Once you are done with your academic endeavors, it is time to move on to the next phase of the life – you professional life. Along with your personal relations, your job is the most critical part of your life. In fact, a major chunk of your life is spent on your professional career. Thus, it is extremely important to have an informed approach about how to prepare for your job interview. Here is a dialogue between a student and his teacher on the same:
Sahil: Good morning Rocky sir, how are you?
Teacher: Hey Sahil, what’s up with you?
Sahil: Everything is good, sir. My final semester exams of MBA are complete and I want some tricks and tips to crack the job interviews.
Teacher: Great to hear that. I will surely help you out. Are these campus interviews or off-campus ones?
Sahil: A couple of them will be campus interviews, organized by the training and placement cell. But the majority are off-campus.
Teacher: Okay then. There are certain points you should keep in mind before facing any job interview.
Sahil: Yes sir, please tell me. I will be taking notes.
Teacher: The first round is usually a written or aptitude test. It can also be a technical test based on your domain expertise. Before anything else, you need to clear this round. I hope your CV has been peer-reviewed already?
Sahil: Yes, I have created a resume. I hope it does the job.
Teacher: I hope you know that there is a difference between a CV and resume?
Sahil: Yes sir, I know that. The CV is a long version while the resume is a short one!
Teacher: Yes, that and more. Anyway, once you clear the aptitude round, you will have to deal with the HR round. There is no hardball approach and the HR usually tries to get to know you better. You can easily go through a checklist of the most frequently questions asked in such interviews and you will be good to go. Take note that the ‘Tell Me About Yourself’ question is the first one asked and you need to prepare well for that. There is another really important thing you should know about the HR round.
Sahil: And what is that?
Teacher: Being able to communicate clearly and properly. Most companies want the candidate to be fluent in English speaking so that he or she can go on in the future to assume leadership roles. You are an investment for the company so they want the best candidate possible. Make sure your speaking skills are on point!
Sahil: I will certainly do that. In fact, I have signed up for some mock interview sessions with Pep Talk India to give my best shot!
Teacher: Great to hear that. So apart from your communication skills and technical skills, which are the two most important factors to clear an interview, there are other things that you should also pay attention to.
Sahil: I am all ears. Please go ahead.
Teacher: You need to pay attention to your clothing. Be formally dressed, even if a company says that it has a very flexible and free culture. It show a sense of professionalism from you.
Sahil: I agree. I have got a special tailored suit for the same. I need to feel comfortable while speaking! Uncomfortable clothing makes me fidgety and nervous.
Teacher: Yes, coming to that…your body language will play a big role in your selection. Any sign of low confidence, nervousness or overly aggressive or submissive vibes will sow the seeds of doubt in the interviewer and mess up your prospects. Sit straight, be confident, look the person in the eye, and smile!
Sahil: Yes, indeed. Sometimes, I become nervous when I don’t know the answer. I will have to work upon that.
Teacher: Your mock interview sessions will help you. Give your best!
Sahil: I will try my best. What else?
Teacher: Don’t forget to learn about the company as much as possible. If you have a basic idea of what the company does, what its core domain is, and what its structure is like, then it will create a very positive impression on the interviewer. Do solid research.
Sahil: I will surely do that. Any other advice?
Teacher: Do not lose heart if somehow you get rejected. Try to understand where you went wrong and how you can improve on those mistakes. However, I would suggest that you listen and read about different interview experiences by other people, so that you can learn from their mistakes!
Sahil: Sounds great, thank you so much!
Teacher: All the best!
Hardball approach = A tough approach with lots of critical questions
All ears = Ready and eager to listen