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Interview is an important event but it is still just an interview. Your life doesn’t depend on it neither does your happiness. It is a healthy dialogue and exchange of ideas for you to determine whether you want to work with this person/company and for the interviewer to determine if you are the good fit for the job and the company. But getting nervous is natural before the interview because it involves evaluation. Use this nervous energy to your advantage by telling yourself that ‘You are the absolute best for the job’.
· Take deep breaths
· Get comfortable with the surroundings by arriving early
· Drink some water
· Talk to other candidates
Answering technique for interviews
Remember the 3Cs: Be Confident, Clear and Concise
Business requires you to believe in your abilities and your ideas. Confidence projects that belief on your face. Do not hesitate in answering questions. If you need time to think, ask for some time. If you cannot remember a fact, say so. If you do not have an answer for a question, just say that. There is nothing wrong in saying NO. But if you scramble for words or answers and try to pull them out of thin air, it is difficult to hide the lack of confidence in those words.
A big part of communication is clarity. People don’t want confused minds in business. If you speak clearly, you are most likely a clear thinker too because a confused mind does not support clear communication. Do not ramble or throw out disconnected ideas in response to a question. Take time to form your answer clearly before speaking. Intelligent silence/pauses are good.
Good communication is concise and to the point. Do not go on and on with your answers. Answer your questions as per the winning ‘SAR’ structure.
SAR – Situation, Action, Result
Use this formula to structure your every answer. E.g. if you are asked to talk about a significant achievement of your career, the best way to start is to first state the ‘situation’. But it is not the situation that the interviewer is interested in. She wants to know what you did in that situation. So mention the ‘action’ you took in that situation. But you should not stop at the action. Business is all about ‘results’. You should close your answer with the results of your actions and hence the achievement.
The SAR structure wins every time. It gives you an opportunity to answer the question completely and it always satisfies the interviewer. Practice all questions using the SAR structure. You will find yourself more confident and better prepared for the interview.
Good questions to ask the interviewer
You will be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. You should always have a few questions. Pick your favorite from the below list.
· What is the typical path of career advancement in this company?
· How is an employee evaluated and promoted?
· How would you describe the corporate culture of this company?
· What does the job entail on a day-to-day basis?
· What 3 things make an employee successful in your organization?
· What have been your favorite and least favorite aspects of the job?
· What is the most difficult aspect of this job?
· What are the next steps and timing in the hiring decision?
Do not ask questions to which you should already know the answers.
Do not ask questions regarding salary, bonus, vacation and other benefits during the interview. These are left for discussion when you get the job offer.
You did your best and the results will follow.
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