Preparing for an interview – A structured approach

I have been through quite a few interviews starting right from Scholarship interviews to Job interviews. I got through most, but stumbled at a few. Based on my experiences as well as the experiences that I have these days while conducting interviews myself, I write this review.

Points to remember before an interview begins

  1. Know about the company in which you are applying. It always helps if you can customize some of the replies that you give during the interview to meet the company requirements.
  2. Understand the position and responsibilities of the position that you are applying for. This will help you in clearly understanding the motive of the questions asked during an interview.
  3. If you have any friends in the company try to find out about the procedure of interviews in the company, some sample questions etc. It might also help if you know the general attitude of the people who might conduct your interview.

Points to remember while appearing for an interview

  1. Dress formally. Never wear casuals or additional accesories. I know of a boy being rejected in a reputed company despite a good interview, just because he was wearing ear-ring while giving an interview.
  2. Always reach the interview location five to ten minutes before the actual time of interview. That allows you time to settle down before the interview and get used to the interview location.
  3. Bring in all your requisite papers, certifications, degrees etc. in a formal folder. Also have a formal pen and a few blank sheets of paper at your disposal.

Points to remember during an interview

  1. Stay calm. Don’t get tense.
  2. Don’t jump to answer questions. Listen to the questions properly and understand their meaning fully before you give the answer.
  3. Usually the concentration of an interviewer lasts just a few minutes per question and hence begin each answer in a very confident manner. As they say well begun is half done.
  4. Don’t bluff. Usually the interviewer is an experienced guy who is already a veteran to all kinds of bluff and would see through it. It is better to say sorry rather than to bluff.
  5. In case there are speculative questions, try to solve it through. Don’t give blunt answers in such cases, try to justify your solutions.
  6. Be upto the point. Don’t try to oversmart the interviewer. Most probably he won’t like it and it would go against you.
  7. Be positive in your body language. This is one of the points that most people miss out on. They start dropping shoulders and drooping while not able to answer or sit too stiffly for their own comfort. My suggestion is go through a book on body language. And mind you it really helps. One of my friends who was having a real trouble getting through interviews went through one such book and got through the very next interview he faced.
  8. Be prepared for standard set of questions like what are your strengths, weaknesses, tell something about yourself types. Usually these are ice breaking questions and don’t carry much weightage. But being prepared for these questions allows you to get a good confident start to an interview.

Points to remember after an interview

  1. Before leaving convey your thanks to the interview panel.
  2. Ask them whether you need to stay back or can leave.
  3. Ask them the details of when they would give you your results. If you follow all these and also have the technical know how of the job you are applying for, you are sure to get through. For those of you who still feel tensed at the name of interviews, always remember the interviewer is taking the interview to recruit people and not to reject people, hence you need not feel tensed or terrified of an interview.

And finally here’s best of luck to all the aspirants of an interview.


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