I wrote my previous post on tackling a specific question in a job interview. Readers have reiterated the issue of “being honest” in the interview. This prompts me to write a few more points on how to conduct oneself during a job interview. I would offer the following five:
- Honesty is certainly on top of the list. Interviewers appreciate honest answers. “I don’t know” is a better answer than bluffing and attempting a vague response. One needs to be honest not just in the interview but also in writing the CV and application. Questions are often asked based on what is mentioned in our CV. I know a person who failed to get a job after a number of interviews. He was unable to provide convincing answers to what his CV had described him as. Writing an impressive CV by taking the help of experts may help in getting short-listed but not in getting the job.
- Confidence: Interviewers look for a confident person. They may try to ask some irrelevant questions or give the impression that they are not convinced with the answer. It is important not to get hassled, lose confidence or get nervous. Here it is important to mention that one should not come across as over confident either.
- Demonstrate not just knowledge but how have you applied your knowledge in a given context. Interviewers like to hear about practical examples of application of knowledge and skills.
- Clarity in answers: Precise, clear and short answers are always appreciated. Clarity of expression is the key to success. Interviewers judge you not only on how much you know but how well you can explain what you know. It is very important to check the tone, volume and speed when you speak and make necessary modifications. Good communication skills always come in handy.
- A positive attitude: Job interview is a test of attitude. There may not be direct questions on attitude, there may not be a psychologist sitting in the panel but attitude is always under observation. People who come across as solution-oriented, flexible, respectful, helpful and responsible are preferred.
Hope these points are useful. Before I end, I like to share an instance. We were once interviewing for the post of an office assistant. We were almost done with a candidate. I asked him if he wanted to ask us anything. He asked, “so, what time should I report to work tomorrow morning?” We laughed at the question but liked him for his confidence and innocence. He got the job and over a period of time we realized that we had made the right choice.