Interview Preparation In A Nutshell

Lots and lots of corporate and Govt. jobs are opening up for various positions. Almost all of them require us to face interview(s) for the final selection. Also, the number of candidates vying for these appointments is increasing by leaps and bounds. They prepare for the written Examinations very seriously - joining a coaching institute which they think can take them through to the final selection.

But, the fact remains that a major percentage of those who qualify for the interview stage are 'rejected' or 'shown the door' with a BIG "NO".

Well! There may be many reasons for it. But the most important is the fact that their approach to Interview Preparation remains unprofessional. Some important links to their preparation remains untouched either because they don't consider them to be so important, or they are overconfident.

This article gives a glimpse of the important stages of Interview Preparation - the Pre-Interview Phase, the Interview Phase, and the Post-Interview Phase. A serious scan through them will definitely help you reduce your chances of 'rejection' at the interview.

The Pre-Interview Phase:

This phase is the period before the Interview proper. It involves four sub-phases:

(i) What to do days before the interview?

(ii) Preparation of most appropriate answers to the probable questions;

(iii) What to look for on the Day of the interview? &

(iv) What to do on arriving at the interview venue?

Here in this article I am going to focus on the first sub-phase i. e. What to do during the days before the Interview?

These are very crucial days as far as preparation for the Interview is considered. You have to ponder over various aspects of the Interview, such as

a. What do the job in question require? What are your achievements &/or qualities that exactly/or more or less match with them? This is very important, because howsoever expert you may be at manipulating your answer during the interview, you simply cannot escape the penetrating eyes of the interviewers, who can see through your unprofessional attitude. This gives an impression in their minds that either you are not serious for the job you are applying, or if otherwise, then you approach is unprofessional. And, dear friend, the interviewer is NOT there to select Unprofessional people.

b. It has been observed by many interviewers that a considerable number of candidates do not take interest in acquiring the knowledge of the Industry which the job for which they have applied for belongs to. Neither do they take enough time to study the company profile to which they have applied. Their only concern seems to be to grab the job by hook or by crook! They seem to think that all these are the responsibilities of the Company - ''would they not give training to the selected candidates?!!''

Dear friend, YOU are only one of the candidates vying for the post - NOT the only candidate. And the interview phase is virtually going to be the Elimination Phase, so to say. Also, they are looking for those people who have a genuine interest in the job as related to the industry and the company, too.

Therefore, closely examine the Industry's history - past, present, and projected future, and also the probable role the company in question might play in the Industry. If you are finance professional, you may also take a close look at the Financial Statement of the company.

c. Most candidates are nervous just before the Interview on the Interview Date. They are unsure about what the Interviewer would ask them about; what type of questions would be asked etc.; ''lest I fail to answer any unprepared question in the right way!''; and so on and so forth...

Actually, they are nervous more because they haven't paid serious attention to the various types of questions likely to be asked than because the Interview Phobia proper.

Truly speaking, the Phobia arises from the fact that they are absolutely unprepared. Worry NOT, however. It has been observed that most of the questions asked are common. The problem is that candidates do not seem to pay heed those probable questions, and they don't know how to answer them.

Therefore, you have to find a list of all such probable questions, and learn the art of answering them.

d. Also, you have to very cautiously choose the questions YOU must ask the Interviewer(s), mostly related to your job requirements etc..

This helps the Interviewer to seriously analyze your candidature.

e. Salary Questions appear to be one of the most intriguing ones to the candidates. "What to ask for?", "Lest I quote below/above my worth?", "I am perplexed at such questions... " etc. etc.

These dilemmas are indeed the result of lack of assessment of one's own capabilities, and of a fear of losing the job only due to misrepresentation of one's own assessment (at least, the candidate might think so!)

So, the best thing you can do is to do the following:

  • Try to get a look into the industry package that is currently being offered to candidates of your qualification, capabilities, and experience.
  • Next, you may take your own assessment, taking into account your expenses, predicted savings, and the like. This should be done keeping in mind the industry specific package as above.
  • Thirdly, your assessment must be realistic, not hypothetical. Over-assessment may lead to your disqualification.

f. References are to be minutely taken care of. If you choose to make certain persons as your reference(s), be sure to take her/his/their permission, informing her/him/them the details of the job you have applied for.

This is important because they might be contacted by the Interview board to know your credentials, and her/his/their opinion about you.

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