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Planning Your Career – Job Interview – Page 2
An interview is a dramatic event in your life, which offers you the best opportunity to sell yourself. The employer has gone through your advertising package in which you have communicated all your marketable skills.
Now you are called for an interview and given a chance to present yourself before a panel of interviewers to sell the total package.
You may feel the situation a little threatening, as you are quite unsure of how it will be conducted but in no way can you resolve the uncertainty. What you can do is to prepare yourself mentally and face the ordeal confidently.
Job Interview – Some Basic Facts :
In the past, jobs were offered on compassionate grounds to relatives and friends and persons recommended by them. Now employers will not mind providing them financial assistance but would offer jobs to only talented persons who would contribute to the profitability of the company.
The governing principle in the selection of a candidate is the rule that is applicable to business transactions. The more valuable is the product; the better is the price it fetches.
Hence the employer finds out the value of each candidate and decides who is worth buying. To put it succinctly you are ‘on sale’ Hence you must try to demonstrate at the interview what you can do for the organization.
You have to provide relevant information and convince the interviewers that you will prove to be a better candidate for the job and an asset to the company and hence worth buying. In this process you may have to edge out some of the better-qualified persons.
There are candidates who unnecessarily prefer to placate the interviewers. As you are desperately in need of a job so are the employers equally concerned about recruiting talented persons.
The demand is on both sides. Again some candidates feel depressed and desperate at the time of interview.
They should know that a few interviewers are more nervous than even the candidates themselves are.
Hence in the interview, present yourself as a positive, confident and honest person, demonstrating your documented skills and talents in the resume with specific examples of your accomplishments.
Preparation for an Interview :
Job Interview – About the position :
Your preparation for the interview begins right from the moment you receive the intimation for it. As a first step, you must collect information about the position you seek. Try to secure a copy of the written description about the job.
You can also visit the organization, meet some responsible person and find out from him the details of the job performance – duties and responsibilities, terms and conditions of appointment.
Then jot down your skills, talents and experience and connect them with the tasks expected to be performed on the job. Also note down the instances of your specific accomplishments in each category of the job specification.
Job Interview – About the Organization :
Involve yourself in a sort of research on the organization that has called you for the interview. For that purpose, the best place is the major library where you can find a significant number of periodicals of the current and back issues and find out in them specific articles on a company.
You can also get a copy of the target company’s annual report, brochure and pamphlets. Even the advertisement of the company is worth scanning. Review all the material and take appropriate notes about the companies’
Future prospects at national and international levels
Top executives (their names)
General management policy
Rewards for employees
The research on the company is highly essential, as the panel of interviewers generally asks a few questions on the organization and any prompt and correct answer is sure to impress the persons.
Job Interview – About subject : Your next step is to refresh your mind with the subject of your specialization by reading books, the latest journals and magazines pertaining to the job requirements. You should also read the newspaper of the day and watch the TV.
Job Interview – Document : At the time of interview, you are generally asked to produce your original certificates, mark list, experience record and other necessary documents. You can neatly catalogue them in an attractive folder.
Job Interview – Interviewers : You should try to find out the names of the persons who conduct the interview and address them by their names. This is one positive way of influencing the persons, as it is believed that the sweetest word for a person is his / her own name.
Job Interview – The Interview : Have a sound sleep on the night before the interview so that you can attend it with liveliness and confidence. If you look exhausted, you may not be able to impress the interviewers. There is a general view that a candidate appears in his best dress at the interview.
If you are not well dressed, the interviewer may presume that you will not be decently dressed in the office. You should took smart in your dress, neatly combed and well shaven or in trim beard.
The shirt and trousers should be fine and well pressed and shoe clean and well polished. Don’t prefer gaudy coloured dress.
The interviewers are mostly aged and sober persons who may not approve of highly fashionable dress. Remember the rule ‘East what you like but dress what others like’. Ladies need not overburden themselves with jewellery and apply perfumes to cause distraction.
Try to be at the interview at least 30 minutes earlier. It is advisable to find out the location of the place one-day earlier so that you may not have the stress of getting strandard just at the interview time.
You are now ready to take off. When your turn comes, enter the room noiselessly opening the door and close it in the same way.
Stand for a moment at the entrance and look at the panel of interviewers with a smile on your face and advance towards them with utmost confidence.
Carry the brief case or file in the left hand to keep the right hand free to stretch it if you are required to shake hand. As you approach the interviewers, say ‘Good morning / Good afternoon’.
Don’t occupy the chair unless it is offered. When one of the members says’ please sit down, Mr. Rahul Bhandari, say ‘thank you’ and sit erect and relaxed with your hand placed under the table.
Folded arms indicate insecurity and frequent change of posture shows your uneasiness. Maintain eye contact with the interviewers.
You should be mentally alert and listen to the question intently. A few casual questions on neutral topics are asked as ice breakers. In the beginning don’t take much time to answer them.
This will help the interviewers move on the substantive part of the interviewers. If you have not understood a particular question, you can with utmost respect ask ‘would you please repeat the question sir / madam?’ If you can’t answer a particular question, you can openly confess, ‘sorry sir / madam, I don’t know the answer’.
Open confession of ignorance is considered as a sign of integrity. Sometimes you may be asked to spell out your career goals. If you say that you would like to work in the states or Australia, you may not be considered a serious candidate. Link your career goals with the growth of the target company.
Don’t speak critically of your earlier organization or boss. It is considered bad manner to tarnish the image of your earlier work place. Try to be a little humorous.
If you find that interviewers seem to be dreary, you can slightly raise or lower your tone. Some candidates believe that interviewers alone have the right to ‘call the tune’ and elicit information.
You can also make a few enquiries about the working condition of the company and its growth prospects. You are, generally, allowed to ask a few questions at the end.
Before the end of the interview, you should leave behind the panel a distinct stamp your personality. It is the chairman who thanks you and it is a signal that the interview is over.
Now stand before the panel and confidently say,’ Thank you very much for providing me an opportunity to spend some time with you’. And then coolly walk out the hall.
Job Interview – Two Types of Job Interview :
Job interviews are conducted for two categories of people. One is meant for professionals like doctors, engineers, lawyers and scientists for whom the eligibility is restricted to persons of relevant qualifications in their respective professional disciplines.
In such interviews the employers and recruiters expect the professionals to have a sound knowledge and experience of the target subject and questions asked are mostly subject relevant.
The other interview is more of the general type. It starts from the lowest clerical cadre to the highest position like IAS, IFS and IPS for which the eligibility criteria is a degree in any subject – pure sciences, humanities, social sciences, commerce, law, agriculture, medicine or engineering and the focus in the interview is based on the job requirements and certain personal traits which the interviewers look for in the candidate.
What do the Interviewers look for?
Job Interview – Communication skills : In any organization, a good communicator is a positive assert and a long-term investment. Hence interviewers gauge the communication skills of the candidates.
They may not be very particular about the accuracy of each answer but their primary target is fluently of expression, which you will have to demonstrate with utmost ease and facility while you respond to questions.
Job Interview – Leadership qualities : A modern employer expects his higher officials to influence and motivate others to reach certain predetermined and set objectives and goals.
For that, they required leader rather than managers and supervisors and hence at the time of interview, they would like to find out whether you have the leadership quality, traits and attitudes.
Skilled interviewers, as they are, they would have no difficulty in finding out from your verbal and nonverbal communication and patterns of behaviour, your personality which would become quite evident during the interview.
Job Interview – Knowledge : Among the panel of interviewers, there will be at least one subject expert whose concern is to measure your grasp of the subject knowledge.
Job Interview – Loyalty and dedication : Employers expect their employees to be loyal. They would ensure whether you were loyal in the earlier organization.
They won’t mind if you charge your employer for your better prospects but on no account should betray the organization. If a few probing questions are asked about your present or past organizations, you should never run them down.
Market Orientation : You should believe the basic fact that an organization exists to make a profit. Even in an educational institution, you should have plans to make your department a fund generating one.
The recruiters would like to find out your interest in the growth of the organization. For that you have to speak about your past achievements and accomplishments.
You must seize even least opportunity that comes your way to speak about your plans to the development of the company, in case they offer you the post.