The Interview Woes

August 31, 2018

When we come across social sites, we read a lot of advices about how to prepare and face the interviews. If we compare with one another there is hardly any new advice, new thought over the years. Same old few points, most of they are repetitive, outdated and unrealistic for the present times. What exactly takes place inside the interviewing room is primarily depends on the maturity levels of the interviewer. For that to happen the person has to know the purpose of the interview well. This may vary from one to another depending on the job task of the vacant post. Having said this, in any interview if the interviewer doesn’t create a right environment to see what exactly they want to know, the entire purpose is lost. Having performed well at written examination many lose the opportunity at this stage mostly because of the faulty approach to the process (By the candidate and Interviewer as well).

Let us know a few important aspects of this process. This article is prepared with my own experience with the candidates and my interaction with highly designated people those take interview for the top positions; but the contents are generalized to suite everyone who are going through the process.

The very important aspect is the approach. Be natural or else you collapse. Lose it being natural instead of winning it artificially since you need to perform after the selection. Let me explain this ‘approach’ in cricketing language. If we go through Sachin Tendulkar’s batting records he should have been the owner of at least 135 centuries instead of 100. If you have watched him, in almost every game wherever he has crossed 90 run mark, his speed of scoring goes down considerably. No one tells him to do that. It is an artificial fear he creates for himself to reach century and succumbs. 35% of his missed centuries by a whisker is the direct result of this fearful and extra cautious approach at this stage. Important to be noted here is, he forgets or give up the free approach that fetched him 90 runs till that moment and
enters a pressurized cell that he creates for himself for no reason. Be a Virender Sehwag on your interview day who crossed 300 by hitting a sixer at 298. Be natural. Because it is very difficult to hide our discomfort levels, our focus gets deviated to hide instead of performing. Treat the entire process like any other day in your life.

Do not disbelieve in your abilities ever, even when you lose the interview after doing well. A few times the mistake lies with the people who conduct the interview. The interviewing person’s ability, maturity, upbringing and approach play an important in candidate’s success or failure. Some people are more interested in showing their authority and power to the candidate than anything else. The other reason is, a few times if the immediate supervising person of the candidate is present in the interview and he feels that the candidate is good and may pose threat to him in the future, he has every reason to trouble during interview and not to select at the end. A weaker candidate gets the nod a few times for this reason. It is not a failure but bad luck of the day. This happens when the supervising person is a boss than the leader. In a structured interview in recognized companies the immediate supervising person is made absent from selection panel for this reason.

There are a few fundamental questions raised in every interview. They are the building blocks for the process to set inn. One of the questions is “Tell me something about you; introduce yourself “. How we prepare our self to introduce is not a one day preparation. It should be a way of life. Polished manners of presentation cannot be presented artificially. In fact, my advice is, during the entire process do not exhibit an iota of artificiality at all. A matured interviewer will read you
immediately once he looks at you .Hence ones that question is thrown at you the entire process should be in your control, not the interviewers. This question is an opportunity for you to excel .This doesn’t require special skills but a creative way of student life which is filled with curiosity, innovative ideas, extra-curricular activities and knowledge.

Most importantly understand the difference between a CV, resume and bio data .Read the job description well (JD) and cross check for the suitability with your skills. Kindly do not apply if the job description is not matching with your skills. This will lead to the overlooking of the right resume in the pool of unnecessary applications. You may copy a format but not the content!

If you are in a very bad situation and in need of job urgently, plan the process even more matured way. Do not ever go down with the salary demands considerably once you claim what you look for. Either you settle and demand for less in the beginning itself or stick to what you have already claimed during the process. Cutting down demand considerably in the middle of the process when “you feel” that the job may slip out of the hand sends wrong signals. It may be deliberately asked to check your confidence level in yourself.

Equally bad idea is showing/revealing the proof of previous salary drawn. It is not advisable. One should be very clear about what we look for and is justified. Be crystal clear about your price at job market for the domain you work for. In the present situation many people work for much lesser than what they should have been getting. Do a market survey about the salary standard in your respective field, do a proper analysis of your skill levels, check what additional qualities you have added in the present company and fix your future price. When you request for lesser than the market price you are degrading your acquired skills and this may not be well received by the interviewer. Demanding less salary than the market price may itself become a reason for overlooking you.

The best thing one can do is to attend at least one interview every four months even when the job is not required. This exercise helps a lot to understand, prepare and reduce the anxiety when we actually need to face the interviews.

The qualities which win the race in life will win the interview as well. They are compatible. We always try to do something without having self-awareness, unknown about our potential, and our weakness. There are two very fundamental aspects to lead quality life either at home or at work place. The first one is, don’t ever get disconnected from your past studies (10th 11th and 12th standard) and have a habit of quality reading. This is a must to succeed at interviews. The process of reaching the end result is equally important as the end result. Secondly; never stop upgrading and adding additional educational requirements, not only to climb the ladder but to perform efficiently where you are. That is to say, what we do in between age group 25 to 35 will decide our comfort levels at home and office after 40. The acquired education and skill level up to age 24 has to be maintained and upgraded constantly in between age 25 to 35. This is crucial .Major failures occur at this stage since we take a laid back approach. Gone are the days when we kept our brains empty after getting basic degrees. The moment we are inactive in getting additional qualities or upgrade, we are writing ourselves off from the mainstream. In short, upgrade the mental software and do the maintenance regularly as you do with your cell phones and PCs. It is because, to climb the ladder in professional life, we need to look at the opportunities beyond our regular youth age and zone; may be sometimes in private companies, up to age 50 and to achieve it, we need to be ever prepared. Look at the availability of talent pool; no one will get wild card entry at any stage and age of life.

Being qualified doesn’t help anyone if the skills are absent. It is the specific identity you give yourself that wins the situations for you.

For some strange reasons we have disregarded the importance of studying psychology. Now and in future if we want to progress in life, the study of soft skills going to play an important role. At least they face life situations with much more confidence and ease, than others. This is going to help to maintain clam when we face pressurized situations like interviews. We notice, in almost all the resumes candidates mentioning “good in analytical skills and problem solving abilities” without any supportive educational background or life exposure. These days problem solving abilities not only technical but man management skills and maintaining an environment that fuels the growth of the company, is ever essential. There is nothing in our educational system to claim we have good analytical abilities! To score better in interviews study of soft skills is essential.

Having a talent in any one activity that helps socialize is also play an important role in the selection process. To name a few ,may be playing a musical instrument, acting skill, writing skill that helps stand out separately from the crowd plays an important role as well. Your skills should enable you to move toward specificity from the general category of applicants. Give a specific identity to your resume. It is like moving from general/second class compartment of the train to AC compartment where the crowd is much less.

The level and type of preparation and presentation reveals everything to a serious interviewer, whether you are job oriented or career. That’s why many a times you may lose the job in spite of doing well if they come to know that you are just job oriented. My advice for students is, at least keep aside 2% of your income from the day you start earning independently, to upgrade your knowledge and skill in the future.

Finally, learn from a person who is unemployed and find out why. Similarly watch a person who climb the corporate and social ladder and find out the reason behind the progress. Observe a stagnant person for years in same position without any growth. Compare the result and implement the inference in your life. Don’t get carried away too much by reading in social network. It is a marketing gimmick to mint money. One of the marketing gimmicks is to plant fear, harvest when we are in confusion and make money. (For eg; My personal view is that the word “Multitasking” which is extensively used in artificial intelligence, is dragged into average life situations like interviews just to create confusion). What we have inside our brain wins the race than the artificial presentation (including dress code). What you are fed in social networks is known to the interviewer also. So he easily recognizes the artificiality!

Every step in life is an interviewing process. People around us test our patience, personality and ability to overcome difficulties at every step by negative stimuli. Be prepared.

The best way to prepare for an interview is to prepare nothing on the day and being natural.

By Vincent D’Sa, Dubai/Shankerpura
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Comment on this article

  • A Z Saldanha, Dubai

    Thu, Sep 06 2018

    Very useful article to all those who are seeking jobs and career growth. Well written too! Thanks Vincent, keep sharing your knowledge on this forum.

  • Antony D'Cunha, Permude/Muscat

    Tue, Sep 04 2018

    Well written article covering all aspects of the subject. Thanks for sharing your professional knowledge.

  • Steven, Muscat

    Mon, Sep 03 2018

    Very nice article. Every student specially graduate student should read.

  • john Monteiro, Bondel Mangaluru

    Mon, Sep 03 2018

    Melwyn, Dubai:
    You are dead right and it is a pity.

  • Melvin, Dubai

    Mon, Sep 03 2018

    Nice ,useful and informative article. Sad to notice that these type of writings goes unnoticed. Keep writing.

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