“Life is a series of interviews froms birth to death man has to put up with infinite tests and endless trials,” said Matthew Arnold. But the stimulating and the dynamic urge in man does not surrender and knows no bounds. He marches ahead like the indomitable soul of Tennyson’s Ulysses. He sings a new-fangled ray of hope at every moment. Like Ulysses, he constantly utters–
(A) The nature of Viva Voce. The written examination is designed to test the technical knowledge and competence of the candidate; the oral is designed to evaluate intangible qualities, not readily measured otherwise, and to establish a list showing the relative fitness of each candidate, as measured against his competitors, for the position sought.
To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield!
In every walk of life, man should be well prepared for interview. In fact it is the, basic cult of human endeavor. A man who evades test, or an ordeal is one who does not wish to struggle through trials and tribulations of life. He wishes to exist and does not live. Thus a man should be like a Titan and undergo interview fearlessly and vigorously.
A viva voce test is a test of one’s personality. The members of the board intend to ascertain the proper development of mental faculty. So it is necessary that at the time of test, you should not think- too much beyond the sphere of practical life, otherwise, you will act like a Hamlet. It is the admitted fact that no Hamlet has ever got though the interview even in the viva voce of English literature. You should not seem to be a philosopher muddling into mystical spheres of various tendencies and movements of literature. You must have device views rather that, deceiving yourself in the thinking. You should think positively, not negatively. Your mind should think of your successes rather than of your frustrated outlook. Determine to be the topmost in every walk of activity. This urge will enable you to answer some times the enigmatic views clearly, lucidly and calmly. At the moment of interview, try to be a robust optimist. You should think of your successes rather than of your, mental makeup. Do not conceive anything that may suggest a possible failure. Do not fight the battle half-heartedly. You have studies voluminous books of English Literature. Their attitude is generous, sympathetic and affectionate. In case they are rude, you do not feel offended. Moreover, for interview you better and better in this ordeal of viva voce.
(B) Secrets behind the Art of Viva Voce. Throughout all this process, you may feel that the board individually and collectively is trying to pierce your defenses to seek out your hidden weaknesses, and embarrass and confuse you. Actually, this is not true A.K.—1
They are obliged to make an appraisal of your qualifications. Remember they must interview all candidates and a non-cooperative candidate may become a failure in spite of their best efforts to bring out his qualifications. Here are some suggestions that will help you:
1. Be natural. Keep your attitude confident, but not cocky. Don’t apologize for your weaknesses, try to bring out your strong points. The board is interested in a positive, not a negative presentation. Cockiness will antagonize any board member, and make him wonder if you are covering up a weakness by a false show of strength.
2. Get comfortable. Don’t lounge or sprawl. Sit erectly by not stiffly. A careless posture may lead the board to conclude you are careless in other things, or at least that you are not impressed by the importance of the occasion to you. Either conclusion is natural, even if incorrect. Don’t fuss with your clothing, or with a pencil or an ash try. Your hands may occasionally be useful to emphasize a point; don’t let them become a point of distraction.
3. Don’t wisecrack of make small task. This is a serious situation, and your attitude should show that you consider it as such. Further, the time of the board is limited; they don’t want to waste it, and neither should you.
4. Don’t exaggerate your experience or abilities. In the first place, from information in the application, from other interviews and other sources, the board may know more about you than you think; in the second place, you probably won’t get away with it. An experienced board is rather adept at spotting such a situation. Don’t take the chance.
5. If you know a member of the board, don’t make a point of it, yet don’t hide it. Certainly you’re not fooling him, and probably not the other members of the board. Don’t try to take advantage of your acquaintanceship it will probably bounce back on you.
6. Don’t dominate the interview. Let the board do that. They will give you the cluse-don’t assume that you have to do all the talking. Realize that the board has a number of questions to ask you, and don’t try to take up all interview time by showing off your extensive knowledge of the answers to the first one.
7. Be attentive. You only have twenty minutes or so, and you should keep your attention at its sharpest throughout. When a member is addressing a problem or a question to you give him your undivided attention. Address your reply principally to him, but don’t exclude the other members of the board.
8. Don’t interrupt. A board member may be stating a problem for you to analyse. He will ask you a question when the time comes. Let him state the problem, and wait for the question.
9. Make sure you understand the question. Don’t try to answer until you are sure what the question it. If it’s not clear restate it in your own words or ask the board member to clarify it for you. But, don’t haggle about minor elements.
10. Reply promptly but not hastily. A common entry on oral board rating sheet in “candidate responded readily” or “candidate hesitated in replies”. Respond as promptly and quickly as you can, but don’t jump to a hasty, ill-considered answer.
11. Don’t be peremptory in your answers. A brief answer is proper-but don’t fire your answer back. This is a longing game from your point of view. The board member can probable questions faster than you can answer them.
12. Don’t try to create the answer you think the board member wants. He is interested in what kind of a mind you have and how it works not in playing games. Further more, he can usually spot this practice and will usually grade you down on it.
13. Don’t witch sides in your reply merely to agree with a board member. Frequently, a member will take a contrary position merely to draw you out and to see if you are willing and able to defend your point of view. Don’t start debate. Yet don’t surrender a good position. If a position is worth taking, it is worth defending.
14. Don’t be afraid to admit an error in judgment if you are shown to be wrong. The board knows that you are forced to reply with out any opportunity for careful consideration. Your answer may be demonstrably wrong. If so, admit it and get on with the interview.
15. Don’t bring in extraneous comments or tell lengthy anecdotes. Keep your replies to the point. If you feel the need of an illustration from your personal experience keep it short. Leave out the minor details. Make sure the incident is real and not imaginary.
16. Don’t be technical or ponderous. Keep agency gobbledygook out of your replies for two reasons: First some members of the board will probably not understand you, and second, if they do, they will charge with an inbred vocabulary. They are not interested in a playback of the agency manuals.
17. Don’t use slang terms. Many a good reply has been weakened by the injection of slang terms or other language faults. Frequently the board will note any slips of grammar or other evidence of carelessness in your speech habits.
18. Leave your exhibits at home. The board is not interested in pictures of your family, your letters of reference, clipping about your office, or new procedures you devised, or the debating medals you won in high school.
19. Don’t ingratiating. The “soft soap routine” seldom works with an oral board. Be pleasant and occasionally, but do it naturally and don’t overdo it. (Adapted from how to be Interviewed: Don H. Roney and Charles H. Cushman.)
C. The psychology of the Interview. Mr. R. C. Old field has given the psychological suggestion to the students who are undergoing has given the psychological suggestion to the students who are undergoing interview. His views are adapted here:
First, the interview must be regarded not as something sui generic to be treated in isolation, but as the purposeful utilization, in special form and circumstances, of activities and processes common to other social phenomena. The use of conversation, the expression, arousal and perception of attitudes, the formation of judgments, the favorable disposition of circumstances, -all go to make up the interview: and each is a common feature of social life. Skill in the conduct of the interview lies in the use of each and in the combination all in the manner best suited to the purpose in hand. If is possible, therefore, that, in so far as deliberate investigation is concerned, these several factors may best be studied in manifestations other than the interview itself. It is at least reasonable to remark that each of them demands investigation upon its own account, and that the proper statement of this special problems of the interview must, within certain limits, await the results of this.
Second, the attempt to describe and to analyse the essential mechanism of the interview depends upon the choice of suitable basic terms. Two conditions ought so far as possible to be satisfied be these. They must offer possibly the simple description over as wide a field as possible. And they must rooted in empirical fact, not merely connected with it by an uncertain chain of conceptual links. I have advanced the view advanced the view that the notion of attitudes at present best satisfies these conditions, and that it is these, rather than specific units of actual behaviour, that provide the most suitable coinage for discussion and thought about the interview.
Third, in so far as preliminary inspection allows any valid division of processes within the interview to be made, this lies between those of stimulation and judgment. In other words, it the task of interviewer in the first place to arouse by conversational and other means the display of attitudes by the candidate, and in the second place to effect a judgment of the personal qualities of the candidate up on this basis. The actual process of arousing attitudes must usually be preceded and accompanied by manoeuvres devoted to restoring normal mobility of attitude to the candidate. Who will have lost this in the setting of the interview. These manoeuvres again are chiefly conversational in nature. The processes of observation and judgment are not to be analysed into a set of independent acts of cognition coupled with a distinct process of formatting judgments by logical means up on the basis of what is cognized. Already in the process of observation there is essentially involved the implicit form of judgment, the existence of which brings about selection and organization of the immediately given date. Adequate observation and sound judgment depend upon the proper cultivation of these pre-existing schemes of judgment. And this, in true, depends in considerable measure upon the development of a communicable body of reliable knowledge regarding the structure and organization of personality in general. Moreover, this knowledge must be made available in a form in which it can be assimilated into, and utilized by, the ‘schemata’ upon which observation and judgment depend. However accurate and far-reaching it may be, it will be useless to the interviewer, if it exists only in a form which demands explicit logical processes for its utilization.
Fourth, conversation consists not primarily in the exchange of formulated idea or of information. It is first and for most a game played directly in terms of attitudes; and the use to which it is put in the interview can be properly appreciated only in these terms. The art of conversations is one which from time to time waxes and wanes, like other arts, in accordance with a number of social factors. It is possible that its potentialities have as yet been by no means fully exploited, as regards both the assessment of characters and the adjustment of mental disorder. Although it is possible to formulate some of the gambits and devices used in present-day conversations, the attempt to determine and to state its general principles has hardly ye begum.
Fifth, in the development of a body of knowledge regarding the structure of personality, particularly in the assimilation of this into the active dispositions which underlie observation and judgment, linguistic factors play a considerable part. Progress must depend upon the existence of an adequate language in which these topics may be discussed and thought about. Every effort ought to be made to improve our linguistic resources in this respect.
Sixth, in addition to the essential process of the interview itself, account ought to be taken of a number of conditions relating to its general circumstances and setting. These, although they cannot in themselves assure success, can stand in the way of it. They concern such questions as those of the material setting of the interview, the taking of notes the individual character of the interviewer, the choice of members of a board, and so forth.
D. Practical Suggestions for Appearing before the Interview Board. The following are the practical suggestions which are considered very useful for the candidate who is appearing before the Interview Board:‑
i. Basic Principles of Etiquette. There are certain fundamental principles of etiquette which a candidate should observe while appearing before an interview board. Firstly, he must say “Thanks, Sir” or “Thanks, Sirs” to express his sense of gratitude. Secondly, the word ‘Sir’ should be used while giving replies to the queries when the question is’ put to him. Thirdly, the word ‘please’ should be used in an appropriate manner. Fourthly, there must be a light courteous bow while the candidate occupies the hat when he enters the room for interview. Sixthly, it is the golden adage ‘Courtesy does not cost any thing, but pays a lot’. A candidate should be free from the inferiority complex or habit of hesitations. It should be borne in mind that hesitations or unnatural stammering is the basic defect which is conditioned by fear. A candidate should be bold and courageous. He should brush up his hesitation and sweep the stammering off. He should try to display his sparkling caliber. Eighthly, a candidate should be calm, patient and alert. He should judiciously control and keep himself well-balanced. His capacity of patience and cool-mindedness shall be judged. He is doomed if he indicates any sign of impatience or excitement. To answer a question he must listen to the examiner and understand it thoroughly. A hasty reply betrays impatience and may engulf him in a trap. In the interview he may not answer questions instantaneously but he must answer the question fully, factually and directly. It is better to shirk over the question for a moment and give a good direct response. Tension and over-anxiety will spoil his answer. Ninthly, humour constitutes as one of the integral factors leading to its ultimate success. A candidate who appears very solemn and ever-serious in the interview has very little chance of success. Display of humour is an asset to a candidate. It should be unconscious and indirect. According to W. G. Wodehouse, “The root of humour lies far deeper in the intellectual realm of man’s inner-self. Finally, the most indispensable factor for the successful interview is dynamic will-power. A candidate should be a bull dog-like, never yielding, with ever-aspiring courage. He should be armed with an invincible will-power and unfailing courage which will dash straight though success.
ii. Dress. According to Shakespeare, “Apparel often proclaimed the man.” In fact it is the dress which is an index to person’s personality. It is advisable that a candidate should avoid gaudy and pompous clothes; otherwise he will seem ridiculous and fantastic. Moreover, coat or neck-tie should be avoided in summer, he may use black sherwani and black cap with Chorridar Phyjamas.
iii. Gait. It must be noted that a candidate should enter the room neither hurriedly nor very slowly. His gait should be admired rather that be laughed at or ridiculed. He should not enter the room in a state of excitement or nervousness. His gait should not exhibit his weakness. He must maintain the logical balance of his gait. While entering the room he should not look straight nor he should look sideways.
iv. How to be seated. Do not occupy the seat unless the candidate is asked. He must say, “Thank you, Sir” before occupying the seat. Do not sit stiff and motionless like a prisoner. Sit comfortably and at ease. Do not always stare at the Chairman. The candidate should not speak until he is addressed to. Do not stand up while answering questions. Do no thump on the table to lay stress on our point.
v. How to talk. A candidate’s style should not be affected. He should avoid grandiloquent and pompous words. He should avoid far-fetched ideas. His answer should be clear, lucid and intelligible. His voice should not be loud. It is considered unimpressive and it will jar the ears of the listeners. On the other hand, his voice should not be very low also. According to a critic, “Do not hoot like an owl, nor should you chirp like a birdie; you are to warp like the morning lark.” A candidate should not make a personal stack while answering a question. His answer should not be very lengthy. He should speak so far he is being listened to with interest. Otherwise, he will appear barking at the moon. ,
vi. How to leave. A candidate should bow himself to express his gratitude to the board before leaving the room. Moreover, he should say ‘Good-bye Sir’ or ‘Bye-bye, Sirs.’’ Do not say ‘Good night’ even if it is evening. Do not look behind while a candidate leaves the room. It is considered to be a discourtesy.