An exclusive on Interviews and how best to prepare yourself!

We’ve all been in that position, where we were sitting at home or in front of our computer, staring at a mail or a letter inviting us to come in for an interview. Even after all this time, if I get an interview call, it still makes my heart beat faster.

How to approach an Interview?

It’s always a tough question when the answer needs to be just a yes or a no.

But here’s the catch, an interview- it’s no big deal, really, as long as we’re you’re prepared for it!

So how do we you prepare for one?

After all this time, here’s what I’ve finally figured out. Overall, for absolutely any interview in any field, you can divide the process that you follow into 5 steps.

Step 1

Figure out the type of interview!

Generally, going through the call letter is enough to figure out the type of interview that you are going to attend.

Every time I’ve got the interview through my family, friends or even LinkedIn , it has always been an Informational Interview . I go in, talk to the people, get all the information about the position they are offering, the organization and all that.  I’ve realized that the best way to be prepared for these are by preparing key questions about the organization and the opportunities. Give a good first impression, you know!

However, if I was called in to meet the ‘HR’ in the company, it’s always been a Screening Interview with them trying to figure out if I am a strong candidate, good enough to bring back. The best way to prepare for a screening interview is to prepare key point, especially those from my resume.

Once that gets through, the next step is a Substantive Interview. Here they’re trying to match your skills with their expectations, so I’ve found that the best way to impress would be to think of actual event during my work experience and how I solved a problem.

And finally, Behavioural Interviews. I’ve always been nervous in these interviews where they make you sit down and analyse everything in your past and then try to predict my future behaviour or performance. The only way to get through, is to prepare answers that tie experiences, behaviour and skill together.

Getting stressed for the upcoming interview?

When the going get’s tough, you keep going…..

Step 2

Prepare for all types of questions!

It’s easy to sit and worry about what kind of questions they might ask in an interview. But making it easier, I’ve noticed that there are five types of questions that they ask, in general.

  1. The ‘Why you’ question.

Without fail, almost all my interviewers have asked me why they should hire me for the job. It might be cheesy, but they just seem to love it. So for these, don’t be afraid to talk about yourself. I’ve always tried to make a compelling case for myself, balance confidence and humility, mention what I can contribute to the organization and demonstrate my knowledge in the field and the organization. And, it’s always worked!

  1. The ‘Weakness’ question.
Interview tips

We all get anxious thinking what sort of questions will be asked in the interview.

We all get a little fidgety when asked about our weaknesses. But here’s the catch, while I’ve wanted to evade the question, every single time, I’ve known that it would be a dumb move. Instead, I’ve always mentioned something or the other, as long as it isn’t something that’d interfere with my opportunity.

  1. The ‘Role Play’ question.
    I’ve found these, just that little bit easier. It’s simple, listen properly and answer genuinely. Leave out any pretence and don’t try to impress with your answers.
  2. ‘Situational’ questions.
    These questions have always worked best when I’ve kept it simple. It’s important to remember to cover the situation, my actions and the outcome. You know, let them know exactly how I conduct myself in those scenarios.
  3. And then of course, the ‘Case Studies’.
    For these questions, make sure that the approach is logical. I’ve seen that these work best if you manage to keep it interactive and there by collect the information you need to figure out your answer.

Step 3

To soar through any interview, you do exactly that, SOAR.

How to tackle interviews?

S – Situation
O – Obstacle
A- Action
R- Result

Situation-Set up the base story and provide the basic context.

Obstacle- Explain the challenges and road blocks faced.

Action- Detail the actions that were taken to resolve issues.

Result- Showcase the impact that the actions had.

Step 4

During the interview!

Attending the interview

On the day of the interview, just relax and let your instinct take over.

Here’s what I’ve figured out that I need to do for any and every interview! After all, there’s no point sitting and worrying about how you are going to do!

  • Have copies of my resume
  • Pick the proper attire
  • Pack notebooks and pens
  • Use proper body language to set the tone for the interview
  • Ask thoughtful questions
  • Demonstrate how my goals align with the organization’s

Step 5

After the Interview!

That anxiety that develops after every interview until you either get a yes or a no from the officials, turns out, there are ways to make it better!

  • Ask about following up in your interview
  • Follow up regularly (But don’t reach out just to reach out, always have something to offer)
  • Remain personable and polite (however agonizingly slow the process is)
  • Keep pursuing other opportunities!

So basically, when it comes to an interview, I’ve realized that somehow, I’ve always been at the disadvantage, irrespective of which position of the interview I am in! The only way I can think of to make it any better, is to be prepared and hope for the best.

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