Guidelines for a Successful Interview

An interview is a short discussion to assess if you have the required proficiency for a job. You are asked questions about your personality, interests, academics and practical experiences. An interview gives the employer a chance to know you in person and assess your suitability based on your personality traits such as your caliber, behavior, expression, and confidence. In addition to that, it also assesses your suitability based on your qualification and expertise as prescribed in your CV. Keeping in view these areas of assessment, you have to prove yourself as the best candidate for the job.

The guidelines for a successful interview are as follows:

  1. Prepare and practice: Preparation is a key to success in anything, but it is a real game-changer when it comes to an interview. No matter how qualified person you are, you have to prepare yourself for the interview. As noted earlier, you will be asked questions about your personality traits, interests, academic qualifications and expertise. Take each of these areas seriously and think about which type of questions can be asked about them. Prepare a list of questions for each area and prepare a valid and impressive answer for each. This preparation helps you prepare the content of the answer, but the most important thing is that it also gives you an internal feeling of confidence. When you appear in the interview, you don’t feel scared but confident. A large part of the interview is about assessing your qualification for the job. Every job requires a specific educational degree. Since bookish knowledge is viewed as the prerequisite for practical experience, you will be asked questions in the exact course content of subjects you have studied for getting that degree. For instance, in an interview for an administration job requiring an MBA degree, some questions will be asked about some topics in the MBA books. Remember, these questions are generally about easy common topics. These are never the specific conceptual, difficult, or rare topic. This means you don’t need to read every single topic of your book. Simply read only the most common topics to have their basic idea.

  2. Prepare the frequently asked questions: Some questions are asked in every interview such as What are your interest and hobbies? What are your strength and weaknesses? Why do we hire you for this job? What do you like or dislike about this job? How can you work under stress or pressure? You will also be asked these questions or questions like them. You should have prepared impressive and appropriate answers for such questions before going to the interview.

  3. Knowledge about organization and job description: You should know well about every aspect of the job you have applied for because you will be asked about them. For instance, which duties are included in the description of that job and how they are performed. Since you have to showcase your potential for that job, you have to do it verbally in the interview which is based on how well you know about different aspects of the job. You may be asked some questions about the organization where you have applied for the job. Even if you are not asked about it, you should give them some specific and good facts about that organization while answering some other relevant questions, it would give the interviewer a very good impression that you are serious enough to have known all these things.

  4. Prepare a short introduction for yourself: The first question in every interview is: Please introduce yourself. This question seems simple but cannot be answered only by saying: My name is John. I have done my master’s in business administration. No, you have to introduce yourself at least in 6 to 10 sentences. Your introduction should start with stating your name such as ‘My name is John’. Then briefly reflect on your educational degrees but not only your last (or the most recent) degree but also on the other one or two degrees that you have earned (before the last one). Add one or two lines about something or a practical learning area your good at and that relates to the job. For instance, I am good at using different programs on the computer (e.g., MS word). The last one or two lines should be about how eager you are about getting this job, which should be some positive lines such as ‘since my childhood, I wanted to become a teacher’. This information is just to give you an idea and your introduction can be different from it but you should write a short introduction for yourself and prepare it. Better memorize it.

  5. Dress up well: Be in a proper get-up for an interview. It adds to your personality. Plan what to wear for the interview. Dress selection depends on the organization and nature of the job you are applying for, but your dress for an interview should be a somewhat formal one. It should be a formal dress but also simple, clean and has no wrinkles on it. Wear a slight perfume too.

  6. Be on time: Reach the venue of the interview an hour earlier than the prescribed time. It can be a new place, so you would need a few minutes to relax. Meet other applicants or general staff members at the venue to feel more acquainted.

  7. Your first impression: When you are called in for the interview, enter into the room greeting the interviewers with a smiling face. Never enter the room with a serious, scared, and boring face. This first impression counts too. However, during the interview remain moderate, neither too serious to look rude nor too informal to look funny.

  8. Have confidence in yourself but be humble: Confidence counts a lot for selection for a job. Your confidence should reflect on your face. But never show over-confidence to look unnecessarily over-dominating. This means, you should have proper confidence but also be humble in your expression.

  9. Eye contact: Do not look down to the floor or up to the ceiling while talking or listening to the interviewer. Maintain proper eye contact with the interviewer during the interview.

  10. Express professionally: Avoid informal style of expression. You should express your views in a very formal and professional style.

  11. Decent body language: Do not sit too firm or too relaxed in the chair. Sitting firm in a fixed style, having arms folded and narrating answers like a robot would not favour you. While expressing your views, keep changing your body position slightly as well as move your hands according to your expression to maintain good body language. 

  12. Show your enthusiasm and devotion: Be enthusiastic and lively during the interview. Your words should have exquisite energy in them. Also, try to show that you are ambitious about the job by expressing your devotion towards it.

  13. Be specific in your answers and give examples: Your answer should be concise and specific to the questions. Avoid giving unnecessary explanations. Support your answers with relevant and good examples.

  14. Don’t talk too much: Do not talk too much just to prove that you are more expressive. It has a bad impression, particularly when the applicant is giving irrelevant explanations. An interview is a two-way communication and has a short time in which the interviewer wants to explore more about you. Hence, be specific in your answers to give the interviewer more time to ask you more questions and know you more.

  15. What to do if you don’t know an answer: If you don’t know an answer to a question, don’t worry. It never means that you will be disqualified. Interviewers understand that a person must not necessarily know everything. But how should you respond in such a situation? If you are completely blank about the answer, better say, ‘I am sorry, I have no idea about that’ rather than giving a wrong answer. But if you have some rough idea, then start composing your answer with the starting line such as ‘I am not sure, but I believe that………’ If your answer is correct, that is good. But if your answer is wrong, the interviewer would understand that you were not sure, but you have tried to figure it out and that is okay.

  16. End with thanking the interviewer: When the interview ends, say thank you to the interviewer(s) with a smiling face to leave a good last impression in the interview.