CAMBRIDGE IELTS 15 TEST 1 | Band 9.0 answers!

Full Video Interview: Questions and Answers

A full IELTS Speaking Interview Sample

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Presented By: Mehdi Safavi

Presented By: Mehdi Safavi

June 15, 2024

What’s your name?

I'm Daniel Smith.

Do you work or are you a student?

I’m currently a student. I’m studying computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. I chose this field because I’ve always been fascinated by technology and its potential to solve real-world problems. It’s a challenging program, but I find it incredibly rewarding.


The examiner asks you about yourself, your home, work or studies, and other familiar topics.



What kinds of emails do you receive about your work or studies?

I receive a variety of emails related to my studies. Most of them are from professors and the university administration, including important announcements about class schedules, assignments, and exam dates. I also get emails about upcoming events, such as guest lectures, workshops, and seminars that are relevant to my field of study. Occasionally, there are newsletters from different student organizations and clubs that I’m a part of, informing me about their activities and meetings. Lastly, I sometimes receive emails from potential employers or internship programs, providing information about opportunities and application deadlines. These emails are crucial for staying organized and up-to-date with everything happening in my academic life.

Do you prefer to email, phone or text your friends? [Why?]

I usually prefer to text my friends. It's quick and convenient, and it allows for more immediate responses. Texting is great for short, casual conversations and for coordinating plans on the go. I find that it fits well with our busy schedules since we can reply whenever we have a moment. However, if we need to have a longer or more personal conversation, I might call them instead. Email is generally something I reserve for more formal communication, so I don't use it much with friends. Texting just feels more informal and flexible, which suits the nature of our interactions.

Do you reply to emails and messages as soon as you receive them? [Why/Why not?!

I try to reply to emails and messages as soon as I receive them, but it depends on the situation. If it's something urgent or important, like a message from a professor or a friend needing immediate help, I respond right away. However, if I'm in the middle of studying, working, or doing something that requires my full attention, I might wait until I have some free time to reply thoughtfully. Sometimes, with less urgent emails or messages, I prioritize other tasks and get back to them later. It's a balance between being responsive and managing my time effectively.

Are you happy to receive emails that are advertising things? [Why/Why not?]

I'm generally not happy to receive advertising emails. They can be quite intrusive and often clutter my inbox, making it harder to find important messages. Most of the time, these emails are not relevant to my interests or needs, so they feel like a waste of time. However, occasionally I do find some useful promotions or information about products and services I'm actually interested in. To manage this, I try to filter my emails and unsubscribe from mailing lists that I don't find valuable. Overall, I'd prefer to keep my inbox focused on personal and important communications.


Describe a hotel that you know.
You should say:
    where this hotel is
    what this hotel looks like
    what facilities this hotel has
and explain whether you think this is a nice hotel to stay in.

You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes.
You have one minute to think about what you are going to say.
You can make some notes to help you if you wish.

One hotel that comes to mind is The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. It’s located in the Nob Hill neighborhood, which is quite central and offers stunning views of the city. The building itself is a beautiful historic structure with a grand, elegant façade. Inside, the hotel has a classic, luxurious décor with plush furnishings, crystal chandeliers, and marble floors, creating a very sophisticated atmosphere.

The Ritz-Carlton offers a range of excellent facilities. There’s a state-of-the-art fitness center, a full-service spa, and an indoor swimming pool. The hotel also boasts several dining options, including a fine dining restaurant that features locally sourced ingredients and a lounge for more casual meals and drinks. For business travelers, there are well-equipped conference rooms and a business center. The hotel also provides concierge services, valet parking, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

I think this is a very nice hotel to stay in. The combination of its elegant ambiance, high-quality facilities, and attentive service make it a top choice for both leisure and business travelers. The location is convenient for exploring San Francisco’s attractions, and the level of comfort and luxury it offers ensures a pleasant and memorable stay.

Do you often stay in that hotel?

I don’t often stay in The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco. It’s quite a luxurious and high-end hotel, so I typically reserve stays there for special occasions or when I want to treat myself to a more upscale experience. Most of the time, I opt for more budget-friendly accommodations when I travel. However, the times I have stayed there have been exceptional, with excellent service and amenities that make it worth the splurge.


The examiner asks you about yourself, your home, work or studies, and other familiar topics.

Discussion Topics

Staying in hotels

What things are important when people are choosing a hotel?

When people are choosing a hotel, several factors are important. Location is often a top priority, as travelers usually want to stay in a convenient area close to the attractions or activities they plan to visit. The cost of the stay is also crucial, as it needs to fit within their budget. Additionally, the quality of the amenities, such as comfortable beds, free Wi-Fi, and breakfast options, plays a significant role in their decision. Cleanliness and overall hygiene standards are essential for ensuring a pleasant stay. Reviews and ratings from previous guests can also influence their choice, as they provide insight into the hotel's service and overall experience. Finally, for some, specific facilities like a gym, pool, or business center might be important depending on their travel needs.

Why do some people not like staying in hotels?

Some people don’t like staying in hotels for various reasons. Privacy can be a major concern, as hotels often have a bustling atmosphere with many guests and staff around, which can make it difficult to feel truly secluded. Additionally, some individuals find hotel rooms to be impersonal and lacking the comforts of home, such as their own bed, kitchen, or living space. Cost is another factor; staying in a hotel can be expensive, especially in popular tourist destinations or high-end establishments. Moreover, frequent travelers might get tired of the repetitive nature of hotel stays, preferring the unique and personal touch that alternative accommodations, like vacation rentals or bed-and-breakfasts, can offer. Lastly, concerns about cleanliness or previous negative experiences with hotel services can also deter people from choosing to stay in hotels.

Do you think staying in a luxury hotel is a waste of money?

Staying in a luxury hotel is not necessarily a waste of money, as it can offer a unique and memorable experience that goes beyond mere accommodation. The high level of service, exceptional amenities, and attention to detail can make a stay incredibly enjoyable and stress-free, providing a level of comfort and indulgence that is worth the expense for many. Additionally, luxury hotels often boast prime locations, exquisite dining options, and exclusive facilities such as spas and fitness centers, which can enhance a trip significantly. For special occasions or when seeking a truly relaxing getaway, the value of these experiences can justify the higher cost. Ultimately, whether it is a waste of money depends on individual priorities and what one seeks to gain from their travel experience.

Working in a hotel

Do you think hotel work is a good career for life?

Hotel work can be a good career for life for those who are passionate about hospitality and enjoy interacting with people. The hospitality industry offers a wide range of opportunities, from front desk and concierge roles to management and event planning. For individuals who thrive in dynamic, customer-focused environments, hotel work can be very fulfilling. Additionally, the industry provides ample opportunities for career advancement and skill development, including leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. However, it can also be demanding, with long hours and the need for flexibility, especially during peak seasons. Ultimately, whether hotel work is a good career for life depends on an individual's interests, strengths, and willingness to embrace the challenges and rewards of the hospitality sector.

How does working in a big hotel compare with working in a small hotel?

Working in a big hotel often differs significantly from working in a small hotel. In a large hotel, employees typically have more specialized roles, focusing on specific tasks within departments like housekeeping, front desk, or food and beverage services. This specialization can provide more opportunities for career advancement and access to extensive training programs. However, it can also lead to a more structured and hierarchical work environment. In contrast, working in a small hotel often requires staff to take on a variety of responsibilities, offering a broader range of experiences and a more intimate working environment. Employees in small hotels often have closer interactions with guests and colleagues, fostering a strong sense of community. While the opportunities for rapid advancement may be fewer, the diverse skill set developed in a small hotel can be incredibly valuable. Both environments offer unique advantages and challenges, depending on one's career goals and personal preferences.

What skills are needed to be a successful hotel manager?

To be a successful hotel manager, several key skills are essential. Strong leadership and management skills are crucial for overseeing staff, making strategic decisions, and ensuring smooth operations. Excellent communication skills are needed to effectively interact with employees, guests, and vendors, addressing any issues that arise and fostering a positive work environment. A good hotel manager must also have strong organizational and multitasking abilities to manage various aspects of the hotel, from front desk operations to housekeeping and event planning. Financial acumen is important for budgeting, forecasting, and managing expenses to ensure the hotel remains profitable. Additionally, problem-solving skills and the ability to remain calm under pressure are vital for handling unexpected challenges and maintaining high standards of guest satisfaction. Lastly, a focus on customer service and attention to detail helps ensure that guests have a memorable and pleasant experience, which is essential for the hotel's reputation and success.

Useful Words from the Interview

Useful Upper-intermediate vocabulary from this speaking test

MEANING: Dealing with or discussing a problem or issue.
EXAMPLE: The manager is addressing the issue of late deliveries.

MEANING: The group of people who manage and organize an organization or institution.
EXAMPLE: The school administration announced new policies.

MEANING: To happen or occur.
EXAMPLE: Problems can arise when there is a lack of communication.

MEANING: Different parts or features of something.
EXAMPLE: We need to consider all aspects of the project.

MEANING: Further than; more than.
EXAMPLE: The benefits of the new system go beyond just saving money.

MEANING: Wider or more inclusive.
EXAMPLE: We need a broader perspective to solve this issue.

MEANING: A plan for how to spend money.
EXAMPLE: The company needs to stick to its budget for the year.

MEANING: Difficult but interesting or enjoyable.
EXAMPLE: Climbing the mountain was a challenging experience.

MEANING: Traditional and always fashionable.
EXAMPLE: She wore a classic black dress to the event.

MEANING: A mix of two or more things.
EXAMPLE: The recipe is a combination of sweet and spicy flavors.

MEANING: A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.
EXAMPLE: The soft chair provides great comfort.

MEANING: Things that make life easier and more pleasant.
EXAMPLE: The hotel room has all the modern comforts.

MEANING: A feeling of worry or care about something important.
EXAMPLE: His main concern is the safety of his family.

MEANING: Issues or worries about something.
EXAMPLE: There are several concerns about the new policy.

MEANING: Extremely important or necessary.
EXAMPLE: It is crucial to arrive on time for the meeting.

MEANING: Requiring a lot of effort, time, or attention.
EXAMPLE: Being a doctor is a demanding job.

MEANING: To improve or make something better.
EXAMPLE: The new technology will enhance our productivity.

MEANING: To make sure something happens.
EXAMPLE: Please ensure that you have locked the door.

MEANING: Makes sure that something happens.
EXAMPLE: The system ensures the safety of the data.

MEANING: Making sure that something happens.
EXAMPLE: The teacher is ensuring that all students understand the lesson.

MEANING: The cost required for something; money spent.
EXAMPLE: Travel is a major expense for the company.

MEANING: The money spent on something.
EXAMPLE: We need to reduce our monthly expenses.

MEANING: Buildings, equipment, or services provided for a particular purpose.
EXAMPLE: The sports center has excellent facilities.

MEANING: Able to change or be changed easily according to the situation.
EXAMPLE: She has flexible working hours.

MEANING: To get or obtain something.
EXAMPLE: He hopes to gain more experience in his new job.

MEANING: Large, impressive, or important.
EXAMPLE: The palace was grand and beautiful.

MEANING: The way you deal with or manage something.
EXAMPLE: He is good at handling difficult situations.

MEANING: Giving someone information.
EXAMPLE: The teacher is informing the students about the exam schedule.

MEANING: A clear understanding of something.
EXAMPLE: The book provides valuable insights into human behavior.

MEANING: To show or prove to be right or reasonable.
EXAMPLE: He tried to justify his decision to leave early.

MEANING: The action of leading a group or organization.
EXAMPLE: She has strong leadership skills.

MEANING: Keeping something in good condition.
EXAMPLE: Maintaining the garden requires regular work.

MEANING: Sometimes, but not often.
EXAMPLE: We go out to eat occasionally.

MEANING: In general; considering everything.
EXAMPLE: Overall, the project was a success.

MEANING: The possibility of something happening or being developed.
EXAMPLE: She has great potential as a musician.

MEANING: Most important; main.
EXAMPLE: The prime goal is to improve education.

MEANING: The things that are most important and need attention first.
EXAMPLE: My priorities are family and health.

MEANING: The fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important.
EXAMPLE: Safety is our top priority.

MEANING: The state of being free from public attention.
EXAMPLE: The hotel offers complete privacy for its guests.

MEANING: Happening quickly or in a short time.
EXAMPLE: There has been a rapid increase in sales.

MEANING: Closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered.
EXAMPLE: Please provide relevant information for the report.

MEANING: The beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.
EXAMPLE: The company has a good reputation for quality products.

MEANING: To book or set aside something for future use.
EXAMPLE: We need to reserve a table at the restaurant.

MEANING: Providing satisfaction or benefits, especially in terms of personal satisfaction.
EXAMPLE: Teaching is a rewarding career.

MEANING: Benefits or prizes given for good work or behavior.
EXAMPLE: The employees received rewards for their hard work.

MEANING: A part or division of something, especially of a country’s economy.
EXAMPLE: The technology sector is growing rapidly.

MEANING: Looking for or trying to find something.
EXAMPLE: She is seeking a new job opportunity.

MEANING: Looks for or tries to find something.
EXAMPLE: The company seeks to improve its services.

MEANING: Important or large enough to be noticed.
EXAMPLE: There has been a significant change in the weather.

MEANING: In a way that is large or important enough to be noticed.
EXAMPLE: Sales have increased significantly this year.

MEANING: Organized and arranged in a clear and logical way.
EXAMPLE: The course is well-structured to help students learn effectively.

MEANING: Really or sincerely.
EXAMPLE: She was truly grateful for the help.

MEANING: Finally, after everything else has been done or considered.
EXAMPLE: Ultimately, the decision is yours.

MEANING: Not expected or predicted.
EXAMPLE: The results were completely unexpected.

MEANING: Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.
EXAMPLE: Each person’s handwriting is unique.

MEANING: Absolutely necessary or important.
EXAMPLE: It is vital to drink water every day.

MEANING: In addition to what has already been said or done.
EXAMPLE: The room is spacious. Additionally, it has a great view.

MEANING: Relaxed and informal.
EXAMPLE: He wore casual clothes to the party.

MEANING: The latest time or date by which something should be completed.
EXAMPLE: The deadline for the project is next Monday.

MEANING: To be different from something else.
EXAMPLE: His opinion differs from mine.

MEANING: Showing a great deal of variety; very different.
EXAMPLE: The city has a diverse population with many cultures.

MEANING: Full of energy and change.
EXAMPLE: The city has a dynamic culture with many events.

MEANING: Graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.
EXAMPLE: She wore an elegant dress to the dinner.

MEANING: To accept something willingly and enthusiastically.
EXAMPLE: They are ready to embrace new technologies.

MEANING: Giving pleasure and delight.
EXAMPLE: The movie was very enjoyable to watch.

MEANING: Covering a large area; having a great range.
EXAMPLE: The library has an extensive collection of books.

MEANING: Predicting future events or trends.
EXAMPLE: Weather forecasting helps us plan our activities.

MEANING: Happening often.
EXAMPLE: She makes frequent visits to her grandmother’s house.

MEANING: Making you feel happy and satisfied.
EXAMPLE: Helping others is a fulfilling experience.

MEANING: To communicate or work together.
EXAMPLE: The teacher encourages students to interact in class.

MEANING: Communicating or working together.
EXAMPLE: They are interacting with their new classmates.

MEANING: The action of communicating or working together.
EXAMPLE: Positive interactions can improve teamwork.

MEANING: Worth remembering; easy to remember.
EXAMPLE: Their wedding was a memorable event.

MEANING: In addition to what has already been said; besides.
EXAMPLE: The plan is simple and effective. Moreover, it is cost-efficient.

MEANING: Having or showing strong feelings about something.
EXAMPLE: She is passionate about environmental conservation.

MEANING: Likes or choices for something over another.
EXAMPLE: She has strong preferences for vegetarian food.

MEANING: Activities to advertise something; the act of raising someone to a higher position or rank.
EXAMPLE: The store is offering many promotions this month. / She received a promotion at work.

MEANING: Scores or grades given to something.
EXAMPLE: The movie received high ratings from critics.

MEANING: The feeling of pleasure when you accomplish something.
EXAMPLE: Customer satisfaction is our top priority.

MEANING: Meetings for discussion or training.
EXAMPLE: The company offers seminars on professional development.

MEANING: Having a lot of experience and knowledge about complex things.
EXAMPLE: The new software is very sophisticated.

MEANING: Requiring or having detailed knowledge or training.
EXAMPLE: He has specialized skills in computer programming.

MEANING: Extremely impressive or attractive.
EXAMPLE: The view from the top of the mountain is stunning.

MEANING: Requiring immediate action or attention.
EXAMPLE: It is urgent that we finish this project today.

MEANING: Sessions where people engage in intensive discussion or activity on a particular subject.
EXAMPLE: The company organizes workshops for skill development.

Useful Advanced vocabulary from this speaking test

MEANING: To talk with pride about something you have or have done.
EXAMPLE: He likes to boast about his achievements.

MEANING: Shows or has something that is impressive.
EXAMPLE: The hotel boasts a beautiful view of the ocean.

MEANING: Organizing people or groups so that they work together well.
EXAMPLE: She is responsible for coordinating the event.

MEANING: A clear, transparent mineral, often used in jewelry and decorations.
EXAMPLE: The chandelier is made of crystal.

MEANING: Places of business or institutions.
EXAMPLE: The city is known for its many dining establishments.

MEANING: Unusually good or outstanding.
EXAMPLE: She is an exceptional student.

MEANING: Available only to a particular group or person.
EXAMPLE: The club is very exclusive, only members can enter.

MEANING: A device or material that removes unwanted substances from a liquid or gas.
EXAMPLE: The water filter ensures the water is clean.

MEANING: The ability to change or be changed easily to suit different conditions.
EXAMPLE: Flexibility in the schedule allows for more free time.

MEANING: Encouraging the development or growth of something.
EXAMPLE: The teacher is fostering a love of reading in her students.

MEANING: Close and personal; private.
EXAMPLE: They had an intimate dinner for two.

MEANING: Used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is.
EXAMPLE: It took a mere five minutes to solve the problem.

MEANING: Regular publications sent to a group of people, typically containing news and information.
EXAMPLE: The company sends out monthly newsletters to its clients.

MEANING: To choose or decide to do something.
EXAMPLE: She opted to take the bus instead of driving.

MEANING: Related to the planning and coordination of activities in a business or organization.
EXAMPLE: Her organizational skills helped the project succeed.

MEANING: Watching and directing the work of others.
EXAMPLE: He is overseeing the construction of the new building.

MEANING: The highest point of something.
EXAMPLE: The peak of the mountain is covered in snow.

MEANING: Making money; financially successful.
EXAMPLE: The business has been very profitable this year.

MEANING: Things, especially properties, that are available to be rented.
EXAMPLE: They offer car rentals at the airport.

MEANING: Carefully planned to achieve a specific goal.
EXAMPLE: They made a strategic decision to expand the business.

MEANING: To grow, develop, or be successful.
EXAMPLE: Plants thrive in a sunny environment.

MEANING: Happening soon.
EXAMPLE: The team is preparing for the upcoming match.

MEANING: The quality of being prepared to do something.
EXAMPLE: Her willingness to help was greatly appreciated.

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The Expert and Presenter

About the Author

About the Author

CEO and Co-founder of Juice Academy

Mehdi Safavi is a Cambridge certified English teacher (CELTA Grade A), IDP-trained IELTS expert, Sussex Downs College TESOL with 17+ years of teaching & teacher training experience. More about him →

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