Cracking an interview is neither an art nor science. Then what is it? It is commerce! Surprised? Don’t be! If you will search the meaning of commerce, the dictionary.com definition, the first one would read: ‘trade.’ Yes, Interview is a trade, you try your best to sell yourself and the interviewer waits to gather enough reasons to buy you.
The second meaning is: ‘social relations; especially the exchange of views and attitudes.’ Interview is indeed your ‘five minutes to fame’ moment because you suddenly become the rising superstar of your building and hero of your Mohalla. Yesterday you were unemployed, today you are brimming with the hope of being employed, and your Facebook status changes from merely a student to ‘employed’, your stature skyrockets and the share market feels an upsurge as the country’s youth attains employment, racing ahead with the economy on his shoulders. Interview thus becomes your own ‘rags to riches’ story because yesterday you were broke; today you begin to hear the music of money in your bank account in near future.
The third says, ‘intellectual or spiritual interchange. ’Interview is certainly a test of mental acumen and the ability to give prompt responses in an apparently tensed ambience. If intellectual means poised then an interview is certainly the test of composure navigating itself in a sea of anxiety. Moreover, if spiritual is synonymous with a personal experience then walking back home from an interview is certainly a spiritual journey of deep introspection, retrospection and personal analysis. Interview is all of the above. Cracking an interview is then commerce. Wouldn’t you agree?
Let us understand the commerce of an interview through an interview because the right answers are the result of right questions.
1. What is the most important aspect of an interview?
You? Not as yet. In fact, you feature last on the list. The most important feature of an interview is your resume. Your resume is your voice on mute mode. It is your introduction before the interview. It is important to select a simple and clear resume format and divide information and skills separately. You should choose your words wisely. Your vocabulary should reflect hard work not arrogance. A crisp cover letter, which reflects intelligence and innocence, would work like icing on the cake.
2. What if my Resume reflects career gaps?
Your resume can have gaps but you also have your reasons. You can explain your reasons in the interview. The reasons should seem necessary and significant enough to justify the gap.
3. What can be I judged on in the interview?
In addition to proper clothes, tidy appearance, punctuality and knowledge about the company and position applied for, you would be judged on the basis of your expressive abilities. Interview is not an art; communication is. It is both an art and a science. It is a science because you should be able to communicate your resume clearly and precisely and it is an art because you should be skillful enough to neither underestimate the interviewer nor overestimate yourself.
4. How should I prepare for an interview?
Moderation is the best preparation. You should keep your right and left wing views aside and keep your mind in the center. Simply put, keep extremism at bay. Your responses should be realistic as well as solution oriented.
5. How should I address the most clichéd opening question, ‘tell me about yourself’
One simple approach is to give a brief about your personal interests and profession skills. As a fresher, it is not about ‘what you have done’ but ‘what you can do’, ‘what are you good at’ and ‘what makes you interesting.’ Also, you are allowed to ask a question for a question. If you don’t understand the statement or if you feel the question/statement is too broad for an answer, feel free to ask, ‘can you be more specific?’
6. How should I prepare for an interview when I don’t have any interview?
Learn. Knowledge is power. Power instills confidence. Search for a relevant certification pertaining to your field of study that can help you to enhance your technical knowledge. Continue learning even when you are not interviewing because preparing for an interview should be a work in progress.
7. What is the best way to crack interviews?
Interview is an interaction full of permutations and combinations. The best way to crack interviews is to listen to the questions carefully and respond politely. A good listener is a better communicator.
Remember, an Interview is like wind. It can come anytime from anywhere. Sometimes like a delayed answer to a prolonged prayer, at other times like a miracle, it may call you on your number when you least expect it. So keep the above steps in mind and be prepared to put your best foot forward.
About the Author
Ms Neha Sharma Jha is a professional CAT, GMAT, GRE,SAT, TOEFL, IELTS and ESL English Trainer, GD/PI Instructor, Life Skills Coach, Author , Content writer, Educational Modules Designer, and English Literature faculty. She also holds MA and M.Phil degrees in English along with being a certified TESOL Instructor.
Her core areas of expertise include: Life Skills Training, Entrance Exam Training, Personality Makeover, GD/ PI training, Business Communication Skills, Soft Skills and Corporate Training
She has also authored a book titled ‘Ctrl+ Alt but don't always Delete’.