Sunday, 16 June 2013

How to prepare for your first job interview – 10 tips that matter

For all those students who are reading this and think that they can take 1 day pill to crack the interview. I am sorry; this is not going to happen. You learn how to crack interviews by facing rejection in couple of them (sometimes many). So, if you face rejections in couple of them, think it of as you are getting prepared for the interview.  To help you with your first job interview, here are 10 tips from our side:-

    1)      Improve your spoken English. You must have heard about improving it from hell lot of people.  But how you can improve it. First read a lot in English. Reading one newspaper editorial on daily basis will help and will improve your general knowledge too. Secondly, listen a lot in English (listen to BBC news daily for half an hour). And finally conversing in English with your friends. You can create group of friends to practice this. I know it sounds bit awkward to do it, but do it for your job.   
     2)      Prepare for “Tell me something about yourself” well. Let me give you an example. 
Rachin has just finished his graduation from Hindu College and going to attend his first interview. He has done his higher secondary (10+2) and matriculation (10th) from CBSE board, while studying at D.P.S school Delhi. His hobbies include playing cricket and reading books. He stood second in college and participated in all extracurricular activities held in his college. This is how he should answer “Tell me something about yourself” question:-
                Hello, this is Rachin. I have done my graduation this year from Hindu college, Delhi. I have done my higher secondary and matriculation under CBSE from D.P.S. Delhi. I achieved second rank in my graduation and have participated in all the extra-curricular activities held in my college. I enjoy playing cricket and reading books.
So as you can see here, Rachin’s answer basically includes his graduation first, and then move towards other educational details in decreasing order. And then it includes the achievements of his student life so far. And at last, it includes his hobbies and area of interest. This much is enough. This question is generally asked to start the interview conversation. But it also gives you an opportunity to sell yourself. Make sure that you are honest about what you are telling. Write down this answer and practice it. So your answer should include:-
A)     Your educational details(start with latest)
B)      Your achievements
C)      Your hobbies or area of other interest.
    3)      Make sure whatever extracurricular interest/hobbies you have shown in your CV, you are actually interested in that.
This happens to one of my friends. He mentioned in his CV that he is interested in Lawn Tennis. And the first question in the interview was how long the tennis court is? He was not able to answer that. Now what perception does it gives to the interviewer about my friend. That he is not serious about what he likes and want to do.
   4)      Learn as many skills as you can when in student life
I have seen many students start looking for a specific kind of Job after coming out of college. This way you restrict yourself from other opportunities available. You should learn as many skills as you can.  This will first help you to identify what kind of work you enjoy. Secondly, in these market conditions, getting a job is important. Once you get a job, then you can start looking for options on how you can get into the profile or the kind of work that is as per your strength.
   5)      Know the company for which you are attending interview
Many students ignore this part. Know the company for which you are giving interview. Know what kind of products they are into. Know there various Lines of business. Know when they are established and how they have grown in all those years.
   6)      Take care of your body language on the day of interview
Avoid too many face gestures, hand and head movement when giving interview. Sit firmly, but also comfortably. Take a deep breath when entering into the interview room.
    7)      Be generally aware of what is happening around the world
Sometimes interviewer asks about your views on what is happening around the world or latest on  TV news channels. This is asked to know about your general awareness.
    8)      Brush up your technical skills before the interview
First of all, interviewer knows that you are a student. Thus they are not expecting in-depth detail knowledge about the skills which you have learned and required for that kind of job, what they want to know is ‘Are your basics right or not’.
    9)      Dress formally
This shows that you are serious about the job.
    10)   Don’t give wrong answers, accept what you don’t know.
Many students end up giving wrong answers to questions, because they don’t know the answer to question asked. This lower down the chances of getting selected. Thus accept whatever you don’t know gracefully.

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