Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cracking the interview - And getting a father in law if you fail!

There is a SOS call in my mail. It is from Vineet from Kota. “ Help me please. I have an interview on Monday. I am a small town boy. And I lack self confidence. Can you give me some tips please? Also what is this Myers Briggs test? “ I promised to write to him once I smell my coffee. The thoughtful guy said write a blog so others like me too can benefit. so here we go!

First of all, Vineet, perish the thought that you lack confidence. I find you pretty bold. The very fact that you had the courage to seek help shows that. Confidence is a state of mind. You can be confident if you are well prepared. And remember its just an interview not a war. No one is going to bloody die! So why be nervous? Just give it your best shot. Its OK if you fail. But I would be disappointed if you are under prepared.

So let’s start from the very first. When you enter the room , the first thing that catches the eye is your Look. So personal grooming is very important. See that you have clean nails, properly shaved , well combed and your shoes are sparkling. In short, if the interviewer has a daughter, he must feel ah, he’s the right guy for her!!!! ( Chances are the girl may reject! Oh my God. Papa ko pasand aya . nerd hoga)

Your dress need not be expensive but clean. Remember this is not the Glad rags. It’s a serious interview. So go for a dark trouser and a light plain shirt. I would go for a white or a light blue. Go for a matching tie. When in doubt dress conservative. If you don’t know how to tie a knot, just give me a shout, I will email or call you and explain. A mild perfume would be the perfect finish.

Remember , smile is the perfect passport ! Be natural. Don’t look like Meg Ryan after her botox treatment. Ooze confidence. Show positive energy. But avoid like you had an attack of epilepsy!

A firm yet light handshake is enough. Never offer a limp hand nor clutch the interviewer in a vice grip. If he winces in pain, don’t except any mercy when he gives you marks.

Sit straight yet comfortable. I would underline - be NATURAL.

Look straight into the interviewer’s eyes. Keep a smile on your face and reply crisp. Don’t get verbose. Also don’t make it a question and answer session. Engage him in conversation. Try to steer him to your strengths. The interviewer generally asks a question based on your previous answer.

Avoid any negative comment. If there is a panel see that you look at everyone. Not at just the guy who thinks you are right for his daughter.

Read your resume a hazaar times till you know every word. And remember finally its your technical knowledge that counts. So prepare hard. Most questions can be expected from your project.

Make a research on the company you are applying for. You will get all of it on the net. Let them know that you have done the homework by casually dropping information about the company.

Think as an interviewer. Think what he could possibly ask. Write your answers on a paper. Be prepared for questions like why do you want to join our company. Never give very flattering answers. They are experienced and can detect phony answers. I would rather you say something like my project was on Materials handling and I see a great potential in your company. It looks credible.

Since this is your first job try to show that you are a team player. Try to remember the memberships of various clubs you were a member of.
They don’t need leaders at this stage. Maybe you could show them some leadership qualities like say you were the Captain of your Cricket team. But try to focus on team player. I would rather have a player than a Captain if I interviewed a fresher.

Don’t be scared of rejections. When I first went to UK, I joined a Marketing research Company. It involved door to door interviews. Trust me I had more door slammed on my face in a week than you will have rejections in your entire career. I still remember the cold and blustery nights. One night I forgot to take my gloves and I returned home without a single interview but with lots of frost bites!

And I survived ! I see no reason why you wouldn’t.

Another time I walked about 4 miles to go for an interview. The hiring manager was a black man. A very kind hearted guy. His words still ring in my ears. He said , “ I am going to recommend you as highly as I can. But I don’t know if my company can afford you. You have recently arrived from India. All I want to say is just don’t give up. You have far too many skills for this country to ignore.”

Trust me. You will do well too. All you need is sincerity and perseverance.

Now about the Mayers Briggs test, well it’s a psychometric test which is now mandatory in the west in all interviews. They give you a set of questions and try to judge what kind of personality you have. So there is no right and wrong answers really.

Good luck Vineet. I may have missed a lot of things. If I remember it I will email you.
Aur kya kahoon? “ Chak de phatte!!!!!!!”

Last night a dear friend dropped in from Orlando. So took him to a bar called Hooters.
My eyes caught a board , Park your bike in the parking space and your butt inside.

That led me to think about the American’s fascination with their derriere.

Everyday I used to wake up hearing my neighbor marching her three sons to school
, “ come on Kids move your ass. We will be late for school. “

My trainer in the Gym is also very literate and very flowery in his comments” Bust your ass, Suddeeeeeeeeer. That fat wont just go away” And my Insurance agent has a unique way of apologizing whenever she doesn’t understand something.” Hey forgive me for being a pain in your ass but …… …”

i know guys your are all busy BUTT give this a thought! and as for me.....

I have been sitting on my most precious asset for long . need to give it a break.

So long.!!!! And join me in wishing Vineet Good Luck.

1 comment:

  1. i think the advise was excellent it will help many young people thanks sudhir