Describe an occasion when you must be polite
You should say:
- What the occasion was
- Where it was
- Who was with you
- And explain why you had to be polite
(What it was)
I’d like to tell a story of my first interview. It was for a white-collar job in an entertainment company. Since it was a formal interview, you know, I prepared carefully and tried to be as professional and polite as I could.
(Why did you have to be polite?)
Obviously, a job interview always turns out to be a serious event, despite the efforts of the interviewers to make it more comfortable. Hence, keeping a respectful attitude and behaving politely are important. Aside from that, the company I applied for was pretty renowned in the entertainment industry, so it just made more sense for me to be as courteous as possible. I mean, the chances of being shortlisted would definitely be higher if I could show my polite attitude, apart from my experience and all sorts of other stuff.
(What did you do to be polite?)
Because it was my first experience of having an interview, I felt so anxious that I couldn’t actually sleep the previous night. I didn’t want to squander my chance. I ended up oversleeping the next day, but thank God I still arrived on time for the interview. As it was a formal occasion, I put on a white blouse, a black miniskirt, and high heels, like a typical office woman. Despite my fears, the interview ran smoothly. The interviewers were so nice and friendly. They showed no rudeness or arrogance and responded to my greetings in a gentle way. They even made small talk at first, probably to help relieve my nervousness. As a result, I got calmer and answered all the questions confidently. I couldn’t have a completely laid-back attitude, and I had to be wary of being too familiar. Still, as the atmosphere got more pleasant, I managed to stop worrying about using formal words and expressions, all that stuff, and focused more on speaking my mind.
(Explain how you felt about it afterwards)
It was a relief when the interview ended. A week later, I received an acceptance email from the company and was placed on a probation period. I was extremely happy and I felt like I was floating on air for the rest of the day. That’s my experience of being extremely polite on a particular occasion.
Meaning: working in an office, not a factory
Example: The insurance company is advertising some white collar jobs, if you want to apply.
to squander a chance
Meaning: to waste an opportunity, by not taking advantage of it
Example: He squandered a chance to go to university by failing to study for his entrance exam.
to make small talk/to exchange pleasantries
Meaning: to talk in a polite way about unimportant matters such as the weather
Example: I enjoy a serious discussion and I don’t like to make small talk or exchange pleasantries with others simply in order to be polite.
to have a laid-back attitude
Meaning: relaxed, not worrying about anything
Example: Our teacher had a laid-back attitude in the classroom, but she was always well- prepared and committed to her students.
to be wary of
Meaning: not completely trusting or certain about something
Example: Consumers must always be wary of the claims made in advertisements, because such claims are often untrue.
(to) turn out
Meaning: to be discovered to be; to prove to be
Example: The job turned out to be harder than we thought.
Example: That restaurant is renowned for its Southwestern-style food.
Meaning: very informal, in a way that is not appropriate
Example: Our tutor is strict, and students are not allowed to talk to him in a familiar way.
Meaning: a time of training and testing when you start a new job to see if you are suitable for the work
Example: I’m on a period of probation and just receive 80% of the regular wage.
(to) float on air
Meaning: to feel very happy
Example: On their wedding day, most couples feel like they are floating on air.
QUESTIONS FOR PART 3
Are people more polite with non-family members than they are with their parents?
I cannot tell for sure but that’s usually the case, especially with some of the youngsters nowadays, they even show more respect to others than their own parents, which seems like an act of hypocrisy to me. Fortunately, those are just minority in the society full of decent people. Sometimes, you may have a feeling that people behave to strangers in more polite manners than their own people, which can be because they don’t want to be misunderstood or cast judgment on easily if they act carelessly during their short interaction.
Hypocrisy (n): behaviour in which somebody pretends to have moral standards or opinions that they do not actually have
Decent (a): honest and fair; treating people with respect
Misunderstand (v): to fail to understand somebody/something correctly
Cast judgment on: to judge
Are people today as polite as people were in the past?
Compared to the old times, I believe our ancestors were far more considerate in terms of social etiquettes and customs. Although we still have our set of rules and taboos about how to interact and behave in proper manners, the sophistication of such behaviors has been drastically simplified. For instance, in the past, when greeting someone, particularly the other gender, people used to bend their knees and bow their heads, which has been replaced by a friendly handshake or swift greeting kisses on both cheeks in modern culture.
Ancestor (n): a person related to you who lived a long time ago
Considerate (a): always thinking of other people’s wishes and feelings; careful not to hurt or upset others
Sophistication (n): the quality of being sophisticated; complication
Drastically (adv): in an extreme way that has a sudden, serious or violent effect on something
Simplify (v): to make something easier to do or understand
Why is it important to show respect to others?
Being acknowledged and respected is one of the most basic needs of human nature. People want to feel that they matter and so do their opinions, which is why to build and maintain a healthy relationship, you have to show them respect. Respect can be understood simply as politeness. Acknowledge their presence by saying “hello”, express your gratitude by saying “thank you” are some of the smallest deeds anybody can do to communicate their appreciation.
Human nature (n): the general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioral traits of humankind, regarded as shared by all humans.
Gratitude (n): the feeling of being grateful and wanting to express your thanks
Communicate (v): to make your ideas, feelings, thoughts, etc. known to other people so that they understand them
Appreciation (n): the feeling of being grateful for something
How do people show politeness in your country?
Just like other parts of the world, we practice some standard manners to show courtesy. When first encounter someone, we do proper introduction as well as handshake to catch each other’s name and go on with our conversation. During our exchange, we try to maintain eye-contact and pay undivided attention to the other person to let them now they’re being heard. And most importantly, we keep a genuine smile lingering on our faces to make people feel welcomed and relaxed, otherwise, things might get awkward.
Courtesy (n): polite behaviour that shows respect for other people
Encounter (v): to meet somebody, or discover or experience something, especially somebody/something new, unusual or unexpected
Eye-contact (n): the act of looking directly into one another’s eyes
Linger (v): to continue to exist for longer than expected
How do you deal with impolite people?
To my mind, when someone is acting impolitely, it’s best that we should remind them of their misbehavior so that they have time to modify it in a timely manner. If they refuse to listen to our constructive advice, we can raise our voice to show our disagreement or even teach them some moral lessons at that moment. Having said this, it would be a nightmare if adults misbehave, in which cases, I guess it would be most reasonable to stay away from them, or (ask the favor of the elderly so as to help them rectify their bad code of conduct.
What kinds of behavior are not polite?
I’m of the opinion that it depends on the age groups. As for children or teenagers, disobeying their parents or not listening to constructive advice from surrounding people can be seen as a misbehavior. All I’m saying is that their ego is too big and so reluctant to correct their way of behaving in public places. One instance is that a teenager refuses to refrain from smoking in parks, even if told by adults or older people around. As for the adults, some tend to lack education, and this is hard to expect any polite acts from them. Such people can resort to swearwords, spit in the streets recklessly which often causes a big nuisance to others.
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