Success of an interview is totally dependent on you. In most of the part of your professional lives you will face many interviews. Facing and to succeed the interview requires both the knowledge and skills. With proper preparation and by following some basic guidelines you can crack most of the interviews.
This article is about some important tips for candidates who face difficulties while attending an interview and do commit common mistakes due to which they fail to get the job. There may be many reasons for this failure. For example
- Lack of preparation before interview,
- Lack of knowledge about the industry,
- Poor Body Language,
- Not giving proper answers to the questions of the interviewers, etc
By this article I would like to provide some basic solutions for the above problems to some extent.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR AN INTERVIEW?
- It is very important that your resume is accurate and precise.
- Prepare a list of questions that may be asked from every section of your resume, for example from work experience section – learning from specific job, reason for leaving the job, challenges faced, what were the key responsibilities, etc.
- Find about the size of the industry, how long has it been in existence, etc.
- Do a PEST analysis that talks about the business environment that surrounds the industry.
- P – Political Environment, e.g. Government policies, regulations, structure, taxes, etc.
- E – Economical Environment, e.g. Global Economy, Fiscal Policy, Inflation, Exchange Rates, etc.
- S – Social Environment, e.g. Demographics, lifestyles, education trend, earning capacity, etc.
- T – Technological Environment, e.g. Inventions, IT, Manufacturing Advances, Internet, etc
- After PEST analysis, do a SWOT analysis:
- Strengths of the Industry
- Weaknesses of the Industry
- Opportunities for the Industry
- Threats of the Industry
- One should research on the size and reach of the company.
- Be well aware of number of employees, worth of the company, etc.
- What are the strengths, challenges of the company, its competitors, etc.
Conduct at the Interview
Be before time: It is very important to be on time for the interview. Set a target to reach before time so that at least you can reach on time.
Communication Skills: Good communication includes both content and delivery. Delivery refers to your tone voice and choice of words and phrases-in short, the art of speaking.
Enthusiasm: You should never be as casual or frivolous, but maintain all along a cheerful disposition and be pleasant.
Listen Carefully: Listen carefully to the interviewers to so that you can understand the questions properly and give appropriate answers. Do not speak before the question is completed.
Be Honest: Never make any attempt to bluff the interviewers. If you don’t know the answer, acknowledge it. You can tactfully make the interviewers ask you about areas known to you.
Sell Yourself: You must find out what interests the interviewer and talk about it.
First Impression: When you enter in the interview room; the first thing that an interviewer sees about you is your grooming. It is important to dress up in formals. Remember 87% of hiring decisions are taken in first five minutes of the interview.
- Body language of the Interviewers: The body gesture of your interviewers can give you an indication of how well you are coming across to them. This can serve a signal to change your approach at an early stage before they give you the thumbs down.
- It’s okay to be nervous: This is something you should not worry about too much. Knowing how to act confidently using body language can increase your chances of passing the interview.
- Sitting Posture:
- Sit straight, back against the back of the chair.
- Lean forward a little while answering.
- Ladies can cross their legs with the foot pointing downwards (Try to avoid).
- Men should avoid sitting with their legs too wide apart or crossed with ankle on top of the knee.
- Don’t keep shifting positions,
- Don’t shuffle with your feet, kick against the leg of table, drum your fingers or click with pen (shows impatience, nervousness).
- Never be the first to initiate a handshake.
- If and when the interviewer does initiate a handshake give a firm handshake.
- Eye Contact
- Maintain eye contact with interviewer, but don’t stare.
- In one to one interview, look at the interviewer straight into the eye.
- In panel interview, look at the person asking question first and then look at the others turn by turn while giving answer, finally again ending on the first person.
- Practice looking above the eyes, near the forehead (above the nose) of other person while speaking.
- Don’t blink or flicker your eyelid too much (nervousness).
- Don’t look down at the floor-insecure
- Don’t let your eyes wander around the room too much-insuecure.
- Facial Expression
- Always look cheerful and happy.
- Don’t let you nervousness show on your face.
- Hands position
- Let hands lie on your lap or place them on the armrests of your chair.
- Don’t stick hands in pocket.
- Don’t cross arms.
- Don’t wav your hands too much.
- Always knock before entering the room, walk in smartly and cheerfully from the entrance to the interview table.
- Wish each and everyone present in the room. “Wish you all a very good morning”, or “Good Morning Sir”.
- Only take a seat once asked to.
- Make sure that your answers are not too long or short.
- Don’t use too many foghorns or fillers during interview.
- Avoid using abbreviations.
- Resume should always be taken out of the folder, turned so that contents face the interviewer and present with both hands.
- If offered any snacks or food, politely refuse. How would you answer with your mouth full?
Closing the Interview
- Closing remarks
- Reiterate why you are the best candidate,
- Re-assert interest,
- Thank each interviewer by name.
- Request business card or contact information of all interviewers or find out how to contact the interviewer.
I hope this article will help to some extent to most of the persons who are not able to clear their interview. It is my very first article, so suggestions, improvements, queries are invited. In my next article I will provide some tips for effective resume writing.
(Author is a CA Final Student from delhi and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)