‘What you say is almost as important as how you say it” – Anonymous”
Interview, as google and oxford languages say, refers to a meeting of people face to face. An interview necessarily doesn’t have to be for a job, some other possible categories are psychology-based, marketing-based, journalism-based interviews. Every category is unique in its own way. The point of focus right now is going to be an employment-based interview.
An interview is one of the first impressions you create on the mind of the employer. It is not just a series of questions and answers, but a lot more than that. A job interview is actually not a test of your knowledge, but your ability to use it at the right time. There is a popular saying “First Impression is the last impression” and when it comes to an interview it is more accurate because in most cases it is the first and the last interaction between interviewee and interviewer i.e. the only opportunity to prove yourself in front of the interviewer. So, it must go well. Although the base of a good interview is pretty much summed up in the quote above, still certain points need to consider to avoid handling the “worst interview”.
William Shakespeare has well said that “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late”. We never know what letting the interviewer wait for even a minute can cost us. It is better to arrive at the point of an interview at least fifteen minutes before the desired time. Even in the case of a virtual or online interview ensure that you join the virtual waiting room at least five minutes before. Respecting time is as important as respecting your work.
The first point of judgment in any interview starts from the moment you step into the room, it is the way you look, everything else comes later. Remember, it is not about the face you have, but about the way you are presenting that face, a confident smile can do miracles that even makeup can’t. Your body starting from the tip of your hairs to the tip of your shoes, everything shows the kind of person you are. Well-groomed hair, outfit matching to the kind of job you are looking forward to, neat shoes, etc all play a vital role in describing you. Even the smallest stain on your shirt can be a stain on your career, never forget. Dress up for success.
Things would have been different a few decades back but considering the kind of time we all live in, there is a little devil that resides in each and everyone’s pocket, i.e. a smartphone. Try and get rid of the device at least half an hour before the prescribed interview time. The simple reason behind this is to avoid distractions, you never know which notification can turn out to be a disaster for your interview. Invest your time in basic breathing meditations or going through your resume instead in those final moments.
Well, this is something that starts from the very moment you think about applying for a certain company. Research is done by the interviewee about the company always plays a crucial role. You must be aware of the job profile you are applying for, details about the company, the kind of services they deal with, some recent news or popular discussions related to them (if any). In addition to this, some insider information might be helpful to enhance your preparation although it is not at all necessary.
Good answers are really important in an interview. But what really is a good answer? Should you share all the information you have about any particular question? No, unless it is really needed by the interviewer. Your answer in general terms should be short and sweet. Try and avoid small talks, try to make your answers to the point. Remember it’s not your school essay, where you ought to fill the complete page.
Your interview room might be fully equipped, well organized, and having everything beautiful enough to catch an eye, but you still need to make sure that you maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Failing to make an eye-contact, staring at the ceiling or walls, or your own shoes shows a lack of self-confidence. To avoid it, make an eye-contact with the interviewer. Remember, gazing and maintaining eye contact are two different things.
In the past year, the global pandemic has hit all of us in a worse way. One big impact of this has been education, jobs, and several other things shifting to online mode. Although, online interviews used to happen before the pandemic too, they have gained popularity in these hard times. Considering that, some factors related specifically to online interviews should certainly be kept in mind.
Due to the pandemic, most of us are giving our interviews from home. An important thing to keep in mind is that make sure you don’t make it feel way too much at home. Your background must be clean and sophisticated. Make sure the audio and video are proper before you start with the interview. Try to ensure no distractions or disturbances are caused by your family members. Your outfit should follow the rules discussed previously, even though most of it won’t be visible through the camera, still it would add certain professionalism and confidence in mind.
This is the biggest problem with the culture of online interviews, lectures, etc. Don’t make assumptions that the person on the other side can’t notice your actions if they are not directly visible to them. Do not try to act over-smart. Assure that you sit on a proper chair, your device camera should be at perfect level concerning your face and should have a proper focus on you. Avoid leaning as it makes you appear too close to the camera. You can even have a test run for all this before the interview.
This particular point is especially for the people who wear spectacles as a visual aid. You need to make sure that nothing other than your meeting software is opened on your device or any other device around you as whatever you are looking at its reflection will be clearly visible to your interviewer through the lens in your specs. Do not try to fool the interviewer, you are facing one of him, he deals with tonnes of you. So, it’s better that you prepare beforehand rather than opening details on your screen during the interview.
Just like in an offline interview many people often tend to make the mistake of not making an eye-contact and looking at the floor, ceiling, or any other place instead, when it comes to an online interview, we fail to make an eye-contact. So, instead of constantly looking at your own image on the screen it’s better to look at your device camera, it would help to make direct eye contact. Please note that while the interviewer is talking or asking the question it is ok if you look at his video to understand things better, although maintaining eye contact is always preferable.
Before starting with the interview make sure that you have proper connectivity. Also, in case of any mishappening always make sure you have a backup connectivity source. Along with this, as soon as the interview starts make sure to ask the interviewer if he can see and listen to you properly. It is recommended not to proceed in case of technical issues as the interviewer might face challenges in focusing and it can reflect on your result. If necessary, you may ask for a quick connection reboot.
Although the list of similar mistakes is never-ending and only limited & important ones can be discussed, but again it sums up to just one line, “What you say is almost as important as how you say it”. So, remember that everything starting from your attire, tone, way of speaking, etc place an important role. Take the interview as if there are only two people in the entire world, you and the interviewer, forget that anything other than that even exists and focus. Make sure you are prepared well and you know what you are about to say. Keep these little things in mind and who knows, you might have the “Best Interview Ever”.
SECTION – A