in your responses. For instance, when asked about your favorite food, use “the first reason…”, “another reason is…” and others. In brief, don’t forget the connectors or transitional expressions to achieve coherence.
The use of idioms demonstrates how exposed you are to English language. This reflects your vocabulary as well, which is part of the speaking criteria. Examiners will not only check your word usage, but the complexity of your phrases. Thus, it is ideal to use a variety of idioms, from the common ones to the difficult or non-familiar ones.
It is a fact that pronunciation is a difficult area to improve on. First, there are several features of English pronunciation which the examiners look for in your responses. Second, it takes quite some time and constant practice to control one’s pronunciation. On the test day, however, make every effort to be understood by the examiner—aim for clarity!
Identify the tense!
Pay attention to the time frame in the question. The questions may require you to explain something from the past, the present or the future. The question time frame will determine your use of tenses. Thus, watch out for those lines such as, “…when you were young”, “…ten years ago”, “…twenty years from now”, or “…in the future”.
All in all, don’t get cold feet; rather, remember the given tips and face the interviewer with confidence!