Interview Tips

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Irrespective of the approach you adopt for your job search, be it via job search engines, job search websites or anyone looking for a job can hardly undermine the importance of preparing well for a job interview.

A job interview is a mutual exchange of information as it presents the candidate with an opportunity to find more about the prospective organization, the particular department and more specifically his role / position. It is an ideal time to discuss skill sets and career goals in relation to your desired position. It helps to know the employers perspective. Managers usually determine a few things before hiring you.

  • What are your skills, work experience and personality?
  • Would you be able to do a great job?
  • Are you a good fit for the team / organization?
  • Would you be a good co-worker?
  • Can you sell yourself and your abilities?

Let’s summarize the key elements you need to master to ace an interview.

  • Analyze the Position
  • Research the Employer
  • Review Your Experiences
  • Practice, Practice, Practice

Basic Interview Tips

An interview comprises of—content (what is spoken, heard and understood) and the process (the intangible interaction between the prospective employee - employer), be sharp enough to look for subtle hints.

Dress appropriately— appear professional with a conservative leaning. Refrain from excess jewelry, accessories as they distract the interviewer from focusing their attention on YOU.

Arrive early- a good 10-15 min before the appointed time.

Be Personable- greet the reception staff and the interviewer with a smile

Offer a solid handshake- whenever presented with a chance, either on arrival / departure. Do not forget to SMILE.

Make good eye contact- sit comfortably, maintain an upright and relaxed posture. Don't fidget with pens or paper; this conveys nervousness to the employer.

Speak clearly- never speak fast and always pause to collect your thoughts.

Never criticize previous employers- do not blame previous bosses, superiors, employers, it does not bode well, you will be seen in a negative light, present a bad picture of yourself and potentially lose out on the employment opportunity.

Be honest- do not embellish your resume, cover up for shortcomings with fake accomplishments. Focus on the learning out of your mistakes.

Be assertive- the interview is a two way street for both of you to check the suitability of each other for the said position and the company.

Conclude the interview- on a thank you note for the opportunity of exchanging views that in essence is what an interview is.

Broadly speaking you may encounter the following questions, though you should not limit yourself only to these.

Top interview questions & answers

  • Tell me something about yourself
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why are you leaving / have left your current employer?
  • What are goals for the future / where do see yourself 5 years down the line?
  • Express your expectations from this job?
  • Talk about the most difficult situation you have faced and how did you tackle it?
  • How did you handle stress and pressure?

Tips to crack the phone interview

Telephonic interviews generally are of shorter duration and cost less, than a face to face interview.

  • Avoid distraction
  • Be well prepared
  • Talk less and listen carefully
  • Don’t broach the subject early on, instead inquire about salary range for that position, then decide accordingly

A lot hinges on your responses and how you conduct yourself during the interview

When in doubt follow the STAR, explain a related SITUATION, the TASK at hand, ACTION taken by you, and the POSITIVE result.

The thumb rule is to streamline your responses to the position you are interviewing for, back them with concrete examples, focus on the positives.

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