Got a call from an employer? And your aim is to get the job! Here are some interview tips for you to brush up your interview skills and answer some usually asked interview questions.

Most aspirants make small mistakes which could lead to failure. If you are a fresher then I believe the following tips will definitely be of help.

If you have never been to an interview and you have no idea about interview skills then it is a common mistake that you will turn up for the interview in your tees. Like Vinay. Vinay, a graduate, wanted to join the rat race while studying further. After many applications he finally got a call from a company inviting him over for an interview. Unfortunately, Vinay did not have these interview skills to help him out.

Since Vinay used to literally live in a t-shirt and jeans, he wore what he was comfortable in, to the interview. I am not going to say what happened as a result of this decision because nobody tells you that you were rejected because of your clothes and honestly there are other things that are needed in your interview skills that contribute to your success and failure.

5 Important Interview Skills 

Your Attire can add to Your Interview Skills

Take care of your attire. Try to wear formals and look your best and unless casuals is the norm of the work you do. Many software engineers usually wear casuals to work and that is the accepted clothing of the industry. But if you are trying out for a job where the interview demands formals then please ensure you wear formals. Currently many employers in India are old school and insist on formal attire at least for the interview. Also formal clothes show that you are serious about succeeding in the interview. Your interview skills will come into play as soon as you meet your interviewer and your attire will dictate the first impression.

Take a printed resume with you

One more common mistake that freshers make is not carry their resumes in hand. Like our friend Vinay. Vinay was tech savvy and since he had already uploaded his resume online and sent it to the HR department of the company he thought the guys at the company may not mind if he doesn’t have a print out of his resume in hand. In fact they might be impressed, he thought.

Most HR managers insist on you carrying your CV with you in print form. So don’t make the mistake of not taking it with you. If your industry demands you to keep examples of your work then you can keep some in print and the rest in a pen drive or online. If the interview reaches a level where you need to show your work then the interviewer will take the trouble to bring out his laptop.

The first impression – an Important Interview Skill

At the office of the company

After waiting for sometime at the reception you will be called by a pretty young girl. Sameer a bright young prospect happily followed such a person inside a cabin. I am sure he was simply happy to be there. She asked him to have a seat in what seemed like a small meeting room the staff usually used for a quick update or for brainstorming. As she sat looking at his CV, Sameer admired the interior of the cabin, the table and the girl’s shoes which he could see through the glass top.

Stop looking around the place and start with a little small talk like the weather. This could be the icebreaker between you and the person on the other side of the table. You do not have to extend your talk. It could be just one sentence. Though it should be simple but formal to break the ice. Always remember the first impression makes a lasting impression. At the same time if you can connect or build rapport with your interviewer then the interview should go a little more smoothly. Practice a little on this interview skill before you turn up for the interview.

Usually the first interview is taken by the HR personnel. The job of the HR personnel is to strain and screen the people who walk in for the interview. Many people who land up for the interview may not even be qualified or may not have the right personality.  The HR person will probably not go into the details of the skill set needed for the job but he or she will definitely give you marks for attire and for the way you present yourself. If the job needs a person who can communicate well in English then that is one of the things which the HR person will be looking for. In other words you need to find out what is it that will impress the HR person. If the job does not require a fluent English speaker you need not talk in English. But all jobs need clear communication and remember the HR person will be looking for a confident person.

Body Language as an Interview Skill

At the same time your body language also says a lot about you. This can be counted as non verbal skills. The way you walk, sit and talk. While answering questions make sure you make eye contact. Even if you are shy make eye contact now and again to show your confidence. Nod your head when making a point. It gives a positive signal to the person you are talking to.

Listening  is an Interview Skill

Also please listen attentively what your interviewer says. When your interviewer is saying something it is not just a time to pause and take a breath just to start talking when he or she stops. Listening to what is being said so you can answer the question accurately and understand what the other person is trying to convey is also part of interview skills. Abhilash, an interviewee, was constantly given hints by his interviewer that the job he had applied for needed a cordial person who talked enough and kept his team morale high. That should have been a cue for him to start taking charge of the conversation, but he decided to impress upon the interviewer that he was an attentive listener and a mute worker. So there is a difference between hearing and listening and you can gain a lot by listening. 

Ask appropriate questions

Remember you are not there to give a verbal exam. It is an interaction. You have to know more about the job to see if the job fits you. Please don’t look desperate to get any job. Only of the job fits you right will you be able to grow in it. So just like your interviewer you should also be armed with questions that will make you comfortable about what you are about to get into.

3 Common Interview Questions

Tell me something about yourself’

The most common interview question that comes up in an interview is – Tell me something about yourself, that is because the interviewer wants to know a little about you, feel how confidently you present yourself’ and your fluency in the language you speak. At the same time some HR personnel will try to find differences in what you say and your CV. Also they may want you to elaborate on something interesting that you said.

Please remember this is not an opportunity to or pour your heart out or tell them your life story. However, it is the perfect time to briefly state somethings about yourself, your skills and why you think you are a good fit for the job. Experienced candidates should avoid talking about old jobs first and state your current responsibilities before detailing what attracted you to the job.

You will need to do a little research not only of the job description but also about the company before you start talking about how you can be a good fit for the company. You can add awards and recognition you may have earned and some special projects that you have worked on that are worth mentioning while answering this interview question.

Another question commonly asked is – 

What are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

This question is answered by tapping into your personality and your skills. You must remember the interviewer is still marking you for your confidence and skill set to find if you fit the profile. However, there is no way of saying what the HR person would like to hear. The best thing is to go prepared. Since you should be researching about the company before the interview you should practice saying aloud some good things about your personality that would be an advantage to the job you are interviewing for.

The classic hack used for weaknesses is to disguise strengths as weaknesses when you present them. ‘I am a stickler for perfection’ or ‘I hate to miss a deadline’ are often used by many people. Another classic example is ‘I take criticism very seriously.’ Here too if you research about the company and the job profile then you could avoid saying something that will be considered a real disadvantage.

Strengths and weaknesses interview question can be asked together or separately. It could also be asked in a different manner. Like tell us your biggest strengths or tell me your biggest weakness or your greatest challenge.

The interviewer may ask for an example or an experience where you used your strength to overcome a situation or a problem that you had because of your weakness and how the problem was ultimately solved. If your resume shows experience you should definitely be prepared.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years

Another common interview question that is asked is ‘tell me about your life goals’ or ‘where do you see yourself in the future’. This question is a great opportunity to reiterate why you would like to work in the company and how working with them falls perfectly in your grand career path. You do not have to state anything beyond your potential career in the company but you can elaborate your plan to grow to a better position. You do not have to be specific like say I see myself become the VP of marketing or the GM of this branch, but you could definitely say that you see yourself taking up more responsible positions as you learn and grow in the company. You can add that you want to be the best in the industry or in your field. The aim is to make the interviewer believe that you could possibly stick around in the company and contribute even further by gaining experience.

I believe this article had given you enough information to prepare for any interview. However, if the one thing that you learned from this article is that you always have to be prepared then the purpose of this article has been served. Best of luck.

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