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Facing Job Interview

Facing the job Interview

It is a very tough job market now days. You have to have additional skills to be successful. A little careful study and practice will give an edge over the others and you will come out with flying colors. Here are some useful tips and suggestions.

First step for getting a job is to be able to get a call for personal interview from perspective employer. Your record till date matters a lot and how do you present that in the CV will get you noticed among the crowd. Be sure that your CV is written properly and is impressive. You may like to take expert help for writing the CV.

Second step, which comes across, will be in form of written test for
- IQ and reasoning.
- English.
- General awareness or general knowledge.
- Abilities with basic math.

The third and final step before you are called for a final interview could be in the form of a Group Discussion where your various abilities, which are discussed later, will be tested.

Congratulations now that you are through with first three steps the finale has come and you have to show 'Do you have it in you'. For this you have to know what do they really want?
What your interviewer is looking for is how suitable you will be for the job can you hit bull's eye by having showing them suitable mix of Qualities in you? Just remember that having these qualities is one thing and demonstrating these is another, which is more important. Do not think that you have the qualities and it is for them to judge these qualities. You will 100% go wrong. The qualities are

Must Qualities Following qualities can be considered to be must which you must posses, however depending on job profile there could be some differences: -
- Your Attitude
- Sincerity
- Faith in yourself
- Determination and self confidence
- Depth of knowledge
- Analytical abilities
- Integrity
- Interpersonal Skills
- Team spirit
- Loyalty
- Discipline
- Leadership
- Clarity of Thoughts

Should Qualities. These are additional qualities which, though not essential qualities but can be labeled as desirable qualities: -
- Maturity
- Adaptability
- Flexibility
- Wisdom
- Punctuality
- Written and verbal communication
- Initiative
- Your over all Personality
- Ability to influence others
- Physical Appearance
- Tolerable stress levels
- Sense of Humor
- Value System
- Motivation Level
- Honesty
- Good IQ and EQ
- Noticeable past demonstrated performance
- Good listening skills

This all put together reflects your overall potential for the suitability of the post on offer. There are few more qualities which can be put as could have qualities, which will give you, edge over others should there be a tie among you and your competitor: -

Learn to solve problems and not create them.
- Plan and organize work in systematic manner.
- Get things done through other people.
- Show evidence of your motivations and interests.

Let us come closer and see what prospective employers have to say about their disliking about a candidate. These are results of a survey, which was undertaken by a popular magazine to find the reasons for not hiring an otherwise suitable candidate: -

You can eat away your chances of success if you: -

Act disinterested
- Do not do your homework
- Talk too little / TOO MUCH
- Display bad manners
- Run down your current or past employer
- Take credit for things you did not do
- Hide holes in your resumes
- Show lack of confidence in the prospective employer
- Negotiate too early about the salary even before they tell you that you are hired.

Their Criticisms of the candidates

Did not prepare well for the interview
- Failed to listen to questions asked / answered the wrong question.
- Provided superfluous information and unnecessary detail.
- Made negative comments about yourself / Showed low self-steem.
- Made negative remarks about the company or the interviewers.
- Were poorly motivated 'didn't ask job related questions 'didn't take opportunities to sell yourself.
- Showed poor face-to-face communication skills

Certain don't during the interview

Use interviewers' names, unless asked.
- Sit down, until you are invited.
- Worry about being nervous. Be sure that makes you more nervous.
- Show samples of your work, unless specifically requested
- Show disappointment if things aren't going your way.
- Correct the interviewers unless in a tactful manner.
- Say anything negative about yourself/put yourself down.
- Criticize your current or previous employers.
- Give up hope if the interviewer is negative/abrupt.
- Ask how well you've done in the interview.
- Talk about salary/benefits/holidays unless they bring it up
Before D Day

Do company research. Know about the company in general and the department you are being tested for. This will give you the idea about the type of questions you will be asked and also prepare for the answers you should be giving.
- Identify your skills & personal strengths and list these in a logical order.
- Match your skills to job requirements. By doing so you will position yourself at an advantage over others having similar qualifications and experience.
- List likely Interview questions

During the interview. Be careful your

- Body Language
- Listening and verbal skills
- Knowledge
- Sharpness
- Grasping power

A word about Turn out

In a major survey of employer attitudes to candidate's appearance at job interviews, the majority agreed that grooming strongly influences their decisions on who will be hired.
The Secrets of Interview Success
- Express yourself with clarity and precision.
- Speak confidently, making sure to support your answers with relevant examples from your work
- Always relate your answers to the job for which you are applying.
- Always present a positive face
- You should state and supply evidence that you enjoy your job; that you are enthusiastic and ambitious; and that you welcome challenge.
- It is important to tell the truth in interviews.
- Convince them that your experience qualifies you for the job on offer.
Group Discussions: What is Group Discussion

Group Discussion is an important part of the selection process where employers evaluate the candidate's potential to be a leader and also the ability to work in teams. Groups of 8-10 candidates are formed into a leaderless group, and are given a specific situation to analyze and discuss within a given time limit, which may vary between twenty minutes and forty-five minutes.

They may be given a case study and asked to come out with a solution for a problem. They may be given a topic and are asked to discuss the same.

What is being tested?

You'll have to be able to understand the other person's point of view while making your point and ensure that your team as a whole reaches a win-win situation.
The group discussion is a test of your interactive skills and how good you are at communicating with other people.

The objective of a group discussion is to mainly check your team playing skills because as a manager, you will be working in organizations with people

Skills Tested during Group Discussion

Persuasive Skills
- Communication Skills
- General awareness and knowledge
- Power to influence others
- Listening skills
- Ability to withstand pressure
- Interpersonal Skills
- Logical Thinking
- Leadership and team Skills

And other Skills
- Comprehension of the main idea and ability to generate ideas
- The rapport you strike
- Patience
- Assertion
- Accommodation
- Responsiveness
- Body language

Remember having qualities is one thing and demonstrating these during the discussion is another

Handy Points to remember
- Knowledge is strength.
- Addressing the Group as a Whole.
- If you are not sure about the topic of discussion, it is better not to initiate.
- A GD is not a debating stage.
- Language use should be simple, direct and straightforward.
- Maintain rapport with fellow participants.
- Use positive body language.
- Communicate with each and every candidate present.
- While speaking don't keep looking at a single member.

Tips for the Group Discussion

A Good level of general awareness will come in handy.
- The wider your reading interests, the better prepared you will be.
- Take time to think of what you are going to say.
- Work out various strategies to help you enter the discussion.
- Starting the discussion is considered to be good however it isn't that important; what is important is that you speak for a period long enough for you to be able to communicate your viewpoint.
- Be patient; don't lose your cool if anyone says anything you object to.
- Don't take the discussion personally.
- Be responsive to ideas from other people and very receptive and open-minded but don't allow others to change your own viewpoint.
- Employers are looking for a range of different skills and although you may think that leadership is key, and want to demonstrate this in a discussion, you need to be careful that you don't dominate the discussion as this may come across as aggressive.
- Quality and NOT QUANTITY: Often, participants think that success in-group discussions depend on their decibel levels. Ironically, it's the opposite.
- Rounding the discussion off 'when about 2-3 minutes are left, someone in the group must take the initiative and summarize all the issues discussed. Let it be you.

Remember the six C's of effective Communication
- Clarity
- Completeness
- Conciseness
- Confidence
- Correctness
- Courtesy.

Here are some of the GD topics of leading Institutes
- Managerial skills learnt in the classroom can never match those learnt from experience.
- Democracy is hampering India's progress.
- MBA in India is highly overrated.
- Religion is a private affair and should be of no concern for the state.
- Decreasing defense expenditure and increasing social expenditure is the need of the hour.
- Women's empowerment will lead to social development. (IIM Kozhikode, March'99)
- Computers result in unemployment. (FMS Delhi, March'99)
Are we raising a generation of burnt out children? (IIMB, Mar 97)
- Advertising is all glitter and little truth. (MICA, Apr '97)
- Is bureaucracy a hindrance to economic reforms in India? (IIMC, July '97)
- Filmmakers are indulging in cinematic Fortitution in the name of folk culture. (IIML, Mar'97X Are we raising a generation of burnt out children? (IIMB, Mar 97)
- Under Indian parliamentary democracy it is impossible to ensure balanced regional development. (IIMC, Mar '97)
- Corruption is the main outcome of democracy in India. (IIML, Mar '97) In an over-regulated society corruption is inevitable. (MICA, Apr '97)
- For the poorer sections of society, a state-controlled economy is better than a liberalized economy. (IIMC-PGDCM, March'97)
- With IT replacing middle level management, software jobs are more lucrative than MBAs (S.P Jain, March'99)
- Do you think accent holds you back? Would you prefer everyone speaking uniformly? (XIM Bhubaneswar, March'99)
- Men resent women power at work place (NMIMS, March'99)
Youth in India are becoming greedy by the day (MICA, March'99)
- MBAs should be taxed at higher rates in the country (IIMB April'99)
- Efficiency and corruption go hand in hand.

After the Interview
- Each job interview should be a learning process. Learn from your mistakes 'don't repeat them.
- Carry out a post-interview analysis immediately after the interview while it is still fresh in your mind.
- Review tough questions and make notes for your next interview on areas where you might handle difficult questions better.
- Motivate yourself to approach your next interview in a positive frame of mind.
- Use the experience gained at each interview to improve your technique and overall presentation

Seven Mantras for Success

Communication Skills
- Influencing Abilities
- Problem Solving
- Creative Thinking
- Social Skills]
- Managing Finances

About the Author
Author has 28 years of experience in the field of Teaching and Management. He is M. Tech from IIT Kanpur and has worked in different capacities including Signal corps Indian Army, Regional Manager for a Telecom Company. Currently he is Associate Professor with ITM, Gurgaon that is rated as best Engineering colleges of North India.

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