How to face an interview

For most people facing an interview is a highly stressful experience. Why is it so? It is primarily because of a lack of preparation and self confidence. An interview should not be a stressful encounter, but an opportunity to advance one's career. In this article, I will share some tips and insights on facing interviews.

No organization will call you for an interview, if they do not need you. Hence, they need you, as much as you need the job. It must always be a win-win situation for both parties. Keep this aspect in mind always.

You will do well to consider an interview as an opportunity. Use the interview to boost your self confidence and self-worth, irrespective of the outcome.You will always need to market yourself as a person, to succeed in life. Hence, the interview is the "marketplace" to advance yourself.

Plan, plan and plan and do not go for an interview without doing your homework. There are several aspects to consider and prepare, for example, background knowledge of the organization, which shows genuine interest to the prospective employer. A reasonable understanding of the job applied for and the assurance of a well prepared CV would be helpful. Do not present yourself at an interview without all supporting documents (irrespective of whether it is required or not).

Anticipate probable questions and mentally prepare yourself and have the answers ready. For example, why are you applying for this job, any reasons that you want to leave your present employer, do you have to give notice to your present employer, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what is your personal vision in life, etc., Another common question is, why should we recruit you for the job? Basically, you need to differentiate yourself.

Never let down your present or previous employers. Always have a good word for them, since they have contributed to help you achieve what you are. This shows that you are a person with gratitude and appreciation, which are excellent qualities.

Never sell yourself short. At many an interview the question asked is "what are your salary expectations?" This is a vital question for both yourself and your prospective employer. In order to answer this question successfully, you need to assess your market worth. One way to do this is to add a monetary value for each qualification you hold and for each year of work experience. Once you have done this, compare it with your present salary. This will give you a good feel on what salary to request. For example if your present salary is Rs. 35,000/00 do not ask for Rs. 70,000/00 (unless in a special situation). Keep in mind to leave an allowance for negotiation.

Always be well attired and groomed, since first impressions count. Look fresh and bouncy at the interview and be genuinely interested. Do not dress to kill, but modesty and smartness is important.
Demonstrate good mannerisms at the interview, to project yourself as a person with some class. For example do not sit until you are requested to do so, be polite and respectful, never boast too much about yourself and thank the interviewer for the opportunity provided.

Many candidates are naturally nervous and fidgety. This is normal, although in some persons it can be a real problem. Extra nervousness creates a negative impression in the minds of the interviewer. How do you calm your nerves? Take a few deep breaths before the interview, be well prepared and mentally toughen yourself by knowing you can do it. (After all, they need you as well).

Never leave an interview without knowing the next step in the process. I have personally experienced persons telling me, "I don't know if and when they will call me." Many individuals return from interviews, not knowing what the future is. You have a right to ask the interviewer, "How do we go from here?" At least it opens the door to obtaining some feedback on the interview.

Do not attempt to influence the panel of interviewers in advance. This may go against you and may be looked upon as unfair practice. If you are not successful, then request for feedback, in order to improve yourself.

By following these simple tips and advice, you can improve your success levels dramatically. I wish you all the best at your next interview.

"You are a brand. The interview is the marketplace. Your interviewer is the customer. The other candidates are your competitors. Indeed a complete marketing mix." (Anonymous)
"Interviews are opportunities in disguise." (Anonymous)

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