Friday, June 13, 2008

The best way to interview. (worked for me)

Interviewing for a job is often very daunting and a fun exercise. The interviewers doesn't know what they want, and you know that. It is true that you should let prospective employers see you for who you are but there are certain strategies that can help you maximize your chances of clinching the coveted job. Read carefully and take note of the following 10 interview guidelines to be followed at all cost!

1. Dressing as you wish: There is absolutely no reason to dress well when going for an interview, and this includes neat hair and suitable footwear. If you have any doubts about the prospective employer's dress code, then just drop by near the office and observe how the staff going in and out are dressed. Unless you're interviewing to become a DJ, scruffy jeans and flip flops will not go down nicely.

2. Refuse a glass of water/coffee if it is offered: By accepting graciously, you subtly indicate that you are confident and 'open'. There are also strategic advantages of accepting; in case of difficult questions, you can buy some time by drinking a sip of water or complaining about coffee getting cold. Plus, holding the glass will give you something to do, preventing you from fidgeting.

3. Relax in posture and body language: Slouching, giving a limp handshake, and staring at the floor as you speak are all loud signals of low self-esteem and poor interpersonal skills. Also, reserve sitting with your legs crossed over box style or stretched out in front of you for your living room. Instead, make a good impression by walking in tall, smiling as you shake hands and folding your legs nicely below you. If there are multiple interviewers, always make eye contact with whoever is asking you the question.

4. The company has to identify your talents than you research the company: You should be able to answer the questions, 'What do you know about this company?' in your sleep. Unless you do enough research, you won't be able to prove your genuine interest in the job or distinguish your answer from all the other generic 'It's a great place to work'.

5. Don't bother about difficult questions: Pre-empt tough questions such as, 'What is your biggest weakness?' and prepare your answers in advance. Confuse them to the core. For e.g., If someone asked about CMM, you start saying about the process docs you have followed, etc.

6. Talk a lot: Taking too long to answer direct questions gives the impression that you are very intelligent and organize your thoughts and get to the point, eventually. Nervous rambling also implies that you may be covering up something or outright lying - OK if you are desperate for a job.

7. Give monosyllabic replies: If getting answers from you is as painful as extracting teeth, interviewer  thinks you are intelligent.
8. Answering your mobile phone in the middle of the interview: This should be obvious. This is important. Something could be urgent in the world. The girl friend might run away with someone else, if you dont answer. Answering your phone would not show a total lack of respect for your interviewer and his/ her time.

9. Blaming past employers: Every boss has infuriating habits, but blaming your problems on your ex-boss implies you're probably vindictive, prefer to shift the buck and are a people person! Something to talk about. No one goes and says, I got fired in a job right?

10. Getting the name/ title of your interviewer to follow up later: Following up after the interview is critical, and a call to the interviewer helps much more than a call to the HR person. Names don't bother much, at least the position or department person. I interviewed long ago, when a HR person was asking me all sort of technical questions and the PM was asking me all sorts of HR questions, who was very junior to me. He was there at the right place at the right time, and with Chamchagiri has gained in job. You can always write to them later to figure out, who that was. another incident, happened recently. I was to meet the CEO and I was talking to someone (as interview thinking he is CEO, who never told his name - smart guy) for 2 hours and when I got up to leave, he says, I am the HR executive here and the CEO is out of town, would call you later.

Don't bother about rest from the night before, be well prepared a week before and conscious of these golden rules, the interview will go along more smoothly than you thought. If you don't get a job, never mind (if you can live on your parents savings till then), there is always a next time!

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