Is it really a skill that some have and some don’t? But the more important question is… Can one develop Interviewing Skills? The answer is a definite Yes.
An interviewer usually evaluates you for your Technical Skills (Knowledge) and your Behavioral Skills (soft skills and Attitude). Knowledge is easy. You either have it or you don’t. The tougher part is the Behavioral Interview. So here is a guide to handle that..
A good gift wrapper can never cover up for a poor gift. Your content is most critical. Be prepared with some of the following areas with good real examples and situations you have faced:
- Major achievements in your various jobs
- Some challenges you faced and how you managed
- Your ability to manage relationships with customers & colleagues
- And if interviewed for senior roles, your ability to manage and drive a team.
(For a more detailed preparation, click on this link to learn more about FAQs
Questions to be prepared before going for an Interview )
Clarity of communication is equally important. I am thus suggesting a simple format while giving these examples:
Background: Give a brief background about the situation
U: Talk about what you did in the situation
Outcome: What were the benefits of your action
Unfortunately people spend bulk of their time in B, give a very small mention of the U and completely miss out the O. And most interviewers may not probe to find out more about the U. Use the BUO in a 20:60:20 ratio (Don’t ask me how I arrived at it, but it works)
Remember that salesman who tried to sell you a product you didn’t need? Don’t be one such. Your achievements have to highlight something that really was tough and something that makes a material difference to the job you have applied for. I once interviewed a Trainer whose biggest achievement was the work he did for the Annual Day of the company. And another time, a Branch Manager whose biggest achievement was passing the cleanliness Audit in his Bank. Just not good enough. Be relevant.
More talk ≠ More impress.
Some interviewees are like Basanti from the movie Sholay not knowing that most interviewers are Jay & not Veeru. There is a fixed time dedicated for the interview. You can either spend it wisely showcasing different competencies through different questions or just use up all the time answering one or two questions. Keep your answers short but solid.
Don’t be the Underdog
Yes all our childhood heroes and super heroes were Underdogs. But let’s not get carried away. You ain’t no David. Don’t get undermined. Be vocal about the work you have done. There are no interviewers that have any magical powers beyond listening. You got to talk. This advice is especially for those who come from the old economy or Public Sector setups. I encourage you to use the word ‘I’ more than ‘We’ (please note this advice doesn’t apply to all, especially the GenY)
Confidence doesn’t mean that you know you will crack the interview. But it is your inner strength that knows you can deal with the outcome. I remember getting rejected at 12 interviews before I got my first job after college. And the reason I got that job was because I was not nervous anymore. I knew if I could handle 12 rejections, I can handle the 13th.
Some simple tips… Smile, sit in a comfortable posture with back rested and supported, feet on the floor, keep eye contact with the interviewer and don’t fidget with your phone, card etc. You got to fool your subconscious. So if you correct your body language it automatically thinks that you are confident and your brain starts to relax. If you are an Aamir fan, try the ‘All is Well’ method. After all, that movie made 300 crores. You got to trust it.
Have you ever sat through the first 5 minutes of a movie and known that it was a mistake. I felt it when I saw London Dreams. It could never recover. So let me give you some good old Dadima ke nuskhe on this:
- Be prepared
- Dress formally
- Women please don’t wear too much jewelry
- Hair have to be neat
- You must give a firm handshake at the beginning and the end
- Reach venue before time
- Carry a well formatted resume
- Read my blog on Resume Writing (Haha that was a cheap one)
- Thank the interviewer for the time
I promise you if you follow the above, the next Appointment Letter is yours to take.
So the question is… are you ready to do the Dance?