Continuiation of 'Giving Memorable Interviews, does it set you apart?'
Our very own personal checklist for ”Giving a memorable interview”. Now although there are many other parameters which will decide how your interview goes when you go to interview, which can change from one person to the other, from one time to another, from one employer to another, I’ve carefully compiled some of the greatest hits, which ideally should give you a rough framework to give a good interview. For personal counselling & interview grooming, please write to us, & we can take it from there, But for now, read on.
Pre Interview counselling & grooming can make a difference of 70 to 80% in whether or not you get that call back for a 2nd interview & subsequently that Offer Letter.
Continued Interview TIPS:
4> Greet before you take a seat: An inaudible “Hi..erm..hello…”, is SO not happening. Are you talking to yourself? Loud & proud, pls say Good morning/Good Afternoon/Good Evening like you mean it! A nice smile goes miles with that greeting. Do look the interviewer/s in the eye while wishing them, a non dead fish, gentle yet not bone cracking handshake is appreciated. Say the perfect handshake would be not too fast, not too slow, not sweaty, lingers for just a second & not more, just about a shade lesser than a palm squeeze should be perfect. Wow, I now intend to teach the subtle art of the Handshake at Harvard. But you get my gist. If you’re a hand shaker, you have already communicated a lot non verbally, that says good things about you & at the same time establishes a interviewer-interviewee connection even before the interview has begun.
5> Prelude to a Magnum Opus: Sorry, in simple words, that means, your self introduction before you get into your Career profile in depth. I Love Being Dramatic.
Ok, your cv hardopy (I hope you brought one) is with the interviewer. Their first question will be, ‘Please tell us about yourself’ or ‘Please run me through your profile/cv’. You WILL NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT just do a reading of your cv, Ok? They HAVE your cv! So rather, please make it sound interesting, lead it in a story format, don’t be repetitive, talk about yourself/your jobs/ your family/hobbies, etc whatever, but make it sound interesting.
For eg: Rohit has a a basic lean cv. He has worked with 3 companies, done his MBA in Marketing, stays in Andheri, has 2 dogs, hobbies are cycling, reading & listening to music, his family has 4 members including himself. Now he can either just read it out from his cv verbatim (Boring, & I am on my 8th interview for the day, so may not listen if he talks like that)
OR he can say the following, my thoughts in plain, Rohit’s commentary in bold.
Rohit: “I thank you for this lovely opportunity to interview with ABN Corp. Its a company I deeply admire.
Neha: (And you have a happy employer listening to you now)
Rohit: I turned 30 last month, I have 8 years of experience working in various areas of marketing after I completed my graduation.
Neha: (Not necessary to state the year, I have your cv).
Rohit: My very first job was with SGD Advertising in client servicing which I was very lucky to get albeit with a lower than expected salary, which I didn’t mind because the role had so much of learning in it, which I don’t believe a lot of fresh graduates get.
Neha: (Go in a chronological manner, its better to construct your profile in. Also now I’ve pegged you as better than average since you got a job not a lot of fresh grads get, positive because you appreciate what you got & saw its best side, also, it sounds like a story, & everyone likes a story :)]
Rohit: “I worked with them for a good 2 years, post which I had to move because since I was a beginner’s salary & couldn’t really make ends meet, since I’m an independent individual and was saving up for my future studies at the time.”
Neha: [Ok, Honest, Not really very money oriented enough for me to raise a red flag, because reasons stated were reasonable, independent, self sufficient, has a vision, stability decent, 2 years is acceptable for a 1st job]
Rohit: “Post SGD I joined a Market Research Firm called XYZ Research & Analytics, since I also wanted to learn about the technicalities of Research in marketing, where I worked as an Analyst for 3 years
Neha: [Ok, vision again, efforts to make a well rounded Marketing profile, testing new waters, stability again, 3 years is a good period before the next jump]
Rohit: It had been 5 years since I started working & I felt it was the right time to also get some formal education in that area, & hence took the time to pursue an MBA from a good Tier 3 institute (State name of institute) majoring in International Business & Marketing, post which I got a great opportunity to work with a leading FMCG/Retail brand [State Name] in the Marketing function though, not via Campus placement, where I joined as Asst Manager – Marketing & have now grown to Manager Marketing within a year of joining, been there for 3 years now. Looking to move purely for growth, since I believe in not getting too comfortable, which is happening right now with my current employer. I do not want to slip into a comfort zone
Neha: [MBA with relevant majors, check. Good planning on the education front, check. Good growth..check. Fair enough reason for moving on..I’m liking him this far]
Rohit: I’m health conscious & I bike everyday after work, I have 2 dogs I love very much & take care of. I currently live with both my parents & a younger brother. Some hobbies I give time to on weekends are gardening..given I have a green thumb :), listening to music, mostly Indian classical, I also love old hindi songs. And every now & then organizing get togethers for my friends, Where I end up cooking most of the times, which I also enjoy.
Neha: [ Ok, overall a well rounded individual, health conscious that’s good, because he won’t be taking a lot of sick leaves, people’s person as he organizes get togethers..]
So, Rohit managed to keep his profile interesting, precise, & still all inclusive. I didn’t lose focus even for a moment since it was interesting. Now, pls compare this with you said at your last interview & see where you can tweak it. Keep it under 60 seconds, keep it crisp & interesting, in a chronological format which helps you not forget anything.
6> Look at the questions from an Employer Point of View: That is basically the secret recipe for getting your Interview replies right. If you’re only thinking from your own point of view, many questions asked will get skewed replies from your side if you don’t truly understand why the questions are being asked. For eg: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Your answer: ”Ah, after 5 years, I see myself growing & earning more money since I would be getting married soon, & having kids. Possibly being a leader in the XYZ (a different line from what you’re interviewing for) industry. And of course growing in the company, doing some further courses, etc.” Now that brings up so many red flags that I can’t even count them. Marriage & Kids is all fine, but that means you’ll be taking holidays, for women..kids means you will take a larger leave of absence. RED FLAG. You’re just interviewing & already seeing yourself in a different job/industry from the one you’re interviewing for. Big Red Flag. So pls understand why a particular question is being asked, & how best to address it, simple tip. Imagine how you wouldd respond to it, if you were interviewing for your own company & someone said that to you.
7> Intelligent Follow up questions: Now your research beforehand will ensure you don’t end up asking any questions to the interviewer which will make them question your pre interview prep. Instead, ask intelligent questions like company hierarchy, your reporting structure if you get selected, training programs employees go through, etc. which are not usually published on the internet. This also gives you an edge as having a relevant thought process.
8> Thank yous & Good byes : Once your interview is done, thank you person using a suitable prefix & a last name/first name if they prefer, & say you will look forward to hearing from them. One more customary hand shake. And you’re out the door.