In a job scenario, every job seeker must prepare for his/her interview to ensure that the probability of success is higher than that of rejection. Following are some guidelines for success in interviews:
One of the most important factors for landing a job is your resume. It is often the first impression that a potential employer has of you. Therefore your resume must capture the employer’s attention within 30 seconds because he is normally flooded with resumes. Remember your resume does not get you the job; It is the interview that gets you the job.
Do’s and don’ts for a Resume-
- Keep it concise. But mention all details relevant to the job. Your work experience must be mentioned in detail along with all machinery, tools, systems, etc. that you have handled or are familiar with.
- Leave spaces between your experiences for easier reading.
- Always mention your telephone number for easy accessibility.
- Use a laser printer and traditional type fonts like Times-Roman, Arial or Palatino. Align your resume properly. Headings should advisably be in bold type.
- Qualify and quantify what you have to offer to the organization.
- Include as much work information as possible. The information must be regarding the job applied for.
- Avoid personal information like height, weight etc .
- Print your resume on conventional white paper.
- Be honest. Never lie or ‘pad’ the truth about your job duties or over stretch your accomplishment.
- Keep the resume employer centered.
- Be prepared to back up all your resume notations with proof at the time of interview.
- Do not clutter up your resume with too much unnecessary information.
- Do not lie about your experience or accomplishments.
- If the boss finds out that you have fabricated your experience and accomplishments, after hiring you he could sack you.
Writing a winning resume-
Determine your job search objective prior to writing the resume, this helps you to structure the content of your resume linking it to that objective. If you write your resume without having a clear objective in mind, it is likely to come across as unfocused to those that read it.
Use the principles of marketing: Think of yourself as a service provider, potential employers as your customers, and your resume as a brochure about you. Market yourself through your resume. What are your features and benefits? What makes you unique? Make sure to convey this information in your resume.
Use your resume to obtain an interview, not a job You don’t need to go into detail about every accomplishment. Strive to be clear and concise. The purpose of your resume is to generate enough interest in you to have an employer contact you for an interview. Use the interview to provide detailed explanation.
Use bulleted sentences in the body of your resume, rather than lengthy paragraphs. Resumes are read quickly. This bulleted sentence format makes it easier for someone to quickly scan your resume and still absorb it. To add life to your resume, use bulleted sentences that begin with action words like prepared, developed, monitored, and presented.
Construct your resume to read easily. Leave margins and use a font size no smaller than 12 point. Limit the length of your resume to 1-2 pages. Remember, resumes are reviewed quickly. Help the reader to scan your resume
Review your resume at periodic intervals. It can be difficult for you to highlight your successes and clearly convey all your accomplishments. Have someone review your job search objective, your resume. Encourage them to ask questions. Their questions can help you to discover items you inadvertently left off your resume. Revise your resume to include these items. Their questions can also point to items on your resume that are confusing to the reader.. Do modify your resume based on this input.
Your resume has caught the eye of the person who organizes interviews and you have been called for the same. What do you do? Well the first step is to gather all the information about the organization – the key people in the organization, major products or services, size in terms of sales and employees, major competitors, latest news reports
During the Interview-
- Follow the lead of the interviewer initially. Greeting the interviewer by name is appropriate.
- Do not address him/her by first name unless invited to do so.
- Have direct eye contact.
- If the interviewer moves to shake hands, do so firmly.
- Do not chew gum or smoke.
- Be prepared for questions as soon as the interview starts.
- Be aware of your non-verbal behaviour.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Control nervous habits.
Listen to the questions and answer them intelligently and relatively quickly.
- Conduct yourself as if determined to get the job you are discussing.
- You may have other irons in the fire, and the interviewer is aware of that, but you want to demonstrate your sincere interest in a position with his/her particular organisation.
- Ask questions that will provide helpful information and demonstrate your interest in the position. In closing the interview, as if there is anything else the interviewer .
- If you have communicated answers to the two questions uppermost in the mind of an interviewer- why are you interested in the organisation and what can you offer? You have done all you can.
- Thank the interviewer for his/her time.
After the Interview:-
- Be sure to note the interviewer’s name and address.
- An easy way to do this is to ask for his/her business card.
- Keep a record of what the interviewer said.
- Send a follow-up letter or note to express your thanks and reiterate your interest in the position and the organisation.
- Lack of proper career planning-purposes and goals ill defined.
- Lack of knowledge of field of specialisation – not well defined.
Inability to express himself/herself clearly.
- Insufficient evidence of achievement or capacity to excite action in others.
- Not prepared for the interview- no research on employer.
- No real interest in the organization, just shopping around. Little interest and enthusiasm- indifference.
How to Succeed in Group Discussions?
Group discussion is becoming a very important tool for selection. It is used for selecting candidates for admission in management courses. It is also used for selecting young managers. As the preference is for selecting team players, and not loners who cannot function effectively in-groups, this tool is progressively getting.
In-group discussions, it is possible for candidates to play different roles. These roles can be grouped under three categories.
Group Task Role:-
Group task roles are behaviors that help the group solve its problems or accomplish its tasks. These roles include:
(A) Initiator: starts discussion, suggests new ideas and solutions.
(B) Information Opinion Giver: Gives facts and information and shares his own opinion with others.
(C) Clarifier: Expands on ideas of others by giving examples and explanations.
(D) Coordinator: Helps in integrating and summarizing the ideas of the other members.
(E) Orientor: suggests the direction for further discussion and defines the goal/objective of the discussion.
Group Building Roles:-
These roles help members to function together as a group
(A) Supporter: Praises and agrees with others.
(B) Harmonizer: Helps in resolving disagreements and conflicts between others.
(C) Tension Reliever: Makes people feel relaxed by cracking jokes and generating humour.
(D) Encourager: Encourages those who have not spoken to participate. Candidates playing roles of harmonizer and encourager score better marks in-group discussion.
These roles satisfy an individual’s needs without regard for the other members of the group
(A) Blocker: Always raises objections and brings up the same topic after the rest of the groups have disposed it off.
(B) Aggressor: Criticizes others, expresses hostility and jealousy.
(C) Recognition Seeker: Boasts and tries to always seek the attention of others.
(D) Clown: Shows lack of involvement in the group task by cracking jokes and passing cynical comments.
(E) Dominator: Attempts to dominate by ordering others, interrupting and imposing his own point of view.
Remember the Group Discussion tests not only your communication but also your listening skills.
Frequently Asked Questions:-
- How would you describe yourself/tell me about yourself?
- What is the role of the Executive in an organisation?
- What principles do you use to motivate people?
- What is the most exciting thing happening in the area of business today?
- What was your most interesting/ least interesting assignment ?
- What/who was your favourite/least favourite subject/professor? Why?
- What have you found to be the toughest aspect of management?
- How do you think a friend/professor who knows you well would describe you?
- What do you like best/least about your last superior (if previously employed)?
- Describe the relationship that should exist between a manager and subordinates?
- How do you handle the different ability levels of your colleagues and subordinates?
- Have you established any long-range goals and objectives? When and why did you establish these goals? How are you preparing yourself to achievethem?
- What additional subjects, apart from your area of specialisation, would you feel competent to perform and at what level?
- Tell me your views on Performance Management.
- In what professional organisations do you hold membership?
- What are your plans for future improvement of professional skills?
- Why did you choose the Management Profession of Marketing /Finance/ Personnel/ MIS/ MS stream?
- What would be the ideal philosophy of a business organisation for you? 19. Describe a situation in which you encountered a problem and tell me how you dealt with it.
- Describe a project on which you worked which had a very short deadline. How did you meet that deadline?
- What do you do with your leisure or vacation time? What special interests do you have?
- What is your philosophy of business?
- How would you handle a person who is a consistent behavioural problem in your company?
- Describe a situation which you considered stressful. What role did you play. Describe how you dealt with the situation.
- What factors are most important to you in a job?
- Do you have a geographical preference?
- Why? What ties do you have at your preferred location?
- Describe your most positive/rewarding experience in your college life?
Describe your most negative/trying experience in college?
- Why did you select to attend your particular institute?
What abilities do you possess that would make you a contributing member of this organisation?
- How would you resolve a conflict between subordinates, superiors, and yourself?
- What are your greatest concerns about your first year with our organisation?
How to Select an Organization:-
The various factors one must consider before signing-up with one’s new employers. (Ideally, one should consider these factors even before applying for candidature to any organisation):
One should be very clear about the type of industry the organisation is in i.e. where exactly the industry is in its life-cycle: sunrise (e.g. insurance, biotech, IT/telecom services); growth (e.g. mobile/cellular services, media, entertainment) , saturation (e.g. chemicals, scooters, colour TVs); or decline (e.g. textiles, black & white TVs). Even seemingly sunrise/growth industries have changed their status abruptly and in a very short period of time (classic example being the dotcom world.
The Management Team-
One has to get a lot of information on the quality & competence levels of the top management team; the management’s philosophy, work culture, ethics, image in professional circles etc.
The Job Profile-
This must be in line with one’s core experience, core competencies and professional ambitions. The job location and designation must be clearly spelt out and mentioned in the appointment letter. One should in no way compromise on this for short term gains
The Organization Life Cycle Status-
Even in a growth industry, there are a lot of organisations going down-hill (e.g. Maruti in automobile industry or NOCIL in speciality chemicals industry). One has to get a fix on an organisation’s SWOT analysis, its product/service status (image, performance) vis-à-vis its competitors, its core competencies and its medium to long term plans.
The Organization’s financial Health-
A very important factor. Even if the organisation has recently suffered financial reverses, reasons for the same must be ascertained. (The reverses could be due to major investments made in expansion, technology, VRS etc. and these need not necessarily be seen in a negative light)
The Organization’s HR Practices-
One must get information on the satisfaction levels of employees of the organisation and the attrition levels experienced by the organisation vis-à-vis its competitors and the industry at large. Further, one’s own professional goals and ambitions (short term and long term) must be in sync with what the organisation has to offer
The Salary and Hygiene Factors:-
These too must be in sync with one’s short term and long term goals. You must have a total clarity on the salary being offered (tax implications, tangible/intangible).
To summarize, a lot of research and work has to be done for identifying it.
Information of the Company sources-
One should access and study all sources of company information (product brochures, annual reports, press releases, websites, information on the parent company/promoters etc.). To the extent possible and before signing up with an organisation, one should interact with as many employees and customers/dealers of the organisation as well as visit the organisation’s offices/manufacturing & service facilities.
This requires time and patience. The initiative has to come from one’s self for this and one must not be compromising on the efforts required to do this.
After all, it is your own career you are planning. A lot is at stake. A wrong move, can have a lifelong adverse impact on your professional and career plans and achievements.