Career Advice

Interview mistakes you shouldn’t make

How many of us have been to an interview and then spent the rest of the week beating ourselves up about how many questions we could have answered differently. Unfortunately for us we can never get this do over. What we can do is prepare well for the next time and do better.

Interviews are the actual hurdle that is up between getting hired and getting rejected. They are more important than any academic qualification that one has to flaunt at the world. Most people get terribly nervous when they go to meet their future employers; it is completely natural and is expected of any person. What one needs to learn is how to channel this nervousness and shine in front of others.

One of the most common things that happen in an interview are that one gets nervous and starts talking; a lot. The second you start blabbing at a prospective employer, you know you have lost the job. So take a breather and relax, come back to the point you want to make and start again. If you get a question which you haven’t given much thought about then try to keep talking about that point to a minimum so that you don’t get confused.

Here are a few pointers which will help you perform better in any interview you may be put through:

  1. Practice and rehearse: Most interview questions are incredibly predictable, buy one of the many interview books available in the market and look through the questions and answers. Once you know what they will be throwing at you, you will be able to better prepare and anticipate what could happen. This will give you the confidence you need to do well. You can even memorize the answers that are given in the book if you feel confused.
  2. Describe situation, behaviour, outcome and learning: Any interviewer who wants you to describe how you behaved in a certain situation will want to know the context (the situation), what you did (the behaviour), the result (whether good or bad) and what you learnt from it and how you applied you rlearning the next time you were in a similar situation.  Be ready to talk about a few such situations.  Practising beforehand will help you choose the right tone, positive vocabulary and help you get your nonverbals right.
  3. Be calm: Reach the place on time; being there early will help you acclimate, you will be able to take in the ambience and put yourself at ease with it which will help you once the interview commences.
  4. List your greatness: Make a list of all the things you are good at and then remind yourself about them throughout the interview. Use it and subtly mention these points through the course of the conversation. Let the world know your strengths.
  5. Research: Find out as much as possible as you can about the place you are applying at. This will help you understand what they require from you and the skills they require from you. You could use this research to showcase any experience or any skills you have that would benefit the organization in the future.
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