Interview Tips – While in Conversation – Part 1

Your intellect and capacity would determine whether or not you achieve the dream job you are striving for. Very often, we focus on the ‘big things’ and forget about the subtle things we need to take care of during an interview. This post and the next are a collection of those interview tips which will help you breeze through the interviews!

  • Dress professionally:

    It helps to think about the kind of company and try to match that (if you know someone in the company, ask him/her or ask the recruiter/HR person about the dress code). But if they wear jeans and tees, you probably shouldn’t, for the interview. A simple jacket and trousers (or a skirt) is a good choice if you think a formal suit is going to make you look over dressed. It is best not to be loud/overdressed – too sexy (tone it way down), too elegant, too casual, too avant-garde or haute couture (unless that’s the kind of job you’re applying for; but even then don’t try to wow them). Less is more here.

  • Be on time:

    Actually, be before time so you are settled down and ready for your turn. Not being punctual for an interview is a definite no-no. Make sure you know where the interview venue is and how long it will take you to get there, to time yourself accordingly.  If you are not able to make it in time due to crisis not in your control, make sure you call the recruiter and inform him/her beforehand.

  • Turn your cell phone off or mute it once you enter the interview venue:

    Easy to forget. Not necessarily a deal-breaker (although for some it is), but definitely annoying. So just remember. You’ll be less distracted that way.

  • Remember that the receptionist can be a great ally:

    You may wonder why we mention this. It’s to remind you of something important: words are only a part of it. Overall impressions make a huge difference in your interview. The interview doesn’t just start the second the interviewer walks into the room and shakes your hand, nor end when you leave the interview room. People – anyone – at any step of the process share information about the candidates. Be nice to all!

  • While in the designated waiting venue: 

    no gum, no cell phone, no tablet, no humming to yourself, no putting on make-up, no slumping or feet up on a chair while slurping your coffee (this holds for the interview too). Be prepared to wait patiently – no matter how long it takes – and look as pleasant and energized as possible. Use the waiting time to think about your stories and all the ways you and your experience fit the company. But also use the time to observe whatever you can, since you are also deciding if you want them.

  • Stay positive while waiting:

    It is quite plausible that you might be restless while waiting for your turn and it so happens that sometimes you think time is just passing by slower. Do not give in to such thoughts, sing your favourite song in your mind. Check if all your documents are in order and stay focused. Be confident and keep your spirit up, there is nothing as contagious or uplifting as a good spirited person walking into the interview.

  • Meet the interviewer’s eyes and smile warmly as you walk in. Shake hands firmly (no death grip match), and say something pleasant. Be natural. Be real. And don’t use canned answers. When you’re in the actual interview, trust that you’ve done all you can up to that moment. Answer in your own words, making sure you heard exactly what they asked you. Job seekers sometimes prepare so much that they try to fit a canned answer into a question that wasn’t even asked. Not a good idea. Shows you don’t listen. So feel free to turn to your success stories, but also be conversational. Memorized words will lose you the human connection you want to build.

Liked the post? Read the second part too ! 🙂

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