How To Prepare For Your Next Job Interview

Ramendra Malthiyar

Ramendra Malthiyar

Ramendra Malthiyar is an HR Professional with more than 2 decades of experience. He has worked with big Indian and MNCs conglomerates in various profiles of Human Resources. He is an avid reader and a Marathon Runner. He believes HQ & SQ quotients are as important as IQ & EQ. He is CII HR Excellence model assessor from CII. Ramen is currently authoring a book "Leaders do not only talk but walk the talk" and would be writing many more.
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Going through a job interview is a fairly normal process for anyone aspiring to move forward in one’s career. It’s common place that for a single vacancy for which an interview is conducted the bidders are many, which means the probability of getting success is low. People often attribute their success or failure in a job interview to luck. In colloquial language, you may refer to this as “luck by chance”. But counting on your luck to get through an interview without adequate preparation is not a wise thought. Hence, preparing strategically for any interview is the sole way out for success. Don’t let your thoughts get swayed away and concentrate on the basics. The bottom line is that interview process is a serious affair, take it seriously and prepare for the same.

I would like you all to consider following 3 Ps in preparing for the interview :

  1. Preparation
  2. Presentation
  3. Preparedness/acceptance – Accept the outcome

We can put these 3Ps into three baskets to explain the subject better. Though this is common sense but I have seen people missing out on these parameters and then leaving it on the luck to sail through.

  1. Before Interview
  2. During Interview
  3. After Interview

Before Interview

To be successful in the interview, one should prepare for it strategically and systematically no matter how much knowledgeable you one is. Remember, interview is maximum of one hour where you have to sell yourself with your knowledge, presence of mind and presentation skills. Let me further drill down to explain .

Job Description (JD)

Every candidate should go through the job description thoroughly. He may not be comfortable with some points in the JD. You have time now to prepare yourself for those unknown points. Talk to someone or Google in to know the answer and connect them with your work experience. Make some notes if required so that you can skim over on the last day and be fully prepared. The candidate should be fully conversant to it as this is the backbone of the requirement. This also clarifies the behavioral skills that are required to perform. You would understand which all areas you have brush up or top up for the interview. You should not be caught unguarded, and then you look for your car keys or show a blank face before the panelist. Hence, be thorough with JD and plug the gaps, if any. This will ooze confidence in you and chances of selection increases.

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Biodata

Go through your Biodata and connect with whatever is written in your Biodata. You may have written about your achievements in any project in brief recall those and put them in your thought process systematically. It is very important to read every line of your bio-data. Specially your experience, which could be 15 years ago and you may not remember. Please go through it make some small note if required and be at the top of everything.

Getting a call for interview

The moment you get an interview call, your interview process starts from that very moment Many must think , what am I saying. Yes friends, I mean it!! Now let us discuss what preparation one should do for the interview.

Gather Knowledge of the company
  • Dive into the website and get to know about the products or services the Organization is into. It’s market spread. When did the establishment start?  Who all are there in the management?. Look at the balance sheet , PAT and EBIDTA  to know the financial strengths of the Organisation. This information will help you assimilate thoughts and impress the panelist. The interviewer will understand that you are serious about the job. Otherwise, you will find people saying that they did not get the time to navigate the site, which does not talk good about them. In addition, you may also like to connect to someone who is already working over there to get to know the culture and environment. Now you know about the company and its culture. One level of preparation is over.

 

  • Let’s not forget the details of the past companies where you have worked, like some achievement that you have done. You may have taken part in some forums or employees engagement program , attended any overseas training, etc. Besides you should be prepared with an answer in case you have left any organization in a year’s time  or less than that. One has to be on top of the facts and figures and leave no stone unturned in your preparation. I may suggest you to make notes of all these topics once and for all and refer before appearing for any interview. There are many panel members and you never know what question may bounce on you and which bow and arrow will combat. It needs preparation and is a very serious affair.
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  • Freshers should brush up their basics and be ready with some book examples. It would be great if you can give references and name of the scholars who have talked about it . They should also remember the books they have referred and names of the books available in the market even if they have not referred . This will surely impress the panelist as you are updated in your subject. The panelist looks at your attitude, thought process and awareness about your subject .Divergent thinking will be greatly appreciated. One more common question normally asked to the freshers where most fumble or fake and are easily caught. The question is what is your hobby / pastimes. They would just like to know how constructively you are utilizing your time. You should very candidly talk about it and be upfront  if you don’t have any specific hobby . Donot talk generic and invite questions out of it leading to discomfort .

 

Potential/hackneyed questions:
  1. Where do you see yourself in next 5 years?
  2. Describe yourself or tell some something about yourself.
  3. Your strengths and weaknesses

 

These are potentially hackneyed questions. Here interviewers check the quality of mind, communication skills and your forward looking career plans? They also tried to pick up questions from your answer. These questions are too boring and hackneyed but one has to be prepared for the same. You may also provide open-ended sentences if you are very particular about what you are saying. Engage with interviewers and create long-lasting impression.

Day / Date of interview

Now the day has come when you have to reach to the venue for the interview. You should reach the place before time. The candidate should be formally and soberly dressed. Meet the receptionist and inform that you have come for an interview and relax till they call you in . You never know your interview might have started at the very time you met the receptionist. Just relax , go to the washroom, and freshen yourself. Check your dress that you are wearing, clean your spectacles if you wear , sip some water and then wait for your turn .

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During interview

Now you are called for an interview. Enter the room, stand in front of the interviewer and say “good morning” in a clear tone while keeping eye contact with all of them. Positive body language emits confidence in you. Say straight no in case you don’t know the answer. Don’t bluff, otherwise you are digging your own grave. First impression will take you for a long and that could be the last impression. Body language plays the most important role because it is said the body language speaks more than your words. So, you should be confident.

After interview

Interview is over now you have to get up and leave the room. Stand up with confidence while emitting positivity and assertiveness . Your body language should be perfect even if the interview has not gone well because this interview is not the end of the road. There are many more to come in the future. Get up and show gratitude towards the panelists. , thank them for taking out time to interview you. Then leave the room. Let me tell you with hands on my heart even if you are not shortlisted, but you have made a place in their heart which will stay for long . While coming out thank the receptionist and then leave the premises.

Interview is a strategic process, if followed verbose, then probability of success is more. This should be taken seriously and preparation should be accordingly.

 

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