The Interview Class 12: Must-Know Questions and Answers

Hello, readers! We are starting our journey to do well in the Class 12 English Flamingo Book, Chapter 7, "The Interview." We are lucky to have Christopher Silvester, a famous author, as our guide to the world of interviews.

We have gone beyond the usual to bring you extra questions and answers for Chapter 7, to help you prepare for the CBSE 2023-24 board exams. These questions will help you understand Silvester's writing style and improve your comprehension and analysis skills.

Let's start exploring "The Interview" from new perspectives, so that you are fully prepared for the board exams!

the interview class 12 extra questions answers

SubjectEnglish Language & Literature
Chapter NameThe Interview
TypeImportant Questions and Answers
Book NameFlamingo Chapter 7

"Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again."

The Interview Class 12 Extra Questions Answers

Q. No. 1) Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)

i. According to Christopher Silvester, the interview can be “in its highest form, a source of truth”. Choose the option that does NOT enable this.

a. An interview allows for the discovery of new knowledge about the interviewee and/ or the subject being discussed.

b. An interview enables the interviewer to probe deeply, seek clarifications, and confirm understanding.

c. An interview represents an opportunity to open doors to experiences that may not otherwise find a voice.

d. An interview requires the interviewer to have in-depth prior knowledge of the interviewee and the subject.

Ans. Option (d)

ii. Column A below describes Rudyard Kipling’s views on interviews. Column B provides fictional descriptions of some of Kipling’s works if they were about interviews and interviewers. Choose the option that correctly matches interview attributes given in Column A to the works in Column B:

Column AColumn B
1. immoral(i) ‘The Mark of the Beast’ – An illicit tale of unforgivable offenses against man and society.
2. cowardly(ii) ‘The Jungle Book’ – A journey into the corrupt jungle of information where conscience and principles do not exist.
3. vile(iii) ‘The Light that Failed’ – A story of audacious truth being left in the dark alleys of craven scandal and misrepresentation.
4. criminal(iv) ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ – A saga of evil depravity of a man who ruled over heroes and became a villain.

a. 1 – (i); 2 – (ii); 3 – (iii); 4 – (iv)

b. 1 – (ii); 2 – (iii); 3 – (iv); 4 – (i)

c. 1 – (iii); 2 – (iv); 3 – (i); 4 – (ii)

d. 1 – (iv); 2 – (i); 3 – (ii); 4 – (iii)

Ans. Option (b)

iii. Mukund Padmanabhan mentions that much like his novels, Umberto Eco’s “scholarly work has a certain playful and personal quality about it.” To what is this attributed?

a. Eco thought the regular academic style was depersonalized, dry, and boring.

b. Eco presented his first Doctoral dissertation in Italy in this style.

c. Eco realized that scholarly books should tell the story of the research.

d. Eco identified himself with the academic and scholarly community.

Ans. Option (c)

iv. Umberto Eco mentioned that he was not puzzled by the tremendous mass popularity of his novel, The Name of the Rose. What does this tell you about Umberto Eco?

a. He believes he understands readership trends well, and writes accordingly to ensure mass appeal.

b. He elevates himself above publishers and journalists who were surprised by the success of the book.

c. He respects and understands that there are variations in people’s reading choices and experiences.

d) He feels that the success of a book is a mystery, and there is no point pondering over it.

Ans. Option (c)

Q. No. 2) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract

Saul Bellow, who has consented to be interviewed on several occasions, nevertheless once described interviews as being like thumbprints on his windpipe. Yet despite the drawbacks of the interview, it is a supremely serviceable medium of communication. “These days, more than at any other time, our most vivid impressions of our contemporaries are through interviews,” Denis Brian has written. “Almost everything of moment reaches us through one man asking questions of another. Because of this, the interviewer holds a position of unprecedented power and influence.”

i. How would you describe Denis Brian’s opinion on interviews? Choose the most appropriate option.

  1. appeasing
  2. utilitarian
  3. approving
  4. praising

a. Options (1) and (2)

b. Options (3) and (4)

c. Options (2) and (3)

d. Options (1) and (4)

Ans. Option (c)

ii. According to Saul Bellow, interviews are like thumbprints on his windpipe. What emotion might best describe such an image?

a. sadness

b. frustration

c. pain

d. fear

Ans. Option (c)

iii. Denis Brian states that the interviewer occupies a position of power and influence as ___________.

a. everything reaches us through one man asking questions of another.

b. the interview is a supremely serviceable medium of communication.

c. our most vivid impressions of our contemporaries are through interviews.

d. interviews are like thumbprints on the interviewee’s windpipe.

Ans. Option (c)

iv. The use of the word “serviceable” implies that interviews are _________

a. significant.

b. powerful.

c. advanced.

d. useful.

Ans. Option (d)

Q. No. 3) Multiple Choice Questions based on an extract:

Maybe I give the impression of doing many things. But in the end, I am convinced I am always doing the same thing… And then I have a secret. Did you know what will happen if you eliminate the empty spaces from the universe, eliminate the empty spaces in all the atoms? The universe will become as big as my fist. Similarly, we have a lot of empty spaces in our lives. I call them interstices. Say you are coming over to my place. You are in an elevator and while you are coming up, I am waiting for you. This is an interstice, an empty space. I work in empty spaces.

i. Read the questions given below. Imagine they were interjections raised by the interviewer based on the above extract. Choose the option that correctly describes the given questions.

  1. If you are “always doing the same thing”, isn’t your work lacking in originality?
  2. Could you elaborate on these larger ethical, philosophical interests that inform your work?
  3. All writing happens in empty spaces. In fact, why don’t I tell you all about my experiences?

a. (1) is not relevant; (2) is appropriate; and (3) is unnecessary

b. (1) is appropriate; (2) is repetitive; and (3) is useful information

c. (1) is inappropriate; (2) is relevant; and (3) is not relevant

d. (1) is unnecessary; (2) is intrusive; and (3) is extrapolatory

Ans. Option (c)

ii. Based on your reading of Part I of ‘The Interview’, which one of the following may NOT be an appropriate title to the above extract?

a. The Empty Spaces of Umberto Eco

b. Big Exposé: Eco’s Secret Revealed!

c. “I am always doing the same thing”: Eco’s Echoes

d. Umberto Eco, Mr. Prolific!

Ans. Option (b)

iii. “I work in empty spaces”. Choose the option that most accurately captures Eco’s idea of empty spaces.

  1. management of time
  2. organization of space
  3. philosophical inclination
  4. command of thought

a. Options (1) and (2)

b. Options (3) and (4)

c. Options (1) and (3)

d. Options (2) and (4)

Ans. Option (c)

iv. Umberto Eco states that ‘empty spaces’ actually fill spaces, and without them, the universe would be the size of a human fist. He also goes on to say that it is in an interstice such as waiting, which the dictionary defines as a time for pause, that he works. That is, passive waiting is essentially active writing time. Choose the literary device that best describes what Eco does with the concepts of ‘empty spaces’ and ‘waiting’.

a. juxtaposition

b. irony

c. oxymoron

d. Symbolism

Ans. Option (a)

Q. No. 4) Some might make quite extravagant claims for it as being, in its highest form, a source of truth, and, in its practice, an art. Others, usually celebrities who see themselves as its victims, might despise the interview as an unwarranted intrusion into their lives, or feel that it somehow diminishes them, just as in some primitive cultures it is believed that if one takes a photographic portrait of somebody then one is stealing that person’s soul.

(The Interview)

i. What is the most likely reason some people consider the practice of interviews to be an art? This could be because it requires

a. fluency of words.

b. sensitive and careful handling.

c. creativity and imagination.

d. probing and focusing on details.

Ans. Option (b)

ii. Rewrite the sentence by replacing the underlined phrase with its inference.

Celebrities feel that an interview diminishes them.

Ans. Celebrities feel that an interview makes them appear ordinary./reduces their stature./makes them feel less significant./reduces their status or self-worth.

iii. On the basis of the extract, choose the correct option with reference to the two statements given below.

  1. Celebrities don’t consent to be interviewed.
  2. Interviews intrude on the privacy of celebrities.

a. (1) Can be inferred from the extract but (2) cannot.

b. (1) cannot be inferred from the extract but (2) can.

c. (1) is true but (2) is false.

d. (2) is the reason for (1).

Ans. Option (d)

iv. Rationalise, to support the given opinion:

To say that an interview, in its highest form, is a source of truth, is an extravagant claim. 

Ans. It is an extravagant claim as an interview cannot be a source of truth due to the following:

  • An interview may be scripted
  • People may make false statements
  • Certain questions may be left unanswered.

v. Replace the underlined word with its antonym from the extract.

Some celebrities hate the idea of having to give an interview because it makes them feel like supporters.

Ans. victims

vi. The author’s views on the interview, in the extract, can best be described as statements based on ______.

a. facts

b. hypothesis

c. beliefs

d. Superstitions

Ans. Option (c)

Q. No. 5) So it is hardly surprising that opinions of the interview --- of its functions, methods, and merits --- vary considerably. Some might make quite extravagant claims for it as being, in its highest form, a source of truth, and, in its practice, an art. Others, usually celebrities who see themselves as its victims, might despise the interview as an unwarranted intrusion into their lives, or feel that it somehow diminishes them, just as in some primitive cultures it is believed that if one takes a photographic portrait of somebody then one is stealing that person's soul. V. S. Naipaul feels that 'Some people are wounded by interviews and lose a part of themselves.' Lewis Carroll, the creator of Alice in Wonderland, was said to have had 'a just horror of the interviewer' and he never consented to be interviewed.

(The Interview: Part I)

i. Identify any one contrast in the extract and explain it in one sentence in your own words.


  • The positive and negative opinions about the interview are being contrasted.
  • The views of people who read interviews and those who get interviewed are being contrasted.

ii. Based on V. S. Naipaul's quote, we can say that interviews __________.

a. are forced upon people

b. are physically violent in nature

c. can build hostility and hatred

d. can be a traumatic experience

Ans. Option (d) [The quote focuses on the negative experience of an interview, which is that it can wound people to the point of them losing a part of themselves. This option correctly paraphrases this as a conclusion.]

iii. What is common between how celebrities feel about interviews and how primitive cultures viewed photographic portraits?


  • Both find it intrusive.
  • Both think it somehow diminishes who they are.
  • Both are not in favor of these ways of capturing someone's essence.

iv. Which of these uses 'just' in the same way as the following expression in the extract?

'a just horror of the interviewer'

a. The just decision in the case against the criminal will empower us.

b. I just need to buy a pencil so we can go shopping tomorrow.

c. We will get back to you on this query in just a moment.

d. The little girl looks just like her mother.

Ans. Option (a)

[The expression uses 'just' to mean 'fair' or 'reasonable'. This is the only option where 'just' has the same meaning as in the extract.]

v. What makes an interview 'a source of truth'? State any one feature.


  • A feature of an interview is that we get information about the person from the person themself.
  • An interview is usually done on the spot, which does not give us practiced responses.
  • The interviewer asks the interviewee specific questions which the interviewee may not have disclosed otherwise.

vi. Complete the given sentence appropriately.

The author of the extract has a/an __________ tone while describing the interview.


  • neutral/balanced
  • factual/objective
  • matter-of-fact/unemotional.

Q. No. 6) Why do you think Christopher Silvester describes the viewpoints of other writers and authors when discussing the concept of an interview? Support your opinion with reference to any one writer cited.

Ans. Christopher Silvester describes the viewpoints of other writers and authors to illustrate the diverse and sometimes conflicting perspectives on interviews. For instance, by referencing writers like V. S. Naipaul, Lewis Carroll, Rudyard Kipling, H. G. Wells, and Saul Bellow, he highlights the range of opinions on interviews, from being seen as a source of truth and art to being condemned as intrusive and damaging. This adds depth and context to the discussion of interviews in his prose.

Q. No. 7) How would you evaluate Mukund Padmanabhan as an interviewer? Mention at least two qualities he displays in his interview, supported by textual evidence.

Ans. Mukund Padmanabhan exhibits two notable qualities as an interviewer in his conversation with Umberto Eco.

  • Firstly, he demonstrates a strong capacity for asking thoughtful and probing questions, as seen when he inquires about Eco's transition from academia to fiction.
  • Secondly, Padmanabhan's active listening and ability to engage in a meaningful dialogue with Eco, allowing the author to share personal stories and insights, reflect his effectiveness as an interviewer.

Q. No. 8) Christopher Silvester shares the authors’ reservations about interviewing. Bearing that in mind, would you interview a writer of your choice? If so, what would you pay particular attention to in interviewing the said writer?

Ans. Yes, I would interview a writer of my choice. In doing so, I would pay particular attention to their creative process, sources of inspiration, and the themes and messages they aim to convey through their work, aiming to understand the deeper aspects of their writing beyond the surface narrative.

Q. No. 9) Umberto Eco, with reference to "The Name of the Rose" says, “I think if I had written The Name of the Rose ten years earlier or ten years later, it wouldn’t have been the same.” What could he have meant?

Ans. Umberto Eco suggests that the success of his book, "The Name of the Rose," was largely due to timing. He believes that if he had written the book ten years earlier or ten years later, it wouldn't have had the same impact.

  • This could be interpreted as Eco recognizing the importance of cultural context and how the reception of a work of art is influenced by the historical, social, and political climate of its time.
  • Eco might be suggesting that the themes and ideas he explored in his novel resonated particularly strongly with readers in the cultural moment in which it was published and that this moment was fleeting.

Therefore, if he had written the book earlier or later, it might not have been as relevant or timely, and might not have captured the same level of attention and interest.

Q. No. 10) Imagine that you are Christopher Silvester. You have been invited to a seminar series titled – ‘Ethics and Techniques of Interviewing’.

The organizers would like you to speak about the challenges of conducting interviews, and skills interviewers must have in order to conduct good and ethical interviews.

Based on your reading of The Interview, Part I and II, draft your speech. Include relevant details from the text in support of your answer.

Ans. Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed organizers, and fellow participants,

Today, I stand before you to discuss the captivating world of interviews, drawing inspiration from my reading of "The Interview." Interviews, as we've seen, have evolved into a commonplace in journalism and communication. They serve as a powerful medium for extracting information, and they often offer us unique insights into the minds and lives of individuals.

However, as "The Interview" has highlighted, interviews come with their own set of challenges. Interviewers must navigate the fine line between probing for information and respecting an individual's privacy. Our discussion of various authors' reservations regarding interviews, including Lewis Carroll's "just horror" or Rudyard Kipling's belief that interviews are "immoral," underscores the ethical dilemmas interviewers can face.

To conduct good and ethical interviews, we need to hone our skills in crafting questions that are insightful yet respectful, listening actively to our subjects, and maintaining a genuine curiosity about their experiences. We must strike a balance between seeking information and respecting boundaries, understanding that interviews are a delicate art where ethics and techniques must coexist harmoniously.

Thank you.

Q. No. 11) Mukund Padmanabhan was gifted the ‘Penguin Book of Interviews - An Anthology from 1859 to the Present Day’ edited by Christopher Silvester, after interviewing Eco.

He shared his thoughts on his personal blog exploring his own concerns about interviewing a distinguished writer like Eco, followed by an evaluation of the interview in light of his reading.

As Mukund Padmanabhan, write the blog post.


An Encounter with Eco: Navigating the Art of Interviewing

In the world of interviews, opportunities like the one I had with Umberto Eco are truly exceptional. A writer of his caliber, renowned for his scholarly work and acclaimed novels, presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities.

Before the interview, I couldn't help but share my concerns on my personal blog. Interviewing a distinguished writer like Eco was a thrilling yet daunting prospect. Would I be able to do justice to his intellect and creativity? Could I craft questions that would delve into his philosophical interests and his journey from academia to fiction?

But I took courage in my preparation, drawing inspiration from Christopher Silvester's "The Interview." I realized that the heart of a good interview lies in thoughtful questions and active listening. It's about engaging in a genuine dialogue with the subject, respecting their narrative, and letting the conversation unfold organically.

Now, looking back, I evaluate our conversation in light of my reading. I'm proud that I managed to create a space where Eco could share his stories, his interests, and his thoughts. It was a momentous experience, and I hope that my interview added a new dimension to the rich anthology of interviews that Silvester presented in "The Penguin Book of Interviews."

The journey of an interviewer is filled with uncertainties, but it is the quest for knowledge and understanding that drives us forward. And in interviewing Eco, I discovered the power of dialogue and the magic of storytelling.

Q. No. 12) Part I of ‘The Interview’ is an excerpt from the Penguin Book of Interviews. Do you think that the extract fails to present a balanced perspective about interviews?

Substantiate your answer with relevant textual details.

If this were the entire introduction, what would your expectation from the book be?

Ans. Part I of 'The Interview' from the Penguin Book of Interviews does seem to present a somewhat unbalanced perspective about interviews. While it discusses various authors' reservations and concerns about interviews, it doesn't provide an equal amount of space to voices that may highlight the positive aspects and merits of this journalistic form.

For instance, it cites V.S. Naipaul's feelings of being wounded by interviews, Rudyard Kipling's strong condemnation, and Saul Bellow's comparison of interviews to thumbprints on his windpipe. The focus is primarily on the negative or skeptical views.

If this were the entire introduction to the book, my expectation would be that it is more likely to delve into the challenges and controversies surrounding interviews, rather than celebrating their value and significance. I might anticipate a critical exploration of interviews, which could be valuable for understanding the complexities and ethical considerations but might not provide a comprehensive overview of the broader world of interviews, which includes their role in storytelling, journalism, and communication.

Also Read:
Class 12 Important Questions and Answers
Class 12 Notes

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3 thoughts on “The Interview Class 12: Must-Know Questions and Answers”

  1. my name is kartik verma i
    from class 12th sir i am very for your chapter explaination sir i want soved question answer explained in your youtube videos plesase sir upload a video and give me a suggestion how to write a answer in exam

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