INTERVIEW TIPS

INTERVIEW TIPS

The ultimate goal of studying hard is to get a job. But many of the bright students who are intelligent in their studies fails in interview round. While giving an interview the main concern of the Interviewee is to impress his/her interviewer. So here are some basic interview tips for freshers that help you in clearing your interview. You never get a second chance to make a great first impression during your job interview, Interview preparation is the key to success and a well-polished presentation can give you an edge over others whose credentials might just be better than yours. Even the smartest and most qualified job seekers need to prepare for their job interview.

Types of Interviews

  • Telephonic Interview– A call from an employer to eliminate candidates based on essential criteria. An employer may call you without or without an appointment.
  • Tips – Answer the questions clearly and to the point. Don’t try to explain them like a story reading, do not be argumentative while answering, address politely and with confidence.
  • Video Conference / Video Interview – Uses technology for a “person-to-person” interview by video. Allows people from different locations to interview without traveling.
  • Tips – Practice before a video camera, mirror, or via Skype, if facing a camera during an interview makes you nervous.
  • Personal Interview (Face to Face)

Best Strategies for getting success in interviews

Clarify your “selling points” and the reasons you want the job.
Prepare to go into every interview with three to five key selling points in mind, such as what makes you the best candidate for the position. Have an example of each selling point prepared (“I have good communication skills. For example, I persuaded an entire group to …”). And be prepared to tell the interviewer why you want that job – including what interests you about it, what rewards it offers that you find valuable, and what abilities it requires that you possess. If an interviewer doesn’t think you’re really, really interested in the job, he or she won’t give you an offer – no matter how good you are!

Don’t give up! If you’ve had a bad interview for a job that you truly think would be a great fit for you (not just something you want badly), don’t give up! Write a note, send an email, or call the interviewer to let him or her know that you think you did a poor job of communicating why you think this job would be a good match. Reiterate what you have to offer the company, and say that you’d like an opportunity to contribute. Whether this strategy will get you a job offer depends on the company and on you. But one thing’s for sure: If you don’t try, your chances are exactly zero. We’ve seen this approach work on numerous occasions, and we encourage you to give it that last shot.

Be prepared. Remember to bring important items to the interview:

  • Notebook and pens
  • Extra copies of your resume and a list of references
  • Copies of letter(s) of recommendation, licenses, transcripts, etc.
  • Portfolio of work samples
  • Photographs.
  • All other relevant documents.

Practice good nonverbal communication

  • It’s about demonstrating confidence: standing straight, making eye contact and connecting with a firm handshake. That first nonverbal impression can be a great beginning—or quick ending—to your interview.

Display confidence during the interview, but let the interviewer start the dialogue. Send a positive message with your body language.

  • Bring your sense of humor and Smile
  • Shake hands firmly, but only if a hand is offered to you first.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Listen carefully. Welcome all questions, even the difficult ones, with a smile.
  • Give honest, direct answers.
  • Develop answers in your head before you respond. If you don’t understand a question, ask for it to be repeated or clarified. You don’t have to rush, but you don’t want to appear indecisive.

End the interview with a good impression. A positive end to the interview is another way to ensure your success.

  • Be courteous and allow the interview to end on time.
  • Restate any strengths and experiences that you might not have emphasized earlier.
  • Mention a particular accomplishment or activity that fits the job.
  • Show that you are need – If you want the job, say so!
  • Don’t talk too much.
  • Don’t be too familiar.
  • Use appropriate language.
  • Don’t be cocky / Overconfident .
  • Listen properly than answer.
  • Always act like you want the job.
  • Re-read the job description.
  • Recruit a friend /family member etc to practice answering questions.
  • Plan your interview attire the night before.
  • Prepare smart questions for your interviewers.
  • Practice your answers to common interview questions.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early to your interview.
  • Treat everyone you encounter with respect.
  • Practice good manners and body language.
  • Respond truthfully to the questions asked.
  • Tie your answers back to your skills and accomplishments.
  • Keep your answers concise and focused.
  • Do not speak negatively about your previous employers.

What to wear to a job interview

When it comes to a job interview, first impressions count and being able to dress to impress will go a long way to help secure your dream job. Although it might seem quite natural to put on your best suit, skirt or dress for the interview as though you already work there, there are more elements to take into consideration. You want to look ready to step into the role you’re seeking.
 
Being able to answer questions and concentrate during an interview is important, so wear an outfit you feel comfortable in. Be sure to check the weather the night before and have a couple of outfits ready just in case the day looks like it might be hot or cold. Our tips on how to dress for an interview will help you make a good impression and give you confidence when answering questions.

What women should wear to a job interview

  • Clothing: Make sure you wear a professional and clean freshly pressed shirt or blouse without a deep neckline. If you wear a skirt, be sure that the skirt is no shorter than two inches above the knee. Don’t forget to put on tights or stockings under your skirt. Alternatively, wear a pair of trousers.
  • Colours: If you’re going for an interview with a very corporate company, more muted tones would be better suited to the formal environment. Black and dark blue are the ideal business colours, grey or brown are also good options. Pair this with a blouse or shirt in white or pastel colours. But don’t combine more than three colours and two patterns.
  • Shoes: Open shoes like flip-flops or sandals are a no-go for a job interview. Footwear should be either closed toe pumps with a subtle heel or closed toe black high heels.
  • Jewellery: Stay away from too much jewellery such as large necklaces and bangles, as too much clanging can cause unnecessary distraction. Be sure to only wear subtle earrings. Your watch should be slim and just wear a wedding band or no rings at all.
  • Make-up: Don’t overdo the make-up, keep it conservative and natural looking and just a light touch of perfume.
  • Tattoos and piercings: Cover your tattoos and remove facial piercings.

What men should wear to a job interview

  • Clothing: Put on a clean crisp suit. Wear a clean, freshly ironed, long sleeve white shirt and clean jacket. Be sure to have freshly pressed pants.
  • Tie: Accessorise with a modest tie. Add a traditional business tie hung to the beltline. Make sure your belt is matched to the colour of your shoes and the buckle is not too prominent.
  • Colours: Wear a business shirt of a solid colour, preferably white. Complete the outfit with a dark blue, black or charcoal two or three-piece suit. Make sure your tie is subtle in colour and design.
  • Shoes: Wear shoes that have been polished and make sure they are clean. Try to match the colour of your socks to your suit.
  • Accessories: Wear a conservative belt and tie. Watches should be conservative with a link or leather band. Minimise your hand luggage – limit to just a leather purse or briefcase if possible. When it comes to perfume and aftershave, less is best. The last thing you want is to be remembered for your cologne and not your answers.
  • Tattoos and piercings: Be sure to cover your tattoos and remove facial piercings.

A professional outfit can help you make a strong first impression on a hiring manager, but don’t forget your body language. Exhibit good posture and maintain a pleasant, open expression on your face. Ultimately you want the hiring manager to picture you in the role and visualize you in their team.

Interview Preparation Tips

Start by Researching and Collecting Information about the Company

  • Before attending any interview for any company, make sure you know enough about the company and you are willing to work in this company. To do this, Go through the history and the present position of the company. It will help you to understand them and make you more confident.
  • To learn the latest on a company, try typing the company’s name plus the word “news” into your search bar.
  • Before the interview, learn about the organization and position from multiple sources Gathering facts about a company helps you answer potential interview questions. It also gives you important information on how to match your skills to the company or position.

Think of reasons you’re interested in the company.

Make proper resume and Get familiar with your resume.

  • A resume is the main intangible tool to get a job. Prepare your resume according to the job profile the company is offering.

Practice Makes you Perfect

  • Practice the way of your speaking and answer the questions which are often asked. Improve your communication skill. If you are good at communication, half of your job is done.

Arrive Early

  • In today’s busy world, no one can waste their precious time for waiting for someone. So arrive 15 to 20 minutes early. It will also show your punctuality.

Dress Like you mean Business

  • Your dressing sense is the mirror of your personality. It defines the society you belong to. Dress like you are a part of them.

Show Enthusiasm

  • Give an answer with such a great feel so that interviewer can feel your enthusiasm for the job in your voice only.

Keep Eye Contact

  • It is required to have an eye to eye contact with the interviewer because it shows your confidence and your honesty.

Be Yourself and try to be a Part of them

  • People like natural things more than man-made. Be natural in front of the interviewer. Don’t try to copy an accent which you will not able to continue after some time.
  • Try to connect yourself with them, show your interest that you want to be a part of their family

Switch Off your Phone

Commonly Asked Questions

Hello, how are you today ?

This is more of a “make yourself comfortable” statements. Answer with a pleasant smile. If you had any trouble during the day, don’t hesitate to mention it. But make sure you express it in a positive note.

Examples:-

  • “I am very well today sir, thank you”.
  • “I am very well today sir, just that the traffic here is bit of a hassle. But I made sure, I start a bit early to beat it.
  • Tell me about yourself?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Which is more important to you money or growth?
  • Why are you interested in working for this company?
  • Why have you chosen this particular field?
  • Describe your best/worst boss or person.
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What interests you most/least? In a job.
  • What are your major strengths and weaknesses?

What is one thing, which you want to improve about yourself? (OR) what are your weaknesses ?

This is a trick question. The expectation here is to answer a negative trait with a positive twist. Something which in general a weak point of a person, but is alright from an organization perspective.

Examples:-

  • “I tend to try to take up too many things, leaving little time for myself.”
  • “I am a perfectionist and sometimes, concentrate too much on one single task to get it to perfection, using up time from other tasks”.
  • “I tend to say Yes, when someone asks for help. I am working on learning to say No at times”.

Why do you want to work for this company?

Sample Answer 1:
I would be proud to work for a company like yours with such a long history of leadership in the industry. I have carried out web research and believe that the company’s XYZ products and its future projections are very impressive and promising. The XXX team is the team I would take pride to work with. A place where my skills or background fits perfectly and can be utilized, respectively.

Sample Answer 2:
I was delighted to see on your website that your featured employees are talking about how great it is to work for your company. These days so many people seem to despise where they work for one reason or another. It’s wonderful to see that your employees are proud to talk about how much they love their jobs.

Do you consider yourself successful?

Sample answer #1
I feel successful with continuous progress.  I find it exciting when I am allowed to implement new ideas and see its fruition. I would define my success as I have learned through years and use them when circumstances arise or demand.

Sample answer #2
Success to me is knowing that I am excelling in my performance and feeling fulfilled. My work should add value to the company and its customers. Knowing that each day, I am making the world a better place, is a success to me. I would define success at work as what I have learned from key job assignments experiences.

Sample answer #3
Success to me is spending the majority of the time focused on work that is fulfilling and increasing my efficiency to become helpful for the organization growth.  While I also believe that greater success can be achieved while working as a team towards a common goal.

What is one thing that you like about our company?

What are your expectations from your first job?

What’s your dream job?
Along similar lines, the interviewer wants to uncover whether this position is really in line with your ultimate career goals. While “an NBA star” might get you a few laughs, a better bet is to talk about your goals and ambitions—and why this job will get you closer to them.

How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?
“Choose an answer that shows that you can meet a stressful situation head-on in a productive, positive manner and let nothing stop you from accomplishing your goals,” says McKee. A great approach is to talk through your go-to stress-reduction tactics (making the world’s greatest to-do list, stopping to take 10 deep breaths), and then share an example of a stressful situation you navigated with ease.

Why do you think this company is a good fit for you?
You need to know what the company does, what its values are, how it has been performing, and any other relevant detail you can get. Then frame the answer in a way that highlights how only this place can help you grow, giving you the opportunities and an excellent platform to reach the career goal you mentioned in the previous question. There are buzz words we all know of. Just be careful to not make your response sound hollow.

Why do you think you are a good fit for us?
What have you got to offer to this excellent organization? Why should we bother to take you on?
And again, play your strengths to them. There is no need to sound like you are the answer to their prayers. You just have to be confident in your ability to contribute well and better than what they can already perceive from your qualifications. It is your desire and passion that counts here. Try to get specific.

How would you handle a disagreement with authority?/Have you been in some challenging situation in the past? Explain how you handled it ?
This is usually an add-on question to explain your strengths that you mention previously. This is good opportunity to give a suitable example, as to why you mentioned what your strengths are.

Example:-“Yes, we did have some challenging situation during our final semester project delivery. Usually the kind of code logic we were trying to implemented, works with a 64bit processor, while we were trying to make it work with a lower configuration, due to budgetary constraints”. Theoretically it was possible, but result was not coming through and the team wanted to give up and upgrade the hardware. I was positive, that this will work and that we stick to the plan and figure out our actual problem. It took some effort to convince my team, a lot more hard work and few extra hours of reading, but finally we stayed positive and cracked the issue and delivered the project.
The above example, explains your strength like Positive thinking, hard work etc.

“I have a huge passion for sports and have been a regular member of college athletic team. There was an event coming up slightly ahead of one of our exam schedule. Although our coach said, I can  skip the competition, I was sure I can win points for the college. So I decided, I will put in extra time in studies late evenings, while also practicing and attending the event. I had to stretch a bit physically & mentally, and also manage my time tightly. But finally I was able to win the tournament and also come out with good scores in exam. The above showcases, you multitasking capability, time management, passion for things and hard work.

How do others describe you?
What do you consider your best accomplishment in your last college / job? if any.

Where do you see yourself in next five years?
This is a question intended to know, what are your career aspirations, how long would you be committed to the organization, is there any immediate plans for you to move on etc. If you have an actual plan, explain it with reasoning. If you do not have any specific plans as of then, give a generic answer along with some interesting activity you would like to take up.

Examples:-

  • “I would like to see myself donning one of the senior positions in the organization contributing to technology as well as participating in business growth. I am hoping, I can position myself with relevant experience by then.”
  • “As a fresher, I am assuming by first five years will be a huge learning curve. I want to absorb much of the industry knowledge and also to sharpen my technical abilities. In next five years I see myself playing various roles in the team from a developer to leading a team.”
  • “I would like to see myself as a technical architect in next five years. My core competency is with technologies, and I would like to work and contribute in the field of most recent technologies and advancements. I would like to get take up some of the major technology certifications”

Think about something you consider a failure in your life, and tell me why you think it happened.

If you were hired, what ideas/talents could you contribute to the position or our company?

Are you willing to change your role and profile when required for project?

Are you ready to relocate?

As long as you do not have any compelling reasons, being a fresher it is better to be ready for relocation.

Are you flexible with timings (if have to work in shift)? 

Do you wish to pursue higher education?

If you are seriously considering higher education, it’s wise to say so.

If you are unsure (may be – May not be), your answers could be –

  • “I am interested in higher studies, but not immediately. I want to get started working and then look for higher education based on my experience and career progressions.”

What motivates you?

Sample Answer #1
Primarily, my ability to work hard and delivering result motivates me.  But subsequent recognition of my efforts gives me the encouragement for my next efforts.

Sample Answer #2
Responsibility towards work motivates me the most, and my aim within any company is to move up to greater levels of responsibility to achieve each goal with better responsibilities.

Give an example where you showed leadership, Teamwork and initiative.

Who is the most inspiring person in your life ?
The important part is not who, but why? When you answer this question with a name, you should follow it up with why he / she is most inspiring person.

Examples:-

  • “My greatest inspiration is Sachin Tendulkar. He had such a humble upbringing & his hard work took him to the greatest heights in the world of sports. He still keeps himself rooted and stays humble. I also believe in hard work and humility”.
  • “My greatest inspiration is my dad. He has always thought me to not worry about my weakness and take most advantage of my strengths. This has developed a lot of confidence in me during difficult times.”

Do you have any questions for me?

Questions to ask the employer

  • What are the responsibilities and accountabilities of this position?
  • Please describe an average day on this job (Timings).
  • What are the performance standards? 
  • When will you make the hiring decision?
  • May I call you for the decision?

Telephonic Interview Tips

  • Use the landline
    If you have access to a landline, you would be wise to use it for the phone interview. Mobile drop outs and black holes are phone interview killers. Not only is it the best connection option available, it will show commitment and effort.
  • Eliminate distractions
    Turn off the TV, sit down and have all your phone interview preparation material handy. You need to concentrate a little more during a phone interview so make sure you create or are in a quiet environment.
  • Make a list of questions
    Keep your notes close and put some thought into making a list of pre-written questions. Jot notes down during the phone interview and ask your questions clearly.
  • Speak clearly
    To be sure the interviewer can hear you, ensure you speak directly into the phone or headset. Let the interviewer finish speaking before responding to his/her questions. Be sure to smile while giving your answers; even if the interviewer cannot see you, the tone in your voice will come across as energetic and positive.
  • Use proper etiquette
    After the phone interview it’s a good idea to send the interviewer a thank you note. This would be a good opportunity to also reiterate your key points and show your interest in the role.

Video Interview Tips

How to prepare for a video interview
Video job interviews are becoming more common each year. How can you be sure to impress the hiring manager via webcam? Make sure you’re prepared to get in front of the camera by watching our video interview checklist, or by scrolling down to read more video interview tips.

Preparing for a video interview
Check your surroundings. Be sure to set up your webcam in a quiet, distraction free zone. Make sure the background is free from clutter and embarrassing items like laundry piles. Try to avoid too much background noise like cars passing or ticking clocks.

Equipment check
Get familiar with the webcam and microphone and understand how they work. The audio and video must come through clearly and the camera should be set at eye level. If you have a friend or family member who can assist doing a trial run, this will help prevent potential equipment issues. You’ll be more at ease during the video interview if you do a technical trial run.

Charge your battery
Charge your laptop or tablet the night before. If you are using a tablet be sure to set it up on a solid surface so that the screen doesn’t look shaky.

Lighting check
If you put a light behind your computer your face will be illuminated. This will help avoid shadows.

Appearance
When preparing for a video interview, appearance matters a lot. Even though you are not interviewing face-to-face, you should still wear business attire. To avoid contrast issues, stick to solid colours that aren’t too dark or too light and stay away from stripes and plaids .

Rehearse some video interview questions
Your video camera will have a recording function. Prior to the interview, rehearse your video interview questions and answers direct to camera. It will give you some great insights to how you are delivering your answers so that you can make adjustments in advance, and make you feel more confident in the interview.

General video interview tips

  • Keep it professional. Be sure that if you are using Skype or another video platform your user name is professional just as you would with your email address and social media accounts.
  • Maintain eye contact. Look directly into the camera, try to avoid looking into the centre of the screen. Speak directly into the microphone so the interviewer can hear you clearly.
  • Take a pause. Let the interviewer finish before giving your answers. Digital video streaming can be delayed so take a couple of seconds before responding.
  • Keep your resume close. Finally, it’s not a bad idea to keep your resume close. Just be sure not to look away from the camera too much. Having notes can be a good tool to refer to between the video interview questions.
  • Remember that they can see you. Unlike a phone interview, the interviewer can see you. It may seem obvious, but in the midst of delivering an answer, it’s easy to forget that you are on camera. Remember to smile and come across as warm and personable. You have more opportunity to connect and bond with the interviewer than in a phone interview, so use it to your advantage.

If you follow these video interview tips, you’ll be more likely to make a great first impression and hopefully score the job — or at least a second interview.

Examples of IT interview Questions

To help you prepare, here are seven IT interview questions that are designed to elicit more targeted responses and better insights into your individual fit for the job on offer:

Tell me about a recent project or process that you made better, faster, smarter or more efficient
Employers today need IT professionals who understand the big-picture impact of their work. You should be able to explain how your efforts can make a difference for the employer by using concrete examples of past projects you have worked on, the challenges you overcame, and most importantly, the result you delivered for the company.

You’ve just been assigned to a project involving a new technology. How would you get started?
This question is designed to give insight into how you handle technology products with which you have less expertise. What steps have you taken to overcome a knowledge gap and ensure that you still get things done on time? IT interview questions such as these are also aimed to gauge how well you handle challenges and deal with stress.

What technology-related blogs, podcasts or websites do you follow? Do you share any information online?
One of the must-ask IT interview questions by employers is to check whether you are staying up to date on trends. Do you have a sincere interest in IT and keep up on changes in the field and your industry? With technology rapidly changing in today’s digital age, it’s crucial to demonstrate your background knowledge of the IT industry during the job interview stage.

How do you keep your technology skills current?
Have you taken online classes, or do you spend some of your spare time coding or troubleshooting technology issues? Have you taken on work projects in areas of tech that you wanted to learn more about? These IT interview questions are designed to explore how actively you’re involved in the IT industry and whether your interest could contribute to the role on offer.

What three character traits would your friends use to describe you?
While not technical, this question can clue the employer into your personality characteristics or qualities that may not be apparent through the resume or IT interview questions. Make sure you have a list of character traits that you believe you can demonstrate in the role you’re applying for. If you’re unsure about what those traits may be, ask a friend who may work in the same industry or a former colleague if they can share some insight into what they believe are positive traits that you can contribute to a company.

Can you tell me about a time when things didn’t go the way you wanted at work, such as a project that failed or being passed over for a promotion?
Everyone deals with professional disappointment at some point. What employers want to know is how you handle these situations. The best candidates will use setbacks as springboards toward positive changes, such as getting a certification that will help position themselves for advancement next time there’s an opportunity. This question is about understanding how well you overcome challenges and you’re perseverance to continue working towards a goal.

What are your favorites and least favorite technology products, and why?
In addition to learning more about whether you like the products you use at your company, this question helps employers gauge your enthusiasm and knowledge. Do you get animated when discussing the benefits of certain tools? Do you seem to have a solid grasp of the positive and negative features of different technologies?
Remember to have a list of questions ready toward the end of the job interview to ask the employer. This is not only beneficial to your employer’s time – it also helps you find out more about the job you’re applying for. For instance, you may reconsider your interest if the work culture of the company doesn’t suit you. Preparing for your next job interview with these IT interview questions could change your fortune and readiness for the role you’re applying for. Like most important steps in your career, it’s all about your preparation.

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