Interviews are the most dreaded part of any examination. They are, nevertheless, prima facie personality tests where there is a need to maintain a fine balance between being blatantly honest and sounding pretentious to your interviewer.
With the Common Admission Test (CAT) results announced, it’s a given that many exam-takers will now be facing several interview rounds, in the upcoming months. Additionally, many final year students have been preparing for their HR interviews that are required for final placements or for internship interviews. There is, unfortunately, no fixed formula or set strategy to deal with all the questions during an interview, and only a few basic things that should be at everyone’s fingertips while appearing for one. Usually, the academic or technical interviews are more domain-specific that cater to a student’s basic knowledge of the subject and the subject-specific skill set. They may also involve questions on general affairs, which can be handled with ease if you read the newspaper on a daily basis and make sincere efforts to brush up your current affairs’ awareness. The personality interviews have always been tricky, and more often than not, the interviewers are observing your interpersonal skills. Many of us are tempted to make up things out of thin air in order to leave a great first impression. Predictably, this contradiction is the biggest blunder anyone could think of.
First and foremost, you need to accept that the interviewer is a smart and sensible human being. The interviewer is prudent and will not expect any candidate to know everything under the sun. Thus, if you are unable to answer a specific question, it is wise to politely say a ‘sorry’ rather than beating around the bush and waste everyone’s time. Most importantly, do not panic if you make a mistake and do not lie about your work experience, as the interviewer is a human too and will not judge you for being human. Secondly, since the interview is only about you, you are not expected to know the technicalities of an unrelated field. So, do not waste time preparing out-of-context questions and focus on the stream/field of study which you had been pursuing up till now and for which you are applying. The best shot that you have at interviews is to prepare for the generic “tell me about yourself” part or “why an MBA” or “why this company”. Since this part tends to be grueling for most interviewees, you should be genuine and outright in your approach. Start from the very beginning — where you come from, your interests, work experience, knowledge about your graduation subject, why do you want to change your stream (if so), why did you score a low C.G.P.A. and so on.
Keep your answers crisp, intelligent, short, and chronological. Tell them about the topics that excite you and subtly touch upon your aspirations. Don’t stutter while talking about your application — be thoroughly familiar with it. Unlike the popular adage, an interview is not an opportunity to “sell” yourself. Making it a conversation will always be the key to crack it.
Feature Image Credits: US News Money