How to ace your job interview

No matter how many degrees and other academic accolades you possess, if you don’t impress during your interview, it will not matter much.


A job interview is the most crucial part of a company’s recruitment process in selecting the right candidate for a position. For any aspiring job seeker, the job interview can be the ultimate make-or-break moment in their journey in landing the perfect job. Here are a few pointers to help you out:


Research the company

Ensure you have knowledge about the company’s history, the founder, the top management, the product portfolio of the company, the markets in which the company has a presence, its competitors, market share, and any other information which has kept the company in the news in recent times.


Research the job profile you are applying

Be very clear about what the job you are applying for will entail. Find out what are the primary responsibilities of the person who will work with that job profile. This knowledge will help you modify your resume to include and focus on certain qualities or experience you possess which would make you more suitable for the job. Also, you will be a lot more prepared for questions during the interview regarding your suitability for the job.


Be thorough with the common interview questions

There are some questions which are common across all interviews and it’s important to be thoroughly prepared for these. These include questions like “Tell me something about yourself”, “What made you apply for this job in our company?”, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, “What are the qualities you possess which make you suitable for this job?”, “Where do you see yourself ten years down the line?”Be very articulate in answering these.


Dress in business formals

First impressions count for a lot and you get only one opportunity to make a good first impression. Ensure that you are dressed in business formals for the interview. Even though for most jobs in India because of our hot climate, suits are not required for an interview, a good well-fitted business suit, tie combined with formal trousers and well-polished formal shoes always help in making a good impression. It also conveys to the interviewer the seriousness with which you are approaching this interview. For the ladies, the trousers may be replaced by a formal skirt. And when it comes to colours, you can never go wrong with black and navy blue for formal business attire. It’s important to have good personal hygiene and be well-groomed for the interview.


Prepare a well-designed resume

While it is understood that in most cases the candidate will be submitting the resume well in advance before being called for the interview, it’s important to carry the same with you on the day of the interview along with your other certificates. There are chances that the interviewer may ask for it from you again. A well-designed resume should highlight all your achievements along with the qualifications and experience you possess. A resume is basically a print advertisement where you are the product, hence it needs to possess everything that makes you a great candidate for the company you are applying for. Don’t allow the resume to exceed two pages; keep the points short and use words and sentences which can make maximum impact without describing everything in detail. No HR manager has the time and patience to read all the resumes in detail since they have to handle hundreds of resumes. Hence, it’s important to make maximum impact with your resume at first glance. Get your resume designed by a professional if you don’t possess the skill.


Focus on your communication skills

It’s important that you work on your communication skills, especially in English and Hindi. Most interviews will be conducted in these languages in India unless you are applying for a job in a local company which operates exclusively out of the local markets. For government jobs, knowledge of local state language is mandatory. While speaking, emphasising certain points with changes in voice modulation, the pauses you take at important points also make a great impact during the interview. Besides the spoken language, you also need to work on your body language – the way you sit, how you place your arms or use them while speaking, your eye contact, and your facial expressions.


Ask the right questions to the interviewer

In most interviews, towards the end, the interviewer will ask the interviewee if he or she has any questions. It is important at this juncture to ask questions which demonstrate your genuine interest in the company and the role you want to fit in.

Use the opportunity to ask questions about the company culture, team orientation, growth potential, etc. Avoid asking questions that can be easily answered through basic research.


Express gratitude

At the end of the interview, express gratitude to the interviewer for giving you the opportunity and reiterate once again how much you are looking forward to being part of the company. Shake hands with the interviewer, hold with a firm grip (not too forceful nor too loose) exuding confidence, maintaining eye contact throughout.

(The writer has a PhD and is a career counsellor, trainer, and life coach at Career Crafters- Panaji. He has over two decades of experience dealing with students at the higher education level.)