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‘Don’t give one word answers, be prepared’

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‘Don’t give one word answers, be prepared’

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 | RENU MISHRA

In order to ace any interview it is important to follow certain dos and don’ts, says RENU MISHRA

Getting ready for an interview?An interview at any level — beginner, mid or senior — gives us butterflies in our tummy. A bit of anxiety is healthy and can even drive you to perform better. Let us deconstruct the word:

I- Interest in the profile and organisation

N- Negative attitude not acceptable

T- Thorough with the required knowledge for the post and expected questions

E- Excitement- the profile and job content should excited you

R- Research about the company interviewing you

V- Visually appear appropriate for the role as per company norms

I- Intent to be a productive employee

E- Etiquette which shows you are a team player

W- Winners confidence, which leads the organisation to believe, you will bring the same to the table once you are part of the company.

Things to do

  • Check the advertised profile- does your qualification and experience match it?
  • Research about the company. If you can bring up a researched statistic or positive, it shows your intent to be part of the organisation.
  • Decide what you want to wear as per their expectation. Organise your outfit a day in advance. A two-three button coat in a neutral shade — Navy blue can add to your visual appeal.
  • In a neat folder organise your relevant papers and extra resume.
  • Have a mock interview with the help of a friend or relative. A practised scene, makes you more relaxed.
  • Prepare one or two incidents which highlight your special abilities and skills. These can be woven into the interview easily, if they are on your finger tips.
  • Most interviewers say that within 90s seconds of the interview they have almost made up their mind about hiring someone. One has 90s seconds to make an impression.

During the interview

  • Be punctual and neatly groomed. No visible tattoos, stubble and no white socks too. Polish your shoes.
  • Switch off your phone, smile and have a firm handshake. If there are more than one person interviewing you, make eye contact with everyone. If eye contact makes you nervous, look at the top of their nose, you will appear to be making eye contact. Do not get intimidated by interviewers who are straight faced, over friendly or multi-taskers.
  • Have thorough subject knowledge and do not fake anything. 
  • ‘I know it’ are the three most dangerous words. Show that you are eager to learn.
  • Don’t give one word answers. It is good to make a note of one or two  points, it shows you are keen to be part of the company.
  • Answer expected questions like ‘tell us about yourself’, ‘why should we hire you’, ‘your strengths and weakness’, with finesse. Remember you have practised them.
  • Subtle humour can be an asset but don’t make small of your past or current employers.
  • Ask questions but not about your salary till they bring it up. The interview process is as much about making sure the company is the right fit for you.
  • Do not get baited into a trap of negative or controversial topics.
  • Close on a positive note and walk out with the same confidence and body language with which you walked in.

After the interview

  • Follow up by sending a short ‘Thank you’ email by reiterating your interest in the profile and organisation.
  • If you do not hear from them do check back after a week to 10 days.

Acing an interview is an amalgamation of your interest, knowledge, and preparation, dressing for success, first impressions, communication skills and etiquette which help you achieve your goal.

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