Why do the applicants get rejected at the interview? What is the difference between employability and unemployability? All these questions have been addressed effectively and efficiently in this article. The basic definition, types and do’s and don’ts of interview are explained. The entire interview process is divided into three phases such as pre-interview session, during interview and post interview session. The probable questions, which are likely to be asked, and the tips during the interview are adequately addressed. This article is beneficial to the prospective employees and also for the existing employees who want to change their jobs.

”Job Interview is a process in which a potential employee is evaluated by an employer for prospective employment in their company, organization, or firm.” According to Wikipedia


Interview is a negotiation. It is a process where employee interacts with the prospective employer and exhibits his hidden strengths and weaknesses, which will pave the way either for selection or rejection of the employee, based on certain requisite qualities and parameters. The employer has expectations of certain skills, abilities, competencies and qualifications and when the employee fills the bill by matching with his expectations then the selection of the employee takes place. No one wants a round peg in a square hole or a square peg in a round hole. If the round peg gets into round hole or a square peg gets into the slot of a square hole then the matching becomes effective and efficient. And interview is just a matching of the same. It can also be called as an interaction or a question and answer session from the employers to the employees so as to check suitability and compatibility of the employee for the post. Big organisations will have formal and structured interviews where as small organisations will have informal and unstructured interviews. For executive cadre or higher positions there will be two or more officers representing the employer will conduct the interview session.

Fundamentally the below mentioned are the types of interviews conducted by various organizations depending their requirement and convenience. And to some extent it also depends on the type of the post/slot the applicant opts for.

1. Structured Interview: It is also known as Patterned Interview. It this method, the questions are arranged in s structured manner in order to elicit information related to the suitability of the applicant. It filters the applicants from maximum to minimum in strength. It is mostly suitable for on-campus interviews.

2. Unstructured Interview: It is also known as Non-Directive Interview. The questions mostly belong to open ended so as to extract maximum to assess the suitability of the applicant. It is suitable for off-campus interviews.

3. Group or Panel Interview: Here a panel of interviewing officers takes part. For instance, there will a specialist from the specific subject so as to find out their stuff in their subjective point of view. A person may be there to check the General Knowledge and current affairs to know if the applicant has knowledge about what is going on in the world. A personal may be a psychologist who will assess the candidate from his perspective. The number of the panel again depends on the type of the post one opts for.

4. Behavioral Interview: Questions related to conflicts that usually arise in work place will be posed and asking the applicant to reply by posing hypothetical questions. The applicant steps into the shoes and replies accordingly. From this, the interviewer will judge the behavior of the applicant.

5. Stress Interview: Intentionally disturbing questions will be posed to the applicant in order to find out the mental and emotional stability. These are not aimed personally against the applicant but provide correct picture for the interviewer how one reacts in critical and complicated conditions. Usually everyone faces unpleasant situations sometimes in life.


The first and foremost thing is to refer the resume and revise thoroughly what is written as the entire interview session revolves around the resume. Right from the family background to academic qualification, to work experience to extra curricular activities and to achievements the questions can be asked. Your resume is the foundation for your interview and it is, in fact, the initial index of your personality. If possible, it is desirable to execute mock interview session amongst friends to ease and avoid interview phobia. Mock exercises provide feel of the actual interview session. Always be punctual to the interview board and reach earlier to avoid any external problems or delays due to transportation. You can wear formal and decent clothes for the D-day. If you go early you can interact with your fellow interviewees and also you can overcome from running butterflies in your stomach. You can also drink plenty of water or do deep breathing exercises like inhaling and exhaling or counting numbers from 1 to 10 or from 10 to 1. Such things will ease and relax you before the interview.


Seek the permission by knocking the door and enter the interview hall by slowly leaving the door without making unnecessary or abnormal noise. Greet them with right etiquette and wait till you are asked to sit. Sit quietly by thanking the interviewing officers for the same without producing any unnecessary noise. Offer a firm handshake, which is assertive and positive and go ahead with the process, by radiating positive energy and enthusiasm.

There will be icebreaking questions which are mostly close ended questions like 'Are you comfortable now?’ or 'How are you?' and so on. Then the real session starts with open ended questions like 'Tell us something about your family background', or 'How did you come to know about this job?' etc., The Interviewing officers will gradually ease you and navigate you slowly into the session. They basically check for communication skills from the sample question like this. Then the ball will be set rolling towards the subjective knowledge. They just test the general awareness about the subjects studied.

Further they will go in depth by asking questions related to the subject by posing probing questions. If necessary they ask few open-ended questions so as to check your spontaneity and the confidence levels. They can also check your emotional and mental stability by posing questions related to stress. They look for soft skills and goal setting if there are any by posing questions like 'Where do you expect yourself after 5 or 10 or 15 years down the lane?' so on so that they will analyze whether you have clear cut professional career goals. Asking relevant questions either directly or indirectly will test passion, perseverance, flexibility, adaptability, learnability and absorbability. If the candidate happens to be a fresher and if he demonstrates passion and learnability he will be quickly absorbed as the organizations are preparing them to suit accordingly to their needs and wants.

Questions related to team spirit, leadership, organizing ability, conflict management etc. will be asked to ensure that the candidate possesses the same. Questions related to the nature of the job and the specialization of the trade will be asked so as to see if the candidate has the basic knowledge of specialization. When posed with positive questions like 'Tell us about your strengths' the candidate speak in volumes about it but when the negative question like 'Tell us something about your weakness or failures in life' candidates don't feel to come out. No man is free from failures and weaknesses. It is advisable to present the honest account of assets and liabilities during the interview session. Even if the candidate does not reveal, the psychologists and the interviewing officers are intelligent enough to find out the same.

When questions like 'Why should I give this job to you only?' the candidate must demonstrate his extraordinary skills and abilities to stand out from the pack with valid justifications. The questions related to general knowledge and current affairs may be asked to check the general awareness of the candidate. The hobbies and the extracurricular activities mentioned in the resume display all-round personality and there is a possibility to pose questions from this area too. At the end they may ask any suggestions for improvement and if there are any genuine, then candidate can express which will help them overcome the drawbacks or deficiencies. To sum it up, the candidate must be jack of all trades and master of his core line.


Below are the probable questions, which may be asked to test the suitability of the applicant.

Tell me about yourself
Why are you interested in this position?
What are your significant career achievements?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Can you work under pressure?
What is your ideal working environment?
What are your goals in your career?
What other types of jobs are you considering?
How much salary do you expect?


DO'S: Do switch off your cell phone or keep it in silent mode.
Do maintain proper dress code.
Do lot of research before the interview about the prospective company.

DON'TS: Do not raise the salary issue in the beginning itself.
Do not sell yourself cheap.
Do not sit at the edge of the chair.
Do not reflect your intention to work based on the geographical location.


First impression is the best impression and in fact the last impression.
Be confident and optimist and project right body language.
Be honest and frank. Don't try to sound like a know-it-all. Don't beat around the bush when the answer is not known. Frankly say, 'I don't know, Sir'. If you are partly sure about the response, admit the same by saying, 'Right now I am not able to recall but it may be like this'.
Don't interrupt the interviewing officer when he speaks. If warranted use sentence like 'I am sorry to interrupt and if you permit then . . . . ..’ When your views are different than that of the officer, politely say, 'I appreciate your views but to may knowledge it could be like this . . . . . Sir’.
Always look for an opportunity to highlight your achievements related to personal, academic and professional. Such achievements are indeed an asset to the organization. That also reflects your higher enthusiasm and energy levels.
If any woman officer is there, greet her first followed by the men officers.
Tactfully play down what you don't know and play up what you know.
Project your professional achievements in an interesting manner. Such as what the organization is benefited from your contributions and how did you add value to your personal and professional career. Every company looks for people who can provide value addition to their institution. What difference can you make for the benefit and betterment of the organization?
Every job has its own skills set and projecting the same will make the selection process successful.
By knowing the latest developments of the company from various sources like search engine, newspapers, TV channels, magazines and other sources will be helpful. For instance, when we talk of Tata Steel's taking over Corus will create a positive impression in the minds of the selection officers if you happen to join in Tata Steel.
Finding out the vision and mission of the company will throw light about the expectations and aspirations of the company. If the candidate projects and meets the same then the probability of selection turns out to be higher.
Never talk ill of the previous or present employer however the strained relations might be. That conveys a negative impression of you and the prospective employer may think that the candidate will talk ill of this employer also.
If there are gaps in academic qualifications and work experience, there should be reasonable justification for the same. Be mentally prepared for the questions related to such gaps.
Express your pride in associating with the prospective company either directly or indirectly.
Demonstrate your flexibility and adaptability to get into the new work culture.
Questions related to gender may be asked if happened to be fairer sex vis-a-vis the job requirements and one must be prepared to reply suitably.
If the question is not clear, don't hesitate to request for repeating the question. It is better to get it repeated than giving a wrong reply.
Keep smiling and radiate positive energy and enthusiasm throughout the interview session. Maintain proper eye contact, which shows your self-confidence.
Get thorough with your resume as your interview revolves around your resume.
A salary negotiation is a tricky issue and ensures that it is touched upon at the end. In professional and established organizations, salaries are fixed accordingly to the cadre, qualification and work experience. In a few private management and less profile companies ensure that you are paid as per the prevailing market salaries. And also ensure that there is always a win-win situation in salary negotiation.
Listen attentively and carefully to the questions then process within your mind and the present it properly.
Exhibit qualities by saying successfully worked in teams, organized events effectively which convey qualities like team spirit, leadership and organizing planning skills.
When a question is posed, make sure that the answer of the question leads to a point or stage, which you know very well so that further question can be asked from that area. Doing like this will lead to further questions from the known area and the interviewing officer will develop an attitude that you know the subject thoroughly.
Always exhibit that you can go extra mile with your initiative.
Find out the names of the key persons with in the organization, as there can be questions related to the same.
Create your own identity from the list of participants within the stipulated session and try to rise from the rest of the crowd.
Last but not the least is that we are not expected to know everything under the sun in the earth. One must present what one knows correctly and precisely.

Follow up process is critical and essential. Write down the key issues uncovered during the interview in a small diary. The applicant should send a letter to the employer thanking them for providing an opportunity to attend the interview with in 24 hours after the interview. It forms as a courtesy and also ask them if they need any further details. Never write anything personal, which may be misunderstood as recommendation for the job. After the completion of the official part, just look back and analyze the areas where you did right and wrong. What are all the areas you neglected and to be refocused for the next interview. Conducting intrapersonal feedback thoroughly will help you improve your abilities and skills, which will become building blocks for the next interview. Attending interviews frequently provides a very good experience and exposure for which there is no substitute.

Interview is a type of interaction, communication and negotiation and it takes place in everybody’s life in one way or the other be it in personal, social or in professional level. Showcasing your abilities and interests in sync with the employer will make the interview fruitful and successful.

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