How to Prepare and Face an Interview


By

Jasbeen Chhawla
Sr. Faculty (English)
ICFAI National College
Kota
 


An interview can be defined as a face to face oral communication between the interviewer and the interviewee in order to assess the views, attitudes and ideas of the interviewee. However the interview process also enables the interviewee and observers to assess the skill and ability of the interviewer. Thus, an interview is a test of both the communicants and parties engaged in the interaction. Intelligence, knowledge, personal qualities and character are revealed and both parties are required to be well prepared. The process allows everyone involved to make some important decisions. The candidate decides whether he should accept the position and the interviewer decides whether the candidate should be appointed; this decision may affect the organizational interests.

The following suggestions are advisable when faced with an interview:

1) Dress appropriately A well dressed and groomed appearance can do wonders for that first impression. Now is not exactly the time to make a fashion statement so a tastefully chosen professional outfit, with suitable accessories like a hand-bag or brief case should be fine.

2) Posture and Carriage - The way in which the candidate carries himself while walking and sitting tells the interviewer about your confidence. Good "carriage" and posture have to be developed over a period of time and are essential in distinguishing a shoddy and careless attitude from a sharp and alert one.

3) Be confident - Self confidence, or the lack of it, is observed through your behavior, right from the way you sit to how you speak. Good manners and proper behavior are obviously necessary. Suitable greetings for the time of the day and other formalities must be known to the interviewee; for example, sit down only after being told to; elbows must not be put on the table; the brief case or bag should be kept on the floor beside the chair and do not play with any of your accessories or clothes. Nervous movements betray show a lack of confidence and concentration.

4) Mental Preparation - The candidate should be well informed about current events, domestic and international, and topics of general interest. Regular reading of newspapers, listening to radio and TV discussions, participating in group discussions and general reading habits are helpful activities in developing the required mental status for an interview.

Information about the organization, its directors, turnover, share capital and other relevant information which are available in its annual report, is expected of candidates by public limited companies. A candidate must know as much as possible about the prospective employer company.

5) Go back to the books - The candidate should also possess adequate knowledge in the subjects studied during graduation and professional examinations. A reasonable revision of the subjects can solve the purpose. Several general questions and biographical questions are usually asked by the interviewers and candidates should be well prepared to answer them.

6) No guessing games - In situations where the candidate does not know the answer to a question it is always better to state ones inability to answer than to make a guess. No one is expected to know everything; admitting that one does not know the answer reflects honesty.

7) Be clear - A candidate must have clarity of purpose and determination enough to want to know his prospects in the organization. He/she must be able to ask questions about the nature of duties, employee benefits, future prospects and other things which he may want to know about the organization before taking any decision.

8) Know your own worth - It is advisable to talk about salary without appearing to be bargaining and without being driven or defeated. This requires careful prior thinking; if possible this topic should be discussed with the family and with experienced elders or friends. It is useful to assess ones training, experience, proved ability, as well as needs, in order to quantify ones worth. It is, of course, necessary to know the payments made for similar positions or work in other companies.

9) At the end, candidate's are usually not sure when to leave. If the interviewers indicate that the interview is over, collect your bag, wish them and thank them for their friendly attitude and leave. Some candidates, due to nervousness, seem to be in a hurry to leave and forget to wish or thank the interviewers. Always remember that your parting movements are also closely observed so hurried and frantic movements may betray an earlier composed attitude.

In order to succeed in an interview each individual must make an honest self-assessment and find out one's areas of strength and weakness. Knowledge of one's deficiencies is useful in overcoming weaknesses and unconscious bad habits of posture or speech can be improved by effort. Shortcomings which cannot be overcome can be accepted and acknowledged so that they do not lead to depression and embarrassment when others notice them. Therefore, coming to terms with oneself and knowing how to deal with one's faults, and how to make the best use of one's knowledge and skills, is another vital element in preparing for an interview.
 


Jasbeen Chhawla
Sr. Faculty (English)
ICFAI National College
Kota
 

Source: E-mail June 21, 2006

     

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