11 Qualities For A Good Interview

More can be learned about a person in a brief interview than through his answer books on different subjects. An article of interest can better be judged at a glance than through a statement of its qualifications in its absence. A judgment can easily be formed at an interview because it calls forth all the faculties of human personality and as such is more significant and revealing than the written test. One may be extraordinarily successful in answering written questions but may not be desirable otherwise.

The interview has become an essential part of every important competitive examination. After written papers have been valued, interviews of a certain number of topmost successful candidates are held to decide finally about their fate. Viva Voice or oral tests also form a part of regular examinations. conducted by the Academic Body of the University of Oxford. Viva Voice discloses candidate’s mental alertness, initiative, self-confidence, etc.

The importance of the interview is very great. A successful interview of a few minutes may enable a candidate to win a decent career. It may carry him from the list of qualified candidates to that of selected candidates or even from the bottom of such a list to higher positions and ultimately to comparatively better services. On the other hand, a little bit of deficiency may turn the scales against him.

In an interview, generally, such questions are put to the candidate which bring out his common sense, his familiarity with the current national and international happenings and the current social and political trends of-the world.

While answering questions in an interview the candidate or the interviewee must feel natural and easy. The candidate must answer questions in an easy way. The candidate must not attempt to answer those questions which are not put to him. To boast of his academic qualifications and family links, which have already been furnished in the application form, often, entangle the candidate into trouble.

An intelligent interviewee keeping in view the kind of service he is pursuing, he can almost predict the nature of the questions that can be put to him. Therefore, the candidate should keep himself busy in collecting the required information, well in time.

The interviewee must be very smart in listening and answering the questions put to him. He should be sensible as well as sensitive. His approach to questions should be positive and not negative. The candidate should try to make the conversation lively and not dull. The candidate must use simple and right words while answering in an interview.

The interviewee who is able to talk fluently and express himself effectively secure high marks that purpose, the candidate or interviewee must possess sound knowledge on various subjects of discussion. The candidate must be in a position to support his views with valid reasoning. He should explain in a convincing manner as to why he agrees or disagrees with a particular proposition. Simply saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a question is not sufficient.

For displaying good qualities in the interview, the candidate should also observe the following helpful hints.

Speak in a natural way

The interviewee should not speak fastly, incoherently or inaudibly in the course of an interview. He should speak every word in a well pronounced and distinct, manner. He should speak in quite a natural way. Every word should be quite clear and well pronounced.

Slang words should be avoided altogether.  Sentences should be simple and brief. The candidate should watch the manner of stating the first sentence. If he starts well, he will more naturally continue well He must avoid using imperfect quotations as they lead to confusion in speech. Every person develops his own method of speaking. It is not, wise to imitate the style of any other person.

Don’t bluff

It is always a wrong practice to bluff. The interviewee should never forget that the members of the board of interviews are scholars, well-read, accomplished and experienced people and they seldom mistake in judging the real worth of the candidate. It is beneficial for the interviewee, therefore, that he should be as frank, truthful and sincere as possible.

A candidate should not try to bluff. It is advisable to admit, politely his ignorance on a particular topic, instead of creating a poor impression by mere guesses.

A candidate should not be anxious about making a great impression on the interview Board. If he tries to do, it would create nervous tension and would find expression in awkward speech, manners and behavior on his art.

Don’t be rude

A person should develop the habit of politeness. It has great importance in the case of a candidate. Some candidates, finding themselves unable to answer a few questions, lose their temper and even become rude. This dangerous habit and should be abandoned.

There is no justification for any candidate to be so pungent, ironical and rude. For his own sake, he should always be polite.

Sticking to one’s point of view

In an interview, the interviewee should stick to his own point of view. The candidate is expected to have a distinguished personality of his own and his preferences and prejudices and his definite ideas on important matters. Once a candidate has expressed his approach to a certain problem, he should stick to it; even though the members of the board may express their disagreement with his views. An instance will make this point more clear. If the candidate is of the view that there is a food shortage in the country, then he should not agree with the Chairman or any other member of the board that the country has no real food deficit, simply because they have so insisted.

Keeping a copy of the application

A candidate should keep a copy of the application form in which he had mentioned his qualifications and other particulars. There is every likelihood of one’s forgetting the exact particulars supplied in his application form, as there may be a long time between the date of application and the date of the interview. This process enables the candidate to refresh his particulars.

Every interview, in an ordinary course, begins in a casual way when the candidate is asked some questions concerning his educational qualifications, his previous experience, his birthplace, etc. If the candidate, replies in an unintelligent way, the interviewer will soon get fed up and the interview may abruptly come to an end, which proves most disfavourable for the candidate. The candidate should, therefore, try to warm up the interview. He should always be on the look-out to put in a point of some interesting information which will cause interest to the interviewers and draw them out for further discussion.

Argument and challenge

To try to be ‘clever’ is something bad and harmful. One should not throw a challenge or put questions to the examiner. Avoid argument with him. Never tell him that he is wrong. When he expounds a point of view, listen to him patiently and attentively, even if he is wrong. The examiner should not be interrupted when he is talking. Avoid giving offense to the examiner in any form.


In an interview, little things sometimes, matter much.

  • “The loud laugh bespeaks the vacant mind” Goldsmith.  You may laugh with the examiner, but not at the examiner.
  • Ostentation or showing off, in any form, is very bad taste. An interviewee should avoid at all costs, dress, behaviour, or speech which draws attention to himself.
  • Do not smoke unless you are asked to. Don’t offer a cigarette to the examiner.
  • Look at the examiner in the face without staring. A candidate with wandering eyes is liable to give an impression of being unreliable.
  • Do not continually move small articles like trays about the table constantly, smooth your hair, or do movements of that sort. These habits suggest a lack of confidence.
  • Do not try to show off your knowledge on any subject unnecessarily. Try to be sticking strictly to the point.
  • The habit of chewing sweets, gum or pan in public is very objectionable.
  • Don’t try to flatter the President or any other member of the Board. A candidate should not feel nervous or take an interview too seriously. Be should try and hope the best.


The intimation concerning the dress both during tests and non-tests is generally noted n the call-up instructions. The candidate must appear in an appropriate dress as demanded by the Board. Good, fit and Suitable dress impresses the examiners. It also helps in producing a favourable impression on the minds of his fellow competitors.

Be Fit

If you are preparing for a physical efficiency test, you will probably practice for weeks before you will be physically fit to compete in the test. But you will not like to do anything of this sort for the Intelligence and Psychological Tests. You should realize that the state of your body can markedly influence your score in the mental tests. If you are tired, worried or sleepy, you will not be able to give a good account of yourself. In order that both you and ‘your country derive the greatest benefit from these, it is important that a true picture of your abilities be obtained.

You will be given tests at similar nature at the various Public Service Commissions and Services Selection Boards. There will be a lot of other details which you will have to attend before you get these sorts. You may find yourself rather tired on the first day. So go to sleep early and get up with a fresh mind the next day. You will do well in the tests.

It is possible that with all the talk about such tests, you may start worrying about, the results, This is not good. You should try your level’ best and not be worried in advance. If you start fresh, with vigor and zeal, you will find yourself on top speed on the day of examination.

Follow Directions

Listen to all the directions you are given. Follow them closely. The few minutes before the tests are extremely valuable. You should not spend them in conversation.

When you are told to read directions printed on the examination sheet, do so and follow them carefully.

Keep Faith in Allah

Allah is the Rabb of all the worlds, including man, all interviewers, and interviewees. A candidate after having made the best of his efforts should leave the rest to Allah, Who conducts all the affairs on this earth. If a job is denied to a person in spite of his best efforts, better chances may be in store for him. As a matter of fact, with independent nations, job-seeking has the third place, the first being politics and the second trade and commerce (which commands nine-tenths of livelihood according to a hadith). In a newly-born country like Pakistan, there are innumerable places and national responsibilities for a young man.

You might also like