In an interview in India, how am I supposed to greet the people (all of them together) in the interview panel?

The interview panel consists of at least two men and at least two women.

Good morning, Sirs and Ma'ams C-1

or just

Good morning, respected interview panel members

How am I supposed to greet them (all of them together)?

The interview may be considered as a formal interview for government job or for college admission or anything similar


I tried to find transcripts. Below are some interview transcripts of UPSC (Civil service) exam interviews C-2. These are possible cases of two or more men, and one woman.

  1. Good afternoon sirs, madam

  2. Good evening Ma’am, Good evening sirs

C-1. I would make sure it's pronounced /mæm/ and not "Madam". I am not sure about the "Madam" issue as pointed in comment. I will take the time to understand it later. Pronouncing /mæm/ is common and absolutely fine as far as I know.

C-2. A reputed exam in India


1 Answer 1


"Good morning" is sufficient.

It is the role of the leader of the panel to control the start and pace of the interview. He or she will invite the interviewee in, direct them where to sit and introduce other members of the panel. The interviewee responds to questions from individual panel members, but the interviewee does not address the panel as a group. There is no need for "Sirs and Madames" or "respected interview panel members" and using such phrases can be seen as sarcastic.

Prof. A: Ah, Good Morning Mr Snape, do take a seat.

Snape: Thank you.

Prof A. Now, this is the formal part of the interview. This is Dr B, who you met during your tour. She is head of the department. And to my right is Mr C who works in student support.

Mr C. Hello.

Snape: Good morning Mr C.

Prof A: Now I'll begin. Tell me, why do you want to join our university...

In Indian English, it is acceptable for the interview to say "Good morning sir" (or ma'am) when speaking to a particular person

Mr C: Hello

Snape: Good morning, sir.

But this should be avoided in other dialects, in this context.

  • Since you are talking about what's ok in Indian English -- do you happen to be aware of any guides to the differences between Indian English and American (or e.g. British) English? From the American side, I'm aware of a small number of major differences that happen to come up in my field, but I'm curious about others. Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 16:26
  • 1
    Indian English is a low prestige dialect, my knowlege is based on first hand experience with Indian English speakers, who freely use "sir" without irony, in contexts that I would find inappropriate. As a low prestige dialect, there are unlikely to be "guides" (a native speaker of a high prestige dialect such as "British English with RP" is unlikely to want to study to learn to speak like a Bombay native. There are some short guides on the internet, and probably some sociolinguistic studies in academic journals.
    – James K
    Commented Aug 7, 2020 at 16:42
  • @JamesK What do you mean by “low prestige dialect”?
    – StephenS
    Commented Nov 10, 2020 at 14:53

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