- Statement of the Purpose of the meeting
- Making the other person comfortable
- Creating an atmosphere of relaxed open – minded approach, commitment to the purpose stated above, and preparing to start discussing things frankly.
- Aim at exchange of information
- keeping the discussion to the – point
- Listen Attentively and patiently
- keep eye – to – eye contact
- Give carefully thought out answers
- Make sure to cover the agenda
- Take care that interruption, if any, are polite
- Seek clarification, if needed
- Summing up the discussion/exchange of information
- Describing the action decided upon.
- Avoiding a hurried or abrupt ending.
- Closing on a positive note.
- Exchanging feelings of gratitude, thankfulness for favor of interview etc.
- Confirming the worthwhileness of the interview/communication event/meeting.
Since the interviewer is the charge of the event he has to follow certain time – honored conventions as guidelines.
- In the first place the interviewer has to plan the event. Since his aim is to seek information he has to find out exactly what he wants to know. It is, therefore, advisable to write out his needs in a series of specific, pointed questions. These questions can be used as the outline for the interview.
- The interviewer should make every effort to put the interviewee at ease. It is quite possible that the interviewee nervous/shaky in answering questions. Any nervous people are not good subjects for interviewing. It is, therefore, necessary to make the person before us comfortable with our social skills. The interviewer can, for example, start the interview with some friendly talk and showing interest in the interviewee’s family background, hobbies and interests. It will go a long way in making the interviewee confident. He will in this way be able to give intelligent answers to the questions put to him.
- Ask the right question. This is very important because interviewing is primarily an exercise in asking the right/suitable question for the occasion and for the fulfillment of certain purposes. Given below are some popularly used categories of questions with their expected results/uses:
|The yes/NO question e.g. ‘Have you seen our advertisement||Effective for checking facts.|
|The open – ended question e.g. ‘What do you mean by a satisfying job?’||Good for exchange and discussion of ideas.|
|The closed question e.g. ‘How long have been in service?’||Best for seeking facts/data.|
|The leading question e.g. ‘Don’t you think that this work should have been done a couple of months ago?’||Pushes the interviewee in a certain direction.|
|The loaded question e.g. ‘What do you think about CEO’s impulsive action?’||Provokes the interviewee|
|The prompt e.g. ‘So, what do you do then?’||Guides the interviewee in content, and clarifies if he has not understood the interviewer’s intention.|
|The what – if question e.g. ‘Suppose we open a branch office here would you be interested in joining us?’||Makes assumption, and finds out what the interviewee would do in a certain situation.|
|The mirror e.g. ‘So you feel fed up……’||A reflective way of checking whether you have received the interviewee’s message/information/reaction correctly.|
|The probing question e.g. ‘What precisely where your responsibility?||Good for obtaining more information, proceeding from the general to the particular.|
|The summing up question e.g. ‘In a nutshell, how will you assess yourself as a manager?’ or “Is there any other important information that you would like to give us?”||Gives the interviewee a chance to self assesses, and rounds off the event.|
In this way we see that the interviewer has a repertoire of questions at his command. How best to ;use them depends on the interviewer’s ability to monitor the situation.
- Let the candidate/interviewee do most of the talking. Some interviewers are found of talking themselves. But they must realize that such a practice defeats the very purpose of the interview that is to seek information rather than give information. The interviewer can at best talk only to guide the interview or, in other words, to carry on the discussion through specific questions.
- The interviewer should follow the plan that has been chalked out before the interview. In this process, the interviewer will not only be exchanging information through question – answer method, but also be handling moments of silence. Brief periods of silence very often lead to additional information.
- As a corollary to the preceding point it is important to emphasize the importance of listening. Many an interview is spoilt because the interviewer does not listen attentively or interrupts unnecessarily. In addition, the interviewer should not only listen attentively, but also appear to be listening attentively. In this way the interviewee will feel relaxed and talk more.
- The interviewer must give his entire attention to the interviewee. This can best be done by maintaining eye contact, nodding, smiling and so on.
- The interviewer must respect the feelings of the interviewee even if the latter appears to be wrong.
- The interviewer must also keep a record of the information gathered from the interview. He may either go on taking down notes during the interview, or recall the information immediately after the event and make a gist.
- The interviewer should also stick to the time allocated. For this purpose the principle of ‘Be concise’ must be adhered to. Things should not be allowed to get out of control. That is why the interviewer/interviewers should not argue.
- Be prepared for the interview. Just as the interviewer has to plan out the event in advance, so has the interviewee to be prepared for it. As he has no control over the event he has to be more careful at every step. He has to face an interviewer or a board of interviewers. He must, therefore, be very clear about the purpose of the event. If it is going to be a job interview he has to be well prepared for question on his area of interest, his present position, the position he has applied for , the nature of the organization, its history, its current activities etc. His knowledge on all such questions will impress the interviewers. However he must be prepared for the unexpected.
- Have presentable appearance. Everybody appreciates a pleasant personality. As in the case of a presentation, so in an interview the concerned person’s appearance is a part of the message. Since an interview is formal occasion, the interviewee must be formally dressed. Anyone having conventional standards of neatness is likely to have a definite advantage over one casually dressed for an interview.
- Show interest by making effective use of body language. Keeping eye – to – eye contact with the interviewer at once shows that the interviewee is genuinely interested in the event and keen to participate in it. He should also sit in a correct, confident posture, straight, balanced and not stiff in the chair offered. The hands should be neatly locked on the lap or comfortably placed on the arms of the chair.
- All the questions must be correctly and completely answered. Since the primary aim of an interview is to exchange information it should be done effectively.
- If the interviewee is not clear about a suitable answer to a question, there is no harm in admitting it. One must never try to bluff. Be honest.
- Be polite. Politeness is indispensable in every situation.
- Avoid talking too much or making boastful statements. The interviewer is intelligent enough to find out the interviewee’s intelligence and suitable for the job.
- Avoid criticism of the previous employer or anybody else. Negative statements are looked down upon.
- Do not forget to thank the interviewers for having spared time for you. Granting an interview is indeed a favor.
- Do not hesitate to ask any questions to seek clarification regarding the company profile, service condition etc. it will not only satisfy your curiosity but also give the interviewer an idea of your confidence and interest in the organization. But such questions should come only towards the end of the interview and when you feel you are likely to get the job.
A successful interview is one in which both the parties – the interviewer and the interviewee – actively participate. The interviewer asks certain vitally important questions arranged according to his plan. The interviewee, on his part, gives satisfactory answers to all of them. The interviewer seeks information, the interviewee gives information. At some stage in the process, most probably towards the end, the interviewer may also seek some information that the interviewee will gladly give. In this way the purpose of the interview, mutually understood, is fulfilled. Moreover, both the parties must be unbiased, impartial and scientific in their approach to the entire event.