Interview – Important Factors of the Interview

Interview – Important Factors of the Interview

The two important factors which play a decesive role in the interview are the candidate’s knowledge and his power of expresion. In any group or a gathering, the person who dominates the one, who does the talking in a forceful and convincing manner. In the same way, at the interview, the candidate who is able to speak fluently and express himself clearly, will score high marks. At the same time the candidate cannot talk well, unless he has enough knowledge or ideas on various topics. Incidentally, the interview as already pointed out, will not be a mere cross – examination like questions and answers in a school classroom. While answering the candidate should take the lead and cover as much of the relevant ground as possible. In other words, simply saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a question will not suffice.

The candidate should explain convincingly why he agrees or disagrees to a given proposition. He must logically and forcefully substantiate his views with valid arguments. Both the UPSC and SSb interviews lay much emphasis on qualities of leadership and not merely on academic or textual knowledge. The candidate should, therefore, know what the various qualities of leadership are, and they could be highlighted by him during the interview.

Leadership Qualities :

The Board takes note of the following qualities, when it tries to asses the leadership ability to the candidate, as the same have been generally accepted as leadership attributes.

Intellectual attainments :

  1. The extent of knowledge of different subjects – e.g., Science, History, Economics, Literature, Current Events, visit to places, etc.
  2. The depth of knowledge – How deeply the candidate has studied a subject of his choice or interest?
  3. Practical knowledge – How the candidate applied his theoretical knowledge in practical situations or how best he can solve problems – e.g., What will you do, When you find after boarding the bus, that you had forgotten to bring the money purse with you? How will you organise a picnic? What will you do, if you are not selected at this interview?
  4. General knowledge – Current Affairs, Everyday Science, burning Topics, Sports, Newspaper headlines, etc.
  5. Grasp – How quickly thye candidate understands the question or the subject.?

Power Expression :

  1. Fluency – No stammering, gape, etc.
  2. Foreful Lively, enthusiastic and arresting. No monotomous or dragging voice. No swallowing of words. Not speaking very fast. No affectations.
  3. Logic in argument – Rational, clearheaded, analytical, systematic, proceeding step by step and no contradictions.
  4. Practical approach – Realastic and sensible, use of commonsense, alive to facts and existing limitations.
  5. Convincing ability – Speaking sincierty and faith.

Personal Traits :

  1. Cheerful, pleasant and smiling disposition.
  2. Liveliness – eager, alert sprightly, inspired by urge, fired with ambition.
  3. Enthusiasm, keenness and interest.
  4. Dress and turnout Smart – , clean and suited to the occasion. No shabby clothes, proper haircut, clean nails, polished shoes.
  5. Poise – Graceful movements, confident approach, straight walk, looking into the eyes while
  6. speaking – Not bent headed or looking at one’s toes while speaking.
    Punctuality.

Organising Ability :

  1. Clear aim and objective – Ambition and goal in life. Why he wants this job?
  2. Planning – Working out what is to be done, when and how?
  3. Methodical and systematic approach.
  4. Mobilisation and utilization of resources.


Character :

  • Discipline.
  • Loyalty.
  • Integrity and moral values.
  • Sincierity.

Health and Physical stamina :

  • Games and sports – indoor as well as outdoor.
  • Athletics.
  • Exercises
  • Cycling, Swimming Trekking, Riding, etc.
  • Physical endurance and stamina.
  • Outdoor life.
  • NCC or Scout training.
  • Camp life experience.

Hobbies and Interests :

  • Utilisation of leisure and spare time – Cinema, Radio, Reading Books, Journals, etc.
  • Cultural activities – Social Services.
  • Fine arts – Drama, music, dancing, etc.

Dynamic Qualities :

  • Self – confidence,
  • Initiative and enterprises.
  • Drive, dash, push, motivation.
  • Courage, pluck, guts
  • Promptness to take decision.
  • Determination, Perseverance, Judgment.
  • Industry,energy,effort, hard – work, active temperament.
  • Power of Command.
  • Resourcefulness.
  • Spirit of adventure, willingness to take risks, enterprise

Psychological Factors :

  • Positive thinking, confident and determined approach
  • Optimistic, hopeful outlook.
  • Sense of right and wrong.
  • Absence of anti – social or negative qualities – e.g. unreasonable fear, persecution complex, jealousy, inclination towards crimes, tendency to tell lies, selfishness, quarrelsome attitudes, irritable nature, etc.

Social Qualities :

  • Sense of responsibility,
  • Adaptability
  • Cooperation, readiness to help.
  • Tact, pleasing manners and poise.
  • Preference to group life and activity.
  • Considerations for feelings of others, sympathetic attitude.
  • Friendship and friends.
  • Readiness to sacrifice, selflessness, group before self.
  • Example – set an example for others, practice what you preach.
  • Persuasive ability.
  • Good manners.
  • Ability to influence others and get things done.

Some Practical Hints : No matter what the extent or depth of one’s knowledge or how high his other leadership qualities, the candidate cannot impress the Board unless he can talk well, interestingly and forcefully during the interview. While giving answers, he should bring out such of his activities or experiences which show up traits of leadership in him. His words should be audible to all members of the Board. He must speak slowly, laying emphasis on his words where necessary. He should not sound monotonous by speaking in even pitch or in a dragging or mumbling voice. Instead, his words should have life. He must raise his voice where emphasis is required. There is no need at all to be in any hurry. In fact, he could be clearly heard and understood.

People who speak very fast often do not pronounce the words fully. They often swallow up the end syllables of the words. The candidate should speak with confidence, and should look into the eyes of the different Members in turn. Although the question may be put by one Member or by the Chairman, the candidate should address the Board as a whole while answering. First, he must understand the question put to him thoroughly. If he is not able to hear clearly or follow the question properly, he can request the member asking the question to repeat it. All be has to say is: “I beg your pardon, Sir”.
OR
“Could you please repeat the question?”
OR
“Sorry, Sir. I do not precisely follow the question. May I request you to repeat the question, please?”

Since the interview is not a mere question – and – answer session, the candidate should converse actively and try to give comprehensive answers. Let us consider some illustrations.

Questions : What is your native place?
Answer: “Kewalpore”.

Comments: This one – word answer is incomplete in the context of the interview.In all probability, none of the members of the Board has ever heard this name before. This would be a better answer – ” I come from Kewaplore, a small village in Madhya Pradesh. It has a population of some 10,000 people who are maily engaged in agriculture”.

Q.What do you think, is the most pressing problem facing the country today?
A. “Achieving self – sufficiency in food production”.
Comments: Again, the answer inadequate for the interview. Although the Based has not asked you specifically to state why you think so, you must give the reasons by using your initiative. It would still be better if you state some other equally pressing problems why you have given priority to food production. This would, then indicate your knowledge in both dimensions – width and depth. Here is a better answer:

“In my opinion, gaining self – sufficiency in food is the most pressing problems facing our country today. I agree that there are other problems, like industrialisation, unemployment, like national integration, etc., which also require to be tackled with equal urgency. But I had given priority to food, as it cuts the very root of out existence as an independent nation. What is more we have the resources and it only needs proper harnessing of modern scientific techniques to achieve self sufficiency in foodgrains.”

Q. Don’t you think industrialisation is essential to improve food production?
A. Yes, Sir. I entirely agree with you. But industrialisation should not be at the cost of food production. Thus, the priority, I feel, should be accorded to food.
Q. (From one of the other Members of the Board.)
A. I beg your pardon, Sir. I mentioned food in the context of the problems facing the country today. As for myself, I believe in the principle of eating to live, and not the other way round.

Comments : You could see that two additional questions have come up from your original answer. This is natural and generally so. The answers show fair knowledge, adequate grasp, logical reasoning and good presentation. What is more, the candidate is retaining the initiative, enabling the questions to be asked in his familiar subject.