In this blog I will explain in detail, ten sure shot methods to crack the job interview for that coveted job you have been longing to land on. As an employer, trainer and mentor, I have always seen how very eligible candidates goof up at interviews due to lack of guidance. Here are some interview techniques to help you sail through some of the toughest job interviews.
1. Smart and Elegant dressing: If someone tells you that dressing and appearance is not all that important, let me tell you straight on your face- He is wrong!
You must have heard of the adage “First impression is the best impression” and this definitely holds true in all circumstances. A lot can be understood of a person the way one wears and keeps his/her clothes, footwear and own appearance.
- Wear a full shirt which is not jazzy. Avoid gaudy checks, and colours which do not distract. Iron neatly and wear it tight and neat. Women should not wear colourful attire and stick to plain colours.
- Trousers should be ironed properly. Avoid crumpled dresses at all costs.
- Shoes must be polished well. Do not wear overused or torn shoes. ( Many interviewers like me look at the condition of the shoes to judge a noble character ).
- Please avoid a worn out belt and choose a buckle of medium size. Large buckles are not in vogue. Prefer an open to closed buckle.
- Women must avoid revealing clothes, be presentable in moderate make-up, and wear plain dresses that look formal. Don’t overdo the lipstick and stick to a pleasing colour. Attire, whether traditional or modern must be tasteful.
- Choose Perfumes/deodorants that are mild and do not hit hard on the interviewers. A hard perfume may not salvage the prospects of the candidate but may cause distraction.
- Wear a tie if you must, but be sure to wear a business tie which is in vogue . Avoid big sized ties and don’t get branded as outdated. Care must be taken to tie an elegant knot which should not be protruding or form a bulge.
2. Keep your file arranged properly:
The file which you carry for the interview speaks volumes about you and your character. You may think- what is it that is in a file, but please realise that your file can be a part of the “personnel files” in the HR office only if you keep it well.
- Do not carry a worn and torn file for the interview because your file is your “extension”. Your file can literally make or break the interview and your prospects. Preferably carry a new file with folders and pockets which can accommodate your certificates.
- It is advisable not to carry a file received as a compliment by any family member, of any particular company, so as to prevent any prejudice in the eyes of the interviewer/s.
- Keep the certificates in the file in the order of present to past. If you do not have a certificate in the file related to work experience, do mention that during the interview and also the reason for that.
- Do carry a black or blue pen in the file. If you do not want it to keep in the file, keep it in your pocket for ready use.
3. Entering the interview domain:
A suave person is always liked by everyone and a gentle entry to the interview room is well appreciated. Entering the venue of the interview should be done with care.
- How you carry the file to an interview is very important. Do not toss or play with the file with your fingers while waiting or entering the interview room. The correct way to hold it is by clasping the file on your right hand firmly.
- Knock on the door if it is closed and let it be a practise even if the door is open. You may ask “May I come in” before really appearing in person. Wish the interviewers according to the time of the day.
- Wish the ladies first and then the gentlemen. If there are no ladies, wish the gentlemen and look at the members and pass an eye contact with each one of them. If there is only one person interviewing you, maintain steady eye contact with him, but never stare!
- Sit on the interviewee’s chair when permitted, or request to be seated if you are not offered to sit down in the first instance. Never sit on the chair abruptly and occupy it. It will be rude and not courteous if you do that in an interview.
4. Know the company well before you plan to attend the interview:
In all these years of interviewing and mentorship, I have always rejected candidates only because they do not intend to know anything about the company for which they are being interviewed. I do not want you to do the same.
- Go to the interview only after getting to know about the company and the designation you have applied for. Going for an interview without knowing anything about the company is like going for a “blind date” and I am sure you wouldn’t like to have a bad experience in either.
- Browse through the company website and understand its mission statement and vision, remember to learn about its inception and progress over the years. You will hit the bulls-eye with the company executives if you do so. A well prepared person is always appreciated and commended.
- Google out major achievements of the company from other sources other than the official website and remember them while speaking it out during the interview. Being knowledgeable and well informed surely does pay…in the form a pay-check! Yes, I do mean it!
- In your process of googling out information about the company, you may come across news and information of legal entanglements that may have taken place between the company and its employees or with government agencies. Do not get disheartened- it is the normal trend all over the world, and if you take it a tad seriously- You may not be able to work anywhere!!
5. Be well –versed with the technical knowledge and skills :
Do not take a gamble with veterans and professionals in the interview panel by appearing flimsy and not ready. Your readiness for the job is a reflection of your attitude:
- Spend some time the previous day by going through the technical knowledge required for the job you have applied for. You may use your experiences with previous companies and prepare a mindset to win over with sufficient knowledge and information.
- Get in touch with peers who know something about the company or with experienced people in your contact list. Some of them may even give personal details of the interview panel, their likes, preferences and temperament too. Nothing is dispensable in your pursuit of perfection!
- Learn something about skills which you may not know presently but which are required for the job, and create a mindset to know more about it so that it shows to the interview panel even though you are a fresher. Your attitude is more important than your knowledge and skills.
6. Be pleasant and friendly:
Who doesn’t like a pleasant and friendly personality? You may not know the panel members personally, but it does mean that you are willing to face the corporate world.
- Keep a pleasant smile throughout the interview. A smile always helps to connect much better than a stern face and breaks the ice in the mind of the interviewer even though he/she may not be purposely showing it.
- Keep yourself friendly but be careful not to overdo it. It will catch the eyes of the people interviewing you but be open to suggestions, queries, and information flowing around you.
- Always look into the eyes of the interviewer while speaking. Do not look elsewhere while speaking or listening during an interview. Speak calmly and do not rush anything in excitement or nervousness.
- Try to avoid negativity and complaining during the course of the interview. Display an aura of positivity, helpfulness, and co-operation with the interviewer. This helps to create a win-win situation.
7. Be honest and truthful to the interview board:
In your enthusiasm to win over a coveted job, do not get on to hyper-active mode, and be overconfident. Many a candidate has been rejected due to bragging and tall claims which come blatantly exposed.
- Never ever give false claims or information on your resume and credentials. Remember that the interview panel is experienced and smarter than you, and can find out when you are lying and boastful.
- Freshers and novices must realise that their attitude is a stronger asset than experience. Keeping a “learn-all” attitude is necessary to earn jobs than requisite qualifications. Your willingness will never go unnoticed- I guarantee you!
- Certificates justify your experience but your experience commands respect and value. Quote and narrate facts as they are, because your poise will speak volumes about your knowledge and skills that you have acquired over the years.
- Never ever counterfeit your certificate for a false market value that you wish to create. Carrying a counterfeit certificate is equivalent to buying your own corporate coffin.
8. Postures and gestures:
A very important component of social appearance is postures and gestures which actually define the personality of a person. Interviewers are sharp observers and here are some tips-
- While eye contact is already mentioned earlier, it is most necessary to refrain from too many body movements while sitting on the chair. Frequently moving on the chair to different directions may display impatience and restlessness.
- Avoid fiddling with objects on the table like a paperweight or a pen and keep the hands on the table or let it stay motionless. Gestures with hands must be avoided at any cost as it may be distracting and misleading.
- Take care not to touch your face, nose, and hair during the interview. It may be misunderstood to nervousness and diffidence.
- Sit straight and do not crouch on the interview table. Maintain confidence and poise on the table and rest your hands either on your lap or on the table to avoid involuntary hand movements.
9. Use business English:
The language which you use to communicate is very important to exhibit the level of professionalism with your employers, colleagues, and subordinates and for interviews, it is a crucial gauging parameter:
- Avoid using the casual “yeah” for affirmation and use “yes” instead. Practise using this even before actually going for the interview because practise eventually develops into a habit.
- Use simple English to come across to the interviewers. Do not showcase language usages which you are not sure of. Use jargon only where it is absolutely necessary to prove a point or to explain something.
- I highly suggest you use “Alright” instead of the standard “OK” frequently used to signify affirmations and take suggestions. Frankly speaking, “OK” sounds less elegant and casual.
- While answering queries and suggestions try to give a complete sentence rather than one word answers or monosyllables. It sounds politer and gives a more polished effect on the listener.
10. Exiting an interview session:
You might be wondering now as to why exiting properly from the interview room is considered so important. Well read between the lines- Exiting gracefully is as important as entering the venue:
- Express gratitude to the panel members for giving you an opportunity to attend the interview by saying “thank you for your time”. Ladies must be thanked first and individually .
- Do look at everyone by passing your eyes fast while expressing your gratitude. It gives immense value to your personality and social demeanour. Shake hands with them only if offered, or else it may be avoided.
- Arrange the chair back to its original location as when you entered the interview venue. It shows much to the respect that you offer to the interviewers and the company.
- Close the door gently after you and ensure that you don’t bang and raise an alarm. Your elegance, suaveness and sophistication should leave a resounding effect on the interviewers which will increase the chances of employability.
I have come across to you with crisp and straight guidelines and do believe that they are easy to follow instructions, which even a fresher can apply. This blog proves that while skills and knowledge are necessary components of success, techniques when applied holistically, can guarantee you higher success.