Cracking The Interview – The Professional Way

Millions of students give an average of 10–15 interviews before landing a job in their placements session while pursuing their undergraduate or post graduate degree. But there always are a few students who manage to bag high-end jobs that break university records. They say it’s a secret, they say it cannot be revealed, but it isn’t so.  The fact of the matter is that employers visiting to recruit look for the most basic of etiquette’s and mannerisms.

Personally, I never believed all of this hocus pocus and didn’t give it any weight when I was advised on the matter. But now after having to struggle unnecessarily for a while and having to learn these techniques the hard way, I know these techniques to be true.   

After doing diligent research into the matter, most students agree and credit their success in Technical and HR interviews to being prepared and relaxed.

1.   Do your Homework: All companies are different. Each one has its own defining characteristics. Some organisations have a flat structure while others have a hierarchical structure. This needs to be known beforehand so you know what kind of company you will possibly be joining.  Homework also means that you are clear with the fundamentals of the course you have opted for. There is no question in the world that cannot be answered if the foundation is strong.

2.   Decode the problem in a structural manner: As kids in school, our teachers would always advise us that a structured answer would have no flaws. It turns out, that the advice still holds true. No one understands the problem in the first read or in case of an interview the first listen. Never hesitate to ask the interviewer to repeat the question. Jot down points you feel are important to answer the question and then proceed to answer. A structured answer and methodology to answer a question not only leads you to the right answer but impresses the interviewer as well.

3. Practice and strategise: Practice makes perfect. This idiom is applicable to any and all things in life. But the question now is, “practice with whom?” And how do you strategize if you have not experienced an interview? The answer is simple. SENIORS. They have gone through the process before you. They have been placed in companies you are currently dreaming of. Then why not approach them, take their experience and learn and best them at their own game? Ask them to take a series of Mock interviews.

4.    Back up plans are a must: Every one of us has a dream company. It may be a Google, Microsoft, JP Morgan and Chase, or any other that you can think of. But what if you only focus all your energy on one company and it doesn’t go your way? Hence the backup plan. Having a backup plan relives you of stress. This allows you to remain focused throughout the placement season and keeps you prepared for the interview you want. It’s like the advice of investment pundits, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.

5. Investments include time: Cracking an interview is not about investing 40 to 60 minutes in a room with a manager and trying to answer all his/her questions. It’s about more than that. Investments include missing out the movie marathon on the weekend with friends, spending your time to learn about the organisations you want to work in, instead of curing hangovers or inventing a new drink. Create a routine, try to fit an interview daily in your schedule, or learn something beyond what has been prescribed.

6.   Question banks – better than movie banks: After an interview, it’s always advisable to jot down the question you faced in the interview. You can even note down questions that were asked to your seniors and your colleagues. Doing this allows you to answer the question and note down points that you feel are important. This can be advantageous for the next interview that you face. This practice also allows you to approach a problem from a different angle and maybe, a better perspective to answer the question. Adequate practice will improve your on-the-spot thinking and help handle the pressure you face during interviews in a better manner.

7.   Behaviour Matters: Body language matters. Period. You slouch, keep your arms crossed, sit laid back on the chair or lean forward; you smile or show your anger or frustration, all of it creates an impression. What you are feeling should only be known to you. The interviewer should not be even allowed to get a glimpse of the level of anxiety you are feeling whilst giving the interview. Confidence, calm nerves and Control of the situation are the 3 C’s you must follow.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     FILE1                                                                                                                                                                Source(IMAGE):