Facing Interviews Confidently: 14 Tips on how to face an interview

Wherever we are in our careers, from entry-level to CXO we all have to face interviews for taking one step up the career ladder. Yes even CXO’s, maybe they will call it a discussion with the board, but they also are evaluated if they are fit for the job.

I have faced more than 50 interviews in my career so far, and it was because of the 2 phases of my life when I didn’t have a job. I’ll tell you one thing, to get another job while you have one already is easier than to get it when you are not working. It was a challenging experience at that time but now if I look back it has taught me valuable lessons. So here is my attempt to put together my thoughts as well as some commonly known tips on how to face job interviews and crack them.



1. Nothing beats preparation: ever landed into an interview without preparing for it? You will have either of these 2 feelings: anxiety or confidence. If it is anxiety, that you didn’t prepare and you are not sure how you will do, it will automatically lead to a negative body-language and unstructured, unclear responses to questions. Basically, all pointers in this list from here will fall flat on their face. If it is the 2nd feeling i.e. confidence, which would really be over-confidence, you will again portray body-language and behaviors that will show this out to the interviewer, and for 99% of the cases, it will be a turn-off for them.
Thus, preparation is crucial to success in interviews. And it is never enough, like a Sachin Tendulkar reaching nets for practice before anyone else and doing it consistently, we need to prepare every time we go for an interview,

2. Follow the pre-interview preparation checklist: I have an infographic on the pre-interview checklist and it has all the preparation items like printing resume copies, dress code, etc. You can see it here: The Ultimate Pre-Interview Checklist

3. While waiting at the reception, ditch the phone, go to the washroom instead: In a very famous Ted Talk, Amy Cuddy shared her research on how candidates fared in an interview based on what they did while waiting for it. The candidates who went to the washroom and practiced positive body-language had more chance of getting through than the ones who were engrossed in their phones. Watch the video here.

4. Enter with a smile and give a firm handshake: you come across as genuinely positive and confident with these key indicators. And practice them whenever you meet everyone every day so that on the day of the interview it just flows naturally.


5. Prepare for the common questions asked in an interview: go through the 9 most commonly asked interview questions, in this article I have shared earlier. You can always prepare for as many questions and try to connect most answers to the job you are applying for. Your practice will help you be more smooth and fluent when answering in the actual interview.

6. Tell me about yourself: you must, and I insist ‘must’, write down your response to this question and practice by reading it multiple times. And this answer must change with the context of the company you are interviewing for. For example, if I go to an IT company I will mention more of the IT clients I have worked with and so on.

7. Always match your skills to the requirements of the role you are interviewing for: this will happen when you do a proper study of the job description and research on the company you are interviewing for. Your examples should then connect to them and the industry they belong to.

8. Body language: Your presence in the room matters and your body-language gives all sorts of signals to the interviewers. The same is mentioned in the research by Amy Cuddy I quoted above.

9. Voice: Your voice is another big aspect of conveying confidence and clarity. Avoid eating ice-cream from the day before, yes it helps, and do some jaw flexing every day it will help you speak fluently and improve your pronunciation. You could do the Cicely Berry jaw exercises (link here). 

10. Pause: you need not start speaking from the moment the interviewer finishes their sentence. You can take a few seconds to pause, think, and reflect before you start answering. This conveys you don’t jump the gun and give a more thoughtful response.

11. Have a conversation, not an interrogation: it is okay to talk like you are having a normal conversation while doing it respectfully. You can also ask the interviewer back a few questions even before they say ‘any questions for me?’. Be a good listener when they speak and convey that through your body language.

12.  Be honest: this is one value that is scarce and missing and is much desired. If you lie about your skills or knowledge, it will come out one day or another, worse if it happens after you join.

13.  In the end, close positively, even if the interview didn’t go well: thank the interviewer for their time and share that you had a good learning experience during this interaction. Smile and give an equally firm handshake like you did at the start of the interview before leaving the room. It shows that you are capable of staying positive and professional despite the situation.

14.  And Never, Never, Never give up: like I shared, I have been through more than 50 interviews, and once 26 at a stretch till I finally landed a job. Sometimes, it was devastating because it was the perfect job I thought I will get and I was suitable for it. You must come back after an interview and reflect on what went well and what went wrong. It would be even more helpful if you note this down somewhere.

Our career growth depends on how much effort we put into developing our skills as well as how we communicate them to others. Interviews are a tool for employers to assess potential candidates and they are also an opportunity for potential candidates to communicate their capabilities.

Keep working on it and over a period of time, you will keep getting better at it. Wish you all the best.

Please do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments

  1. Sir this is nice article for everyone .thank you for nice article

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  2. Great help Thank you

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