Preparation is the key to interview success. Getting an interview call is not easy and once you have secured one, it is important to make the most of it. Prior to attending an interview it is important to have a clear understanding of what the job is, how and why you would be suitable for the job, what the company does, who its competitors are etc.
Many graduates frequently forget under pressure that an interview is a two way process. An interview is a chance for the employer to find out more about you and your suitability for the role and for you to find out more about them, the suitability of the role for you. In order to take advantage of this opportunity it is advisable to have a set of questions that you would like to ask. Questions could be about the company culture and how they might think that you would fit in, what would be expected of you in the first 6 -12 months, possible career paths available etc.
Preparing for Common Interview Questions
While you'll never be able to anticipate every question you might be asked in an interview, you can get a head start by developing strong, concise answers to commonly asked questions. Most interviewers ask similar questions like these to gain knowledge about a candidate's abilities and qualifications and compatibility with the job and the company. Let us look at few typical questions which needs good preparation.
Tell me about yourself.
This is often the opening question in an interview. It's also one of the most difficult if you're not prepared. Remember, the interviewer does not want to hear about the football team you support or your unusual hobbies. This question calls for your one-minute advert that summarises your profile, experience, skills and your personality in the context of the job for which you are being interviewed. Get to the point and sell your professional self. Develop a few brief sentences that demonstrate you have what it takes to do the job. Sumarising briefly about one's project/ internship / job experience with examples of proven results and desire to contribute is recommended.
Why should we recruit you?
The key to answering any question about you versus your competition is using specifics. Everybody is going to speak in generalities, so you need something that will make you stand out a bit. Give real examples that show them you are best-suited for the job. Point out to your achievements and accomplishments that are relevant to the open position, as well as experience in dealing with different types of situations. Pinpoint the qualities you have that are truly valuable to the company.
Why do you want to work here? What do you know about our company?
Use this opportunity to show off what you know about the company and, more importantly, how you would fit in. Address issues and challenges in the company to demonstrate the depth of your knowledge. Talk about revenue, numbers of employees, and also challenges in their type of business.
What are your weaknesses?
The secret to answering this question is using your weaknesses to your advantage. Turn your weaknesses into strengths. For example your weaknesses include lack of patience then state that because of this, you have learnt to take special measures to ensure that you remain calm and attentive. Just make sure that you do give a real answer to this question. None of us is without faults, so don't pretend that you do not have weaknesses.
What did you dislike about your last job? Why did you leave your last job?
Candidates with experience need to be cautious about these kinds of questions and make sure you do not end up sounding bitter. Never criticise your former company, the boss, or former colleagues. You need to have a good understanding about the job for which you're applying to turn this question into a positive one. It may be best to say that you really enjoyed many aspects of your job, then focus on how this new job will give you the opportunity to contribute more in a particular area that is key to the position.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
An interviewer does not want to hear that your five-year aspiration is to climb Mt. Everest in the Himalayas or working in a different industry. You need to talk about goals you have that relate to the job. This will demonstrate that you understand the industry, the company and are motivated to succeed there. Keep the answer specific to your field.
Preparation is the key to answering any question with poise and confidence. Always keep in mind - whatever the question is - the interviewer is trying to find out if you are a good fit and can make a positive contribution in the job.
Things to remember at the Location of Interview
A job interview can provoke anxiety. Here are some practical things you can do to make your interviews run smoothly. Going to a job interview can be stressful. Be prepared by practicing responses to sample questions. Have patience when you are waiting for your turn near the interview venue. Sit in the waiting place in a relaxed mode. It is preferable that you are quiet and calm. Mentally rehearse how you would answer the question " tell us about yourself". Be prepared to pick 1-2 subjects of your interest in your domain when asked by the Interviewers. Do not allow other friends or candidates who are along with you to continuously engage you with some useless talk. Unnecessarily, other candidates attending the interview may pass on their tension to you. Also, the candidates who have come out of the interview room may volunteer to give away loads of information about how their interview went off. They may also disclose what questions were asked and how they answered. Listen to them only to get a brief overview of the kind of interview you may face. But, do not indulge in continuous talk with them as it would make you more anxious.
While attending an interview, one should remember a few important etiquette points. When you are called into the interview room, before entering the interview room, tell yourself that you are going to meet new elderly friends and whatever they ask, you are ready to take the questions confidently with a smile on your face. Ask for permission before entering the room and take the seat very elegantly without making much noise. 80% chances are that the first question that you will be asked is "Tell me about yourself". And you must feel fortunate on getting that question, as it will give you the best opportunity to present yourself to the interviewers.
Use a forceful voice and talk with good clarity. There is no need to answer all the questions. If you surely do not know the answer to the question, politely tell the interviewer that you really do not know the answer so that they can move on to another question. Always answer to the point. Do not beat around the bush. For 'yes' or 'no' type questions, justify why you say 'yes' or 'no'. Do not try and pretend that you know the answers for all questions. There will be some questions for which even the interviewer also does not know the answers. Do not try to justify your wrong answers and never argue with the interviewers. Use good body postures and always make eye contact with the members of the interview board. Pan your eyes at all of the interviewers from time to time while interacting with them during the interview. Plus, if they make a joke and you don't "get it" just laugh anyway, if you don't they'll think either you are stupid or that you think they are.