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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of jobs and whether or not employers should be allowed to ask for personal information from the real general training IELTS exam.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my exclusive IELTS Ebooks – you can even sign up for private live lessons with me!

Dave

IELTS Essay: Jobs and Personal Information

Employers sometimes ask people applying for jobs for personal information, such as their hobbies and interests, and whether they are married or single. Some people say that this information may be relevant and useful. Others disagree.

Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.

Many are of the opinion that there is little value to the sensitive personal information that employers may inquire about during job interviews. In my opinion, though there are certain logical limits, I believe these questions are generally useful as it helps employers understand candidates better.

On the one hand, applicants may rightly feel these questions can be uncomfortable. An employer who asks questions about family background, sexual orientation, and medical history is certainly violating all ethical bounds. If the candidate feels triggered or uncomfortable, there is the chance an interview could become the catalyst for a mental health setback or result in the candidate deciding not to apply for the position. A hypothetical example of this that shows the potential harm is that if an LGBTQ candidate must continually disclose their orientation, and the environment is very traditional or homophobic, they may find themselves frustrated and feel unfairly discriminated against.

Nonetheless, as long as inquiries are within acceptable limits, these questions aid potential employers in constructing an accurate picture of a potential employee. Naturally, an employee can lie about personal questions if they have a particularly disturbing private life, however, that might itself be of some value. Interviewers likely have experience and can detect the presence of lies and make judgments accordingly. For candidates who answer honestly, the interviewer will be able to compare their responses with past employee performance. For example, there is a strong likelihood that socially competent individuals with lots of friends and active hobbies will be outgoing and morale-boosting additions to a staff.

In conclusion, despite the risks of causing offense, these questions have value in forming a general opinion of a candidate for any given position. Employers should therefore continue asking such questions.

Analysis

1. Many are of the opinion that there is little value to the sensitive personal information that employers may inquire about during job interviews. 2. In my opinion, though there are certain logical limits, I believe these questions are generally useful as it helps employers understand candidates better.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. On the one hand, applicants may rightly feel these questions can be uncomfortable. 2. An employer who asks questions about family background, sexual orientation, and medical history is certainly violating all ethical bounds. 3. If the candidate feels triggered or uncomfortable, there is the chance an interview could become the catalyst for a mental health setback or result in the candidate deciding not to apply for the position. 4. A hypothetical example of this that shows the potential harm is that if an LGBTQ candidate must continually disclose their orientation, and the environment is very traditional or homophobic, they may find themselves frustrated and feel unfairly discriminated against.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific or hypothetical examples.
  4. Keep developing it fully.

1. Nonetheless, as long as inquiries are within acceptable limits, these questions aid potential employers in constructing an accurate picture of a potential employee. 2. Naturally, an employee can lie about personal questions if they have a particularly disturbing private life, however, that might itself be of some value. 3. Interviewers likely have experience and can detect the presence of lies and make judgments accordingly. 4. For candidates who answer honestly, the interviewer will be able to compare their responses with past employee performance. 5. For example, there is a strong likelihood that socially competent individuals with lots of friends and active hobbies will be outgoing and morale-boosting additions to a staff.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!

1. In conclusion, despite the risks of causing offense, these questions have value in forming a general opinion of a candidate for any given position. 2. Employers should therefore continue asking such questions.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

Many are of the opinion that there is little value to the sensitive personal information that employers may inquire about during job interviews. In my opinion, though there are certain logical limits, I believe these questions are generally useful as it helps employers understand candidates better.

On the one hand, applicants may rightly feel these questions can be uncomfortable. An employer who asks questions about family background, sexual orientation, and medical history is certainly violating all ethical bounds. If the candidate feels triggered or uncomfortable, there is the chance an interview could become the catalyst for a mental health setback or result in the candidate deciding not to apply for the position. A hypothetical example of this that shows the potential harm is that if an LGBTQ candidate must continually disclose their orientation, and the environment is very traditional or homophobic, they may find themselves frustrated and feel unfairly discriminated against.

Nonetheless, as long as inquiries are within acceptable limits, these questions aid potential employers in constructing an accurate picture of a potential employee. Naturally, an employee can lie about personal questions if they have a particularly disturbing private life, however, that might itself be of some value. Interviewers likely have experience and can detect the presence of lies and make judgments accordingly. For candidates who answer honestly, the interviewer will be able to compare their responses with past employee performance. For example, there is a strong likelihood that socially competent individuals with lots of friends and active hobbies will be outgoing and morale-boosting additions to a staff.

In conclusion, despite the risks of causing offense, these questions have value in forming a general opinion of a candidate for any given position. Employers should therefore continue asking such questions.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

little value not much importance

sensitive personal information delicate facts about your private life

may inquire might ask

during job interviews when applying for a job

certain logical limits definite reasonable boundaries

generally useful overall valuable

employers companies

candidates people who are applying for jobs

on the one hand on one side

applicants people applying for a job

rightly correctly

uncomfortable not feeling at ease

family background history of your family members

sexual orientation whether you are straight or LGTBQ

medical history any past conditions

certainly violating definitely harming

ethical bounds moral restrictions

triggered causes you to be upset

chance some opportunity

catalyst cause of

mental health setback feel upset, depressed, etc.

result in cause

apply for the position try to get the job

hypothetical example imaginary instance

potential harm possible hurt

LGBTQ  Lesbian · Gay · Bisexual · Transgender · Transsexual

continually disclose keep admitting

orientation which gender you prefer

environment context

traditional conservative

homophobic discrimination against homosexuals

frustrated made angry

unfairly discriminated against prejudiced against

nonetheless regardless

inquiries questions

acceptable limits reasonable boundaries

aid help

constructing making

accurate picture

potential possible

naturally of course

particularly disturbing private life especially alarming lifestyle

experience past

detect notice

presence existence

make judgments accordingly decide based on that

compare contrast

responses answers

past employee performance how well workers did in the past

strong likelihood good chance

socially competent individuals outgoing, friendly people

active hobbies not passive pastimes

outgoing sociable

morale-boosting additions make people happy with a new employee

staff workers

despite regardless of

risks threats

causing offense making upset

forming a general opinion having an idea of

any given position some random job

therefore thus

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

ˈlɪtl ˈvæljuː 
ˈsɛnsɪtɪv ˈpɜːsnl ˌɪnfəˈmeɪʃən 
meɪ ɪnˈkwaɪə 
ˈdjʊərɪŋ ʤɒb ˈɪntəvjuːz
ˈsɜːtn ˈlɒʤɪkəl ˈlɪmɪts
ˈʤɛnərəli ˈjuːsfʊl 
ɪmˈplɔɪəz 
ˈkændɪˌdeɪts 
ɒn ðə wʌn hænd
ˈæplɪkənts 
ˈraɪtli 
ʌnˈkʌmfətəbl
ˈfæmɪli ˈbækgraʊnd
ˈsɛksjʊəl ˌɔːriɛnˈteɪʃən
ˈmɛdɪkəl ˈhɪstəri 
ˈsɜːtnli ˈvaɪəleɪtɪŋ 
ˈɛθɪkəl baʊndz
ˈtrɪgəd 
ʌnˈkʌmfətəbl
ʧɑːns 
ˈkætəlɪst 
ˈmɛntl hɛlθ ˈsɛtbæk 
rɪˈzʌlt ɪn 
əˈplaɪ fɔː ðə pəˈzɪʃən
ˌhaɪpəʊˈθɛtɪkəl ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl hɑːm 
ɛl-ʤiː-biː-tiː-kjuː 
kənˈtɪnjʊəli dɪsˈkləʊz 
ˌɔːriɛnˈteɪʃən
ɪnˈvaɪərənmənt 
trəˈdɪʃənl 
ˈhəʊməʊˈfəʊbɪ:ə
frʌsˈtreɪtɪd 
ʌnˈfeəli dɪsˈkrɪmɪneɪtɪd əˈgɛnst
ˌnʌnðəˈlɛs
ɪnˈkwaɪəriz 
əkˈsɛptəbl ˈlɪmɪts
eɪd 
kənˈstrʌktɪŋ 
ˈækjʊrɪt ˈpɪkʧə 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl 
ˈnæʧrəli
pəˈtɪkjʊləli dɪsˈtɜːbɪŋ ˈpraɪvɪt laɪf
ɪksˈpɪərɪəns 
dɪˈtɛkt 
ˈprɛzns 
meɪk ˈʤʌʤmənts əˈkɔːdɪŋli
kəmˈpeə 
rɪsˈpɒnsɪz 
pɑːst ˌɛmplɔɪˈiː pəˈfɔːməns
strɒŋ ˈlaɪklɪhʊd 
ˈsəʊʃəli ˈkɒmpɪtənt ˌɪndɪˈvɪdjʊəlz 
ˈæktɪv ˈhɒbiz 
aʊtˈgəʊɪŋ 
mɒˈrɑːl-ˈbuːstɪŋ əˈdɪʃ(ə)nz 
stɑːf
dɪsˈpaɪt 
rɪsks 
ˈkɔːzɪŋ əˈfɛns
ˈfɔːmɪŋ ə ˈʤɛnərəl əˈpɪnjən 
ˈɛni ˈgɪvn pəˈzɪʃən
ˈðeəfɔː 

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

Many are of the opinion that there is l________________e to the s________________________n that employers m____________e about d_________________s. In my opinion, though there are c____________________s, I believe these questions are g___________________l as it helps e______________s understand c______________s better.

O____________________d, a_____________s may r________y feel these questions can be u______________e. An employer who asks questions about f__________________d, s_____________________n, and m________________y is c________________g all e_________________s. If the candidate feels t______________d or u_________________e, there is the c_______e an interview could become the c___________t for a m________________k or r________n the candidate deciding not to a_____________________n. A h______________________e of this that shows the p_______________m is that if an L________Q candidate must c______________________e their o______________n, and the e_______________t is very t______________l or h_______________c, they may find themselves f_______________d and feel u______________________t.

N_______________s, as long as i___________s are within a________________s, these questions a___d potential employers in c_______________g an a___________________e of a p______________l employee. N____________y, an employee can lie about personal questions if they have a p______________________________e, however, that might itself be of some value. Interviewers likely have e_______________e and can d_________t the p_____________e of lies and m________________________y. For candidates who answer honestly, the interviewer will be able to c____________e their r_____________s with p_____________________________e. For example, there is a s______________d that s__________________________s with lots of friends and a___________________s will be o___________g and m_________________________s to a s_____f.

In conclusion, d___________e the r_______s of c____________________e, these questions have value in f_______________________________n of a candidate for a___________________n. Employers should t____________e continue asking such questions.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic by watching videos from The New York Times YouTube channel below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.theatlantic.com/membership/archive/2018/01/the-art-of-the-interview/551891/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Work 1 (Model answer available on my Patreon)

  1. Do you work or are you a student?
  2. Do you like your current job?
  3. In the future, do you want to change jobs?

Writing Practice

Practice with the related IELTS essay topic below:

Machines are taking over more and more jobs previously done by humans.

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages and give your own opinion.


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