Preparing for the Interview (part 3)

In last articles of this series, we gave you
glimpses of the interview process. By now, we have discussed why interview
process is important for the interviewer and for the candidate. We have
discussed what the interviewer is looking for in the interview process. We have
also discussed how to mentally prepare and present yourself at the interview
venue. In one phrase-
“Be professional and mean Business.”
In an
earlier article we had also talked about the two types of interview and gave
you a brief idea on how to prepare for the technical round of the interview. If
you are preparing for technical roles and not very high in the organization
chart roles, then the two-three articles will take care of you perfectly fine.
But everybody progresses and sooner or later (we will pray sooner) you will be
dealing with the most grueling parts of the interview.

The Interview

In the previous article we discussed what
preparations you need to do before reaching the interview venue or rather
interview room. Once you are called for interview, gather your things from the
lobby, follow the person who called you. Unless you are showed inside, it is
always better to knock and ask for permission before you enter the room. Firmly
shake hands if the interviewers are offering, or a polite hello would suffice.
Take chair when you are offered. Try not to
drag the chair a lot, but do not be uncomfortable. Appropriately distance the
chair from the table. You may place the file on the table. Pass it to
interviewer when they ask for it. They probably already have your resume, but
it is always better to carry an extra copy at the top of your file. If you want
water, you may ask for it politely. But it is better to do so at the beginning
of the interview process itself.
Now, we are ready to face the interviewer.

Introduce Yourself

Invariably, 95% of the interviews begin with
customary “Tell me about yourself.” This may seem mundane, even unnecessary.
After all they have your full CV and your file. There is everything that you
ever did or achieved! Why they cannot just go through that. Why this stupid
question! But remember, there are no unnecessary questions. This first
open-ended question is your opportunity to give direction to the interview
Since this is such a common question, it is better
to practice answering such questions. Self-introduction reveals lot many more
things about you than you can imagine. Practice short crisp answers. Something
between 1-2 minutes is a decent length introduction. Do not rush, go
chronologically. Leave no important details out, but do not drag the answer.
And most importantly, personalise the answer. Do not sound like machine. Speak
clearly and calmly. Add personal details such as hobbies, your city etc
wherever suitable.
We will be discussing few more of such common
questions in the latter articles.
Good Luck!