First of all, I would like to discuss the meaning of Interview. It is an interaction between two people, the Interviewer (individual as well as panel) and interviewee. Interviewer wants to know about the details of the interviewer such his qualifications, skills, attitude, behaviour, team work, leadership qualities etc. What interviewee wants to know is about the organisation structure, performance review, management hierarchy, future growth plans etc. Hence, in an interview you have to give information about yourself in a brief manner. So, you have to prepare yourself accordingly.
It is very common to be nervous before and at the time of interview and there is nothing wrong to be nervous. It helps you in preparing in a much better way which builds your confidence level.
Success of an interview is in your hands. Facing an interview involves both knowledge and skill.
The first thing to remember before appearing for an interview is to remember what you have written in your resume. Your resume should be accurate and precise. It is said that you should read your resume again and again. It will help you in preparing for questions that can be asked from your resume. Do a self assessment about your strengths and competencies and areas where there is scope of improvement. If required clean up the social site before interview.
Next, is to know about the industry. Try to do PEST & SWOT analysis of the industry. PEST is a strategic tool for understanding the market growth or decline of the industry. Try to find out more about industry by visiting the website and also try to find out from various other sites such as www.glassdoor.com for insider views. When we say 'know about the industry' means - you should know the size and reach, number of employees, power brands, innovative or not, if multiple business then what is the strength (for example Reliance Industries Ltd are in multiple business verticals but there strength is in petrochemicals).What are the challenges - like competitors, price, quality, customer service etc.
Next comes the role. What is the profile of the work. What designation is offered. Some questions can be asked to the interviewer at the time of interview like what is the growth path in the industry, do they have training and skill development facility for employees, at what frequency does the review takes place.
At the time of interview:
1. Reach approx fifteen minutes before the interview. Never be late. If required do a trial run of the venue. be seated at reception area until called. be dressed properly as it is said 87% of hiring decisions are taken in the first five minutes. If offered handshake then it should be firm handshake.
2. Carry extra copy of resume neatly in a folder.
3. Listen carefully. Listening is apart part of communicating.
4. Communicate with confidence and positive body language. By your body language, I mean sit straight, lean forward a little while answering, Don't keep shifting position, don't slouch etc. Look into the eyes of the interviewer while answering.
5. Be honest. If you do not know the answer better acknowledge.
6. Show enthusiasm in interview.
7. Be thorough with your specialized field like Accounts, Finance, Management, Marketing etc. You should be able to answer all questions asked from your specialized field.
8. Sell yourself - find what interests interviewer. try to understand the body language of the interviewer. His body language can give you an indication how well you are performing. It can be a signal to change your approach.
9. Maintain a balance, not too long answer, but, informative. Avoid abbreviations, never raise your voice, be polite.
10. Show leadership qualities - display initiative and willingness, team spirit, organization skills.
11. If offered snacks, refuse politely, because you are not suppose to chew and answer or talk.
12. Before concluding the interview you should be prepared to ask a few questions - how is the performance measured and how often reviewed. What long term career opportunities are available. What are the key challenges of the role. With whom will I be working most closely with. How will you describe the culture of the company / organization. What is the leadership qualities of the management team. What are the major plans of the company for next five years.
13. Don't forget to thank. Send a thank you mail for the opportunity given. it is also good idea to include the highlights of interview subtly reminding why you are fit for the job.
More about types of interview and questions that can be asked in an interview, I shall be writing separately. Before concluding I will remind you once again that facing an interview involves both knowledge and skill, hence, you should be thorough about the knowledge and develop your skills.
The author can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org