1 Read the text below and find out:
- the number of years Paul has been unemployed
- two things that create a good impression with many employers
- what Americans think of tall people
- what Americans think of physically attractive people
- the reason why attractive people do not always get the best jobs
- three things that make you look nervous
- where you should look at an interviewer in England.
- Paul Smith is 25. He left university two years ago. He has been to twenty-five interviews and hasn’t found a job. However, he won’t change his appearance to try and get work. ‘This is the way I look. You can take it or leave it. People should look at my qualifications, not my hair,’ he says.
- Unfortunately for Paul, first impressions are vital. For many employers, neat and tidy hair and smart clothes are as important as qualifications. An interview may last half an hour or more, but the decision to hire or not is usually taken in the first minutes, sometimes even before the interviewee has spoken.
- So what factors contribute to that vital first impression? It varies a lot according to our culture. For example, in the United States tall people are considered more reliable and serious in business. Physically attractive people are thought of as warmer, kinder, more sociable and even more intelligent although they are not always as lucky as we think – some people think they are irresponsible and immature so they don’t give them the best jobs.
- We can’t do much about our height or how good-looking we are but we can control our body language. For example, if you hang your head and play with your hair or hold your hand over your mouth you may seem nervous or dishonest.
- It is also important to look in the right place. In Britain and America it is appropriate to look the interviewer more or less in the eyes. Unfortunately, people from some cultures can find this quite difficult because they do not look directly at strangers.
1 Find the (underlined) words in the text which mean:
- friendly, outgoing ______________________
- important, necessary, crucial _____________________
- insincere, false, untrustworthy ____________________
- fashionable, neat, chic ___________________________
- act as a factor, give support (money or ideas) ____________________
- not fully mentally grown or developed _______________________
- dependable, responsible, trustworthy ___________________
2 You have come across the adjectives with negative prefixes (DIShonest, IMmature, IRresponsible) in the text. Make the given adjectives negative by adding prefixes dis-, im-, il-, un-, ir-, in-.
- I’ll help you in a minute! Don’t be so ______________ (mature)!
- She never learnt to read or write, she was completely ________________ (literate).
- You’ve broken my favourite cup! How _____________ (responsible)! I’ll never find another one.
- Children tend to be ___________ (obedient) if there’s no one to teach them discipline.
- Sorry, Pete. That’s _____________ (correct). Anybody has got a correct answer?
- Those clothes are highly _____________ (acceptable) for the prom night. Go and get changed.
- I did all the work and she got all the credit for it. That’s so__________ (fair)!
- You paid $ 20 for a sandwich?! That’s ______________ (believable)! You must be joking!
- It’s ____________ (legal) to possess a gun if you don’t have a license for it.
- I wouldn’t say his sister is ______________ (attractive), I would just say that she doesn’t wear clothes that suit her figure.
3 Body idioms. Choose the correct part of the body from the list to fill the gaps in the idioms in italics in the sentence. There are two more words than you need.
arm feet hair legs nose back finger head neck tongue
- Her father says ‘Yes’ to everything she asks for. She can twist him round her little _____________.
- I wouldn’t get too friendly with John if I were you. He’s quite likely to stab you in the ______________.
- I stayed up and watched the late horror film on TV last night. It really was frightening. It made my ___________ stand on end.
- By the time children are sixteen or seventeen, they’ve learnt to stand on their own two ____________.
- I’d give my right ___________ for a ticket to the Olympic Games.
- As usual, I’ve got too much work to do, but I’m just about managing to keep my _____________ above water.
- The person sitting behind me was a real pain in the ____________. He talked all the way through the film.
- I can’t remember her name – it’s driving me mad – it’s on the tip of my ______________