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Types of Interview Questions

There is a great diversity in the types of questions that may be asked at an interview. You should
try to anticipate the type of questions likely to be asked. Partly the type will be determined by the
situation and the specific purpose that the interviewer has in mind. In general, the questions will
be based on what you have stated in your biodata and your reaction to the organization’s
visualization of your role in it. We may classify the questions into the following categories:
direct questions, open-ended questions, closed questions, bipolar questions and loaded questions.

Direct questions, generally used at the initial stage, are explicit, demanding specific
information: what’s your name? How old are you? In which company did you work last?

Open-ended questions are not so straight; only the topic on which information is required is
specific and the interviewee is asked to elaborate: what is your educational background? How
did you find your experience of working on this plant in ABC company?

Closed questions demand responses from a limited and narrow area. Often these questions
provide alternatives from which the response is selected. An extreme form of the closed question
is the one which demands ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ response. This is also called a bipolar question. A few
examples are as follows: if selected, would you be able to join next month? Would you like to be
posted in Bombay or Calcutta? We are prepared to offer this job to you on a contract of three
years; is it acceptable to you?

Loaded questions generally demand a response which the interviewer expects. They are
suggestive in nature and encourage the interviewee to agree with the interviewer. Sometimes
these may be used as a trap to discover whether the interviewee is clear in his mind about what
he is in for. Ideally, as a general rule, loaded questions should not be used by the interviewer.
However, as an interviewee, you should be prepared to face any type of questions.

The core of the body of the interview is the set of various types of questions discussed above. In
a structured interview, apart from these, there are preliminary questions which set the tone for
the interview and establish rapport between the interviewer and the interviewee. The interviewer
aims at helping the interviewee to complete the expression of his thoughts and to clarify his stand
before the interview ends.

It is difficult to visualize the questions that may be asked at an interview. However we give
below a sample of questions that could be asked at an employment interview.

A. Educational Background.

i) Give a brief resume of your educational career.

ii) Why did you decide to offer Economics in your M.A?

iii) Have you studied some books in this field other than those prescribed?

iv) Could you name a few such books and describe their themes?
v) Apart from Economics which field of knowledge interests you?

vi) Could you name some of the books you have real in this area of your interest?

A. Co-curricular Activities

i) You have produced a number of plays during your educational career. Tell us how
you got interested in drama.

ii) Do you think your interest in drama affected your studies?

iii) What work did you do as a member of the editorial board of your college

iv) Do you think this kind of work has added something to your academic

v) What difficulties, in your opinion, does an editor face in producing a newsletter of

this type?

A. Extra-curricular Activities

i) How is it that although you played badminton throughout your college career, you
never participated in any worthwhile tournament?

ii) Apart from physical exercise, does this game impart any other qualities to the

iii) What is size of the badminton court?

iv) Do you play any other games?

A. Experience
i) Describe the specific work that you were doing in the production department.

ii) What new things have you learnt?

iii) What the ways of maximizing production?

iv) Did you introduced any new technique or procedure to increase production?

v) In what way will your experience help our organization?

A. General Knowledge
i) What is your opinion about the new industrial policy announced by the
Government of India?

ii) What are the main causes of inflation in India?

iii) Do you think deficit financing should be stopped? Why?

iv) Give your comments on the Seventh Five-Year Plan.

v) Do you think the Government of India’s 20 point programme will usher in a new
era? How?

vi) What further steps should be taken to attract investment from Indians living

vii) How should the pace of technology transfer be accelerated?

viii) Comment on the current economic climate in the country.

A. Miscellaneous

i) What do you understand by team-spirit?

ii) Do you think it can be cultivated? If yes, how?
iii) What are the qualities of an efficient manager?
iv) Do you think you posses these qualities?
v) How can the conflicts between the management and labour be resolved.

Employer’s Expectations

We may classify the information which an employer seeks while considering a person for a job,
into the following sub-headings.
i) State of health: Every organization desires its employees to be in a healthy state. Apart
from judging at the interview, the organization requires a new entrant to undergo a
medical examination, the standards of which differ from profession to profession.

ii) Attainments: A probe is made through searching questions to verify what is written by
the candidate in the biodata and to assess the nature and quality of this achievements.

iii) Intelligence: A close observation is made of the reflexes and responses of the
interviewee to discover the extent of his grasp and confidence.

iv) Aptitude: Certain questions are directed merely to find out the candidate’s aptitude for
the job he has applied for.

v) Interests: An attempt is made to understand the other dimensions of the personality of

the candidate by encouraging him to speak about his intellectual or social pursuits.

vi) Disposition: A vital piece of information that all employers would like to have is
whether the candidate has the ability to work with others.

vii) Circumstances: A peep into the interviewee’s previous environment and family
circumstances may give some clue to the candidate’s capacity to work.

Evaluating Oral Presentations

You may occasionally be asked to evaluate the quality of presentation made by another officer.
You have then to keep in mind the various factors that make a presentation effective and also to
quantify your judgment for record or comparison. There could be many ways to perform the
task. We suggest below an evaluation plan which we have tried out in various situations and
found satisfactory and workable.
Evaluation sheet for Oral Presentation

Name of the Presenter _________________

Date of Presentation __________________

Note: the qualitative meaning of the numerals is as follows:

1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Very Good, Excellent = 5

a) Introduction to the topic 1 2 3 4 5

b) Clarity of presentation 1 2 3 4 5
c) Sequence and continuity 1 2 3 4 5
d) Voice, pitch and delivery 1 2 3 4 5
e) Use of audio visual aids 1 2 3 4 5
f) Eye contact & audience awareness 1 2 3 4 5
g) Interaction with audience 1 2 3 4 5
h) General poise and personality 1 2 3 4 5
i) Knowledge of the subject 1 2 3 4 5
j) Style of concluding the presentation 1 2 3 4 5

Total __________
Remarks (if any):

Signature of the Evaluator