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Interview Guidance

Interviews are an indispensable part of everyone's life. The hard fact is that the demand for jobs is greater than its supply and the job market is extremely competitive. Many of the interviewees may be highly qualified but it is usually the best interviewee rather than the best candidate who gets the job. Preparing well for an interview is the key to success.

So, how do you go about it?
Firstly, identify your talents, potentials, strengths and weaknesses and apply for jobs that you think you are best suited for. It may be quite possible that you will be applying to several places simultaneously. A CV should be neatly typed on a computer in grammatically correct English giving the true facts such as date of birth, educational qualifications, extra-curricular activities, hobbies, prizes and awards won, details of employment history including salary, nature of work and the reason for leaving. The covering letter should be short, well written, should convey the sincerity and keenness of the person and a promise to perform well if he or she is selected.
Make sure that the references section of your CV has contacts of your professors or previous employers. Strictly avoid using contacts of friends and relatives in your references section.

On getting the interview call, make sure to adequately research about the office. You are usually asked a few questions on your knowledge of the organisation where you are being interviewed. Take a copy of your CV and testimonials along with you.

Handling pre-interview jitters:
Dr.Ritu Khanna, Consultant Psychologist of Apollo Cliniq Says: “Anxiety and nervousness are normal emotional responses to new challenging situations and an optimal level of anxiety propels one to prepare and remain alert and motivated. Anxiety becomes a problem only when it's excessive and hence interferes with performance in this case facing the interview. People have various ways of coping - deep abdominal breathing is a simple effective form of relaxation. Meditation, going for a walk, listening to a soothing piece of music the day before the interview; are all helpful strategies. Right before the interview it's important to think positive thoughts and reassure oneself that one will be able to cope.”

Please do not think that you are facing the firing squad during an interview. If you don't get through an interview please don't take it too hard upon yourself. If you have made mistakes, take it as a learning experience to better your next interview performance.

Be yourself, be honest.
An interview is a lot more than answering questions. During an interview, your prospective employer will try to gauge your personality. Regarding the dress code for an interview, Casual clothes like jeans and t-shirts are out. You have to be dressed formally but not over-dressed. You should be well-groomed from head to toe as a lot of attention today is paid to dressing and grooming. Sloppiness is at a disadvantage in today's workplace. Body language is important for any interview. Make direct eye contact with the interviewer. Carry yourself erect, no slouching. Be confident and relaxed.
The old adage `honesty is the best policy' holds true for interviews. The interviewer is interested in qualities such as a candidate's work style, and how he or she relates to people, his or her motivation and ability to deal with emotions. The best way to answer personality questions is to `be yourself because it is in our interest to be able to behave normally and still fit into the work environment. If you don't know the answer to a question, don't be evasive or on the defensive. Be honest with your interviewer. If you don't know the answer, admit gracefully instead of parrying the question.
At the end of an interview you may be asked if you have any questions. This is a chance to prove your intelligence and enthusiasm to work with the company. You may ask what career opportunities exist within the company, how work assignments are handled or how often an employee's performance is evaluated and the criteria used.

Handling rejection
If you get through the interview, congratulations! However what do you if you have flunked again? taking into consideration the opposite side of the coin, Dr. Khanna advises: “If there are repeated failures it's important to analyse as to what could be the reason and then work on that shortcoming. If anxiety is excessive and it repeatedly interferes with your performance resulting in failure then that needs to be dealt with by taking professional help. Take support from family and continue meeting friends. Basically do things you enjoy. Motivating yourself to try again has to be a conscious effort and that involves keeping one's thoughts positive and reassuring, giving into negative thinking only demotivates and depresses."

Some questions you might be asked..

The following are questions which are fairly typical in an interview, so it’s a good idea to rehearse your answers. Make sure that they are brief and informative and highlight your successes.

Can you describe your current duties and responsibilities?

Why do you want this particular job?

What skills do you have that are relevant to this position?

Describe the last time you missed a deadline.

Give me an example of a time when you showed initiative.

Tell me about a time when you have become involved in something outside your specific area of responsibility.

Give me an example when you identified a customer’s need

Describe how you spend an average day.

What sort of duties do you enjoy most / least and why?

Why do you want to leave your present job?

What has been your greatest achievement in your present role?