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What Is The Purpose Behind An Interview?

An interview refers to a formal meeting aimed at determining one’s aptness for the job before entering into a contract or an agreement. It is like putting forth one’s past and present incidents, feelings and reactions to the interviewer. This gives the interviewer a chance to look into the other person’s hidden qualities. The interview is a social process that involves interaction between two persons—the interviewer and the interviewee. An interview brings out the inner traits and qualities of the interviewee. It also enables a person to know another person in terms of the latter’s outlook, characteristics and ideas on a wide variety of subjects. One important aspect of an interview is that rapport is established between the interviewer and the interviewee. The interviewer can be a single individual or a board of members and the interviewee is the candidate who is aspiring for the job. When rapport is established, it breaks all the socio-cultural barriers. This in turn enables a free exchange of ideas between the interviewer(s) and the interviewee.
 
For purposes of recruitment of suitable candidates for various jobs—both in private and public sector organizations, including civil services, defence services, banking as well as paramilitary services—an interview plays a very important role. It is employed as a supplementary tool to the written examination to assess a candidate’s behaviour in a given situation by exposing the interviewee or the candidate to questions of a general nature as well as those pertinent to his or her area of specialization. The interviewer seeks answers to these questions, looking for significant reactions and expressions on the part of the candidate. The aim of such interviews can be summed up as follows:

To Establish a Rapport

A direct contact is established between the interviewer and the candidate so that both may know each other and understand each other’s respective needs. This also helps the interviewer to perceive the personal disposition of the candidate.

To Get to Know the Candidate’s Views

The interviewer exposes the candidate to certain questions to gauge the latter’s ideas, views and knowledge and to determine his or her suitability for recruitment.

To Form a Hypothesis

Through the technique of interview, the interviewer or the interview board is able to form a hypothesis about the personal qualities of the candidate by means of initial questions, such as:

  • Please tell us in brief about your family background.
  • Why do you consider yourself suitable for this job?
  • Suppose you are selected for this job, are you sure it would satisfy your professional ambition?
  • Suppose you are not selected this time, will you try again for this job or look for a career elsewhere?

To Confirm the Hypothesis

After the general questions, examples of which have been given above, the candidate is exposed to more detailed and planned questions through which the hypothesis established by the interviewer or the interview board is confirmed and suitability of the candidate determined for the job in question.

 

To sum up, an interview can be termed as a sort of oral test devised to find out the extent of the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the world and to assess the hidden qualities as reflected by the candidate’s general appearance, behaviour and speech mannerism.
 

Dale Carnegie, in his famous bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People, writes that most successes in life are achieved by people who possess, in addition to their knowledge, the ability to talk with people according to their way of talking and sell themselves and their ideas.
 

An interview is more a test of the personalities of the candidates—rather than an examination of their personal achievements, scrutiny of their original certificates, testimonials, etc.—projecting their academic pursuits and the level of their general education. Through an interview the selection committee gets an opportunity to analyse a candidate’s “personality” as well as “intelligence”.

 

Facts or Myth?
 

MYTH: An interview is just to check if the candidate can talk well or not.

FACT: To sum up, an interview can be termed as a sort of oral test devised to find out the extent of the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of the world and to assess the hidden qualities as reflected by the candidate’s general appearance, behaviour and speech mannerism.





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