Interview as a term really sends shivers down the spine and people in general and students especially are scared of the process. This article is aimed at breaking the myths associated with the Interview Process and also provides guidance to students on how to prepare themselves to excel in it.
It is often said by experts that the Interview is all preparation and only preparation, not luck. As a strong votary of the same, I would recommend the aspirants to ensure that they look at the preparation rather seriously.
Preparing for the interview
1. Personal Questions: First and foremost, I need to be thorough with my personal self. Who am I?
The question needs a very thorough analysis, and introspection on my personal traits, what really defines me is required. This is not easy and needs reflecting on my behavioral skill-sets and characteristics.
Tip: Try answering questions like who am I as a person? Introvert, extrovert, aggressive, team player, etc.
This segment should also help me understand and put on a piece of paper-what are my likes and dislikes? Interests and hobbies e.g. Do I like traveling? What do I derive out of it?
The end goal after this preparation or analysis it to be able to describe my self in two lines and that is precisely why an interviewer would ask “Describe Yourself”. All these years of interviewing people as part of the various panels have taught me that people simply walk into a room for an interview without knowing themselves. I asked a very senior HR person why is it important and the answer in one line was “ If you don’t know yourself, how would you manage in a social setting” It clearly elaborates that you would keep searching for an identity for yourself instead of working productively.
Tip: Take a free psychometric test online and it shall highlight your key traits.
Types of questions one can face are:
- Describe yourself?
- Tell me something about yourself?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What do you do in your leisure and why?
2. Academic Segment: The questions asked in an interview are with an objective of understanding the basic knowledge of the aspirant. Do I know the subjects I studied? Do I have a thorough understanding of my basic concepts? Did I do only rote learning or do I also understand the practical applications of what I studied is what they want to check? How would I fit in say a manufacturing company like Maruti if I don’t know the basic laws of motion or the composition of metals.? If I am seeking a job in a bank and I cannot understand the balance sheet or a journal entry, what will I do? Why should the company hire me then?
The aspirants are hence advised to do a quick revision of the basic concepts and ideas in relation to the company being interviewed. A very common question asked to aspirants is Which is your favorite subject? Prepare one subject well and be confident about it.
3. Background of the position/company being interviewed for as well as the person taking the interview.
A very common mistake people do is being unaware of the company they are applying to. This is like common sense. Why would I select you if you don’t know anything about me and my operations? It is recommended that you go through the company website and learn the details of the products and services offered. Name of the promoter, key persons, job title and description are also required to be known. Imagine my plight that I go to TCS for an interview and I am unaware of who is the present Chairman of TCS? It only helps the interviewer understand the seriousness as well as the preparedness of the interviewee. Please visit Linkedin.com or search on google about the above and you shall get a sense of what the company stands for.
4. Future Goals and Fitment :Why should I select you? What are your long term/short term goals?
All such questions requiring an understanding of the future goals and my fitment into the company is critical. The company would need to know three major things- Where do you come from? Where are you today? Where do you want to go? The answers to these questions enable an interviewer to understand the background of the candidate including the personal traits, dialect, basic communication skills and upbringing which actually was instrumental in doing what we do now. Also, it is important to explain the long-term goals in line with why they would align with the company goals. E.g. Born and brought up in Delhi I got enamored by science and hence decided to pursue engineering after my school. I am presently pursuing mechanical from XYZ University and keen to further my career in a manufacturing company. I look forward to joining your company and shall work hard and grow up to take up a leadership role.
So just to summaries, know-thyself, know the subjects (learning attitude), know the company and you shall be successful.
All the best!