An ultra-dense deployment of small cells is foreseen as the solution to cope with the exponential increase of the data rate demand targeted by the 5th Generation (5G) radio access technology. In this article, we propose an interference-robust air interface built upon the usage of advanced receivers as main interference mitigation technique. Both Interference Rejection Combining (IRC) and Successive Interference Cancellation (SIC) principles are considered. An efficient usage of such receivers is ensured by a proper frame structure design and system assumptions. Different approaches for the rank adaptation are also investigated. Simulation results show that proposed air interface built upon advanced receiver can be a feasible alternative to traditional solutions based on frequency reuse planning. Open issues and further challenges are also addressed.