The following suggestions are a result of personal experiences after having sat on both sides of the interview table.
‘I want to be an Entrepreneur’
Companies are not charitable organizations. Most MNCs with well developed talent scouting policies look at interns with a long term view. If you are not going to work with them for the long term then why should a company spend money and time on you? A lot of fresh young people feel they can position themselves as being ‘very cool’ or ‘Oh, I am so different from the junta’ by blurting things like – “I want to be an entrepreneur”. Even if you are serious about it, keep it to yourself. Companies spend money on training, on your internship and there is a cost attached to hiring. They will never take a chance with a bright person who says openly he/she wants to be an entrepreneur.
People with a history of entrepreneurial ventures also need to work hard on their responses to an interviewer’s questions. A strength can easily become a weakness.
‘I am exploring my career options’
No one in the world expects you to have charted a perfect career path for yourself (in most cases, it almost never goes according to plan). However, if there are two candidates to choose from, a company will always choose the one who has clarity in life. A person with some idea about what direction he/she wants to go is far more attractive than an explorer. You can explore the world my friend but not at our cost!
In this job market, focus is like gold. Companies love focused people.
‘My father is very well connected. My uncle is a big man’
Unfortunately for you, political parties do not hire from top business schools. Nor do they go looking for their alumni.
It is extremely unprofessional to throw names and talk big about your connections in an interview. No one is hiring you for your Papa’s connections. Any veiled references to your ‘favourable’ background will be end up being very unfavourable for you. Plus, who wants a bully in office?
Such statements clearly stink of an attitude that existed in India in an era long gone by. If you cannot clear an interview on the strength of your achievements and your credentials you are probably not fit to work for a big company.
‘Yes sir. You are right’
It is one thing to be diplomatic. It is completely another to be a stupid sycophant. Many candidates keep nodding and smiling throughout the interview irrespective of the discussion. Companies may not like rebels but they like smart people who have a mind of their own. You cannot agree to everything the interviewer asks if you do not believe it yourself. The pretense will be exposed pretty easily.
Do not argue for the sake of arguing but if you have rational arguments, always make them. Even if your hypothesis is wrong, you will be appreciated for thinking on your own and more importantly for having the courage to express it.
‘Your competitor’s product is rubbish’
Some young graduates make the mistake of believing that by bashing the competitor one can make themselves more likable to the interviewer. Please throw such beliefs out of the window. The first thing to occur to the interviewer in this case is – “Wait a second. Is this the way he/she must be talking about our products and brands with the competitor’s interview panel?”
Any statement or view on a brand, product or service needs to have strong logic backing it. Also, it is recommended that you focus on positive aspects whenever you talk about an event or a product in an interview.
Everyone likes a person who talks about what works in the world. Cynics aren’t the most sought after breed.
These things hold true irrespective of the purpose of the interview – For a job, an internship or even to get into a business school.
– Ankit Doshi
The author is the Creator of this website. You can find him on Twitter @ankit9doshi
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