If famous career coach Usha Albuquerque’s tips for avoiding job interview blunders in India are anything to go by then it’s pretty clear that you need to look beyond the usual word of advice given in a job interview – such as dressing appropriately, coming on time and so on.
Here’s a quick guide on how to create impact in a job interview quickly by avoiding these 5 common mistakes.
Be achievement centric not job centric
Most Indian candidates tend to forget that employers are looking for a great long term professional to join them, not just to fill someone’s shoes or a mere role, says Kris Lakshmikanth, founder of Head Hunters India, as reported by Wall Street Journal India.
Candidates tend to narrate what they did in the previous job but they forget that they have to give the employer a bird’s eye perspective of their significant achievements in the past few years. You never know, employers might find something in your history interesting enough to separate you from the rest of the lot.
Display a desire for learning
It’s a myth that employers are always looking for candidates who are full of qualifications and positive qualities. As Education Times reports, Seema Arora Nambiar, Director People Resource at McDonald’s India (West and South) says that employers like candidates who accept that their limitations and show willingness to learn.
They would love to mould a candidate to their advantage instead of having a candidate who knows-it-all. In the knowledge economy, it’s okay to say ‘I don’t know but I will look it up’.
Don’t be nervous
Easier said than done, breaking into a sweat, having a shaky, shivery voice, losing your cool or giving long verbal pauses are clear signs of the fact that you’re not born to be a leader. Considering that your employers will expect you to head future board meetings, lead a team, troubleshoot in crises and so on, you’ll be spilling all your beans if you let your nerves overcome you. According to Charanpreet Singh, Associate Dean of Praxis Business School, Kolkata, as reported by Rediff, interview panels are capable of grilling you not exactly to test much of your knowledge but to test if you cross the lines of nervousness and aggression or not.
Keep your ethical ground intact
Ethics have recently come into the forefront in the corporate India and in management academia as a discipline. The interview panel will have mock situations ready to test how you would behave if you were put in an ethical dilemma. Again, there are no right or wrong answers to situations with ethical complexities because it is a subjective matter, but make sure stand your ground well. The best way to deal with this is to thoroughly research the background of the members of panel who would be taking your interview and pre prepare a few thoughts accordingly. An opinion on ethical behavior is critical.
Get an industry perspective
Even if you are applying for a highly niche, technical role, you will be at great advantage if you have an overall industry perspective and cross disciplinary knowledge. If you are in the plastics industry, peripheral knowledge about the chemical industry is required, if you are in the IT industry, peripheral knowledge about content management would work to your advantage, if you are in the film production business, knowledge about project management would be beneficial and so on.
Your knowledge and interest areas are what employers wish to learn about, not just the fact that you can perform your task list well.
You may also be interested in reading our previous articles on mistakes that you should avoid while writing your resume and What your resume should actually contain.