You decided that you want a job. You made a high impact resume, applied for multiple jobs and got a few interview calls. Interview is the most important step in the whole process. You don’t have too much time to create an impact and show that you are the best candidate for this position.
Click here to know Usha Albuquerque’s job tips
How to ace an interview? That’s a difficult question to answer. It depends on so many factors beyond the scope of this blog. However, it is much easier to identify common mistakes and make a conscious effort to not make them during the interview.
If you can avoid some of these mistakes, there is a good chance that the outcome of interview will be favourable -
Hygiene factors – Most hiring managers make the decision in first few minutes of the interview. Rest of the time is spent in validating and justifying the decision. It means that basic hygiene factors become far more important than most people think. It includes – dressing appropriately, reaching the venue on time, firm handshake, positive eye contact, etc. Err on the side of caution and dress up professionally even if the company encourages casual dressing.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be able to do most of these things effectively. There is no upside in not getting these things right. It’s just a matter of discipline and must be enforced during the interview.
Badmouthing previous employer – This is one of the most common mistakes people commit in a job interview. While justifying job switches, a vast majority of candidates say negative things about their previous managers or employers. This shows negative attitude of the candidate and could also imply that he/she doesn’t work well with colleagues and seniors.
Everybody faces issues with a bad manager/employer at some stage in their careers. Make sure you don’t mention that in a job interview. Reasons for job switches should always be positive – talk about growth or better opportunities you got elsewhere.
Not preparing enough – It is your responsibility to read about the company’s business – products, competitors, opportunities, challenges, etc and make sure that you bring it up during the interview. These discussions will give interviewer the confidence that you can hit the ground running and will start contributing much before some of the other candidates. Nothing communicates your interest in the job more than your preparation.
Not listening – Don’t make it a one way street. Your success doesn’t depend upon how much you speak. A short and crisp response shows confidence and depth of your kowledge. Try to engage the interviewer with questions based on your understanding of their business. Listen and then respond appropriately. Try not to ask too many questions either. Never interrupt an interviewer while he is speaking.
Talking money too soon – Lot of candidates start asking questions about salary and benefits during the first interview. It’s never a good idea to discuss salary before intent of hiring has been communicated to you. Do not do it unless you are specifically asked your salary details. More you delay these discussions, easier it’ll be for you to negotiate a higher salary.
These are some of the mistakes I’ve seen candidates make during the interview process. What mistakes did you make?
Tarun Matta is the founder of iimjobs.com – an exclusive job portal for MBAs from IIMs and other premier business schools in India.