Wednesday, June 9, 2010

interview skills

EFFECTIVE INTERVIEW SKILLS Life is full of challenges. We meet many confront in our daily life. When we are at the stage of entering school/college/university, we face many hard nut cracking challenges and learn many lessons of practical life through them. After acquiring graduation/post graduation, students usually move towards their specialization or adopt a profession of their choices, according to their own interest, keeping in view the market demand. Talents and Skills are the only tools, which could lead an individual towards the door of success in this challenging time. To qualify for a professional degree or a job, one should have strong past educational background along with integrated multi dimensional skills. It’s of no use acquiring higher degree without building character, confidence, and expressive personality. To meet the challenges of professional life, one has to be familiar with many skills to grab the attention of an interviewer, out of which Interview skills are the basic necessities to meet up the future challenges with success. Either you are applying for a job or want to qualify an entrance examination for a professional degree; you should have to be prepared in advance for an interview. It’s the only way you through which you can gain the trust of an interviewer. An interviewer always attempt to decide that why they should select you? What are the qualities, which you have and other do not have? How can you benefit their organization? If you can show your trust, your confidence, your commitment, and appropriate skills, then you could win a successful future. Interview is a form of oral communication. It’s one to one, or one to group interaction, where an applicant proves themselves as a unique person to be the part of an organization. Remember that interview is always pre-planned and structured. It’s a formal presentation between an interviewer and an interviewee. Only those pass it with flying colours, who are original and show their interest with confidence and who present themselves appealing. There are many types of interview like Information gathering interview, appraisal interview, exit interview, hiring interview, college/ university interview, persuasive interview, counseling interview and many more. In this article, we are going to learn about College/ university entrance and Hiring interview. Hiring/Entrance Interview is one of the best known and the most widely experienced type of interview, where an interviewer is taken by Human Resource Manager/ Educational Expertise. To reduce your chances being rejected, here are some basic professional skills, which will lead you towards the path of success in your interview. BEFORE INTERVIEW First of all, prepare your mind in advance, that you are going to have an interview next morning. Relax yourself and do not get nervous, tense or tired at any cost. Before going for an interview, pre-planned few things: 1. Learn about the company, organization or educational institution and do some research in advance. 2. Why should you perform an advance research? 3. Simply to develop good answers and to prove yourself unique. 4. What you have to Research? 5. You can gather information about organizational structure; type of their clients/ students; departments and its branches; past and present achievements etc. Simply search yellow pages or ask your friend or family member/relative who are familiar about organization or you can collect information through newspapers and websites. Prepare answers to typical questions. Practice your answer and never rote learn it. Here are few of the sampling questions, which you can practice in advance. 1. What do you feel about our organization? 2. What are your weaknesses? 3. Why do you want to become a part of our organization? 4. Tell me about your self and about your hobbies. 5. Who is your role model and why? If you are lucky to know the name of a person, who will interview you, then memorizes his/her name properly. Decide what to wear. Remember to Dress simply but elegantly. Dress should be well ironed without crease. Wear comfortable shoes. remember to wear basic hosiery. You can even check what management wears and dress similarly without over kill. Do not Dress casual or wear Athletic Shoes. Do not spray lots of cologne or wear lots of jewellery. Do not wear wrinkled attire or flashing tie. Prepare your file having your portfolio, educational degree copies and extra copies of your resume. Find proper address in advance, that where are you going in the morning. Last but not the least;get a good night sleep. ON THE DAY OF INTERVIEW Take a bath. Do not apply heavy makeup. Always carry a purse or a small handy briefcase with you. Do carry your portfolio file. Dress effectively. Do not eat anything containing garlic or onion in your breakfast. Arrive 15 minutes earlier to show your prompt and seriousness. DURING INTERVIEW Start it off winner. Offer your hand and give a firm shake, else greet them with your pleasant smile. Take a permission to sit on a chair. Show a positive confident attitude and introduce yourself. Don’t get tense. Be comfortable and face the interviewer effectively. Listen to their questions effectively and answer it genuinely. Answer every question with confidence. Have a proper eye contact towards your interviewer. Remember that the interviewer might be more than one, so keep your eye contact with every individual interviewer to make them feel unique. Whatever you want to answer, speak clearly with a normal tempo voice. Do not shout. Show your confidence level at every moment of an interview. Show your certifications or achievements only when they ask you to show. Always sit straight. It might help them to analyze your personality and your traits. Use the medium of answer, in which you feel comfortable. Remember to use good grammar and strong vocabulary with neutral accent. Always clarify your answer. Do not say Yes or No. Never complains about your past organization or employees. While giving effective answers. Do not argue and always give respect to your interviewer. Always keep neutral thinking and try to mould your answer according to your interviewer personality. Do not eat chewing gum, while answering questions. If they give you a chance to ask any query or question, only ask relevant question. TRADITIONAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS Few of the traditional interview questions, which an organization might ask are 1. Tell me about yourself (in two minutes). 2. Why do you feel that you will be successful in ...? 3. Why did you decide to interview with our organization? 4. Are you willing to relocate? 5. Tell me about your scholastic record. 6. Tell me about your extra-curricular activities and interests. 7. What are your strengths and weaknesses? 8. Why should we hire you? 9. Why did you choose to become a teacher, nurse,...? 10. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years? 11. Why do you want to leave your current job? AFTER INTERVIEW With a pleasing smile, say thanks and ask about the next step in the process. Follow up. Call them if you do not get a call within a given time frame and don't forget to write a thank you letter to an organization for taking out their precious time for your interview. Few reasons for not getting a job. Might be you lack oral communication skills or writing skills. Your inappropriate attitude could also let you down in your interview. Lack of knowledge about the working world. Lack of confidence. Inappropriate/fake degree. Lack of experience. Lack of motivation. PRACTICE INTERVIEW SKILLS. CHIN UP AND GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT INTERVIEW ! By Santosh chaudhary Interviewing Techniques Preparation Before you walk into any interview, you should know as much about the company and the position as you possibly can. If you found the position through a placement agency, they should be able to provide that information for you. If not, search the web or go to the library. In today’s world of mass communication, there’s no excuse for lack of research. After you have studied the company, write out a list of questions to ask the employer. Why is this position available? Will there be opportunities for further training? What are your goals for this position? What obstacles will I need to overcome to succeed? How will my performance be evaluated? Are there opportunities for promotion? What growth do you anticipate for your firm? No one can predict the exact questions that an interviewer will ask, but you can rehearse your resume and get a good idea of a few important questions that the employer is likely to ask. To prepare, think about how you would answer the following questions: Tell me about yourself? (professionally) Review your career, education and other strengths? What do you know about our organization? Why are you interested in this position? What are your most significant career achievements? Describe a situation in which your work was criticized? How would you describe your personality? How do you perform under pressure? How have you improved yourself over the past year? What did you like least about your last position? Why are you leaving your present company? What is your ideal working environment? How would your coworkers describe you? What do you think of your boss? Have you ever fired anyone? What was the situation and how did you handle it? Are you creative? What are your goals in your career? Where do you see yourself in two years? Why should we hire you? What kind of salary are you looking for? What other types of jobs are you considering? Interview Do's and Dont's To Do's -- Arrive 15 minutes early. Late attendance is never excusable. Clarify questions. Be sure you answered the questions the employer really asked. Get the interviewer to describe the position and responsibilities early in the conversation so you can relate your skills and background to the position throughout the interview. Give your qualifications. Stress the accomplishments that are most pertinent to the job. Conduct yourself professionally. Be aware of what your body language is saying. Smile, make eye contact, don’t slouch and maintain composure. Anticipate tough questions. Prepare in advance so you can turn apparent weaknesses into strengths. Dress appropriately. Make your first impression a professional one. Ask questions throughout the interview. An interview should be a mutual exchange of information, not a one-sided conversation. Listen. This is probably the most important "do" of all. By concentrating not only on the employer’s words, but also on the tone of voice and body language, you will be able to pick up on the employer’s style. Once you understand how a hiring authority thinks, pattern your answers accordingly and you will be able to better relate to him or her. Not To Do's -- Don’t answer vague questions. Rather than answering questions you think you hear, get the employer to be more specific and then respond. Never interrupt the employer. If you don’t have time to listen, neither does the employer. Don’t smoke, chew gum or place anything on the employer’s desk. Don’t be overly familiar, even if the employer is doing all of these things. Don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne. Don’t ramble. Long answers often make the speaker sound apologetic or indecisive. On the other hand, don’t answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible. Do not lie. Answer questions as truthfully as possible. Do not make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers or companies. Too many people second-guess themselves after an interview. By closing strongly and asking the right questions, you can eliminate the post-interview doubts that tend to plague most interviewees. If you feel that the interview went well and you would like to take the next step, express your interest to the hiring authority and turn the tables a bit. Try something like the following: "After hearing more about your company, the position and the responsibilities at hand, I am certain that I possess the qualities that you are looking for in the (title) position. Based on our conversation and my qualifications, are there any issues or concerns that you have that would lead you to believe otherwise?" You have a right to be assertive. This is a great closing question because it opens the door for the hiring authority to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, this is a great opportunity to overcome them. You have one final chance to dispel the concerns, sell your strengths and end the interview on positive note. A few things to remember during the closing process: Don’t be discouraged if no definite offer is made or specific salary discussed. The interviewer will probably want to communicate with the office first, or interview other applicants, before making a decision. Make sure you answer the following two questions: "why are you interested in the company?," and "what can you offer?" Express thanks for the interviewer’s time and consideration. Ask for their business card so you can write a thank you letter as soon as possible. When you get in your car, immediately write down key issues uncovered during the interview. Think of the qualifications the employer is looking for and match your strengths to them. This follow-up processes is very critical. A "thank you" letter should be written no later than 24 hours after the interview. Top Going for an interview can seem a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be unduly stressful or scary. The better prepared you are for an interview, the better you will feel and perform, and the better your chance of being hired. Good communication is the key to a good interview; you need to know what you want and why you are there, and be able to convey that to the employer. You are trying to convince the employer that you would be a positive and beneficial addition to their company or business. Preparing for the Interview Know yourself. Know what your personal and career goals are, and how they fit with the company’s goals. It can be a good idea to do some research on the company beforehand, to get an idea of what it does, what it believes in and even who the company works with or competes against. You should also study the job description carefully, and be able to talk about the skills you have that are listed in that description, as well as other skills that may apply to the position. Be able to discuss where or how you acquired these skills, and how you might best put them to use for the company. Practice answering questions. While this may seem silly, it will go a long way to preparing you for an interview. Nerves and adrenaline make people inclined to rush or babble, two things that should be avoided during an interview. Practicing beforehand will help to combat this. Most interviews will consist of fairly similar questions. Some will, of course, be specific to the job and company, but you will likely always be asked about past jobs, past projects, hobbies and interests, your ability to work as part of a team and/or to be a leader. Keep your answers brief and to the point, without leaving out any important information. Always focus on the positive. Dress well. Regardless of a winning personality or stunning intelligence, much of a first impression is based on physical appearance. Follow the old adage to “dress for success” and demonstrate by your attire and how you carry yourself that you are professional, organized and confident. During the Interview The first few minutes are crucial; studies have shown that interviewers form their overall impression of applicants within the first four minutes of the interview. Be sure to keep in mind the following basic things: • Stand tall. • Make eye contact. • Shake hands firmly. • Be polite; use the formal address of Mr., Ms., unless invited to do otherwise. • Wait for invitation; do not sit until invited to do so. Sit straight and tall and look attentive and enthusiastic. All of these things indicate that you want to be there and that you are calm, confident and professional. What to Expect All interviews have certain basic elements in common. When you first arrive, the interviewer will likely try to put you at your ease with some small talk. This may include discussion of the weather or current events, or questions about your interests and hobbies. Respond appropriately. Be warm and conversational, but don’t ramble. Remember that your hobbies, your life in general, will reflect to the employer who you are and what kind of employee you might be. The body of the interview will likely begin with the interviewer giving a detailed description of the job. This is an opportunity for you to ask intelligent questions and demonstrate what you know about the position and the company. The main portion of the interview is all about you, the applicant. You will be asked to answer questions about yourself: your skills, applicable studies and training, past work experience, etc. Remember to make eye contact, keep your answers succinct but thorough, and focus on the positive. Be enthusiastic and use good grammar; do your best to avoid too many “um”s, “ah”s, “you know”s and other such fillers. Don’t fidget or exhibit other distracting nervous mannerisms, and don’t offer any negative information about yourself or criticize previous employers. Remember, this is your chance to make a great impression in person and get the job you want. Make sure you are well prepared and practice answering questions before the interview. During the interview be sure to make eye contact, shake hands firmly, sit up straight and show enthusiasm. Be confident and give it your best.

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