As you reach your final year of engineering programme, placement concerns begin hovering into your mind. No doubt, your first step towards your long-term career depends on how you carry yourself before the interviewers during your campus placement or off-campus job interviews.
1. Make a crisp resume
Your resume is a window to present yourself briefly. It should contain bold headlines highlighting your key academic achievements and highlights of your extra-curricular activities. Frame a crisp intro and keep your CV short preferably lasting for one-two pages.
“In interview, you explain the points you have mentioned in the resume and this defines your communication skills in first two minutes. Your resume should not exceed two pages, however one page is ideal. We don’t need a thesis on your life’s journey,” says Sanjiv Narayan, Managing Director, Calypto Design Systems.
A crisp resume with all the necessary details about your professional experience till date is very effective. Try to picture in mind the success story, which you have mentioned in the resume and you are going to tell at the interview.
“Recruiters are not interested in your auto-biography but in you and in the value you can add to the organization. Don’t write something that you don’t understand. You should be always clear that you are the one who deserve this job,” says Aparna Saraagi, Vice-President, RBS.
2. Research on interviewer and organisation
It always helps you to know about the interviewer and the company before appearing for a job interview as it helps in figuring out some of the expected questions that can be asked during the interview.
“Candidates should make ample of research about the interviewer and a company before appearing for a job interview. It is actually worth,” says Deepak Goel, CTO, Packback Books.
3. Ignore common mistakes:
After entering the interview hall, candidates do some common mistakes. It’s better to list out those mistakes and beware of them during interview.
“Be yourself, make eye-contact with your interviewers and always follow your values. Be truthful, honest and humble but make sure your humanity should not be mistaken as quietness. Don’t be aggressive,” says Jai P Menon, says Group Director, HT Media.
Other common mistakes committed by candidates during job interview include chewing pencils, nervousness, being casual etc. Experts suggest that you should not be overconfident while sitting before the interviewers.
4. Right body language, proper dress
Body Language: Right body language and formal dress code always get plus points for you. You are going to be tested not only for what you know about your area of expertise but also on how you present yourself at the interview.
Meet the interviewers warmly. It’s good and appreciable if you offer a strong handshake to them. Strong handshake shows warmth and enthusiasm. Experts advise candidates to look like a mature person. Being a little imperfect is not bad. After all, nobody is perfect. Smile on your face reflects a charming personality.
“Do mature things. It’s okay to be imperfect. At least wear a smile on your face, be well dressed, be straight forward and do your basics correct,” says Aparna Saraagi, Vice-President, RBS.
Dressing sense: Formal dress code is recommended for a job interview but there is no need to wear a nice suit and tie which you don’t own.
“It was 10-20 years back when wearing a nice suit and tie was important. Now, what is more important is to be crisp, clean and sharp,” says Jai P Menon, says Group Director, HT Media.
However, some interviewers are more critical about your dressing sense as Rajat Mishra, CEO, Efkon India Pvt Ltd says, “Content is more important, however, you cannot negate presentation. Your dressing sense is a part of your presentation.”
5. Show interest and mutual commitment
During the interview, show your interest in the job that you are going to be assigned if you get selected. It should be reflected on the interviewer that your job priorities are not going to change very soon. Don’t go for temporary plans, otherwise many resources exploited by the organization during job interview are wasted, and also the candidate loses your goodwill.
“It’s a match-making exercise comprising mutual commitment between you and organization. You need them as much as they need you. So, both you and the organization should be comfortable with each other. It’s like a marriage. ‘We’ and ‘us’ are more important than ‘I’ and ‘me’,” says Jai P Menon, says Group Director, HT Media.
6. Have grip on domain but don’t be stubborn
Clear basics and concepts: Basics and concepts of your subjects should be very clear in your mind and you should have a strong grip on your domain. Still, a learning attitude is always appreciable.
“Acknowledge your specialization in a domain and share your insights with the interviewers. Show your interest in applying what you have learnt. Show your eagerness and keenness towards the things. Also, show that you are practical, pragmatic, open and hungry for learning,” says Jai P Menon, says Group Director, HT Media.
Avoid being stubborn and humorous: If at some point during job interview, your views get conflicted with those of the interviewer’s, be confident and stick to your point, but don’t be stubborn. Leave it and if needed, just say ‘I may be wrong. I will check it again’.
“Your job is to get a job, not to prove the interviewer wrong. Being stubborn and being confident are two different things. On the other hand, humor is good and being humorous is all right but it also may go wrong, so better to avoid it,” says Sanjiv Narayan, Managing Director, Calypto Design Systems.
7. Be prepared for ‘Beginning’ and ‘End’
Beginning and end are very important part of anything in life, even in an interview. Beginning of an interview makes your first impression on the interviewers and they almost decide whether or not you are fit for the job. End of the interview draws your last impression, immediately after which evaluation is done.
First 3-minutes are crucial: Don’t ignore the importance of first three minutes of your interview. These three minutes are going to be judgmental.
“First three minutes are very important in an interview. The panel makes a decision in three minutes and in the next thirty minutes, it just tries to validate the decision,” Navyoug Mahnot, CEO QAI India Ltd.
Speak well-framed sentences and be very particular about your body language. If these three minutes go well, your half work is done.
“Not only sentences, it is body language, eye-contacting ability, sharing of ideas and forming of sentences, which play crucial role in a candidate’s selection. Be prepared for the first three minutes. Play it in a sequence as a movie in your mind before appearing in the interview,” Navyug Mahnot, CEO QAI India Ltd.
How to conclude interview: After an interview, whether your performance was up-to-the-mark or not, it is desirable to thank the interviewer. Here is also an opportunity to show your interest in the job. So do it.
“Show more interest in the job and try to show if you get selected how your day would be like. Never forget to say thanks with mentioning your reason of thanking them,” says Aparna Saraagi, Vice-President, RBS.
8. Handle stress level
Many candidates find it difficult to handle stress level before an interview. Being stressed is natural but you should learn to clear it off.
“An optimum level of stress is needed and is natural with all of us. Once you come to know about it, you will be able to beat it. Do not bother about it. Just take a long breathe and nervousness will go away,” says Ashok Kumar, IPS-IG.
9. What’s your weakness?
Interviewers generally ask your strengths and weaknesses at the interview. You may have a long list to tell about your strengths but it is not the right place to mention your weaknesses. Many candidates get confused what to do at this moment. Try to mention few weaknesses that seem to be plus points for the job and the organization.
“Never show your real weaknesses. Show those weaknesses which seem good to be harvested. Choose a weakness you want to talk about. Be very contextual about your weaknesses,” says Sanjiv Narayan, Managing Director, Calypto Design Systems.
10. Ask about organization’s growth
It’s a mutual commitment and an understanding of give-and-take formula between you and the organization. However, when you get an opportunity to ask a question at the interview, don’t ask about your own growth or what the organization can give you. Ask more about the organization and its future plans. It reflects that you are coming up with long-term plans and organization’s goals are superior for you.
“Ask about the growth plans of the company, how big the team is and what technology they use. Also ask about the future plans of the company and where they are engaged,” says Jai P Menon, says Group Director, HT Media.