We all face this question in our professional life be it at the beginning of the career or in the middle of it i.e. when we want to shift to a different company in order to increase the knowledge and for career growth. Initially, the interview process used to be simple with basic questions related to HR and few technical questions related to the job profile. But, now in this innovative era we have interviews testing different kinds of skills, knowledge, intellectual, behaviour etc. of the candidate. Therefore, all this has made the process of interview has become quite long as well as it demands a good preparation from the candidate.
Remember there are 3 keys to success in an interview i.e.
a. Skills that you have learned.
b. Knowledge and
c. Experience gained during the job/training
With my experiences and the knowledge shared with me by my seniors i have listed out few important tips which can be found useful for the preparation of interview. These tips will help you in not forgetting the small yet important things which matters during the interview process.
Important Tips: Preparing for Interview
A. General Points:
i. Be punctual for the interview. 10-15 minutes delay is fine but not later than that. Make sure that you have visited the venue before or you have the idea where it is located. Try to reach at least 5-10 minutes before the time scheduled.
ii. Dress smartly but don’t waste much of your time in dressing.
iii. Be patient while waiting to be interviewed. You can utilise that time to read up latest news from your mobile/ smartphone using data pack or if you want to revise any topic you can search that also on your mobile/smartphone.
iv. If you hesitate in speaking English or you think that you could not speak it fluently or confidently then, i will advise you to join an English speaking course as it will not only increase your confidence level but also make you less nervous during the interview.
v. Never told lie or try to guess something if you don’t know as, the interviewer can catch them easily.
vi. Always make an eye contact with the person asking you question. But, while answering such question make sure you look at each one of the member sitting in the panel.
vii. Don’t look here and there while answering the questions. Don’t look nervous or tremble or do any activity which can irritate your interviewer.
viii. If same question is being asked again but, in different form don’t say that you have answered it already. Instead try to answer it in a better manner. As they may be testing your reaction to such situation.
ix. Dress Code is very important. Check with the HR beforehand also. Dark grey, dark blue or black will do for both ladies and gents. Ladies make sure to wear little heels and don’t use flats with sarees.
Five important traits are examined during the interview:
a. Appearance (Dress Code adherence)
b. Communication ability (Written +soft skills)
c. Self Confidence (Words +Body language +posture)
d. Mental Ability (Think smartly)
e. Consistency (About your answer, think 100 times before you change your answer)
x. Remember only seniors initiate handshake. If someone from the panel doesn’t initiate a handshake then you yourself don’t initiate that.
xi. Always allow the senior/panellist to ask you to sit down and take seat and be patient if they don’t ask you to do that. However, after a marginal time passes by and they start interacting with you then, politely ask them can i take seat please.
xii. Always do ask questions at the end of the Interview or when panellist asks you the same. (For Ex: Expectations within 6M of joining the job, Main challenges, factors that will enable to succeed in this job etc.)
xiii. Use STAR approach for answering HR /Situational questions where you have to quote an example. S-Situation, T-Your Task, A-Action taken by you and R-Result of such action.
xiv. Always try to give as many examples as you can in your answer. It will make your answer long, appear more meaningful and will impress the interviewer.
xv. Be good listener. Always listen to the question very carefully and then answer it.Don't Inerupt the interviewer in the middle when he is speaking, as he may gets annoyed.
xvi. If the interviewer ask you to use the board and pen to explain the things then you should do the same. It will be an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills.
B. Technical Points:
i. Always study the website of the company in detail such as it is subsidiary or a holding company or how many subsidiaries it holds, latest financials of the company (Annual Report), shares listed or not on any stock exchange, etc. Understand the industry in which the company operates and the type of services it offer and deals in. Also read the values the company believes in. Basically the point is they can ask you any question about the company.
ii. Be prepare yourself to answer any question based on your C.V so, prepare a list of questions that can be asked from your C.V. Practice such kind of questions before the interview, as it will help you to answer such questions during interview without any hesitation and thinking required. They can ask you to explain any work that you have done in detail.
iii. Study all kinds of questions that can be asked related to the job profile they are recruiting for. You can list out the topics that can be asked and just go through them if don’t have much of the time.
iv. Do revise HR related questions as they form part of one of the rounds of the interview process. It is also an important round so, prepare for such questions as well.
v. You can also be asked questions based on certain situations and instances which you must reply with an example. So, do practice them too.
vi. Be updated with the industry which belongs to the company. Become familiar with the new concepts and topics going round in the industry.
vii. If interviewer ask any question which you don’t know then, politely say then, explain a bit related to that which you know and add to it that i do have basic understanding/knowledge of this term as the job which i was doing in previous company gave you exposure is this... field only.
I hope that readers would find something useful for them from this article.
CA Aastha Khanna