Bangalore-based HR professional, Preeyan, tells us how to crack an interview. In the second part of the three-part series, he gives invaluable tips on how to conduct and present yourself for an interview. These are the foundations that would decide your success. Here’re the guidelines for a fresher, exclusively in Different Truths.
Last week we talked about how to prepare for an interview. Remember, it’s a mind game. This week we look into two important aspects, how to conduct and present yourself during an interview.
In an interview, the candidate gets very confused in terms of how to conduct oneself. One does not understand the line between confidence and overconfidence, assertion and aggression, Showcase to show-off. The difference is very little but creates a big impact on the interviewer’s decision.
Start simple, appearance is very important, that’s the first impact, choose wisely. Women need to take care that they do not wear any gaudy prints or salwar kameez that look very dressy, note those are clothes you would wear to a party and not to an office gathering.
Be on time, timing should be perfect. Don’t reach too early and don’t reach at the nick of time. Give yourself enough time to take a breath before you are called for the interview.
Once in, always greet everyone in the room, shake hands if you have been offered, else hold back. Sometimes, the need to want to shake their hands will be overwhelming, I suggest you restrain yourself till it is offered to you. I am saying this because some judgments can be made by the interviewer by the style in which you shake your hand.
Control your voice modulation. You need to be clear in what you are saying. The only way you can know this is by practicing with someone and see if they hear and understand you properly. Please make sure that you are not too loud and not too low. I have seen cases where I had to tell the candidates to speak up and I could never get to hire them.
Ask questions only when you are asked if you want to know anything. Once the conversation reaches this stage you have won half the battle. If you have not been asked you may request the interviewer and then ask questions.
Do not talk salary unless you are asked about it. And only respond to what has been asked and do not add any statements to it. Why I say this is most candidates have the habit of saying, “I get a 5 L (500,000) CTC and above that close to 1 L (100,000) as perks.” Now, the second bit was not required here. Mention what you are expecting precisely, do not make statements like “as per company policy” or “I need a 40% increment” etc.
Once the interview is over, thank everyone in the room and move out of the room politely. Do not say anything else unless spoken to.
What you say in the interview is like a presentation you make. Note it’s a presentation about you. You are the most important person in the room so don’t let yourself down. You are the product and you are selling this product to someone. It always says that you have exactly 10 to 15 seconds to make an impression. The first thing that should come to the head of the interviewer is that “I am impressed”. Now, how do you do that?
As soon as you walk in “do not sit”, let someone offers you a seat. Once you sit down, settle into comfortable position and do not fidget around. Do not shake your leg, do not lean on the table. Sit back, clasp your hands not your arms. Remember, at all times, keep both hands together. It helps me in keeping the focus, so I feel it should to you.
Remember you are in a room full of wolves, they can smell fear. You are meant to be afraid and should be nervous. It is good to have these feelings else you will not appreciate the effort you put in in that room. Your thoughts and ideas should be clear and precise.
If you are not satisfied with any response you have given, do not fumble with words. Fumbling will lead to confusion. Remember you are stronger in the room as you have prepared better. People are only sitting in front to judge you and waiting for you to make the slightest mistake. Your written resume has already created an impression about you. But the fact that you are sitting in that room with the wolves, you have already managed to create a good impression. So there is nothing to lose. The confidence in you should take over and your positivity will appear in the way your presentation is flowing.
Make sure come what may you do not say anything negative about what happened and why you are attending that interview. Instead say, something positive about the organisation you are giving the interview for and leave them with a message that you would not miss an opportunity to work with that organisation.
For a Fresher, this is your first job, you are prepared in your mind to do anything to grow and develop a career. Know what you are getting into and just start the drill. Remember for you to be a specialist sports person even if it is a game like golf, your warmups and physical training is a must. So, don’t ever put yourself down by thinking of what the job is going to be. All that ego of yours should be prepared to be taken to the cleaners if you want to grow. Growth happens to those who learn fast, who are adaptable and who can maintain their composure.
Remember the longer you are able to keep the people in the room engaged your position is getting better so let it flow. Be confident and clear.
(To be continued)
Photos from the internet.
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