Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
Jessica Beck
"Director of IELTS Training"

What does interviewing a celebrity have to do with preparing for IELTS?

How can this activity help you become a better IELTS candidate?

In today’s episode Jessica talks to Michelle, who appears four days per week on the All Ears English Podcast.

Today Michelle will tell us about her experiences interviewing celebrities and you’ll find out how you can use this insight to increase your IELTS score.

Michelle has interviewed celebrities!

As part of a former job, or in a “former life” in New York City as Michelle says, she interviewed famous people.

Some of the conversations were on the phone and some were in person.

Sharon Osbourne is one of the celebrities she interviewed over the phone.

She spoke with Darrell Hammond from Saturday Night Live in person!

He is an extremely talented comedian, and his impersonation of Donald Trump is spot-on.

Michelle says she will need to “have a think” on who else she has interviewed because it was a while ago!

  • Spot-on: accurate or exactly correct
  • Have a think: to think about something for awhile. This is a fun expression that turns the verb “think” into a noun.

These are great expressions you can use to keep it casual on Speaking Part 1 of the IELTS exam.

Add these to your vocabulary notebook!

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Who is Sharon Osbourne?

Sharon Osbourne is a very well-known television personality.

She starred on a reality TV show called The Osbournes with her husband Ozzy Osbourne, singer for the English rock band Black Sabbath.

Additionally, she is one of the hosts of the CBS daytime talk show The Talk.

Why wasn’t Michelle nervous?

It was fun and exciting to talk to celebrities!

Michelle has a lot of experience behind a microphone, so she was comfortable and relaxed even when talking to someone famous.

You can feel as confident as Michelle on your Speaking exam!

How to remove anxiety for the Speaking test

  • Forget that you’re talking to an examiner. Focus on enjoying the conversation and being yourself.
  • Visualize! Pretend you are talking to someone very interesting or famous.
  • Prepare by spending the time and putting in effort so that you can speak easily on any subject!

Necessary ways to prepare for the IELTS exam

Research the test! Know what is on the test and what the examiner is looking for.

The 3 Keys IELTS system tells you what to expect on test day and exactly what the examiner will be listening for.

For example, you can’t use informal vocabulary throughout the whole exam.

In real life, we don’t use fancy, unique and interesting vocabulary all the time.

If you don’t prepare, you won’t be ready to use key things such as:

  • Amazing transition phrases
  • Interesting vocabulary that is not repetitive
  • A mix of casual and formal words and expressions that are appropriate for the test section

Research is vital!

You must be immersing yourself in the English language.

There is no way to know exactly what you will be asked about.

You need to fill your head with ideas to speak about in English.

  • Read magazines and newspapers
  • Read books
  • Listen to a wide array of podcasts
  • Get ideas from all over the world

Use the study plans we provide with the 3 Keys IELTS Success System!

We provide a roadmap for what to focus on and the best way to use your time.

How can you show respect for the examiner?

Prepare! The examiner can tell if you have not practiced.

Make them feel comfortable by being cheerful and friendly.

Be honest with your responses.

Be personal with your details.

Do not ask the examiner questions and don’t make small talk.

Listen to the examiner! Don’t be so focused on what you want to say next that you don’t hear what they say.

Listen to every word of the question and let the examiner finish.

You may think they are asking a question you have prepared when they are actually asking something else.

What you hear them say before you start talking:

  • “Tell me about the house or apartment…”

Excitedly, you start speaking because you practiced answering a question about the house or apartment you currently live in.

What they were actually saying before they were interrupted:

  • “Tell me about the house or apartment you grew up in.”

This could be disastrous, as it shows the candidate is not listening.

Their score will go down for many reasons!

What you can’t control

You don’t know what questions will come at you.

  • Be flexible in your answers
  • Be relaxed
  • Be open
  • Listen to what the examiner is saying
  • Avoid using idioms that don’t fit the topic


To sum up, today Michelle has shared some awesome tips from her celebrity interviews and how those will help you on IELTS.

Be friendly and relaxed on the IELTS Exam. This helped Michelle with her interviews and it will help you with your scores.

Be personal about the details that you share on IELTS.

Show respect for the Examiner by preparing well. Realize what you can and cannot control. Be ready to pivot and be flexible with your answers.

If you take all of these tips into account, you’ll be closer to getting that 7 or higher. You will be confident and calm during the test if you prepare and know what to expect.

Carve out time in your schedule to research and become familiar with the IELTS exam.

What questions do you have from today’s episode?

Please leave a comment below.

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