winning at interviews
INITIATING THE INTERVIEW
is introductory phase of the interview is meant to get to know
the candidate as a person. e discussion commences informally
with the candidate by being asked a few encouraging questions to
make him/her feel at ease. ere are several methods of initiating
the interview. e most popular among them are discussed below.
Initiation Based on Candidate’s Bio-data
e complete bio-data of the candidate, including his/her applica-
tion form and covering letter, are examined by the members of the
interview board and the le is kept open before the chairman when
the candidate enters the interview hall. e interviewer addresses
the candidate by name and initiates the conversation in a pleasant
manner by making any of the following opening statements:
“Come in, Mr Mehta.”
“Mr Bhandari, you are welcome.”
“Mr Mukherjee, please come in and take your seat.”
Such an initiation helps in establishing a rapport between the inter-
viewer and the interviewee. Once the candidate takes his seat, the
rst question that may be asked could be the name of the candi-
date. Remember that a person’s name is oen associated with some
mythological or historical background. erefore, it is essential for
the candidate to know the signicance and background of his/her
own name. is can be understood by the following two extracts
taken from an interview.
MYTH: Job candidates need to present a
compelling story in order to stand out in
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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the interview proCess
Chairman So you are Mr Sam Thomas. That’s a nice name.
Candidate Thank you, sir.
Chairman Before we start, please let us know if we can address
you only as Sam or should we call you Mr Thomas?
Candidate Sir, Sam is my rst name and the second name,
T homas, is my father’s which I use as a surname. You
may call me Sam if you wish. (Here the candidate has
directly informed the chairman that Thomas is his
father’s name and to avoid confusion he preferred to
be addressed as Sam.)
Chairman Ok Sam, that’s ne. Could you tell us something about
the origin of your surname?
Candidate Sir, Saint Thomas was one of the twelve disciples of
Jesus Christ. After the crucixion, the disciples spread
the message and teachings of Jesus Christ in different
parts of the world. It is said that Saint Thomas reached
India and travelled from the Himalayas to South India
preaching the message of Christ. Saint Thomas is
said to have brought Christianity to India. There is a
St Thomas Church in the South and a railway station is
also named after him.
Chairman Thank you, Sam. It is interesting to learn this from you.
Chairman Come in Mr K. Krishnan, and take your seat please.
Candidate Thank you, sir.
Chairman Mr Krishnan, could you please tell us what the “K”
stands for in your name?
Candidate Sir, I am a South Indian and we usually prex our name
with the rst letter of our father’s name. My father is
Krishnamurthy Nair. Therefore, I use “K” as my initial
From the above examples, it is clear that one should be familiar with
the signicance of one’s own name.
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