Job Interview Tips

logoJob interviews are one of the most important challenges that we face in our life. Job interviews help us land the dream career. Sometimes, it is your performance during the interview which determines your future. Job interviews therefore can’t be treated lightly.
It is during the interview that the future employer will determine your suitability for the position and hence, you need to learn the art of cracking job interviews to get hired. Check out the following tips to ensure success in your next job call.

Basic Etiquettes/ Got a Call Keep Resume Simple Highlight your Skills
Going for the Interview Answering the Questions Dressing up for an Interview
Handling Group Interview Body Language Dining Interview
Handling the Phone

Basic Etiquettes/ Got a Call

  • When you get a call for the interview via email,always acknowledge the invitations irrespective of whether you reject or accept the interview call.
  • Before going for the interview,one should go through the job description thoroughly as one may be asked to tell the roles and responsibilities expected from you and also the interviewer will get to know how much you are interested in the job.
  • Match the requirements with your skill, experiences, achievements, your competencies and weakness. Based on that try to practice some expected questions and their answers.
  • When you arrive at the interview site, introduce yourself to the receptionist and let her know about your scheduled interview with the interviewer. Meet your interviewer with a smile on face and don’t be nervous. Have a firm handshake, introduce yourself, have a small talk, if interviewer initiates and get into the flow with the interviewer
  • Homework matters. If you are appearing for a senior position you must spend considerable time finding out about the company's style of functioning and people who could be interviewing you and may become your peers. It can always be an interviewer's birthday. Whether to wish or not is a different call, being aware is important.
  • "Write a thank you note to the employer or the interviewer after you are back from the interview. It is a good idea to do so, as it highlights one of your strengths and informs the employer about the special skills and discipline that you will bring in to the company.

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Keep Resume Simple

  • Sole purpose of the resume is to raise and generate reader's interest in your profile and immediately get you shortlisted. Make sure whenever you send a resume it clearly defines why you are the best candidate for the targetted company and profile. The resume should be customized as per the requirementsmentioned in the position being targetted. But please ensure there are no lies in the resume.
  • Keep your CV simple and concise. It must be easily readable and customized to the requirements of the recruiter. Do not lie in your CV, it may embarrass you in front of the recruiter or may lead to disqualification, if acught.
  • Do keep the extra (two) copies of your resumes. Also do carry the letters of recommendations and references, if any, that are really very helpful in the job interviews as companies give advantage to such candidates.

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Highlight your Skills

  • In the interview, do mention, if you have the qualities like your ability to motivate people and also when the emergency situation arises, you do not loose the cool etc. and mention the examples also with the same.
  • In college or school, where you have organised an event or was an important part of the grand event, then do mention about that in the interview as this will reflect your Leadership capabilities as well as your spirit to work in teams. As most of the companies look for people who can work well in teams

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Going for the Interview

  • Do a proper research about the company before your interview. Gather information about the company's products, services, management and competitors. The interviewer will likely ask you- Why do you want to join our company? Your answer should highlight the strengths of the company and how well it fit with your career goals. The more research you do, the better you can answer such questions.
  • You don't know the whole world, planning to reach 15 minutes before time interview is always good. It helps you to locate and keeps a buffer for any minor exigencies. it is always better if you can plan some tasks in the same neighborhood which allow for far better planning.

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Answering the Questions

  • Practice the answers of the probable interview questions in front of mirror in order to see your expressions while giving the answers and hence improve accordingly.
  • Before going for an interview, do prepare answers for the questions related to your strengths and weaknesses along with the specific examples as this will in turn create a good impression of yours in the eyes of the interviewer.
  • Identify the typical questions that most of the interviewer ask and practice your responses. You can think and prepare actual examples to describe your skills. Providing real life examples of the situations and success will strengthen your candidature.
  • Do prepare for the short answer to the question "Tell me about yourself". Mention about the talents you have and support the same with the examples i.e. include the qualities that made you to won the awards in college and school and how the same you will include in the job. Remember it should not potray that you have already prepared for this answer.
  • For the question like "Why Should We Employ You?", prepare the answer well in advance and most important do include the qualities you possess like good co-ordination skills, entrepreneurial skills as well as analytical skills etc. and also mention the examples highlighting the qualities you have. This will leave a good impression of yours in the eyes of the interviewee.
  • Do a thorough research about the company before going for an interview as chances are high that you may be asked the question "What do you know about our company?" . So its better to prepare the answer well in advance by surfing the site of the company. This will in turn show your interest in the company.
  • If you do not know the interviewer’s name, call and ask before the interview and use his name during the discussion Try to relate information, you have about the company, with your answers.
  • Start the answer with the positive note and avoid stressing any negatives else this will not leave a good impression of yours on the interviewer.
  • Keep your answers short but informative. Four to six sentences are enough to share your thoughts on each question. If you speak too much, you may sound monotonous and dull. So, do not talk about anything irrelevant to the question and try to be concise and informative with your answers.
  • If asked “Why did you leave your last job?”, always answer with a positive statement. Avoid saying that , I quit for no reason OR was fired/ terminated OR had to baby-sit OR had problems with co-workers or reporting. Try saying things like "want a better opportunity", "contract ended", "wanted a career change to raise family”, or "relocated" etc.
  • If asked during an interview “What do you know about the type of work we do?”. Answer carefully. This is an opportunity to tell what all you know from the research have done before coming for an interview. The interviewer gets an indication that you are actually interested in the opportunity and reflects your enthusiasm.
  • Never interrupt. Never. Wait for interviewer to finish before you comment on it, never think you know what he/ she is asking.
  • Close the interview nicely. It is the last opportunity to prove that you are the perfect candidate for the profile. Always try to carry/ be prepared with some questions to be asked to the interviewer.. Do not forget to shake hand with the interviewer, before you leave

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Dressing up for an Interview

  • Dress code is very important....Men should wear a light color formal shirt with trousers in contrast and Women should wear saree or business suit or traditional suit.
  • Wear tidy and properly ironed clothes for the interview. Your attire should be appropriate for the company you are going for the interview. Make sure your shoes are clean and polished. Carry a nice folder with copy of your resume, blank pages and pen in it.

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Handling Group Interview

  • During the group interview,the interviewer looks for the leadership quality and how knowledgeable the person is.Also the focus is on checking the ability of the candidate in maintaining the discipline among the group....
  • Connect with all the interviewers. When asked question by one interviewer, respond to him directly but also make eye contact with other panelists as you answer. More you connect better impression you will leave.
  • Focus is a necessity during telephonic interview. It is difficult in the telephonic interview.
  • Listen to the question carefully, ask again if not sure what is being asked. Speak slowly and clearly when responding and wait for the interviewer to finish off his questions. You can take a pause to integrate your thoughts before answering the question.

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Body Language

  • Be careful about your body language, during the interview. Be confident but not over confident. The level gets reflected from your body language and you may be considered or rejected on the basis of that as well.
  • Enter the room with a smile on your face and look keen and interested. Talk clearly and maintain a consistent pitch, that is audible by the interviewer. Listen to what is being asked and maintain a polite eye contact with the interviewer
  • Keep your arms either on your sides or your lap. Do not fold your arms, as it is considered to be rude and reflects over confidence. Some interviewers may consider that your are not interested in what he is saying/ asking.
  • Do not shake your legs, play with pen or touch your face during the interview. It reflects nervousness on your part. Sit straight and comfortably without leaning or craning your neck
  • Do not get excited during the interview and make unrealistic statements/ claims. Do not appear to be aggressive or arrogant in front of the interviewer.
  • You may have to face a pressured interview where all your views will be challenged by the recruiter. But maintain your cool, as the interviewers try to test your reaction under pressure. Whether you come out of it easily, get into a fight or burst with tears.
  • Remember not to look at your watch when the interview is going as this will create negative impression of your in the eyes of the interviewee. Stay calm and patient and carry lunch,water or snacks with yourself as usually Interview procedure is long in many companies.

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Dining Interview

  • Yes, Dining interviews are also getting popular these days. Employers dine with a prospective employee to review their interpersonal and communication skills in a relaxed and casual manner. It also helps them judge the employee’s table manners. So, before a interview dining, make sure that you brush up your dining etiquette skills.
  • Is this your first time of a dining interview? Are you nervous? It is advisable to check out the restaurant before the interview. It will make you comfortable with the location, menu and ambiance of the restaurant. You will be more comfortable when you actually arrive there for the interview.
  • When everybody is seated, put your napkin on lap. Keep your elbows off the table and do not speak when your mouth is full. Best way to have soup is to keep spoon opposite to you. Make small bites and have one piece at a time. Remember to say "please" and "thank you" to the host and the server.
  • Always remember that on the table, placement of every utensil is defined. E.g. Salad Fork on the far left, entrée fork would be next to it, dessert fork and spoon would be above the plate. All liquids on the right and solids on the left- water on right and the bread plate on left.

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Handling the Phone

  • Keep mobile phone on silent mode in the interview premises. Also carry the documents in a neat folder and should be arranged properly.

If your mobile phone rings during an interview, it would always be read as "you are careless" or "this job is not important to you." Leave your phone outside and if you are expecting an "urgent" family call, do explain the circumstances and declare that you can't keep phone on silent mode.

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Related Links
  • Best Attire for Different Types of Interviews
  • Interview Tips for Marketing Jobs
  • 10 Mistakes in an interview
  • Resume tips: A resume that will surely get you an interview call
  • Interview Tips - Dos and don’ts

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