If you think getting the interview call is the most important thing, then think again. It is just the beginning of a long drawn out process, which begins with preparing yourself in every possible manner. It becomes less overwhelming if you plan your activities in advance. Here are a few things you could start with to be better prepared for the interview.
Before the interview
- You could go over your resume a couple of times,
- Prepare answers for all the expected and unexpected questions,
- Read up on the internet about the company,
- See how your skill sets can be aligned with the job profile/position,
- List down your strengths and achievements so you don’t forget anything,
- Prepare the questions you want to ask, about the salary or remunerations or leave policy,
- Carry extra copies of your resume, a scribble pad, a pen/pencil and a folder with your documents.
You can follow as many bits of advice and suggestions contributed by well-meaning friends and family. But have you given a thought about YOUR presentation? No! Well, I’m not surprised. You would most likely pull out the best available clothes on the day and rush out. Let’s see what needs to be done in this area.
Clothes Maketh A Man
It does not mean wearing designer labels and high-end accessories. All it takes is to turn up looking neat – in clean, ironed clothes and having a pleasant disposition. If you do not have the time to take yourself seriously, how do you expect anyone else to? When going for an interview, it’s important to be well turned out. How a man shines his shoes, shows his character – an old Army saying that holds true even now. Ladies, you might not be wearing shoes, but you still can’t turn up in worn-out sandals, or worse still flip-flops. For those working on a budget, keep a pair of footwear and a matching dress separately for the interviews. This will save you the trouble of looking for something every time you have to go out there. Neat and clean nails will certainly help! And don’t forget the major turn-off – body odour and sweat marks.
Don’t ignore to decide how you are going to commute to the venue on the day of the interview. Plan it a week in advance. In case it’s a local venue then check out the suitable timings of the bus or metro. You could also ask one of your friends to drop you at the venue. In case you have to go out of station to another city or town, then work out the details and be prepared to go a day in advance to avoid last-minute panic. Also, keep yourself updated about any bandhs or strikes which may put a spanner in your travel plans.
The next thing the interviewer will notice about you is the way you carry yourself, your body language. It would help if you looked confident, not arrogant. A pleasant disposition and a smile always work wonders. Don’t forget to greet the people around, including the receptionist. She may not decide your selection, but it creates a lasting impression of you as a person. When you call up later to enquire about the status of the interview or for any other openings, she might remember you and take a few moments to help you out. So don’t forget to smile and greet.
Think positively. Think clearly.
Now take a deep breath and relax. Don’t fidget or move unnecessarily during the interview. Your actions announce to the world your nervous state of mind. And believe me, that’s not the bit of information you want to give out about yourself. Make direct eye contact with the person you are speaking to instead of looking here and there. Use simple sentences to convey what you have to say. Your language skills are not being examined unless, of course, it’s the requirement of the job! Since English has become the unofficial workplace language of communication, practice speaking with friends to feel more comfortable. If still not sure then inform the interviewer about the same – to save you future embarrassment, and him/her from getting distracted. It’s also a good way to create a positive impression about yourself!
First impressions will set the tone for the outcome of the interview. Be punctual. Reaching late, looking all flustered and rushed, will only leave you feeling a little disoriented. Try to reach the place with some time to spare so that you get a chance to look around, go over your notes one last time and freshen up. Magic words, people! At the end of the interview, don’t forget to thank the interviewer. On your way out, don’t forget to say goodbye to the receptionist. Believe me, someone is always watching you, assessing you. So put the best foot forward and let the people be charmed by you demeanour.
After the interview
- Review the answers given by you to check if they were satisfactory or if was there scope for improvement.
- Make small notes of the different types of questions that were asked.
- In case you don’t get selected, then you need to do a thorough review to know where you went wrong and how to remedy it.
All the best people! Put up your best smile and go conquer the world!
Very simple but really practical and useful tips.