Thursday, 30 August 2012

Interview Tips: How to get prepared for an interview?

If you are going for an interview. I think you must read this article.

Before you walk in

1) Go through the job profile: Evaluate the job description to know what the employer actually wants. Then write a cover letter highlighting how your strengths and skills ensure that you are the best person for the job.

2) Research the employer: Be up to date on the firm’s products, latest achievements and future goals so that you don’t trip when the recruiters ask you tricky questions. This will also prove how keen you are to join the company.

3) Smarten your resume: Make the resume concise and honest, and ensure that you have proof to support what you mention. Avoid writing mundane skills or cliches like ‘hard working’. Be specific about your competencies and achievements and use positive words to turn flaws into virtues.

4) Spruce up your appearance: Dress conservatively and stick to sober colors like blue, grey and beige. Groom your hair and go easy on accessories, jewellery and perfume. Polish footwear well. Women should avoid teetering heels; two inches makes a subtle statement.

During the interview

1) Perfect posture: Walk confidently, sit straight and don’t fidget. Rest your hands lightly on the armrest or on your knees. Keep your feet together planted firmly on the ground. If you want to change posture, cross your ankles, do not put one leg over another.

2) Pay attention: Keep the interview revolving around your professional life. Answer only what you have been asked and avoid rambling. If the interviewer asks you a question you don’t know much about, admit it. Avoid controversial topics and never badmouth anyone.

3) Attitude matters: The recruiters may deliberately try to rile or provoke you to check how you react in a stressful environment, so keep a cool head. If you believe that a factual answer is right but the interviewer is questioning its validity, be assertive, not argumentative.

4) Be inquisitive: Asking questions proves that you are interested in the job and willing to work there for the long run. So, find out the responsibilities that you will be handling, major projects that can come up and other things you will be permitted to do.

Favorite questions

The questions that the interviewer asks will depend on the job profile, but some are asked across the board. Besides, you need to be prepared with your own set of queries to understand exactly what the job and the company require of you.

5 questions you should ask:

  1. What will be my key responsibilities?
  2. What is the potential for promotion
  3. What is the type of on-the-job training that you provide?
  4. What results do you expect from me and within what time frame?
  5. What resources/team would I have at my disposal? To whom will I report?
Most tricky question: What’s your salary expectation?

Wait for the interviewer to ask this question and then mention a range. If he quotes a number you don’t agree with, ask if you could discuss this after you have seen the compensation break-up.

10 questions you are likely to be asked:

  1. Why did you leave your last job?
  2. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  3. What can you tell us about yourself?
  4. Why should we hire you?
  5. What has been your most important accomplishment?
  6. What are your outside interests?
  7. How do you handle failure?
  8. How did you overcome your toughest professional problem?
  9. What is your greatest weakness/strength?
  10. Why do you want to work here?

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