“Interview”- For almost each fresh graduate this word will evoke different response. Some will break into a sweat on thinking about giving an interview. Others will say it is a most unfair process of selection. However, a few will wonder why people make such a hue and cry about it; after all, you just have to answer the questions and to some an interview appears to be a mystical process, the results depending upon god and chance.
In short, for interviews the majority view on interviews would be that there is nothing definite about an interview. No one can predict about the kind of questions that an interviewer is going to ask. Therefore, there is no way that you can actually control or influence the outcome of an interview. You just go in and hope for the best. Right?
Wrong-This is a misconception, which is unfortunately widespread and needs to be corrected. There is a method and if you can adopt it, the interview will no longer be a mystical opportunity to be feared or wondered at. Instead, it will become something, which you will soon start enjoying, and be eager to take part in.
So, what is the method? Simply explained, it is a one-word mantra, “preparation”. As they say, that there is no substitute for hard work and hard work is incomplete with out preparations of any kind. The next question that one can ask is- “what is the kind of preparation one can do”? The answer is that we must do our homework.
“Homework means advance readiness”
Yes, that’s right- Homework. But don’t worry, we are not talking about opening text books and mugging up(If you have not done that in your classes then we are talking about that too!). But yes, it is always better to be safe than sorry. So, there is no harm in just doing a quick go through the important bits once again before the interview. After all, as a fresher what else can you prove except knowledge as a claim for eligibility?
Hence, knowledge update is the first and most critical preparation for an interview!
No one wants to talk to someone who looks like as someone who has appeared by chance. If you want to be taken seriously by the organization, show that you are meeting them by intention, not by circumstances. The effort has to be on showing that you are interested in the job, not because you need it, but because of what it represents. Ideally, all jobs are result of a desire to be successful in some particular field (which has already been decided by you as a goal). Therefore, you are there because getting the job means working with the right organization, in the right field and the stepping-stone to achieve your goals.
So, how do you do that?
We advice you to take care of the following:
Design your CV in a professional manner suitable to the job you are applying for. So your CV must reflect certain points viz:
- Career Objective: The language and content of the objective must be flexible enough to incorporate job you are applying for (i.e. it must match the same field and skills as your goal as have been given in the profile which you have applied for)
- Education Background
- Subjects and professional skills which you have picked as a result of you professional education
- Your summer training and the skills developed from it.
- Your projects and the skills develop from them.
- Your personal strengths/characteristics
The above points are the most critical. Any other parts though desirable are not critical to the job and only help in generally giving an round look to the profile of the candidate.
Some other things, which you can do, are:
- Find out about the job. You must know the content of the job i.e. the knowledge/qualification, experience, skill set, and the personal characteristics required for the job.
- Find out about the organization. Explore its profile, business, product portfolio, market reputation as much as possible. Try to link in your mind this information to your career goal.
- Explore how the job and the organization represent the fulfillment of your goals and prepare a crisp statement on it(You will need to speak on this as an answer to some questions during the interview)
- Prepare an introduction mentioning as many great points (which are relevant to the job) about you. Remember, an introduction is the part in the interview in which the interviewer is actually asking you to praise yourself without any kind of justifying or reasons. That will only happen in the follow up questions.
- A well-prepared introduction will also mean that you can control the kind of questions that you are likely to be asked. As I mentioned in the previous point, the interviewer most of the time is either going to ask you to justify, prove or give reason for what you have claimed in the introduction. Therefore, along with the introduction, try to imagine what kinds of questions are likely to be asked from the different points of your introduction. Try to think of their answers too.
- Prepare your documents and keep them ready in a chronological order.
- Work on your attitude and positivity.Have faith on your ability to succeed.
- Look at different videos on interviews available on the net.
- Finally, rehearse for interview. Practice as much you can, with your friends or alone in front of a mirror.
Some will be worrying about speaking in English. My advice is, if you are not good or comfortable in it, take the interviewer’s permission and speak in Hindi. Speaking grammatically or otherwise incorrect language will only make it difficult for the interviewer to understand your answers. It will be a far better option to speak in Hindi so that the interviewer is atleast able to understand you, and if your answers are good, then you have far better chances of selection.
A sincere and dedicated approach to the interview and adaptation of all of the above points will ensure a thorough preparation, a perfect readiness for the interview and will increase you success percentage manifold.
Finally, your success will also depend on how you perform at the time of interview itself.So here are some dos and don’t’s of the interview
What to do:
- Find out where the venue is beforehand, how to get there and how long it takes
- Dress smartly, look bright and attentive, and speak clearly and confidently.
- Wish the interviewers upon entering
- Sit only when you asked to, and say thank you upon being asked to sit.
- Sit straight
- Quote real examples of when you’ve used certain skills – just saying you’ve got a skill isn’t enough
- Take your time when answering the questions: make sure you understand the question and take your time if you need to think
- Sell yourself: no one else is going to! Be positive about yourself and your experiences
- Prepare some questions to ask at the end of the interview – use it as an opportunity to find out more about the role and the company. (Don’t ask about money or perks just yet!)
- When discussing salary, know your market worth and start by quoting a little higher than this
- Get feedback on your performance, whether you were successful or not
- Turn off your mobile phone: treat the interviewers with respect and give them your undivided attention
- Keep your answers focused on what you can do for the employer, not what they can do for you
What not to do:
- Don’t be late
- Don’t swear or use slang words
- Don’t slouch in your seat or do anything that makes you look uninterested
- Don’t smoke
- Don’t lie: the interviewer may see through you. Even if you get the job, your employer can dismiss you if they find out that you have not been honest
- Don’t let your nerves show too much; a few nerves are normal but extreme nerves will affect your performance. Use breathing techniques and try to remember that it’s not a life and death situation – there are plenty of jobs out there!
- Don’t be arrogant and assume you’ve got the job. Nothing turns off employers more than someone who is disrespectful and over-confident
- Don’t discuss controversial topics such as religion, politics and gender relations
- Don’t read from notes or your CV — you should be familiar enough with your own history to be able to talk about it unprompted
- Don’t criticize former employers or colleagues. Interviewers may mark you down as a troublemaker and a gossip
- Don’t argue with the interviewer, no matter what. Remember to keep things positive!
In the end, we have a small guide for you to prepare yourself for some of the most common questions of an interview and the answers that you can give. Remember, they are only a guide. Be flexible, adaptable and formulate your answers according to the circumstances. If you have something better, say that. For inside the room, you will be best judge of the situation.
Have a happy and successful interview!