How to be Successful in Job Interviews?

An interview is a formal discussion that is conducted by the interviewer(s) in order to understand something about the interviewee. In case of a job interview, the interviewer intends to understand the skill set of the interviewee and thus tries to judge if the interviewee is suitable for the current job requirement.

Factors that an Interviewer Tries to Understand in an Interview

Educational Details: This is one of the most important things that an employer would want to know about you. Though it is available in the resume, the interviewer might want to hear it from you. While specifying the educational details, either mention only your highest degree, or if time permits mention all your degrees from the lowest to highest. You need not mention the grade obtained in each degree. But if you are a gold medalist or a university rank holder or something similar, you can mention the same. Be prepared to answer this in the correct order, so that you don’t forget to tell your positives and at the same time not waste time telling unimportant information.

Also in case of any break in education, do tell that and also tell the reason for the break. This is because the employer would have understood that there is a break in education from the “year of passing” mentioned in the resume. Though the interviewer does not ask you directly, he/she might expect you to be frank enough to tell it.

Career Objective: An employer would want to know your career objective to understand how focused you are. When you answer this, do not just tell whatever you have written on your resume. Replicating the same words might make the employer feel that you do not own the words. Instead, be descriptive and tell what your short term objective and then your long term goal are.

Professional Details: This is only applicable for experienced candidates. When you are asked about your career, start from your first job to the latest. Mention your role in each of the previous organizations and elaborate your responsibilities/projects handled in the latest organization. If your role in any of the previous organization is more suitable for the current job requirement, then elaborate on the same. For this, you will have to first understand the current job requirement and then decide which part of career should be elaborated more. Along with your career details, you can tell your achievements and any special feedback/rewards obtained.

Strength and Weakness: An employer would want to know your strength and weakness in order to understand your suitability for the job role. Never say you don’t have any weakness, instead you can tell a weakness in a positive way. Be honest about answering your strength and weakness, because if you fake in the interview to just impress the interviewer then you might not land up on a suitable job.

Skill Set: In general, questions on this will be the major part of your interview. The questions will be based on the skill set you have specified on your resume. Be very well prepared to face these questions.

Personal Details: To a fresher, an interviewer might ask about his/her parents. Other details like holding a passport/visa, willingness to travel, languages known, places visited, and so on will be asked based on the job requirement.

Ability to Manage Work Stress and Handle Different Situations: Interviewers might give you sample situations and ask how you will react in the given situation. When such questions are asked, answer honestly. Never try to impress the interviewer with fake answers. When you tell an answer, always explain the reason for your answer.

The Willingness to Join the Job: At no point make the interviewer think that the interview is one among several other interviews you attend. For this, do a good analysis about the organization and the current job requirement; and express your findings to the interviewer.

Most Commonly Asked Interview Questions

Apart from the questions related to your skill set, here are the most commonly asked interview questions.

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you want to be in the next five years?
  • What do you know about the organization?
  • What is your strength?
  • What is your weakness?
  • Why should you be selected?
  • Who is your current employer?
  • What are your current roles and responsibilities?
  • What is the reason for leaving your current job?
  • What do you expect from this job?

Tips to Successfully Handle an Interview

  • Before going to the interview, do a clear analysis about the organization and understand the role you have applied for.
  • Assess yourself. Identify your strengths, weakness, and your skills that make you apt for the role.
  • Be prepared for questions related to your skill set.
  • Prepare what you want to ask the interviewer.
  • Do a mock interview. You can talk in front of the mirror. This will greatly help you improve your body language and confidence.
  • Wear a neat, formal dress and keep the dress ready the previous night.
  • Understand the interview location and be sure of how you are going to commute and the time required to travel. Do not make any last minute changes and end up taking tensions.
  • Keep all the requested documents ready before hand. If the employer has not asked for any document, take a hard copy of your resume.
  • Once you reach the interview venue, switch off your mobile phone or put it in the silent mode.
  • Use the bathroom before you are being called in for the interview.
  • Greet the interviewers once you enter.
  • Say “thank you” when you are asked to sit.
  • Sit straight and not clumsy.
  • Be confident and never be afraid of facing an interview.
  • Be bold while answering.
  • If you are not sure of an answer, tell that. Do not hesitate to tell you don’t know. Note that knowing that you don’t know something is very important. Only when you know that you don’t know something, you will be open to learn, which the employers would always want.
  • Be polite.
  • Greet the interviewers before you leave.

Things to be Avoided During an Interview

  • Do not be nervous.
  • Do not sit before you are asked to.
  • Do not present a filthy hand for hand shake. Make sure your hands are clean before a handshake.
  • Do not keep chewing something.
  • Do not smoke just before the interview. Make sure you don’t smell bad.
  • Never use a sign language.
  • Never try to impress the interviewer by telling your personal details, like your native place, caste, favorite political party, and so on.
  • Do not talk loudly.
  • Do not talk too fast or too slow.
  • Do not try to give fake information.
  • Never over-react.

Common Questions from the Interviewee

Generally at the end of an interview, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. At that time, you can clarify any doubts that you have about the organization, role, and so on. The following table lists the common questions that you can ask and those that need to be avoided.

Questions to Ask Questions to Avoid
Questions about the industry and the organization Any question related to monetary benefits
Questions about the role, such as:
  • Where will you stand in the organization chart?
  • Will you undergo any training?
  • What are your responsibilities?
  • What kind of projects will you be handling majorly?
  • Will there be a necessity to travel and if yes, how frequent should you travel?
Questions related to holidays
Questions on the interview process, such as:
  • How many more rounds of interviews are there and what are they?
  • What will be your next round of interview?
  • Should you come in person for the next round of interviews?
  • When will be the other rounds of interview?
  • Should you submit any document in the next round of interview?
  • When will you know your result?
Is any recommendation required for getting selected?
When will you be required to join? How did you perform?

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