If you ask me, I am not a pro at it, but I’ve cleared all the interviews I’ve appeared for, so far. So, I wanted to pass on the ‘mantras’ which help me to prepare for the adrenaline rush which is caused by interviews.
- BEFORE INTERVIEW- The first thing you should prepare for is your outfit. Always remember that your sartorial sense will make an instant impact on the panel. Dress formally. Do not over-do your appearance with unnecessary accessories or makeup. Keep it simple yet unique. To know how to dress best for a particular kind of a job interview, you need to KNOW YOUR EMPLOYER. Know what kind of dresses they will be okay with. You cannot go in for an interview of a fashion editor in a traditional salwar kameez. Dress intelligently.
WHAT I DID- I have appeared for three public sector bank interviews and one MNC interview. For the MNC interview, I wore the classic trouser-shirt combo, formal footwear and elegant hairdo. For the public sector bank interviews, I specially went shopping and hunted for two days for a perfect kurta. Although I faked it with the traditional outfit, I was successful.
The second thing to do is a background check of your employer. Again, KNOW YOUR EMPLOYER. Keep a tab on the minute details of the company; its shares, its CEO, its annual earnings etc. You need to know it all.
WHAT I DID- Banking is a very vast industry. You need to know about both the private and the public sector. So I did a detailed study on the bank I was going for and its competitors. The background of the bank is also very important. Not only the CEO of the bank I was joining, I memorized the names of the CEOs of every single bank in India. And I was asked that question too.
The third thing you need to do is cram up the subjects you took in graduation. I was in a loophole when I went for the bank interviews as I studied Economics in graduation. So, everybody kept asking me about Economic laws and all. Though, I was lucky as I teach my brother on a regular basis. I knew all the answers. I was taken aback when one of the interviewers asked me about ‘Tradition and Individual Talent’, a topic from English literature. I knew the answer, but I did not expect them to ask this question. So, it is very important to do a detailed study.
The fourth and final thing to do is prepare all the documents required by your employer. I prepare a list of all the documents required and then arrange them serial wise. I also get two extra photocopies of the documents, just in case. Then, my dad double-check the documents. You can always get away with the answers you do not know, but you can never get away with missing documents, as your interview may be cancelled.
- DURING INTERVIEW- Keep your calm. Do not talk unnecessarily with anybody. Do not let any negative energy seep into your mind. During my very first interview, I wasn’t nervous at all. But there was this guy who was overtly nervous. And I avoided him as much as I could. Have confidence in yourself. Avoid over-confidence. It is just a one-to-one conversation. You are going in for a good talk about your life. Take it as an experience you will always cherish. Even if they grill you, avoid being aggressive.
Do not fake it. The panel is an expert group. They have much more experience than you will ever imagine. Do not take them for a ride. You are perfect as you are. Show them what you are.
Self-confidence is the key. Speak as if you are talking to your friends. Tell them about your ambitions. Sell your mind to them. Convince them that you are the perfect one for their company.
- AFTER INTERVIEW- Assess your performance. Discuss the whole interview with an experienced person who can judge it objectively. In my case, I always make it a point to discuss my interview with my parents. My dad, especially, points out the mistakes.
It is not the end of your life if you did not get the job. I cannot stress much upon the fact that how amazing an interview is for you. It will make you aware of your weaknesses and your strengths. It will be a life-changing experience for you. So, move-on and start preparing for the next one.
Good luck 🙂