Once your CV gets noticed by the recruiter or your prospective employer, it results in an interview call. We present you with the essential advice you need to get yourself prepared for the upcoming job interview.
Q. What all to do before an interview?
A. Before an interview you must take ample time out to conduct some amount of useful research and analysis:
- Research about the organization and the role. Think about the job-fit and the organizational fit, given your professional experience, skills and interests.
- Research about the current affairs and the latest trends in your job sector.
- Research to find what your prospective employer may be looking for.
- Think about the questions you may potentially be asked. Prepare yourself with answers to these questions;
- Find out what kind of an interview is being conducted among sinle, panel or a group. Prepare yourself accordingly.
- make a plan for the day of the interview. This also includes your journey so that you arrive at least ten minutes before the reporting time. Carry sufficient money with you, in case you have to take a bus or a taxi unexpectedly.
- carry a street map or keep the post code of the organization handy with you to put into the Google maps on your mobile to keep yourself from getting lost.
- decide what you shall be wearing and set it out the night before. The best options could be suits and the business wear with neat, polished and comfortable shoes.
- get a good night’s sleep by going to bed early the night before. This will help you give your best performance.
Q. How to impress the recruiter or the prospective employer at a job interview?
A. You can easily make a lasting first impression by getting noticed for all the right reasons.
- arrive on the reporting time or preferably 10 minutes early;
- stay well-organised. Carry your application letter, CV and work examples relevant to job, with you;
- be a careful listener during the interview and offer clear and concise answers to the questions asked.
- present yourself in such a way that you showcase your best attributes. Well before the interview, give it a thought what all related to the job, the interviewer(s) would like to know about you.
- take care of your verbal as well as non-verbal means of communication. It is a proven fact that the non-verbal communication overpowers verbal communication. So if you speak of yourself as confident and outgoing but come across as a shy and timid personality speaking in a barely audible voice and avoid eye contact, the interviewer will not only disregard what you said about your being confident but will also will not trust you.
- practise in advance for anything that concerns you. Whether it is saying your answers aloud and hearing yourself speak to refine your tone and build confidence or having a trial of your journey to the interview venue.
Q. How can I control my nerves before the interview?
A. You may forget to do simple things such as keeping a smile on your face or even to listen, owing to the nerves during your interview. However unintended, these small gestures make you come across as unfriendly, careless or inattentive. However, adequate preparation and practice is the answer to nervousness. So, we advise you to
- make a mental note of all your positive attributes and job related proficiencies you possess that will add value to the job/organization.
- think through all the practical scenarios and examples that demonstrate your achievements, personality traits and all aspects of your working, educational and social life
- make notes to take along at your interview, which can have cues about the examples you may want to mention.
- take a small pause and give yourself some time to think it through before you answer a difficult question;
- adopt an assertive attitude and use assertive language. These things help the interviewers, judge about your motivation level.
- ask for clarification in cases when you’re not sure what a particular question means. This helps you buy time to take a deep breath and think.
Q. How can I practise my interview skills?
A. You can:
- start with anticipating a set of questions and preparing your answers for them.
- practise a mock interview with these anticipated questions and the prepared answers with someone you can seek feedback from. Don’t try to be overly self-critical.
- make it a habit to ask for feedback and advice after unsuccessful interviews to take it as a learning experience and strive to improve
- prepare your answers to all the commonly asked interview questions. Preparation is the key.
Q. What all do I need to carry with me to a job interview?
A. Usually, you can carry your CV and your own letter of application, the job description/ specifications and your own notes. In most cases, the interview call letter details everything you essentially need to bring. It is noteworthy that some employers may request you to carry your examination mark sheets and certifications, which can be time taking to organize. This means you should organize the things to carry well in advance. Also, it makes sense to carry a pen and a notebook. In case you need to deliver a presentation, it is important to carry a copy of the same on a pen drive (even if you’ve mailed it in advance) along with the hand outs of the slides for the interview panel to peruse. It is a great idea to read about the organization’s literature a bit, since it helps you demonstrate your interest in the job and organization, in such a case you should read in depth and stay prepared to share your ideas and views as well.
Q. How to prepare for a telephonic interview?
A. Phone interviews are usually conducted for an initial screening. You should take care of a few important aspects while preparing for a telephonic interview:
- Phone’s battery life: Before you take the call on your mobile phone, make sure that the battery is fully charged.
- Voice tone: Make your best effort to use assertive language and tone.
- location: take the interview call in a quiet place, where you are not disturbed or distracted by anything or anyone.
These interviews are usually recorded for assessment, so you must pay attention to conveying the key messages quickly. Make a list of your key positive attributes that are relevant to the job and keep this list handy during the phone call. Emphasize on the important ones and reinforce them with the help of examples
Of late, there has been a roaring trend of video/ Skype interviews, specially in cases of applying to the jobs overseas or when the key staff or the managing authorities are located overseas. For these interviews, you should dress just the way you would for a face-to-face interview. Also, make a mental note of the other things that will be shot in the video, apart from your dress.
Q. How to get ready for a second round of interview?
A. A second round of interview implies that you have made it thorugh the initial screening and now the interviewer wants: a) the evidences to ensure that you have the ability, skill and interest to perform the job; b) reassurance that you are capable of adding value to the organization. The questions will tend to gather a more information about you, your motivation level, interests and job-fit with the role, the existing staff and the corporate philosophy they follow. To prepare for this you must
- know as much as you can, about the opportunities for the organization and the challenges faced by it. Its markets, its competitors, its priorities etc.,
- think it through, what all you can bring to the organisation and prepare examples to demonstrate how you have learned the skills important for the job.
- by all means demonstrate your enthusiasm for the organizational goals and benefits.
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