Interview Day – Dos and Donts

So, you have made an impressive resume and have managed to get an interview with one of your target companies. Let me now take you through ten important dos and don’ts for your next interview. 

1.     Do your research – Go through the company website to know more about what the company does. The latest Annual report, if available, could also give you a lot of insights. Just reading into the first few pages of the report gives a good perspective on what the company wants to tell its stakeholders and can give you good discussion points. Check latest news about the company through a quick Google News search.

2.     Go through the Job Description– Make sure you have gone through the JD in detail and have asked the Recruitment Consultant any questions you have about the job. Some Job Descriptions also list out what the employer is seeking in their ideal candidate. Go through it, analyse, make notes, and see how you stand against the requirement. 

3.     LinkedIn profile of the Interviewer/Interviewers– It’s always good to know who your interviewers are going to be. Ask the Recruitment Consultant for this detail if you do not have it yet. Check the profile of the interviewer on LinkedIn, read any blogs or media articles that they might have written, this could help you know them better before you even meet them. Sometimes, this could help you tremendously during your interview.

4.     Prepare well for the commonly asked questions– While practicing your answers to the commonly asked questions will definitely help you during the interview, it’s important that they don’t sound rehearsed. Use expressions while answering and take pauses at the appropriate places. 

5.     A good meal– Have balanced and on time meals on the day of your interview. Don’t eat too much or too little before your interview. Avoid skipping meals before your interview. If it’s unavoidable, grab anything you can lay your hands on. An empty stomach wont help your chances at all.

6.     Arrive before time– It is important not just to arrive on time for your interview but to arrive before time. Typically, anything in between 10 to 20 mins before time works best. This extra buffer time can save you from embarrassing situations in case of unexpected delays due to traffic jams, parking issues or any other unforeseen circumstances. Use this extra time to just sit down in the waiting area and relax yourself. You could choose whatever relaxation technique works best for you, a hurried entry into an interview rooms is recipe for failure.

7.     Speak slowly and clearly– It’s important to talk at the right speed. A comfortable speed which is not too slow or not too fast works best for most people. 

8.     Be to the point and Truthful– Most interview questions can be answered in less than a minute, may be 90 seconds in some cases. It’s important to be truthful, honest and to the point with your answers. Very long answers can bore your interviewer, being specific helps.

9.     Body language–Communication is 80% body language. During your interview

Do not offer to shake hands unless offered by the interviewer
Sit straight with feet on ground, do not cross your legs even if the interviewer has done so
Keep your back straight and do not lean back or front too much 
Keep eye contact with your interviewer when you are talking. If it’s an interview panel, make sure you keep moving your eyes between them and not just look at one. This is even if the question you are answering has been asked by that person.
Do not cross your arms. You could keep your arms on your lap or on the table if there is one. 
Avoid nodding your head too much, try to keep your head still as much as comfortably possible. 

10.  Ask Questions –  It’s completely fine for you to be asking questions during your interview, it need not necessarily be only the interviewer doing that. In fact, asking questions is often taken in a very positive way by most people and it shows candidate’s seriousness and interest towards the job vacancy. Ask if you have any doubts about the job role & responsibilities or about the company. However, do not ask questions, just for the sake of it. For example, do not ask what the turnover is if it’s a public limited company, answers to such questions are usually available on public domain and can easily be taken from there. 

Try out these tips and let me know if it helped you in your interview.  

Happy Interviewing!!

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