Before During and After an Interview - A Few Tips

A call for an Interview is the first step towards getting hired for a job.

This means that: -

  • Your Resume has created a favorable impression.
  • Your qualifications and work experience have been found to be appropriate for the job.
  • Now is the time to present the best of your ‘Body Mind and Soul’ that is Appearance, Expertise as a professional and the Core Values you firmly believe in.
  • So get going without any further loss of time.

Before the Interview

Normally organizations provide a reasonable time gap between the call and the actual Interview.

Tips on Preparing for the D-Day

  • Gather as much information as you can about the company or organization that has invited you for the interview. This will give you a clear idea about the philosophy, work environment and reputation of the company.

  • Read the job description carefully as to what they expect from you. Evaluate your qualifications, experience, and core competences, areas of strength and accordingly draw up a questionnaire along with your replies to the expected questions.

  • Brush up your communication skills.

  • Interviewers normally ask you to highlight your positive and negative traits. Positives of course can be emphasized more easily but even the negative traits can be presented in a positive light. For example, ‘I am a little impatient with the people who are not focused enough, or non serious about the work in hand’

  • If you describe cost saving as your core competence, always go prepared with a convincing plan in hand.

  • Do not forget to confirm the date and venue before you head for the interview. Sometimes the interview schedule can get changed or cancelled. Although the companies do inform the candidates before hand but it is good to double-check in case you have somehow missed the communication.

  • Put together in advance a copy of your Resume/The Application Form and the original Interview Letter along with all your Testimonials. Organize them in such a manner that any paper can be presented to the interviewer(s) quickly as per demand.

  • Dress Up - Men should keep a smart suit, shirt, tie and a pair of shoes for the day. Ladies have to choose their dress more carefully, taking into account the type of organization, its culture and the product line etc. A neat business suit or an Indian dress can be chosen.

  • There is no harm in organizing a Mock Interview with the help of friends, especially if you are attending an interview for the first time.

  • Go with a positive frame of mind, without worrying much about the outcome.

  • Prepare some questions to ask the interviewer(s) after the interview is over. This shows that you are keenly interested in the job and have studied the company profile properly. Sometimes saying that you have ‘No Questions’ may reflect lack of interest and may put off the interviewers.

Attending the Interview

  • Proceeding for the interview, leave your phantoms behind. If you have prepared in advance paying attention to the tips mentioned above, there is no reason why you won’t deliver your best.

  • Dress up smartly but a little conservatively. No Jeans, Floaters or Funky Shirts. A plain white or light colored shirt is most ideal to wear. A dark colored suit brings out the personality and adds grace. Use good footwear (black or brown) and color coordinate with your dress.

  • The tie for gents and accessories for the lady should not be loud. Keep them understated.

  • Carry a folder for your papers and avoid use of a briefcase.

  • Go with a smile (not a grin) on your face, with confidence and determination to succeed in your heart.

As You Enter

  • Depending upon whether you are being interviewed by one person or a panel of interviewers, greet politely ‘Good Morning’/Afternoon or Evening depending upon time of the day.

  • If there are more than one person then address them as ‘Sirs/Madams’ and try to encompass them all in your greeting. If there is only one lady in the panel, it is polite to greet her separately.

  • Most probably you will be offered a seat. Do not sit down unless you are asked to.

Facing the Interviewers

As you sit across the interviewer(s), look confident and relaxed. In most cases the interviewers themselves will try to put you at ease. Believe that they are there to let you prove your worth and mean no harm to you.

The Body Language

Good body language can be inculcated and practiced. Your facial expression, appearance, gestures, how you walk, talk, stand, sit, use your limbs etc. all form part of your body language.

Pay attention to the following.

o Sit erect comfortably without craning your neck. Do not slouch.
o Look attentive, keen and interested.
o Talk clearly, maintaining a pitch that is comfortably audible to the person(s) around.
o Do not get overexcited even while describing your achievements and strengths.
o Listen to the queries attentively, constantly maintaining polite eye contact with the interviewers.
o Nod your head to show that you are listening, interjecting appropriately with ‘Yes Sir/Madam’, absolutely, definitely etc.
o Lean forward a little as you speak and backward as you listen.
o Do not fidget, touch your face, or shake your legs.
o Keep your arms either on your sides or in your lap. Do not fold your arms, as it is a sign of rudeness.

o Use short simple sentences while talking.

o Do not make unrealistic tall claims during the interview.

o During the course of an interview someone may ask about your aspirations. Now that is a tricky situation-be cautious here and do not appear over ambitious.
o Never get too arrogant or aggressive in front of the interviewers.

o Never show your disgruntlement with the current employers, in case you are seeking a change. Try to project that you plan to move on for better prospects or learning experience.

o The employers are always interested in knowing how your skills, experience and expertise will add value to the job in question. Your answers should be built around their expectations.

o Even if the interview is not going as you had planned or you get negative vibes, do not show your disappointment and disinterest. Maintain your poise till the end.

o Always thank the interviewers as you leave.

After the Interview

  • In case you do not receive any communication from the company, it is all right to call up after about ten days to find out regarding the outcome of your interview.
  • You can be optimistic: if your interview lasts more than 45 minutes. Also if there is a detailed discussion about your salary and preferred location. If you are asked to wait or an indication about the second interview has been given, you do stand a chance.
  • All this means that things have gone well and you have left a favorable impression on the interviewers.
  • Even if you are not hired, try to get some feedback from the company. That may be of great help for the future interviews.
  • Sometimes not getting hired has no reflection on your capabilities-so do not lose heart, keep your spirits up, because Tomorrow is another Day.

RANJNA VEDHERA