The thought of an interview can be quite nerve-wracking and frightening. It starts with “Oh, gosh! I hope they don’t see that long break on my resume.” or “Jeez, I hope my GPA score is good enough for them.” and so on. Well, scores and your work history matters – maybe you scored less, or perhaps you did take that rather long sabbatical. The point is that you are one of the few candidates who got selected, and your next step is to dazzle your interviewer with your talent, wit and honesty.
Here’s how you can nail your job interview and leave a lasting impression:
1. Do your homework!
To land this job, you must research and learn more about the company – accomplishments, goals, mission, values and culture. This research will give you great insight into how you must present yourself professionally. Study the job description to know what your roles and responsibilities are and align your experience and qualifications according to that. This way, you can easily discuss relevant topics and shine bright like a diamond!
2. Study your resume!
Pretty obvious, huh? Interviewers often read up on your resume, scrutinize every detail and ask you questions based on it.
Interviewer: “You finished your course in September 2010 and also started a job the very same month. That was quick! Tell us more about that.
Interviewee: Thinks hard – Where was I working in 2010, and what year is it now?
A W K W A R D
If you’re just as absent-minded as the person writing this blog, the key is to be thorough with your resume. While you’re at it, remember the date and the year on the day of the interview too. This practice will save you embarrassment, and help you stay ahead of your game.
3. Do a mock interview
For this, you will need – 1 table, a few files and a willing roomi. Ask your roomi to represent an interviewer and shoot some serious questions your way. A mock interview will not only help you practice your confident stride but also help you practice and perfect your answers. Your roomi can also give you ratings based on how genuine your answers were in the mock. Win-win!
4. Dress for success
First impressions last, so make sure you don’t walk into your future company for a job interview, wearing bulky headphones and joggers. Pick business casuals (even if your company has a casual dress policy) if not a complete formal attire. Here are some tips for picking the right interview outfit.
5. Correct your body language
So you have some wait time before the interviewer summons you – don’t use this time to slouch and play games on your phone. Instead, sit up straight, hands neatly folded in your lap(instead of fidgeting or tearing your hangnails) and don’t forget to smile with everyone you interact with. Always maintain eye contact with your interviewer, a soft eye contact – try not to be creepy. Lol!
6. Dos and don’ts
- Do Eat a light breakfast but avoid anything that can make you ‘gassy’. Boy, you don’t want to be breaking the ice and the wind together.
- Do prepare questions for your interviewer. These could include questions about your role, mistakes made by employees in the same and how they can be avoided or new upcoming projects for the company.
- Don’t ever bring your previous employees/company in a negative light. Do talk about the positive experience there and your learnings.
- Do take comfortable pauses to answer tricky questions and always remember to BE YOURSELF!
- Do follow up with your interviewer or the HR after 3 – 4 days.
- Don’t start discussing the details of your salary package. Politely ask for time to consider it – get back to them by the evening or the next morning.
- Do prepare for the top most commonly asked questions – strengths and weaknesses, where do you see yourself in the next 5/10 years, why should we hire you?
Remember your interviewers are people too, they understand that life has ups and downs, perfection is utopian, and humbleness is all that matters in the end. No matter how intimidating they look, be yourself and carry yourself with confidence. All the best you guys – break a leg, metaphorically of course!