Recipe for a Successful Interview
“Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime”
In this blog piece, I am not going to talk about a job vacancy but techniques to improve your chances of having a successful interview. In essence, I want to teach you to fish rather than give you a fish. So, you’ve found the job opportunity that interests you and your CV is shortlisted, the only bridge between your dream job and you is the Personal Interview. Let’s find the recipe for a successful interview. The secret of effective and successful interviews includes the art of being confident and a free flow of conversation.
Recognize an Open Question
It’s important to recognize an open question because it will help you in understanding how you are going to answer them.
To quote an example here which I overheard at a sales training course:
Rookie Salesperson: I’m not quite getting this. Could you just give me an example of an open question?
Rookie salesperson: ‘Because maybe I’ll understand an example better than I understand the theory.
’ Trainer: ‘Why?’
Rookie Salesperson: ‘Oh, this is getting so frustrating! Why don’t you just give an example?’
Trainer: ‘Ah, now that’s a good question.’
In the above conversation the word ‘Why’ is doing its job wonderfully. The most common open ended question asked in an interview is – “What interests you about our industry/company ?” Also keep in mind that a good interviewer uses a funnel technique where they start with open ended questions but keep funnelling down to specifics. So, if you cannot substantiate on something that you said then avoid saying it.
Display your Trainability
The companies not just look for employees but for people who have a potential future. The interviewer today also checks on how you will shape up if you were given an opportunity to lead a team in the future. So, one of the most common questions interviewers ask is:
Q: What is the one thing your team would most like to change about you? (the answer to this will give them an idea about your team management skills)
One way to answer this question can be through examples like: “Once a manager I worked with demonstrated to me, how important it is to be flexible in handling people and so on….”.Never give cocky answers like ‘I am a born leader’. If you do, support it with examples.
Mirror the Body Language
People are more at ease with people who are in a similar mood to them. Mirroring the body language of the interviewer can help you at the beginning of an interview when you are naturally nervous and the interviewers are forming their first impression about you. Pick up on the interviewer’s mood or posture but do not mimic them.
Tip: It’s advisable not to try mirroring technique first in interviews. Try applying it at a social gathering first and then with a friend perhaps and only then in a business context.
In the case of a telephonic interview, voice tonality and articulation are equally important. Its like speaking your body language.
Prepare to talk about your History
As simple as it may sound, but it is the most crucial element of the interview. Prepare yourself on what aspects of your personality and experience you are going to talk about. You may divide the answer into: Personal attributes or leadership qualities, Technical/functional capabilities, Ambition and future aspirations. Also, it’s always good to talk about your personal interests and hobbies.
Before I leave you, another issue that many candidates face is interview nervousness, which means you must be well prepared and confident.
So, what are you waiting for, go for your interview. You’re quite ready now!
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