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Whatever I have tried to do in this life, I have tried to do well, whatever I have devoted myself to, I have devoted completely, in great aims and in small, I have always been thoroughly in earnest.
—Charles Dickens
The purpose of an interview is twofold: (1) Obtaining certain ­information from the candidate which he/she alone knows and can be gathered only by a face-to-face interaction; and (2) Making an on-the-spot study of a candidate’s verbal behaviour under given circumstances. Therefore, the interview is a scientific technique to judge human behaviour in a given situation and all those qualities which cannot be exposed through a written examination. As every scientific technique has a set process, the interview too, being a scientific analysis of human behaviour, is a step-by-step process, with the following stages:
  • Initiating the interview
  • Exposing the candidate’s academic level and general awareness
  • Analysing the candidate’s psychological behaviour
  • Summing up the interview
  • Arriving at the conclusion
This model is designed to highlight the general process of interviewing, but it needs to be modified on the basis of the specific interview in which you may find yourself. View the stages as the general categories that illustrate the natural progression of most interviews (Fig).

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The Stages of the Interview


MYTH: Job candidates need to present a compelling story in order to stand out in interviews.
FACT: This usually results from a candidate’s preparation. Preparation occurs in two directions. First, the candidate must examine his/her strengths, weaknesses, prior experience, abilities, goals and values. Secondly, candidates must research the company, job, and industry in order to make a favourable impression and investigate whether this is truly a job worth pursuing.

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