Interviewers hire those candidates who have a clear understanding of the job requirement and also of the company they are joining.
Before any interview, you should go through the company’s website to know the technologies, applications, sectors, types of services/products the company is engaged in.
If it is a management or marketing/sales role, then you should also preferably know who are the top 1-2 people of the company, its sales turnover, number of employees……
You should also study the job description very carefully.
During your interview, you would know more about the type of skills that they are looking for.
If you are asked why should we hire you, then you should say that you have the knowledge & experience required for the job and you are also interested in joining the company for …. reasons and say that ‘With these …………. skills of mine and my interest in working on your kind of products/services, I am sure that I will be able to contribute well in the growth of your company.’
This should work.
The following will also help you.
Interviewers primarily evaluate the following:
- Does this candidate have the knowledge and experience required for producing results as per the job requirement? (This is the reason why they probe into the projects completed by you.)
- Can this candidate consistently produce the expected results if selected? (This is the reason why many organizations say they want consistent 60+ in at least 6 or 7 out of 8 semesters.)
- Is this candidate the best fit out of the candidates shortlisted for the position?
- Will this candidate gel well with the team and the organization after he/she joins? (They also try to gauge if you are a loner / solo performer or a team player.)
- Does this candidate possess the type of communication & leadership skills required for the job to be done? (This can be gauged through group discussions as well as interviews.)
- Does this candidate have a potential for further growth in our organization or will he/she not be able to grow in our organization because of his/her limited capabilities/potential?
You should go well prepared for any interview if you want to get selected. A casual approach to interviews will not help.
Many good candidates are rejected because they don’t handle interviewers & their questions well. Sometimes they blurt out something they should not say.
There are some Dos & Don’ts to follow when you appear for an interview. The same are listed below. Also, some frequently asked questions with suggested answers are stated below.
Make sure that you have eaten reasonably well before any interview.
Also, have a soft drink or tea before an interview. (It is observed that candidates perform well if they have eaten well before an interview. If they are hungry or thirsty, then they don’t sound very confident/forceful during their interviews.)
- Don’t try to do anything unusual to impress the interviewers. (If you try to do something unusual, then it may look a bit odd and may work against you.)
- As the first impression definitely counts, dress well for all your interviews. Don’t take dressing casually for any of the interviews. Not even for the 2nd,3rd or … th interview in a company.
- Recommended dress code:
Stick to formal business dress.
Well ironed full sleeve shirt (preferably plain white or light), dark trousers, well polished shoes.
Tie and/or Jacket, depending upon the position and the local norms.
Short, trimmed hair.
For women, any conservative formal dress like Punjabi Dress in India is okay.
(Dress for the job for which you are going to be interviewed. If you are a software engineer and you are going for a marketing job, then dress like a marketing person.)
We have written about the importance of dressing well in this article, How to Ace Job Interviews like a Pro.
- Show confidence. Look into the eyes of interviewers when you enter and when you talk to them.
- When you enter the interview room, say ‘Hello’, to get connected with interviewers.
- If you are comfortable shaking hands with them then do so with a firm handshake but don’t crush their hands.
- Give respect & importance to all panel members even if some of them are silent. Remember that all panel members give their rating. Sometimes, the most silent or unimpressive person in a panel is the most important person. Only those people are selected who are liked by the panel members. (Remember, out of many technically equal candidates, only those who are liked by panel members are selected.)
- You should show your ‘I can do it’ / ‘I will do it’ attitude throughout your interview. You should not say things like ‘I am not sure’/ ‘I will try’ as these indicate that you are not likely to take responsibility for your on-the-job performance. If you indicate that you are not sure and you are not confident about producing results, then why should an interviewer select you?
PREPARE YOUR ANSWERS IN ADVANCE to these typical questions:
‘Tell us something about yourself’:
Tell only positive things about yourself in 10-20 sentences. Your name, education, experience, something that you are good at… Make sure that whatever you say highlights those skills which are required for the job for which you are being interviewed.
Rehearse 5-10 times at home.
‘Tell us about key projects that you have executed’:
Make sure that you can explain 4-5 good projects well, including (1) What the project was about,(2) Application (like Inventory control, Financial accounting, Device driver…),(3) Client name, (4) Industry, (5) Technology, (6) Team size, (7) Your role,(8) YOUR contribution, (9) Challenges, (10) Highlights…(THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART in any interview.
So, prepare yourself well for this part.) Rehearse 5-10 times at home.
What do you see yourself doing after 5 years?
This is normally asked to know the following:
Are you clear about your career plans & career direction?
or Are you a directionless person?
If you are a directionless person then your interviewer may not like it.
If you are a person with a direction then s/he would like to know if your plans match with what her/his company can offer you in the next 5 years. If there is a substantial mismatch then you may not be offered the job.
Normally, when somebody is employed, we would like him/her to be with our company for a long period unless we don’t like his/her attitude or his/her work.
So, if you say ‘I want to go for post-graduation in the next year’ or ‘I want to start my own business after 2 years’ or if a girl says ‘I am planning to get married in the next year.’……….., then the interviewer may reject you as the interviewer would like you to be with the company for a long period and not just for 1–2 years. Employees start producing substantial results only after 1–2 years and so interviewers would like you to be with the company for a much longer period than just 1–2 years.
(‘I am planning to get married in the next year.’ can mean that she may have to relocate and so may leave because of that reason.)
Please note that employment is almost like a marriage. It is intended to be for a long term.
If you start talking about divorce (=leaving) for whatever reasons even before getting married, then the interviewer would not feel comfortable with your selection.
Your answer to this question could be on these lines: “As I see it, I should be a team leader in 2–3 years handling larger projects, and may be a manager leading a larger team in 5–6 years.”. Say whatever is reasonably logical.
If you say that you would like to be the General Manager or CEO in 5–6 years, then the interviewer would feel that you are a dreamer with unrealistic expectations. If you give this impression then the interviewer may not select you.
(In reality, you may get quick promotions if your on-the-job-performance is very good. But, don’t sound unrealistic/ immature during interviews.)
For how long would you work with this company?
Your answer should be on these lines: “I haven’t thought about leaving at all. After joining, my first task would be to consistently do a great job so that my manager is happy with my work. I would like to work for several years with your company.
As I understand, one can learn more and achieve faster growth if one sticks to one company for a long period.”
Minimum for how many years would you like to work with our company?
“I think, for minimum 5 years. I may not leave for 10-15 years if there no reason to leave. As I understand, one can learn more and achieve faster growth if one sticks to one company for a long period.”
There are many more questions and recommended answers to the same. However, all answers can’t be listed here as the answer will run into several pages.
All these questions appear very simple but if you give answers which are not liked by the interviewers, then you are likely to be rejected even if you have cleared your technical round.
- Why would you like to join our company?
- Why should we select you?
- Why do you want to leave your current company?
- For each job-switch in the past, you should be able to give a ‘logical reason for leaving and joining’.
- For each gap in your education and job, you should have a justification.
- On which technologies you would like to work?
- What kind of role are you looking for?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- How much salary do you expect?
- What are your hobbies? Please note that your hobbies reveal some personality traits of yours.
- Can you please let me know the password of your email-id? I need it for checking some things.
- Why do you want to join a PSU? (If you are being interviewed by a PSU.)
- Prepare well for tests (IQ, Technical….) by taking free tests available on the net.
If you prepare well to answer all these questions, then you will do well in your interviews.
If you liked this article, check out How to Ace Job Interviews like a Pro.