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Describe a very difficult task that you succeeded in doing

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 386 with Model Answer:

Describe a very difficult task that you succeeded in doing as part of your work or studies.

You should say:
  • what task you did
  • why this task was very difficult
  • how you worked on this task
and explain how you felt when you had successfully completed this task.

[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.]


Model Answer:

Well, this difficult task, I am talking about, may not sound like a “difficult” task at all to many, but as far I am concerned, saying “no” to a very good customer for the sake of saving some money for my previous company was one of the most difficult tasks at work that I had ever had to deal with.

Anyway, to give you a bit more details, I used to work as a Senior Customer Relation Manager for a big retail clothing outlet in my country in the past. Everything was great about that previous company of mine except that it would change the price tags on its clothes fairly regularly. Of course, this changing of price tags wouldn’t really be much of an issue if the junior staffs were always careful enough to get rid of the wrong price tags. But, unfortunately, the junior staffs would fail to do so once in a while, and as a result, I would sometimes need to offer an explanation as to why my store was charging a higher price for an item even though, it had a cheaper price tag. This would lead to some unpleasant arguments with my customers as I would need to say “no” to the cheaper price. Needless to say, it was a very difficult situation for me as it was a matter of “credibility” issue for me and my company.

But, then, slowly but surely, I learned to talk firmly to the customers, explaining to them about the policies and practices of my company in rational and understandable terms so that they would never question our credibility and business ethics. My polite but firm talk finally helped me and my company gain back the trust of customers.  

Anyway, after succeeding in handling that ongoing difficult task, I felt really relieved. I also felt the virtue of polite and calm conversation as it were these two things that finally helped me take care of such a difficult task without anybody’s help.

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