Facing interviews in campus with elan

Facing interviews in campus with elan

well-prepared An interview is an important part of the recruitment process where the recruiter meets the prospective employee. It is therefore crucial to make oneself be noticed and selected for all the right things, says Swatee Jog.

The summer months are often fraught with anxiety since they also bring along the much awaited placement season in various professional colleges. All the preparation to face a job interview seems trivial compared to the demons in a student’s mind regarding the actual interview process. However, facing an interview becomes a joyous experience if we do so with full preparation and confidence.

An interview is an important part of the recruitment process where the recruiter comes face to face with the prospective employee. Every company attempts to screen candidates and select the best amongst those available for a particular post. It is crucial to make oneself be noticed and selected for all the right things. Every candidate must make a checklist before attending an interview and ensure that almost all points are ticked.

Attitude
It definitely makes all the difference. Considering that this is the last job available in the world would be akin to being naïve and will result in tension.  No job is the end of the world for possibilities. Start every interview with this in mind and it will ease out the tension associated with the interview process. However, one must never underrate any job and attend with an impertinent attitude for it always shows and could prove a deterrent.

Homework
 It helps to do a proper background study of the company through its website or simply google it and you will find all the developments and news about it. Go through the company’s operations, new businesses, acquisitions if any, key people and some information about them, locations, etc. This helps during the conversation with the interviewer. Be aware if the company has any dubious or vague businesses.

Understand the roles
Every job comes with its own roles and responsibilities. Understand them in advance through your friends in similar positions or professional network. Many times, recruitments ads are vague or spell out tough roles in ambiguous terms. For ex: A job that involves night duties or frequent travel  can be posted as ‘willing to work in global time zones/ loves travelling to new places.

Preparation
Every interview starts or includes  some common questions like ‘tell us something about yourself’. Such questions gauge the candidate’s understanding of his/her own skills, strengths, weaknesses and perception about himself. Don’t repeat what’s already in the resume. Talk about yourself and family in brief and emphasize on your skill sets and abilities without being too verbose. Usually, this is the time the interviewer uses to observe the way your body language, sincerity, language skills, etc. Prepare for some frequently asked questions like these. 

Domain knowledge
Browse through your subject glossary or surf for frequently asked questions in your domain. Check if you are fully aware of your domain area, for nothing can substitute that. A finance candidate must be aware of the stock/bullion/currency/commodity/ crude oil markets and trends in the past few days, key companies and heads, terminologies, concepts, etc. just like an HR candidate must be aware of the latest developments in labour laws, appraisal systems, concepts, etc. or a marketing person must know something about the various sectors, current trends, advertisements, various platforms, etc. 

You must be able to answer questions about your domain area with significant clarity. It cuts a very sorry figure when you show ignorance about some simple questions that someone aspiring for that post should otherwise know. Show your awareness about the question even if you may not know the details and confess to not knowing when you don’t. Follow this confession with a very proactive initiative to find out the answer and come back before the interviewer leaves. 

Dress the part
A candidate’s body language and appearance play a key role in the first few minutes when the interviewer builds his opinion about you. Dress in suitable formals. Boys must shave, polish their shoes and never wear a strong perfume. Tone down your spiky hair and hide your tattoos if any. Girls must wear their hair in a trendy style, wear nude makeup and appear confident. Your body language must show earnestness and not desperation. Smile while answering pleasant questions or while spelling your achievements or skills. Don’t overdo anything. 

Honesty shows
Being honest pays a key role in any interview. Never boast about something you don’t have neither hide something that can come into light sooner or later. Be honest in giving your opinion when asked. Stay neutral about questions that point towards religious, political or personal preferences.

Such questions are always tricky and its always best to have a neutral stance lest your inclinations are deemed unacceptable in that company. What you feel about such matters is a very personal matter and need not be discussed.

Modes of interview
 An interview can be a face-to-face one or over the telephone or even via video conferencing / skype. In such alternate modes, follow the same principles. Many candidates are uncomfortable while speaking to a TV screen. In case you know you’re attending a video interview, practice it over skype with some friend in advance. Look into the eyes of the interviewer for the camera is suitably located to make direct view. Greet the person as you stand before you take a seat and after the interview is over.

Telephonic interviews rely on the earnest voice and tone of the candidate. 
An interviewer looks out for a candidate who has sound domain knowledge, good soft skills like listening, communication, understanding problems, etc., displays good control over emotions in stressful situations, appears pleasing and courteous and is happy and confident with himself.

These traits are not hard to spot by a seasoned interviewer who can see through a person’s façade if it is fake.  In today’s corporate world, having perfect marks is not good enough if you don’t have the right skills and attitude. No candidate is perfect when he joins, however, one who displays eagerness for learning and gelling with the new company scores the points.   
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