First interviews can be scary. I know it. Been more than 3 years since I attended my first Job Interview and hilariously failed*.
Luckily, this time I was to be on the other side of the table – the interviewer.
On 19th Jan 2014, I had the opportunity to visit SCT Collge of Engineering Trivandrum, as the Consultant for Grey Technolabs‘ Placement Drive in the venue. I was requested to handle the analysis of the Group Discussion (GD) Round for the applicants and the HR Interview for the finalists.
Having conducted loads of interviews for my firm and for DayScholars Innovations, I can easily say am not a newbie in this, but all the same I ain’t an expert either. Let’s keep it medieval by saying I have my share of experience to be able to make justified decisions.
So, at the end of the day, with analysis of 57 applicants via GD and 23 one-to-one HR Round interviews under my belt, have to agree…. I was brain fried! I do not mean to undermine anyone or any individual’s talent, but the sheer ego and easy-go attitude of certain applicants just wrinkled my brain out.
And that’s exactly where I felt the need for this blog post to arise. One to one, I saw some of the common mistakes the students did while in the GD and/or in the interview. Some of it might seem pretty trivial. But if that’s all the importance you give to your job interview, God save you. No, it’s not the end of the world, but yes, it can be the reason you’re shown the door.
Certain points to keep in mind –
Group Discussion (GD)
- Being proactive is good. But don’t let it be at the expense of absolutely shutting up others. Do not be domineering.
- Never ever go for personal attacks on someone else, whose points you do not agree with.
- Do not whisper with the person on your side. It’s a GD, not a Chinese Whisper game.
- Stop staring so publicly at the girl sitting opposite to you. Yes, she maybe good looking. But then no, you’re not getting the job.
- Control your anger even if someone pinpoints personal attacks on you. Their chances of advancing are history. Don’t let yours go down the drain too.
- Do not behave like Manmohan Singh and sit quietly. You won’t be given the nod of approval.
- Speak up only if you have a valid point to share. Don’t just say “I agree with my friend over here…” and iterate the exact same thing he/she said.
- If you’re the first person to speak up, make sure you start off with the strongest of points. Bonus marks to you.
- If you have absolutely no idea about the topic, wait till quite a few points have been shared. Then based on them and the power of your intelligence, come out with a point that makes sense. Do not utter blunder. The people evaluating you are smart.
- Don’t just stare at the face of the moderator. Look square into the eyes of each and every person sitting there, while talking.
- You might be nervous as hell. Everyone is. But ensure you’re not shivering uncontrollably when sitting across the table with the interviewer.
- Make sure your phone is switched off or not with you at the moment. 5 min of not Whatsapp’ing your GF/BF isn’t going to cost you the relation. But your phone ringing or even worse, you messaging during the interview, is something you should be sent to jail for.
- Do not consider the people at the interview panel as fools. Unless you’re CEO of a Million Dollar company who’s attending the interview just to have fun, don’t blabber out tell-tales or lies. No matter how good a liar you might be, at some point of time, you’ll be caught.
- Be conscious of your body language – that means, no slacking on the chair, no nervous tapping of your feet and no playing with the cap of your pen.
- Maintain eye-contact with the interviewer you’re talking to. Displays confidence.
- The interviewer is there to analyse whether you’re the right person for the job. They’re not there to listen to your sorry story and feel sympathetic to you. Don’t get emotional and plead that “I need this job”. You’ll just be ensuring your exit from the opportunity for the vacancy.
- For heaven’s sake, don’t ask the interviewer whether he/she’s committed/married 😐
Every single point I have mentioned here, is from that single day of experience. There were also a whole bunch of students who thoroughly impressed me. Yes, I understand students might not have experience attending interviews. But most of the mistakes mentioned above are just due to pure lack of common sense. It’s not rocket science.
Though there were moments when I actually thought learning Rocket Science would be easier than digging up Common Sense from an empty hole.
*P.S. For those loving people who have doubts on whether I have any right to write this article after failing my first Job Interview, I passed the GD, Aptitude and HR Interview for the first one. Failed for the technical interview. For the second Job Interview, cleared 3 rounds of HR Interview, 1 round of Technical Interview, 1 round of Psychological Test and 1 round of Language Test. In the end decided not to accept the Job Offer. A week later, started IZE Creative.
-Vijay S Paul
Image Courtesy : imgur.com, keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk, glasbergen.com