Checklist for Giving a Great Interview. (1 of 2)
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.

Pre Interview Preparation:

1> Fact Fishing!
Get all the facts you possibly can from the HR Representative/Consultant/Job description, etc whichever medium through which you came to know about the job opening. For eg: Everything the job includes (travel/field work/desk work/presentations/P & L accountability/team handling/training/factory visits/production/etc). This way, when the Interviewer asks you how good you are at that particular thing or how much of experience you’ve already had in that area, you won’t be totally blindsided, and will actually have an intelligent answer which comes up confidently, well worded & genuine sounding. It saddens me that half the people who interview these days, don’t know anymore than 25% of the job profile they’re interviewing for. Also, the moment you don’t know about something which is part of that job & you go, “Travel? Erm…ok. Well I recently got married, but that should be ok.” Reject. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for spontaneity, but trust me when I say, a seasoned interviewer comes to know when you’re faking it. 🙂

2> Research, Research, Research:
 I can never stress on this bit enough. Its always has been & continues to be one of the easiest & most important factors which give you brownie points with the Interviewer as well as help boost your own confidence while interviewing. And you know what, you lazy job seeker? You have the INTERNET!! Information Superhighway. Get on it, look up what just may be your future workplace, look up its employees on sites like Linkedin, see what they have apps like Glassdoor, where employees rate the workplace, its still at a very nascent stage in India, like Linkedin was say, back in 2005-2007…but it might just give you an idea of what current employees are saying about their work places & help you decide, although ofcourse, as I always say, you should first try to get inside information from someone who you know works there, & can give you an unbiased, real picture. Look up the website, wikipedia article (surprisingly more informative than a company website in some cases), company news, etc. And while you’re talking about yourself, you can definitely use the knowledge to your advantage & slip in a little bit here & there, for eg: about their LOBs, markets they function in, annual revenues, Mergers & Acquisitions, etc.
3> Go Pro:
Consulting with a well known, well informed, industry savvy, Recruitment Consultant who can groom you, tell you what to say, what preferably not to say, how to project your profile, how to handle your job jumps, reasons for quitting (surprisingly even people on a VP/AVP level sometimes fumble with these outside perspective always helps. We always think we’re right & might just say something that doesn’t sound right to someone else.) But there is always a way to phrase things right. Reasons for various drawbacks on your cv (drawbacks like academic gaps, job jumps, short stints at consulting/or starting your own business which closed down, geographical relocation, change of industry &/or job function, bad blood with ex employers, unemployment for a substantial period of time, salary cuts, job cuts, etc etc) can be explained in a good light & don’t necessarily have to always be deal breakers for you. Ofcourse, once again, your explanation & what a prospective employer ”Hears” may be two different things without you even knowing that, so it helps to get a professional tip/counsel on handling these many, many minefields on your cv. Instead of being frivolous with your money in places which have no real value add, put your money into getting a professional opinion on your career, your interview possibilities (which in a time of slowdown are lesser, so why not give those few opportunities your very best..) I do around 50 interviews a week, of which more than 95% of the applicants make grave, near fatal mistakes & have to be corrected. We at HR Interface Corporate Services happen to have 9 out of our 10 candidates selected at job interviews because of pre interview counselling. I would say 10 but sometimes, even after getting the right grooming, some interviewees stay adamant & say things which get them rejected!
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.
1> On the clock: Being late is a complete no no. Aim to reach 30 minutes prior to the interview slot, so after the harried commute, you can visit the washroom, compose yourself, give yourself time to acclimatise to the new surroundings, go over your interview material one more time, etc. Plus you’re already nervous whether or not you’ll get selected, why add to it with the worry that you may be running late!
2> Not so Hard to carry a Hardcopy!: Whether they have your cv already or not, softcopy or hardcopy, you always have/need to carry atleast 2 hardcopies of  your Resumé. I won’t even explain it. Just do, ok? Says a lot about you. Your printer isn’t working, cyber cafes aren’t open, blah dee blah dee blah. No one cares. Carry a fricckin hardcopy. Its not rocket science.
3> Suit Up!You may be going to interview for a copywriter or web designer or shark diver or flamenco dancer position, & these folks are known to dress in cool threads! Though..mainly non conforming attire… but YOU, you shall suit up. Ok lose the suit, but a well ironed pair of trousers, sharp looking formal shirt & a tie (for men) & Smart business formals for women (trousers/skirts, minimal jewellery & a perfume that isn’t very loud, for that matter, pls keep makeup low key, fresh & in neutral shades too) you will be taken seriously. Men, please shave. Pretty please. It is not a western movie where a day or two day old stubble will make you look like the fastest gun in the west.
CONTINUED in part 2… here.