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Interview Skills

Getting started with Greetings and Introductions

What to Say When You Arrive at the Interview

When you arrive at the site of the interview you should be prepared to greet and make a quick introduction to the person who greets you. In most cases, it will be the receptionist and/or the secretary. 

You should begin your interaction by stating your name and the reason for your visit. Be courteous and respectful to this first contact at the company. Many hiring managers will ask the receptionist for his or her impression of a candidate. If you act rudely or dismissively, you could put yourself out of the running for the job before you even meet with the hiring manager

What to Say When You Meet the Hiring Manager

Most of the time you will be asked to wait for a few minutes in a public area of the office near the reception or the department where you will be interviewed. Then, you will be escorted to either the interview room or the interviewers office. Even though your presence has already been shared before you entered the space, you should take the time to greet and introduce yourself. 

Remember to stand up and offer to shake hands even if the interviewer doesn’t offer. 

Tell the interviewer that it is a pleasure to meet them, smile, and be sure to make eye contact.  

Talking about Skills and Interests

Over the course of the interview the interviewer pays close attention to your level of self-awareness (how well you know about yourself) and your instincts or the personality traits(showcased through your skills, interests and experience) that come naturally to you (e.g., dedication, teamwork, empathy, etc.). Hence an ideal candidates’ responses would position him/her as someone who understands the job role and is suitable for it.  

“What are your hobbies?” 

This question helps give employers a holistic look at your personality, skills and values.

1. Never say no

If you’re asked, “What are your hobbies?” in a job interview, the first and most important advice is to never respond by saying “I have no hobbies”. This shows a lack of initiative and interest, little passion, and doesn’t reveal anything about your personality or capacity for cultural fit, which is precisely what hiring managers and recruiters are trying to determine.

When undertaking your job interview practice, prepare an answer to this question that is honest and sincere. Let your response reflect your skills and interests, and paint a picture for prospective employers of the capable and enthusiastic candidate you are.

2. Make it relevant

Whatever activities you enjoy doing in your spare time, when asked “What are your hobbies?” in a job interview, frame your answer in the context of the job and organisation you’re applying to work at.

For example, if you’re applying to be a finance analyst, talk about the problem-solving elements of your hobby. If you play competitive tennis, talk about your role in planning all the home and away match logistics for your team, and ensuring cost effective transportation for getting everyone to a range of locations throughout the season. If you’re applying to be an IT project manager and you’re a passionate reader, talk about how you started a book club and regularly feature books related to IT innovation and transformation. Tell your prospective employers how you regularly lead or facilitate fascinating discussions on this topic.

While it’s perfectly normal that your hobbies will be distinct and different from your work, shine a light on the parts of your hobbies that show off the key technical and soft skills employers are looking for.

3. Showcase your creativity

Do you play guitar, write short stories or make pottery? When answering the question “What are your hobbies?” ensure you acknowledge and celebrate any creative hobbies you undertake. Explain how these activities improve your lateral thinking skills, strengthen your ability to approach tasks inventively and drive your original use of available resources.

No matter what job you’re applying for, there’s a role for creativity at every organisation. While as an administrative assistant you might not be creating brilliant imagery on Photoshop every day, creativity is a much broader and more applicable skill. It can be used in all workplaces and industries to solve problems and find innovative solutions to challenges.

4. Be a good sport

Few hobbies show potential employers your resilience and aptitude for working in a team like regularly playing sport.

If you’re a long-distance runner, this may demonstrate you’re persistent when it comes to pushing through challenge and frustration on projects at work. Participating in a hockey or netball competition might highlight an understanding of group dynamics, a level of healthy competition and a willingness to work together to reach a collective goal.

When answering the question “What are your hobbies?” explain how regular sport or physical activity have enabled you to work well in group situations. There are few roles out there that don’t require candidates to be exemplary at this.

Exercising regularly also improves general health and stress management capacity, reducing the chance of employee illness and longer-term burn out, making you a more attractive candidate to prospective employers.

Talking about Your internship/ Projects/Part time/Full time job 

(if these are mentioned in your resume)

Regardless of the phrasing, the most common question asked in interviews is focused on sussing out the candidate’s experience: 1. How does your project experience prepare you for this role? 2. Do you think your experience matches the needs of the job? 3. Do you think you’re qualified for this position? How to answer these questions? -Try using specific examples of how past work prepares you for the new role. – The most effective response is to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments in detail and connect them to the job for which you are interviewing. – Share an anecdote and related data, showcasing how you resolved a problem for the team you worked with – Statistics work. Showing that you increased sales by X percent or saved the company Y amount of money provides a hiring manager compelling argument for offering you the job. – You want to make sure that your examples are positive and end with what attracts you to THIS job.

Do’s and Don’t

 in order to make a positive impression during interviews

Verbal

  • Always start with “Hello”,  “Good morning.” or any other formal form of greeting. 

  • Another important aspect of the interview greeting is your verbal salutation. Most people say something along the lines of: “Nice to meet you, Mr. Malhotra.” Notice how you should state the name of the interviewer with the prefix “Mr.” or “Ms.” instead of saying the person’s first name. Using a prefix is a way of showing respect. 

  • If you do not know the individuals’ name at first, then say “Madam” or “Sir.” 

  • If you and the interviewers are standing, extend a handshake firmly and repeat the person’s name as you say, "Ms. ________, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for taking time to participate in my interview." 

  • Speak loud and clearly, avoid gulping words.Use professional language and avoid slangs

  • Be a Good listener. Stay attentive

Non-Verbal

  • Modulate your vocal tone to express excitement. Wait until the person is done talking to respond.

  • Avoid shaking only the tips of each one’s fingers or barely gripping their hands. A firm handshake indicates that you are confident and can be trusted. Wash and dry your hands well before the interview. You do not want to have a wet, clammy handshake. Avoid rushing through the handshake, as doing so can make you appear nervous.

  • Smile throughout the opening pleasantries and small talk. Relax your face muscles so that your eyebrows are not furrowed, which can make you appear upset or frustrated.

  • Appear as relaxed as possible, keeping your arms uncrossed and your hands out of your pockets. Avoid looking at the floor, but instead look at each individual as you are introduced. Establish frequent but not continuous or piercing eye contact with interviewers. In a group interview, shift eye contact to the various members of the panel. Eliminate fidgeting and shaking of limbs.

  • Sit down only when asked to do so by one of the interviewers.

Other 

  • Do extensive research about the job role and company

  • Wear formal dress

  • Carry your resume and important documents

  • Be Punctual

  • Keep your behavioural professional. Neither be rude nor too friendly

  • Brush up the basics of your educational subjects and previous job skills

  • Be clear about your career goals and future plans

  • Last but not the least, prepare well for some pre planned questions like, “Tell me something about yourself, “Your strengths and weaknesses,” “Walk us through your resume”.



Meetings and Greetings at Interview

You:

"Hello, I’m _________________ "

"I have an appointment with Ms. Malhotra at 3."

Receptionist:

"Hello Ms. ________. Please have a seat."

(The secretary walks towards you)

Secretary:

"Excuse me, are you Ms. _____________?"

You:

"Yes, I’m _______________. Hello."

Secretary:

"Ms. Malhotra is ready for you now. Please follow me."

You:

"Thank you."

(Showing you into the office)

Secretary:

"Ms. Malhotra, this is Ms. ______________."

Interviewer:

"Hello Ms. ___________, nice to meet you."

You:

"Hello, nice to meet you too."

Activity: An ideal candidate

When: during session

How: create a list of skills, interests and experience for an ideal candidate and a candidate who is not suitable for the placement. 

For an ideal candidate

For an unsuitable candidate

Activity: Good and Bad Answers

When: during session

How: write a good answer and a bad answer for the following questions:

Good Answer

Bad Answer

Tell me about yourself?





What are your qualifications?





Tell me about a successful experience you had on a job/internship?





Can you walk me through your resume?





What are you expecting in terms of your salary?





Choose the most suitable option:

  1. 1) The one who interviews the candidate is called?

  1. Interviewer

  2. Interveiner

  3. Judge

  4. Master

2) The person who attends an interview (candidate) is called?

  1. Interveiner

  2. Interviewer

  3. Interviewee

  4. Intraviewer

3) Ananya is having her telephonic interview tomorrow. Which of the following skills should she practice more? 

  1. Grooming Skills

  2. Communication Skills

  3. Presentation Skills

  4. Research Skills

4) Which among the following is an appropriate dress code for a Face to Face Interview?

  1. Casual

  2. Western 

  3. Ethnic

  4. Formal

5) Which among the following is not a step while preparing for an Interview?

  1. Analyzing yourself

  2. Being Negative

  3. Listing your Skills

  4. Subject basic revision