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Facing the interview and winning!

Facing the interview is a very difficult proposition for anybody Ė most people are nervous when attending an interview. Here are a few tips to help you feel and appear confident and avoid common mistakes...

  1. Prepare for the interview

  • Dress appropriately in simple, comfortable clothes that reflect your personality.
  • Avoid wearing new shoes (squeaking noises) and do practice wearing your tie.
  • Be punctual Ė donít be late or even too early.
  • Read up about the company, what business they are into, growth trends, diversification etc
  • Read your own resume - be sure that you donít have to look into your resume to recall details during the interview
  • Carry extra copies of your resume and testimonials Ė you never know when you may need them.
  • Make sure you know the full name and designation of the person interviewing you
  • Keep your references ready
  • Remember to make a note of your previous or current salary with all its components.

  1. Make a good first impression

  • Wish the interviewer(s) cheerfully and with a smile
  • A firm handshake is an indicator of how you are feeling. If you are a lady, then some male employers might not make the first move, but go ahead and initiate the handshake
  • Wait till you are asked to sit down
  • Look the person in the eye
  • Do not appear too nervous or overconfident. Your body language usually conveys more than what you are saying. Don't slouch or lean forward too much.
  • Try to curb nervous mannerisms eg. fidgeting or biting your finger.]
  • Appear comfortable, confident and interested in securing the job

  1. During the interview...

  • Start the interview with a pleasant smile.
  • Always remember to give a firm handshake. If there are women in your interview panel, wait for the other person to extend the hand while shaking hands.
  • Listen carefully to what the interviewer is saying
  • Stress on what you can contribute to the organisation.
  • Remember that the employer is in control of the interview
  • Donít be too long-winded Ė say what you want to convey in crisp sentences and use terms that would convey your job & achievements.
  • Complete your sentences - donít answer just yes or no
  • What you donít know can be learned Ė tell them if you don't know something. But give instances of how quick a learner you are.
  • Do not boast. People on the other side are shrewd and can generally see through you. At the same time talk about achievements giving due credit to others.
  • When talking about yourself and your aspirations, do not sound vague or do not say that you don't know something. You should be very clear and precise about what you want to do, where you want to go etc.
  • If you donít understand a question, ask for clarification, donít answer vaguely.
  • Donít talk about your personal problems, why you need the job etc
  • Donít get personal Ė even if you know the interviewer personally
  • Donít be overconfident or too nervous
  • Donít badmouth your previous employer - you could do the same in the case of the prospective customer
  • Donít complain about politics, a bad boss or a poor salary - your reasons for change should be higher responsibilities, location etc.
  • If the interviewer is interrupted during the course of the interview, donít pick up papers on his/her desk and read them
  • Donít ask about salary before the offer is made
  • Strike a balance between what you actually are and what you want to be Ė donít paint a picture of yourself as somebody who is not concerned about money, social status etc.
  • Donít be in a hurry to complete the interview
  • Ask questions at the end of the interview Ė it could be about the company, the job or the next stage of the interview process. It will be an indicator of your interest in the position
  • Send a thank-you letter Ė outlining your interest in the job and why you are qualified for it.

Be positive and confident - and the job is yours!
Also Checkout
Dressing for an interview
Frequently asked questions during interview
Fighting interview anxiety
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