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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What the industry expects from an "Interviewee"?

What the industry expects from an "Interviewee"?
By Girish Aithal, Infosys Newsletter Home  

Interviewing task is an 'art'; but getting through a tough interview is a 'smart art'! Thousands of lines would have been written by hundreds of authors about interviewing skills. But people still fail to impress the interviewers thereby, not getting through it. In fact, many people who have very good academic records too fail to make it through the interview, at times.

It's like learning swimming inside a classroom! No amount of books or teaching sessions could get you there, you had to jump into the water and start swinging & beating your hands and legs. "Practice makes man perfect". But how do you practice facing interviews? Well, to start with read, read & read a lot; not only books on 'interviewing skills', but many others which give you general knowledge, current affairs, latest business & technology updates and interviews of big shots. You can also practice it by taking up mock interviews. Talk to your professors or your relatives with appropriate experience to become the interviewer and ask them to conduct the interview for you. Consider each interview in which you could not get through, as a step towards a better interview! There is nothing to feel bad about it. All these will help build confidence and improve your ‘learnability’.

Confidence is one of the most important characteristics that an interviewer would like to see in an interviewee. Most of the questions put across by the interviewer are nothing but a test to see your confidence. Be confident with your answers. Be confident, even when you reply with an 'I don't know'! There is no 'know-all' person in the world. Nobody will expect you to know all about a given subject. If you do not know the answer to a question or if you are not very sure about it, it is better to be honest and say "I don't know" rather than try and show off that you know the answer and face being cornered by the interviewer. For example, if the interviewer asks you, “What is the capital of Maharastra?” And you reply, “Bangalore”; the next question would be, “What is the capital of Karnataka!?” Now you are cornered! Remember, an interviewer always likes to 'corner' the interviewee during the interview, like a chess player always wants to corner the king!

Another thing that an interviewer looks for is a strong resumes which has overall value. While I was waiting for the bus to go back to Mangalore from a Campus Connect college visit, a young girl came up to me, she said, she had attended my speech that morning in the college. She had come down to the college for a technical paper presentation contest and wanted to know whether such activities would add value to her resume? My reply was positive! I said, “Certainly, it does; though you have to keep in mind that while such activities do add value, they alone may not get you a job. It’s like when we are very thirsty, all we need is a big glass of cold water. After that, we wouldn’t mind an ice-cream or a juice. It is usually not the other way around. We wouldn't want to have an ice-cream instead of water to begin with! Similarly, the water is your education and the ice cream and juice are your extra curricular activities. Such extra curricular activities also will help you build your confidence.

Last but not the least; do focus on practical sessions of the subjects. It is quite common to see students focus on completing the theory part rather than practical sessions of the subjects. In many colleges the assessment of the final year project is done so liberally that there is very little chance that anybody would fail even if the person had not contributed anything to the project!

While interviewing, we do focus on your project work. It is not that we are very keen about the details of your project, but this is usually done so as to check the student’s contribution to the project and his/her practical knowledge.

If all these basics are kept in mind, it becomes easier to face an interview if you are COOL - Confident, Open minded, Obedient/Honest & have good Learn ability skills. Good luck to all of you with your future endeavors.

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