Your first job interview can be quite a nerve-wracking experience. Here's how you can handle it with composure:Posted by Nishatha Abraham on July 16, 2012, 3:40 p.m.
Searching for a job is like trudging on a long journey, it’s a journey from where you are to where you want to go, the path to this journey will be bumpy and this is where one needs to step back and introspect, and check whether one has the right ammunition for this journey. Preparing for a job would encompass everything from preparing a resume to attending the interview thereby leading to selection.
The initial preparation requires recent assessment of skills, interests, values and accomplishments; a re-assessment and updating of one's resume; and research on the targeted company/organization and position. The preparation also involves a stock check on the inventory of skills & actual practice of typical and targeted interview questions. Your last leg of preparation includes details of dress and appearance, knowledge of the location of the interview, what to expect and the interview process.
A resume is a great way of propagating yourself and therefore it should be meticulously crafted. The drafting of a resume will depend on whether it is for a fresher or for someone who has experience, fundamentally the architecture would remain the same, since the fresher has nothing much to show case in term of experience, the focus would remain on selling one’s inherent capability in the form of strengths and leaning on projects and internships. I am listing down some important aspects to be kept in mind while making your resume:
In addition to this, for freshers, extra-curricular activities should be used effectively rather than accommodating it to bring up the tail. Reading and writing are important components of extra-curricular activities and one must be ready with the last book you read or last letter /mail you wrote in case the question pops up during the interview .
Avoid showing a bunch of certificates, like class representative, winner of spoon race competition, these are deterrents and can be avoided.
Again I am again keeping freshers in context and will be looking from a personal interview perspective.
Research: - Before attending the interview, ensure that you go through the website of the company and find out the salient features of the company, its product range, vision and mission, founders, customers etc. All your answers during the interview should originate from an understanding of the organization. Find out if you have any relatives or friends working in the same organization, an insight from an insider will help you fortify your views better.
Planning:- If required visit the venue before the D-Day , this will ensure that you are not confused with the route and the location. Be 10 minutes ahead of the interview time; freshen up once you reach the venue.
Dress Code:- Make sure you’re in formal attire & well groomed. Avoid body odor, have a neat handkerchief in your pocket & don’t forget to wear a smile and carry your wits around you.
Body Language:- Maintain eye contact throughout the interview, keep your body flexible, sit upright in the chair, limit your hand movements.
Prepare for basic open-ended questions:- The interview is a process by which the interviewer can judge whether the job requirements and your profiles are both technically and personally aligned, so there is still a chance of the staple question “Tell me more about yourself?” The first question is the most important question and the appropriate answer to this will keep the rest of the interview live , so avoid too much of family , lead the answer to your area of strengths , avoid talking about how hard working and sincerity and honest you are , these are understood. Talk instead of how you can work in a team. Highlight persistence, ambition, execution, stability and growth through performance as your strengths.
The second probable question can be “Where do you see yourselves 5 years from now? “ The answer to this can be, “I see myself growing through the ranks adding considerable value to both internal and external customers, aligning my vision and my organization’s vision to reach a shared destination.” Keep the responses short and crisp. Towards the fag end of the interview, the recruiter may provide you an opportunity of asking any question. This needs to delicately handled, when in doubt avoid asking questions. If you actually have a question, then put it across in a straight forward manner, avoid controversial questions like: may I know my CTC, so am I selected etc. Instead ask them about their long term plans or look at relevancy.
Finally throughout the interview channelize your energy, don’t panic or strain yourself, stay calm and retain your composure, be yourself and give it your best shot. At the end of the interview you will have get fair indication of your fate. So don’t worry too much about the outcome. Life is about remaining nonchalant when the going is good or bad, because things always change.
(The writer is the divisional head of Indian Institute of Job Training)