Interview Tips

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by rajmiarun, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    You know the best way how to keep you calm. Follow all the relaxation techniques that you will follow in any adverse situation. The best way to do this is to be prepared!

    You have ample resources nowadays to know about the company that you are attending the interview. Try to learn all facts and figures (better the latest) about the company.

    Learn to know about the interviewer if possible, from the employees.

    Prepare yourself according to the type of interview you will be attending. If it is a first round of interview then it is a screening interview, if it is a second round then it is skill testing, knowledge testing interview. Be prepared to attend both the interviews on the same date too.

    Apart from the monetary benefits that the company is to offer you should be able to express yourself why you want to work for that company and why you particularly want that job.

    Be able to express how best you can be to the organisation if you are select. Express yourself how you will be an asset.

    Be prepared for the standard interview questions and know your answers to them

    Know how to deal with illegal questions tactfully during the interview.

    Prepare questions you wish to ask—only ask questions you can't find answers to yourself.

    Line up your references in advance and verify that they will be good ones.

  2. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    On the Interview Day

    Find out the standard dress for the organization. Every organisation has its own dress code. However if the interview is on a Friday and the dress code for that day is casual dont go in casuals. Maintain your formals.Dress on the conservative side.

    Arrive atleast 15 mins before the start time specified. Relax mentally till you are called into the interview room.

    Bring extra resumes, notepad, pen.

    Be sure you know how to pronounce your interviewer's name correctly.

    Be polite to everyone you meet there even the door boy. They all count.

    Be personable as well as professional.

    Do not chew gum, smoke, swear or use slang.

    Be aware of body language, vibes, reactions—use your instincts to keep things on course.

    Assume all questions are asked for a good reason and answer accordingly.

    Do not assume that your interviewer knows how to elicit the information he/she is looking for, be precise in your answers and be elaborate if necessary.

    Feel free to ask for clarification before answering a question.

    Take some time to formulate your answers before you speak, but not a long time just a minute or half.

    Answer all questions honestly, but in the best, most positive light.

    Do not bad mouth old employers or any body for that sake.

    Answer questions related to politics lightly. If you are loyal to any political party donot show it out in your job interview.
  3. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    Interview Planner

    Purchase correspondence paper stock (stationary and matching envelopes).

    Keep enough paper stock on hand to print your resumes, cover letters and other correspondence on matching stationary and envelopes.

    Know the standards for writing cover letters, thank you letters, and when to phone.

    Keep stamps on hand at all times!

    Keep track of all career related written and verbal correspondence.

    Identify your basic interview wardrobe: select one or two outfits or suits that are considered fairly conservative for your field.

    Locate your local overnight or one-hour dry cleaner.

    Polish your business shoes.

    Always have extra, clean copies of your resume with you.

    Keep on file an interview folder to bring with you on interviews. It should contain: a few resumes in a plastic sleeve, some reminders for yourself about your skills and your goals, and a pen and some paper to make notes before and after the interview.

    Bring to the interview: your interview folder, the names of the people you are meeting and the address with directions. You may also want: a comb, tissues, breath mints.

    Know where you're going in advance.

    Leave yourself plenty of time to get there.

    You want to arrive a little bit early, not just on time and never late.

    Follow up with thank you letters immediately.

    Make sure you can be reached, whether by phone, fax or email.

    (Thanks to monster)
  4. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    Interview Dont's

    Don't arrive late for the interview. Be at the venue atleast 15 minutes in advance.

    Don't be with poor personal appearance. Wrinkled shirt and unpolished shoes will give you a bad appearence.

    Fill in the application form provided by the company in full. Dont leave anything unfilled.

    Don't be over aggressive. This will project you as a person with lots of temper.

    Lack of interest and enthusiasm. Dont be over enthusiastic either.

    Failure to ask questions about the job. Dont keep asking repeatdly too.

    No genuine interest in the company or job.

    Lack of maturity.

    Lack of planning for career.

    Don't be negative about past employers.
  5. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    Behavioral Interview

    This type of interview is followed by most of the companies and it gives the employer or the interviewer a good knowledge about the candidate.

    Learn About the Company
    Do all the necessary research you can do about the company from the web or if you have friends in that company.

    Talk about your acheivements:
    Tell them about times you have really felt proud of an achievement at work or school.Tell two or three acheivements as an interesting stories. These stories demonstrate all those hard-to-measure qualities like judgment, initiative, teamwork or leadership.

    Confirm the date, time and location of the interview. Check timetables and book train tickets in advance. Contact your interviewer if you are late at the interview.

    Dress Well:
    Keep the dress which you are planning to wear for the interview readily washed, pressed. Keep all the accessories like tie, socks, shoes, interview file, your bag, 1 or 2 pens that write well, a notepad in one place so that you dont have to run around for each and every thing in the morning. This will make you exhausted and it will show in your face too.

    Also go to bed early and get a good night's sleep.

    No Cell Phones:
    Getting a phone call in the middle of an interview is considered to be a bad manner in terms of interview. Switch it off before you enter the interview room.

    Detailed Answering is Important
    Be specific and provide plenty of details. Describe in detail how you are a goal-oriented person. Explain and show the details that back up your answers. At the same time dont lie.

    Understand the position
    Ask a lot of questions about the position. An interview is a chance for you to learn more about the job and the company. Make sure that you understand the responsibilities of the job. Ask about the job expectations.


    Be familiar with the name and title of the interviewer. Take your interview confirmation letter with you.

    Analyze the position for which you are applying and identify the critical capabilities.

    Maintain eye contact.

    Watch your grammar. Interviewers are interested in articulate candidates. Use pauses rather than "uhs."

    Be aware of your non-verbal communication, especially your posture.

    Be yourself. Display energy and a positive attitude. Show you are sincerely interested. Be prepared to talk about yourself in a clear, concise manner.
    Focus on your ability to learn quickly, communication skills, analytical abilities and other strengths.

    Be alert and attentive. Answer the questions asked. Stick to the subject.

    Be prepared to discuss any aspect of your resume in depth.

    Emphasize your strong points. Be self-confident.

    Be prepared to answer tough questions.

    Review your notes. Do not bring out a note pad during the interview. Always ask for permission to take notes in an interview
  6. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    Gestures and body movements are unconscious forms of expressions and therefore they have a language of their own. We are unware of our gestures and body movements 99% of the time, but other people can notice our gestures and movements if they pay attention to and know what they mean. Note that body language applies not only to the interviewer but also to the interviewee.

    Also note that these gestures may happen throughout the conversation and they change as the conversation progresses. The objective of paying attention to nonverbal communication is to help you change the direction of the conversation. If the person is showing negative gestures, then you need to change the subject by asking a new question or talking about something else.

    So, during a job interview, you can watch for the following gestures:

    Crossed arms - means that the person is in a defensive and reserved mood.

    Crossed arms and legs - means that the person feels very reserved and suspicious.

    Open arms and hands - means that the person is open and receptive.

    Standing before you with his hands inside the pockets - means he is not sure or feels suspicious.

    Standing before you with his hands on his hips - means he is receptive and ready to help you out.

    Sitting in a chair shaking one of the legs - means he feels nervous and uncomfortable.

    If his eyes are downcast and face turned away - means he is not interested in what you are saying.

    With the palm of the hand holding or stroking his chin - means he is in an evaluating position and being critical.

    Leaning back in his chair with both hands clasped behind his head - means he is in an analytical mood, but it is also a gesture of superiority. Rubbing or touching his nose when answering a question - means he is not telling the complete truth.

    If he maintains good eye contact and he smiles in a relaxed and happy way - means he is definitely receptive to you.

    Rubbing the back of his head or rubbing or touching the back of his neck - means the conversation is not really interesting.

    If he moves his body and sits with his feet and body pointing towards a door - means he wants to end the conservation and leave the room.

    Source: American Career Counseling Center
    New York City
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2007
  7. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    Common questions you may be asked in the interview

    1. Tell me about yourself? (try to hold your response to 2 minutes)
    2. What do you know about our company?
    3. Why should we hire you?
    4. What can you do for us that someone else can't?
    5. What do you look for in a job?
    6. What skills and qualifications are essential for success in the position of ______?
    7. How long would it take for you to make a meaningful contribution?
    8. How does this assignment fit into your overall career plan?
    9. Describe your management style.
    10. What do you believe is the most difficult part of being a supervisor of people?
    11. Why are you looking for a new career?
    12. How would your colleagues describe you?
    13. How would your boss describe you?
    14. How would you describe yourself?
    15. What do you think of your present or past boss?
    16. What were the five most significant accomplishments in your last assignment?
    17. What were the five most significant accomplishments in your career so far?
    18. Can you work well under deadlines or pressure?
    19. How much do you expect if we offer you this position?
    20. Why do you want to work for us?
    21. What other positions are you considering?
    22. Have you kept up in your field with additional training?
    23. What are your career goals?
    24. What are your strong points?
    25. What are your weak points?
    26. How did you do in school?
    27. What position do you expect to have in 2 to 5 years?
    28. If you took the job what would you accomplish in the first year?
    29. What was wrong with your current or last position?
    30. What kind of hours are you used to working or would like to work?
    31. Do you have your reference list with you? (Remember don't give it out unless it is asked for).
    32. Can you explain your salary history?
    33. What questions didn't I ask that you expected?
    34. Do you have any question for me?
  8. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    If you are being interviewed for a middle management cadre these following questions could be put across the interviewer

    1. Why is this position open?
    2. How often has it been filled in the past five years? What were the main reasons?
    3. What would you like done differently by the next person who fills this position?
    4. What are some of the objectives you would like to see accomplished in this job?
    5. What is most pressing? What would you like to have done in the next 3 months.
    6. What are some of the long term objectives you would like to see completed?
    7. What are some of the more difficult problems one would have to face in this position?
    8. How do you think these could best be handled?
    9. What type of support does this position receive in terms of people, finances. etc?
    10. What freedom would I have in determining my own work objectives, deadlines, and methods of measurement?
    11. What advancement opportunities are available for the person who is successful in this position, and within what time frame?
    12. In what ways has this organization been most successful in terms of products and services over the years?
    13. What significant changes do you foresee in the near future?
    14. How is one evaluated in this position?
    15. What accounts for success within the company?
    16. These questions are presented only as interviewing guidelines. They are meant to help you prepare for the interview. Some questions may or may not be appropriate for your interviewing situation.
    17. By practicing your responses to some of these questions, hopefully you will not be taken off guard if asked one of them. Most importantly, relax, go with the flow, and before you know it, you'll be in your next job.
  9. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    Body language can give away a lot of our feelings, regardless of whether we keep our mouths shut or not. And without an awareness of our actions, nervousness, dishonesty, boredom and other negative attributes can become dead give-aways.
    Before taking a seat, be mindful of what you'll be staring at. If you have a choice, avoid staring at a bright window. If you don't apparently have a choice, don't be afraid to ask. Ensure that you have room to move and reposition yourself if you become stiff or restless.
    To begin with, you need to set yourself up in a confident and comfortable position to help avoid negative body language habits. Make sure you are comfortably seated in an upright position ensuring that no particular part of your body is under strain (e.g. your neck).
    Keep your hands rested in your lap, your head raised showing an expression of interest, and relax your shoulders without slumping into the seat.
    Although we'll cover specific body language signs later, here are the obvious ones to watch out for.
    • Fidgeting shows boredom and restlessness
    • Crossing arms indicates an unwillingness to listen
    • Tapping your foot is distracting and a sure sign of boredom
    • Doodling on paper shows you're not paying attention
    • Touching your face or playing with your hair can be a sign that you're hiding something
    • Looking away or hesitating before or while speaking indicates that you're unsure of what you're saying
    • A fixed, unfocused stare shows your attention is elsewhere
    A good CV and all the right answers to the toughest interview questions won't land you the job if your voice gives off an entirely different impression. It is important to project yourself confidently in a clear, controlled and steady voice that can be easily understood.
    Take some time to practise, even staging a mock interview with a friend or colleague. Try to be aware of the following:
    • Speak clearly in a controlled range of tones, avoiding a monotone
    • Always pause before speaking. This avoids instinctively reacting and saying the wrong things
    • Speak slightly slower than normal, but don't overdo it
    • Vary your tone and dynamics, but try not to speak too loudly or too softly
    • Don't mumble or gabble on excitedly
    • Keep your hands away from your mouth as you speak
    • Watch your pitch. High-pitched voices are tough on the ears, and avoid a 'sing-song' tone
    • Let your voice show your enthusiasm and keenness
    Body signals
    Whether we intend it or not, our body language gives off subtle signs which are subconsciously interpreted by the other party. We likewise read the same into other people's behaviour.
    Imagine conducting an interview with someone behind a two-way mirror. We wouldn't have the benefit of responding to their facial expressions and would feel quite unnerved by the experience.
    Every little frown or smile gives us the caution or confidence to make our next statement and it is a sublime skill which every human being has developed since childhood.
    Some people are more receptive to body language than others, but as a candidate striving to make a good impression, it is important to be aware at all times of the body language that may give out a negative impression.
    Guide to body language:
    • Responsive/eager: Leaning forward, open arms, nodding
    • Listening: Head tilted, constant eye contact, nodding and verbal acknowledgement
    • Attentive: Smiling

    • Bored: Slumped posture, foot tapping, doodling
    • Rejection: Arms folded, head down, subconscious frowning
    • Aggression: Leaning too far forward, finger pointing, grinding teeth
    • Lying: Touching face, hands over mouth, eyes averted, shifting uncomfortably in your seat, glancing
    Signals for a successful interview:
    • A smile is the most positive signal you can give. It reaffirms your enthusiasm and good nature, but be careful of over-grinning stupidly.
    • Maintain regular, attentive eye contact but remember to avert your gaze from time to time to avoid staring.
    • Relax! Give off calm signals and don't rush through the interview. Be mindful of time, but let the interviewer dictate the pace of the interview.
    • Mirror the interviewer's techniques. If they laugh, laugh with them, if they lean forward to impress a point, respond by leaning forward to show your attention.
    • Do not hurry any movement. If you're challenged with a difficult question, remind yourself about negative body language habits before answering the question.
    • Try to maintain an alert position. Sit up straight and adjust your position slightly if you get uncomfortable, but don't fidget.
    • Always try to adopt an open, honest and confident attitude. This is the starting point of managing subconscious body language.
  10. rajmiarun

    rajmiarun Gold IL'ite

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    First impressions are important. An interview may last for 30 minutes or more but studies have shown that someone forms judgements about you within four minutes of meeting you and that these judgements affect their subsequent impressions. Research shows that first impressions are made up of the following:
    • 55% visual impact, ie dress, facial expressions and body language;
    • 38% tone of voice;
    • 7% from what you actually say.
    All is not lost if you are very nervous at the outset but try to create the best first impression you can – a warm smile and firm handshake will help.

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