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Fundamentals of facing interviews
What is an Interview?
Interview, in simple terms, is a process where a group of people will make you sit in front of
them and then ask you a variety of questions; some relevant, some irrelevant and then
finally decide whether you have the skills which they are looking for! If they are satisfied,
you are In, Congratulations! And if they are not, you are Out, Sorry! Better luck next time.
Interviews are an important part of a person's life; whether student in search of his first job
or a professional who is eager to improve his current position. Whoever it may be,
Interviews have become a regular affair in this contemporary world and one has to pace
himself well to face the interviewers who judge whether we are fit to be a part of their team
or not.
Sometimes it may seem like a pure chance of Luck, but believe me, it's not! There is a To-Do
List before attending the interview which if followed to the point; Success is no more a
matter of chance.
What are Interviewers looking for from You?
In my personal experience and from general discussions with distinguished guests during
meetings, I have realised that everyone is looking forward to knowing you better. But, you
see, it's not as simple as it seems. There's a trick in this simple statement which can be
understood better by reading in between the lines. When they (the Interviewers) say that
they are looking forward to knowing more about you; honestly, what they are really looking
forward to is how smart you are, how intelligent you are, how adept you are and all the
bunch of positive qualities that you can put on a display.
So don't go out blabbering everything about yourself from head to toe. Be careful about
what to show about yourself and what to hide. Although you may complain about it and
decide to reveal yourself fully, remember the fact that at every point, they are carefully
assessing you and everything that you say is going to give them an impression about you.
So the most important rule to be kept in mind is choose what to say about yourself because
that's the first stumbling block where one may falter very easily by revealing too much
about oneself and thereby reveal some of the qualities that are not desired or which may
show you in poor light.
Hence, carefully plan out what you want to say when they ask you "Tell us about yourself?"
This is the most basic question asked anywhere, in any interview and thus this question may
not give you a shot at the job, but, if answered badly, it will surely be one of the reasons for
not selecting you for the desired position.
How to dress up for Interviews?
Dressing and personal grooming have a small, yet vital role to play during interview process.
How you dress gives the other person an idea about who you are or what are you trying to
give out as a signal. For instance, a t-shirt is an indication of casual and jovial mood while a
formal shirt gives an indication that you mean business and you are serious about what you
are doing. In a session of 45min to 1 hour, the interviewers try to find out everything they
can and your dressing forms a first impression upon them. And as the cliché goes, "First
impression is the best impression".
So, basically, the underlying point is that you can't dress whichever way you want. A simple
and neat shirt, not too bright and not very colourful, is very much preferred. Similarly, ironed
trousers and polished shoes can make a perfect combo for the event. Tie is generally not
expected, but it's a personal choice to wear it or not. Dress well, make a good impression
and that will surely be an added asset for you.
Essential points to remember before attending the Interview?
Know about the Firm
Yes, that's very important. Have a pre-requisite knowledge about the company which you
are going to attend. Simple questions such as “What do you know about our company?
What kind of products do we supply?” can stump you all of a sudden if you are not well
aware of the company’s profile, their depth in market and their range of products. So, when
you are going for an interview, go with a thorough knowledge of the firm and when the
situation arises bowl them over with your in-depth knowledge of the working of the
company.
It can always come in handy in situations where you are asked as to “Which areas are you
interested to work in? Where do you fit yourself in our company?” Then don’t put up a
blank face and look sheepishly at them asking for clues; explain to them what are your
future goals and aspirations and how it is going to be a win-win situation for both you as
well as the company if you are in their firm.
Have a Good C.V.
Just like the way the interviewers judge about your personality by looking at your clothes;
similarly, they a first impression about your academics and life as a student is formed by
looking at your C.V. the Curriculum Vitae.
Generally, the interviewers will question you pertaining to what you have mentioned in the
C.V. Also they don’t have all the time in the world to read your achievements and awards
and rewards right from your kinder-garden days. So, keep your C.V short and yet be precise.
Brevity is the most essential requirement here and it must be done without loss of any point
that may give you an edge over other candidates.
Also don’t bluff. They are not some morons who won’t be able to recognise your fake
achievements and qualifications. So keep this point in mind as well while writing a C.V. If
you don’t know some software skills or you don’t remember them at the time of interview,
don’t put it up in your C.V. If found out, they never take you in and it will remain an
embarrassment throughout your career.
Check for expected Questionnaire
It is important to have an idea about the type of questions that may be posed by the
interviewers of that particular company. Of course, they shall never pose that same
questions again, but it gives an idea of what can be the standard and complexity of
questionnaire. Also it gives you a chance to prepare yourself for the interview. And in case
some of them are really fired at you, you will be better prepared to answer them than a
candidate who has not done this kind of prior preparation.
So find out about previously posed questions from your seniors, other people who might
have attended the interview for these companies or search for them in various sites which
are flooded with such stuff, which are ever ready to help you with tricky questions. And
prepare yourself accordingly.
Be clear about the Fundamentals
This is another aspect to be kept in mind. It is quite easy to say that you have prepared well
for the interview, but it is another thing as to how much has been really done as part of the
preparation. Fundamentals are very important part of any candidate. And the interviewers
are also eager to know how good you are in your basics. It so happens that the company
doesn’t expect you to do well in all areas of your studies, but it expects you to have a sound
understanding on the fundamentals, based on which any number of degrees and certificates
can be piled up from thereafter.
It is more or less like building a house. Foundation is the most important aspect of any
building and based on this foundation alone, the number of storeys can be built above is
decided. A bad foundation leads to the collapse of these buildings in some time or the
other. So is the case with the studies and degrees which a person has acquired. That’s what
even the interviewers are looking for. They want to know how good your base is and your
selection depends to a large extent on this fact alone.
Some other aspects to be remembered as well
1. Be there before time: Yes, when there’s an interview at 10’o clock, be there by 9:45 itself
and not at exact 10. It gives you a time to relax yourself after reaching the venue and also
gauge at other prospective candidates.
2. Don’t look shabby: Wear decent looking clothes and in order that they don’t get spoilt,
leave before time or take some private transport vehicle.
3. Have a genial face: Other candidates as well as interviewers shouldn't be scared to have a
conversation with you. Be cheerful, have a small smile all the while. It creates a pleasant
feeling for everyone around you and makes the interviewers think for a while before
considering your case.
4. Be Confident: Finally, the most crucial aspect that everyone focusses upon; confidence. No
matter how much you know or don’t know, if you wilt under pressure, all your efforts go
waste. So, whether you know an answer or not, have an expression of confidence
throughout. It’s easier said than done. I know that. But, it is equally important to remember
this key fact because self-belief has a magic of its own than can create miracles.
You may have several interviews that will be a learning experience for you. Job interviews are
interesting experiences. The more interviews you make, the more it may help keep you calm
and prepare yourself effectively.
Thought of in this way, you can look forward to the interview, and accept it as a growth
experience. If it results in a job offer, wonderful. But if not, there is still some gain. One should
consider that a job interview is just like doing many other things in life – Though the time, place
and concept differ, the basic premise of the interview is the same – The lessons learned
become part of your education, and can benefit your personal growth.
The following guidelines can help limit the confusion associated with interviews.
How to Face that Job Interview Wisely
Here are some three tips to help you.
1. Research ahead of time – Even before requesting an interview, but at least prior to the
interview itself
One of the first questions that many applicants cannot answer is: What do you know about this
company and the position for which you are applying?
The best way to answer this question is to actually do some research on the said company.
This not only prepares you for the interview, but it also helps you come across as intelligent,
well experienced and knowledgeable with reference to your profession. In the research
process, it is possible that you actually may come across some information that might cause
YOU to re-think your desire to join the company. Research will definitely help you have a more
successful interview.
2. What do you have to offer our company if hired?
Contemplate this question before the interview, because this is a basic, important idea – Why
are you a good fit for the job? This question may be asked directly during the interview.
Make sure you read the job description carefully and can list a few reasons – three or four
should do the job. When asked, give a brief run-through idea of your understanding of the job,
your areas of expertise, knowledge and skills gained and how they are utilized in the job and in
this corporate environment.
This will give the interviewer a basic idea of your understanding of the profession as well as the
job profile, combined with information about the key responsibilities of the said job.
3. Prepare your own set of questions
No interview is over without cross questioning.
In fact, the process of your asking any questions about the company only further prove how
experienced you are in your line of profession. Also, it is important that you ask questions,
because this is one of the best opportunities you will ever have to find out information about
the company.
Ask about the past, present and future of the company and your position; include as much
detail as possible. Your questions will prove your interest and will demonstrate that you are a
serious applicant. The responses will provide information allowing you to surmise the future
prospects of the company, and therefore, yourself.
How can you handle this upcoming interview successfully?
Whether you are looking for your first job or your seventh, and regardless of your initial
impression of the job opportunity, prepare thoroughly.
A proper, serious preparation, combined with good interview techniques will ensure that the
interviewer will regard you not only as a strong candidate but also as an intelligent performer.

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Fundamentals of facing interviews

  • 1. Fundamentals of facing interviews What is an Interview? Interview, in simple terms, is a process where a group of people will make you sit in front of them and then ask you a variety of questions; some relevant, some irrelevant and then finally decide whether you have the skills which they are looking for! If they are satisfied, you are In, Congratulations! And if they are not, you are Out, Sorry! Better luck next time. Interviews are an important part of a person's life; whether student in search of his first job or a professional who is eager to improve his current position. Whoever it may be, Interviews have become a regular affair in this contemporary world and one has to pace himself well to face the interviewers who judge whether we are fit to be a part of their team or not. Sometimes it may seem like a pure chance of Luck, but believe me, it's not! There is a To-Do List before attending the interview which if followed to the point; Success is no more a matter of chance. What are Interviewers looking for from You? In my personal experience and from general discussions with distinguished guests during meetings, I have realised that everyone is looking forward to knowing you better. But, you see, it's not as simple as it seems. There's a trick in this simple statement which can be understood better by reading in between the lines. When they (the Interviewers) say that they are looking forward to knowing more about you; honestly, what they are really looking forward to is how smart you are, how intelligent you are, how adept you are and all the bunch of positive qualities that you can put on a display. So don't go out blabbering everything about yourself from head to toe. Be careful about what to show about yourself and what to hide. Although you may complain about it and decide to reveal yourself fully, remember the fact that at every point, they are carefully assessing you and everything that you say is going to give them an impression about you. So the most important rule to be kept in mind is choose what to say about yourself because that's the first stumbling block where one may falter very easily by revealing too much about oneself and thereby reveal some of the qualities that are not desired or which may show you in poor light. Hence, carefully plan out what you want to say when they ask you "Tell us about yourself?" This is the most basic question asked anywhere, in any interview and thus this question may not give you a shot at the job, but, if answered badly, it will surely be one of the reasons for not selecting you for the desired position.
  • 2. How to dress up for Interviews? Dressing and personal grooming have a small, yet vital role to play during interview process. How you dress gives the other person an idea about who you are or what are you trying to give out as a signal. For instance, a t-shirt is an indication of casual and jovial mood while a formal shirt gives an indication that you mean business and you are serious about what you are doing. In a session of 45min to 1 hour, the interviewers try to find out everything they can and your dressing forms a first impression upon them. And as the cliché goes, "First impression is the best impression". So, basically, the underlying point is that you can't dress whichever way you want. A simple and neat shirt, not too bright and not very colourful, is very much preferred. Similarly, ironed trousers and polished shoes can make a perfect combo for the event. Tie is generally not expected, but it's a personal choice to wear it or not. Dress well, make a good impression and that will surely be an added asset for you. Essential points to remember before attending the Interview? Know about the Firm Yes, that's very important. Have a pre-requisite knowledge about the company which you are going to attend. Simple questions such as “What do you know about our company? What kind of products do we supply?” can stump you all of a sudden if you are not well aware of the company’s profile, their depth in market and their range of products. So, when you are going for an interview, go with a thorough knowledge of the firm and when the situation arises bowl them over with your in-depth knowledge of the working of the company. It can always come in handy in situations where you are asked as to “Which areas are you interested to work in? Where do you fit yourself in our company?” Then don’t put up a blank face and look sheepishly at them asking for clues; explain to them what are your future goals and aspirations and how it is going to be a win-win situation for both you as well as the company if you are in their firm. Have a Good C.V. Just like the way the interviewers judge about your personality by looking at your clothes; similarly, they a first impression about your academics and life as a student is formed by looking at your C.V. the Curriculum Vitae. Generally, the interviewers will question you pertaining to what you have mentioned in the C.V. Also they don’t have all the time in the world to read your achievements and awards
  • 3. and rewards right from your kinder-garden days. So, keep your C.V short and yet be precise. Brevity is the most essential requirement here and it must be done without loss of any point that may give you an edge over other candidates. Also don’t bluff. They are not some morons who won’t be able to recognise your fake achievements and qualifications. So keep this point in mind as well while writing a C.V. If you don’t know some software skills or you don’t remember them at the time of interview, don’t put it up in your C.V. If found out, they never take you in and it will remain an embarrassment throughout your career. Check for expected Questionnaire It is important to have an idea about the type of questions that may be posed by the interviewers of that particular company. Of course, they shall never pose that same questions again, but it gives an idea of what can be the standard and complexity of questionnaire. Also it gives you a chance to prepare yourself for the interview. And in case some of them are really fired at you, you will be better prepared to answer them than a candidate who has not done this kind of prior preparation. So find out about previously posed questions from your seniors, other people who might have attended the interview for these companies or search for them in various sites which are flooded with such stuff, which are ever ready to help you with tricky questions. And prepare yourself accordingly. Be clear about the Fundamentals This is another aspect to be kept in mind. It is quite easy to say that you have prepared well for the interview, but it is another thing as to how much has been really done as part of the preparation. Fundamentals are very important part of any candidate. And the interviewers are also eager to know how good you are in your basics. It so happens that the company doesn’t expect you to do well in all areas of your studies, but it expects you to have a sound understanding on the fundamentals, based on which any number of degrees and certificates can be piled up from thereafter. It is more or less like building a house. Foundation is the most important aspect of any building and based on this foundation alone, the number of storeys can be built above is decided. A bad foundation leads to the collapse of these buildings in some time or the other. So is the case with the studies and degrees which a person has acquired. That’s what even the interviewers are looking for. They want to know how good your base is and your selection depends to a large extent on this fact alone.
  • 4. Some other aspects to be remembered as well 1. Be there before time: Yes, when there’s an interview at 10’o clock, be there by 9:45 itself and not at exact 10. It gives you a time to relax yourself after reaching the venue and also gauge at other prospective candidates. 2. Don’t look shabby: Wear decent looking clothes and in order that they don’t get spoilt, leave before time or take some private transport vehicle. 3. Have a genial face: Other candidates as well as interviewers shouldn't be scared to have a conversation with you. Be cheerful, have a small smile all the while. It creates a pleasant feeling for everyone around you and makes the interviewers think for a while before considering your case. 4. Be Confident: Finally, the most crucial aspect that everyone focusses upon; confidence. No matter how much you know or don’t know, if you wilt under pressure, all your efforts go waste. So, whether you know an answer or not, have an expression of confidence throughout. It’s easier said than done. I know that. But, it is equally important to remember this key fact because self-belief has a magic of its own than can create miracles. You may have several interviews that will be a learning experience for you. Job interviews are interesting experiences. The more interviews you make, the more it may help keep you calm and prepare yourself effectively. Thought of in this way, you can look forward to the interview, and accept it as a growth experience. If it results in a job offer, wonderful. But if not, there is still some gain. One should consider that a job interview is just like doing many other things in life – Though the time, place and concept differ, the basic premise of the interview is the same – The lessons learned become part of your education, and can benefit your personal growth. The following guidelines can help limit the confusion associated with interviews. How to Face that Job Interview Wisely Here are some three tips to help you. 1. Research ahead of time – Even before requesting an interview, but at least prior to the interview itself One of the first questions that many applicants cannot answer is: What do you know about this company and the position for which you are applying? The best way to answer this question is to actually do some research on the said company. This not only prepares you for the interview, but it also helps you come across as intelligent, well experienced and knowledgeable with reference to your profession. In the research
  • 5. process, it is possible that you actually may come across some information that might cause YOU to re-think your desire to join the company. Research will definitely help you have a more successful interview. 2. What do you have to offer our company if hired? Contemplate this question before the interview, because this is a basic, important idea – Why are you a good fit for the job? This question may be asked directly during the interview. Make sure you read the job description carefully and can list a few reasons – three or four should do the job. When asked, give a brief run-through idea of your understanding of the job, your areas of expertise, knowledge and skills gained and how they are utilized in the job and in this corporate environment. This will give the interviewer a basic idea of your understanding of the profession as well as the job profile, combined with information about the key responsibilities of the said job. 3. Prepare your own set of questions No interview is over without cross questioning. In fact, the process of your asking any questions about the company only further prove how experienced you are in your line of profession. Also, it is important that you ask questions, because this is one of the best opportunities you will ever have to find out information about the company. Ask about the past, present and future of the company and your position; include as much detail as possible. Your questions will prove your interest and will demonstrate that you are a serious applicant. The responses will provide information allowing you to surmise the future prospects of the company, and therefore, yourself. How can you handle this upcoming interview successfully? Whether you are looking for your first job or your seventh, and regardless of your initial impression of the job opportunity, prepare thoroughly. A proper, serious preparation, combined with good interview techniques will ensure that the interviewer will regard you not only as a strong candidate but also as an intelligent performer.