Best practices for job interviews | Sunday Observer

Best practices for job interviews

2 February, 2020
It is said that ‘First impressions are the most lasting’. Therefore, displaying confidence at the time of entering into interviewer’s space is of paramount importance.
It is said that ‘First impressions are the most lasting’. Therefore, displaying confidence at the time of entering into interviewer’s space is of paramount importance.

(Part 2)

I have discussed initial steps to be followed when one is called for an interview. I offered my opinion on how to get ready for an interview, commencing from application up to the time of facing the interviewer covering areas of preparing the application, pre-interview research, planning possible question and answers, dress code and arriving at the interview location.

Let us now ensure how the applicant moves on from there. If you enter into an enclosed space for the actual interview, open the door completely and close it carefully. Carry your documents in your left hand so your right hand is ready to shake the interviewer’s hand, if required. An important fact to remember is that some interviewers, rarely though, dislike shaking hands. Hence, to avoid such embarrassment, better always to wait till the interviewer offers his hand and certainly wait until he invites you to sit.

First impressions

Your manner of walking, the self assurance in your voice when you greet is important. It is said that ‘First impressions are the most lasting’. Therefore, displaying confidence at the time of entering into the interviewer’s space is of paramount importance. Greeting him and the way you sit in the assigned chair will make you a definite contender for the job or whatever the reason the interview is called for.

My advice is to walk moderately fast, greet loudly with confidence, offer a shake of the hand with a firm grip (not bone crushing) and sit occupying the seat in full in an erect posture. Always address the interviewer as ‘Sir’ or ‘Madam’ to show your respect.

However, it is always useful to know the interviewers names prior to the interview and you may get an opportunity to use them during the interview. If you do these things correctly, you have successfully established rapport and won the hearts of your interviewers.

The usual practice in an interview is that the interviewers offer an opportunity for the applicant to present himself in detail. This is a golden opportunity. Take as much time as possible and describe all your strong traits, qualifications, training, experience, achievements and any other feat in an organised manner.

These points may or may not be directly relevant to the post applied for, but some of them may be useful to an employer. If asked, you can present your credentials. The hard part comes next by way of the interviewer questions. This portion can be described as ‘overcoming objections’. The interviewer starts asking questions about your job related knowledge, skills and capabilities.

You have to answer all the questions, but if the answer is doubtful or not known, indicate it to the interviewer to establish your honesty. At this stage, you have to display your industry knowledge and describe related skills confidently.

Asking questions about job related matters and the business line also is very useful to demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm about the job. If this segment of the interview is managed effectively most of your efforts to win will be successful.

An effective and victorious end to the whole interview process is also vital. Ending with a friendly, informal chit chat if possible with a bit more personal facts or asking more information about their business line and relevant industry is a sound conclusion. Finally, without fail, you must thank the interviewer for the opportunity provided to you and for their valuable time spared for you.

Negative elements

We have so far discussed various factors about the entire process of succeeding at an interview. However, we have to look at various negative elements of candidates where they fail at times even with all suitable qualifications and skills. Some of them are:

Poor appearance; Aggressive or timid attitude; Inability to express oneself; lack of enthusiasm and passive manner; nervousness; over emphasis on monetary gains;

Unclear record; lack of courtesy; poor social understanding; limp handshake (shows lack of confidence); job for a short time / shopping around merely for any job; trying to explain that your passion is something else and not this job; displaying laziness;

Radical ideas; poor general knowledge and inability to establish rapport with the interviewer.

There are many other negative reasons existing when an applicant faces an actual interview. Mostly, it is the basic things that make candidates perform poorly at interviews.

By adhering to the points we have discussed in these two articles, the applicants can make a significant impact on how the interviewer judges and rates you.

Many candidates have the misconception that they can simply turn up at an interview and obtain a job offer. A job interview is a serious matter which should be treated as the most important ,short term task ahead of you and you prepare amply to succeed.

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