What is an interview?
An interview is a face-to-face meeting, especially for the purpose of obtaining a statement for assessing the qualities of a candidate. It further, indicates a physical meeting of people with two possible objectives:
- To obtain a statement or opinion – as is done when film stars are interviewed to get their views on any particular role, or when the prime minister is interviewed to get statement on the result of his discussion with another political leader.
- To assess a person for selection – such as interviews for jobs, admission to educational institutions, etc.
Preparing for an interview
- One of the most fundamental factors that contributes to the success of an interview is the time and quality of preparation made by you.
- The degree of preparedness for an interview helps reduce the uncertainty and anxiety prior to the interview.
- The amount of effort you wish to put into preparation is directly proportional to the importance of the interview.
What all you need to do before interview?
Learn about the organization
It is important to know the background of the institute you apply to. You must read its brochure and visit its website. It is important for the following reasons.
- Selectors cannot comprehend why and how a person can say he is keen to join an institute about which he knows little or nothing.
- From the interviewer’s point of view the good applicant is one who has done some homework about the organization.
What you must know is:
- A brief history of the organization.
- It’s main features
- Any important issue of the organization that has been newsworthy.
- Key people in the organization.
Refresh yourself on your subjects of graduation/post graduation.
- It is but natural that interviewers would quiz you on your field of specialization.
- You may like to go back to the principle text books and refresh your knowledge definitions, formulas, concepts and other related issues.
- An interviewer judges your ability to perform on future tasks on the basis of your past performance.
Through knowledge on claims made
- You should list your achievements, academic qualifications, prior experience and extra-curricular activities.
- Such achievements, or claims may be authenticated by certificates or photographs.
- The important ones may be photocopied and attached with the bio-data while the origins of all certificates should be nearly catalogued in a folder and kept at hand for reference should interviewer ask for them.
Tips for the interview
Entering the room
- Prior to the entering the door, adjust your attire so that it falls well.
- Before entering enquire by saying, “May I come in sir/madam”.
- If the door was closed before you entered, make sure you shut the door behind you softly.
- Face the panel and confidently say ‘Good day sir/madam’.
- If the members of the interview board want to shake hands, then offer a firm grip first maintaining eye contact and a smile.
- Seek permission to sit down. If the interviewers are standing, wait for them to sit down first before sitting.
- An alert interviewee would diffuse the tense situation with light-hearted humour and immediately set rapport with the interviewers. (But don’t tell him a joke!).
Lead the interview
A good interviewee would be quick to settle and begin to lead the interviewers.
- The interviewer normally pays more attention if you display an enthusiasm in whatever you say.
- This enthusiasm come across in the energetic way you put forward your ideas.
- You should maintain a cheerful disposition throughout the interview, i.e. a pleasant countenance hold s the interviewers interest.
- Brevity is the hallmark of a good communicator.
- It is recommended that you volunteer information, but this must be done in lucid and to-the-point manner.
- An over-talkative or verbose person is instantly disliked and misjudged.
- If you not know the answer to a question, it is better to acknowledge it, rather than trying to bluff your through it.
- The interviewer will respect your honesty.
- In our experience, interviewers immediately take a stance of grilling a candidate if they suspect him or her of lying.
- A little humour or wit thrown in the discussion occasionally enables the interviewers to look at the pleasant side of your personality,. If it does not come naturally do not contrive it.
- By injecting humour in the situation doesn’t mean that you should keep telling jokes. It means to make a passing comment that, perhaps, makes the interviewer smile.
- Mostly interviews are conducted the whole day leading to fatigued minds.
- A little humour as a starter will ease the fatigued minds. However, if you do not have the knack of humour, it is better not to get into it.
- You must be proactive in offering information about yourself as the interviewers will be willing –listeners.
- The way you conduct yourself reflects your upbringing and your culture.
- It is good to project an air of humility.
- Over confidence is often misinterpreted by interviewees as arrogance.
- Avoid slangPolite statements are recommended.
During the interview, slang will probably not be understood, and certainly not appreciated. Your communication needs to be as formal and explicit as possible.
- Your posture during the interview adds or diminishes your personality.
- You should keep all certificates, testimonials and other relevant documents neatly on the table, preferably in a single file.
- Mannerisms such as playing with your tie, theatrical gesticulations, shaking legs or sitting with arms slung over back of adjoining chair must be avoided.
- It is vital to be conscious of your posture and gesticulations as they tell a lot about our personality.
Ask question if necessary
- Many interviewees believe that an interview is a one-way street, the hapless ‘victim’ struggling to be selected and the ‘all power’ being in whose hands lies the destiny of the interviewee. It is a myth.
- You may ask a question/clarify information if necessary. It is quite in order and much appreciated by interviewers.
- You must maintain eye contact with the panel, right through the interview. This shows your self-confidence and honesty.
- Many interviewees while answering, tend to look away. This conveys you are concealing your own anxiety, fear and lack of confidence.
- Maintaining an eye contact is a difficult process. As the circumstances in an interview are different, the value of eye contact is tremendous in making a personal impact.
- It is imperative for you to listen carefully to the question being asked.
- If a question is not clear, it would be quite in order for you to seek clarification on the same.
- Seeking a clarification is far better than giving an irrelevant answer.
- It is very annoying for interviewers when an interviewee misinterprets the questions, and answers by saying something which is irrelevant.
- Many interviewees adopt a stance which is not their natural self.
- It is amusing for interviewers when a candidate launches into an accent which he or she cannot sustain consistently through the interview or adopt mannerisms that are inconsistent with his/her personality.
- Interviewers appreciate a natural person rather than an actor.
- It is best for you to talk in natural manner because then you appear genuine.
- A candidate must guard against the following.
- Poor physical projection
- Being over aggressive
- Lack of life
- Lack of knowledge
- Extreme opinions
- Lack of courtesy and manners
- Lack of eye contact
- Superficial answers
- Casual approach