Attending an Interview

You have crossed the first hurdle of getting selected for an interview. Now you have to face the next hurdle in the process that is interview. Now you have the opportunity to show how well suited you are for the job. If you perform well in this stage too you might land up with your dream job.
Preparation Success occur when preparation meets opportunity. You have the opportunity, not it is up to you to do the preparation and taste success. Preparation is required in all walks of life, even when you are cooking. The key to a successful job interview is preparation—it makes you confident and you can perform well during the interview.
Research the company. During the interview, knowing about the organization will show your attitude as a researcher (for collecting information from different sources). The employers will also get a feel that you are interested in the position and that is the reason why you have kept yourself informed about the company.If you are applying for a sales or a marketing position, try to know about the competitors of the company. If the interviewers ask you questions about the company, you can impress them with your answers. This will only show that you have taken the initiative to research the company and that you are go-getter.Prepare questions to ask the interviewer. These questions should be relevant to the job and organization. Asking questions will help you make an informed decision about taking the job as well as display your interest in the position. Have a mock interview. Prepare from your experiences that would relate to and benefit the position. Be prepared for open-ended questions (What are your career goals? And so on).

Guidelines for the ceremony

If you are well prepared, the interview will not be as bad as you might think. Just follow some guidelines!

  1. Dress neatly and appropriatelyYou do not have to wear a designer wear, but must be dressed neatly and cleanly. The dress must be appropriate for the organization and the position you are applying for. A male applying for the position of a marketing executive, should not go for an interview dressed in jeans and sports shoes. Look neat, clean, and well-groomed.You have to be dressed just right for the interview–not over or under dressed. Men should wear a formal shirt, trousers, and well polished shoes. You can also wear a suit with tie if the position and the organization demands it. Women should either wear a smart western suit, or salwar kameez, or saree (as appropriate). Avoid wearing lots of make-up and/or jewelry. Smell good, but definitely not like a walking bottle of deodorant or perfume.2. Be on timeWhat is new about it? The first thing that comes in mind when getting ready to go for an interview is to reach there on time. Unfortunately this also happens to be the most misunderstood statement. The applicants rarely turn in late for an interview. Most of the time they come in very early, and pester the front-desk executive to remind the interviewer that they are already in. This is very irritating. The people responsible for the hiring process are busy. They have tight schedules and probably they would be in the process of getting ready for the interview.If you happen to come in early, mention that you were supposed to come at a specified time, but have come in early, and that you would wait! Arrive about fifteen minutes before your scheduled time, so that any other formality can be covered before the scheduled time for interview.This will show of your attitude towards time management—not only your time, but also of the others involved.

    3. Take extra copies of your resume

    You have already sent in your resume, but having extra copies with you never hurts. If you are asked to interview with more than one person, then it becomes handy. Carry them in a file or binder so they stay clean and neat.

    This will show the interviewers that you are well prepared.

    4. Be confident

    Don’t have the lost look on your face. Be confident. An interview is an assessment of how well you might do in a given position. Demonstrate a general level of competence. Remain calm and avoid nervous habits such as tapping your foot, playing with your hair, or biting your nails.

    Being confident will show that you are secure in your abilities to do the job.

    5. Speak clearly

    Speak clearly and directly. Don’t beat round the bush. Do not fumble. Just be relaxed. You must know what is expected of you and clearly communicate that knowledge. Try to lead the discussion by answering the questions into areas that demonstrate your competence and skills and highlight your achievements and attributes.

    6. Body language

    Your body can speak a silent language that can tell a great deal about you. When we communicate, 15% impact depends on what we say, 40% on how we say it, and 40% of the impact is made by our body language. So ensure that your body conveys the right message.

    • When you meet the person(s) interviewing you, give a firm handshake (if they offer you their hand).
    • While talking, maintain eye contact and look at the interviewer in the eye confidently, but not challengingly. Also avoid staring at them
    • A smile lets you establish an instant relationship with people. Smile also tells you are open to discussion
    • If you normally move your hands around a lot when you speak, tone it down a little. Don’t look too stiff by trying to sit straight, but also ensure that you don’t look like a Bharatnatyam dancer by moving your hands very often
    • Hands resting casually in your lap rather than arms folded across your chest also are more inviting. Arms folded across your chest show stiffness and unfriendliness.
    • A slouch suggests lack of interest or enthusiasm.
    • Standing straight with your weight balanced on each foot makes you look confident and relaxed.
    • Touching the nose very often suggests that you are confused.
    • Do not stoop so low as though you are carrying some weight on your back, and don’t be too stiff like a mannequin. Just have a good posture. Yes, don’t forget to smile, but again don’t over do it.

7. Avoid one word answers

Avoid answering questions using yes or no. Give qualitative answers. If you are an experience person, give examples of your performances that stand out. Make sure to speak positively of your previous employers and experiences.

8. Avoid talking too much

Your talk should be balanced. If the interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself, don’t give them a detailed autobiography about yourself. Employers wants to know what you can offer the company. So talk in brief about your education and other topics. Talk about how your experience or skills can be of use to them.

9. Be honest

As a golden rule, never lie or exaggerate about your experiences. If you don’t have any hobbies, admit that. Lying about your work and your strengths would only cause distress in the future.

10. Ask questions

When given a chance, ask questions. Ask questions that you have practiced and any questions that you have thought of while being interviewed. You may want to know about the team/department, about the work process etc.

Standard Questions

The questions can vary depending on the type of attitude the interviewers are looking for in the person. You can add more to the list or customize it for your mock interview 🙂

  1. Tell us about yourself.
  2. Why are you interested in this position?
  3. What makes you apply for this position in this organization?
  4. According to you what are the skills that makes you the right choice for this position?
  5. While in the college what was your dream job?
    1. (depending on the answer) Then how is it that you are applying for this position?
    2. (depending on the answer) What did you do to stand by your dream?
    3. (depending on the answer) What if you don’t land up with your dream job?
  6. (to an experienced person) How will your experience help you in this position?
  7. (to a fresher) Do you think you will be an assent to the organization considering that there are experienced people who have applied for the position?
  8. According to you what are your strengths that will make you succeed in any position?
  9. How would you resolve a conflict between subordinates, superiors, and yourself?
  10. What are your greatest concerns about your first year with our organization?
  11. How would you handle a person who is a consistent behavioral problem?
  12. How do you rate yourself as a team player?
  13. How comfortable are you with constructive criticism?
  14. Describe a project on which you worked which had a very short deadline. How did you meet that deadline?
  15. Describe an incident where in you came out of a difficult situation.
  16. What is your greatest weakness? 
  17. (depending on the answer) Are you doing anything to overcome this?
  18. Do you know any thing about this company?
  19. Where do you see yourself in five years from now? (As far as the candidates are concerned, this is an irrelevant question. But this is always the second last question asked by the interviews. Even I ask this!)
  20. Do you have any question? (Depending on the question you ask there can be a question answer session.)

Those who are on a job hunt, hope you are ready for job interview opportunities that come your way. Preparing for the interview is the most important step in the interview process. If you are prepared, the rest should be a lot easier. Good luck to you all!


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