The preliminary test
The first job interview is usually a process rather than a one-step event. The preliminary test is the first in the process of elimination. It is a test of your knowledge of the subject, usually your ability to apply what you have learnt rather than your memory. Make sure you are thorough with your concepts and their application. If you have been lazy throughout, this is the time to dust those books and get to the grind! A whole lot of sample test papers and questions are available online. These give you an understanding of what an organization looks for in its future employees.
The group discussion
The next step is the Group Discussion or GD. This is again an elimination process, where recruiters try to separate the grain from the chaff. Your ability to interact with your peers and put across your point of view in a logical, clear and concise manner is under the scanner. So is your ability to convince or arrive at a consensus. They are not interested in people who are rigid, shout down others, and disrespectful of the other’s point of view. Good listening skills will add to your performance.
Most of the topics for the group discussions are based on current affairs or topics that tend to raise strong emotions. Think before you start talking. Make sure you have a valid point to make and add to the discussion. Do not repeat yourself or paraphrase what others have already said. Back up all your statements with logical evidence or facts that complement your statement.
The personal interview
The next and final stage is the personal interview. Things you should carry to the interview include:
• A well written resume listing all the activities that you were a part of during your time at the university/college/institute, both academic (projects, seminars, paper presentations) and extra-curricular (debates, quiz contests, cultural events, sports)
• Copies of the project work undertaken
• Copies of seminars and papers presented
• Certificates to support your claim of wins or participation in various extra -curricular events
When you attend the interview, make sure your dress is neat and crisp. Decide on styles, colors and outfits that complement your personality. At the same time, ensure the colors you choose are not loud and the outfits and styles too casual or outlandish. Even if it is mandatory to dress formal, make sure your personality shines through.
At this stage of the selection process, you are under minute scrutiny. Usually the interview is carried out by a panel. Body language will include how you enter the room, shake hands, sit, answer questions, eye contact and many more. Make sure you enter the room by asking permission, give the panel a firm hand-shake, seek permission to sit and take your seat.
There are some things you can definitely expect the panel to ask. They will ask you to introduce yourselves, to talk about your strengths and weaknesses, things that you are proud or ashamed of and lessons that you may have learnt from those incidents and many more such questions. You may also be questioned on your subject. If you are not sure about something accept it. Do not try to bluff your way through the interview. You will be pulled up for it in no time. When asked a question, first think of what you want to say and then begin your answer. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t give one word answers. At the same time, make sure you are making relevant conversation. Some of these interview questions are also available online. A glance will help you know the qualities they seek in their future employees.
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