How to succeed in a job interview

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Friday, December 6, 2013

“KNOWLEDGE is power.”

This is one of the inspiring quotations aimed at motivating one to pursue an education.

Education is considered as a priceless investment and can lead one to a fulfilling life.

In the Philippines, to have a college education is very important.

For Filipino families who are better off economically, the responsibility comes as second nature to parents.

For poor families, however, parents try to find many ways, and often, have to do a lot of sacrifices just to send their children to school and have a college degree.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of fresh graduates are added to the already existing high statistics of unemployed, underemployed and misemployed.

The limited number of available jobs/vacant positions makes it more difficult for these new graduates to get hired.

And before one gets employed, he or she has to go through a long hiring process, and one of these is the interview.

An interview could make or unmake an applicant.

While for some companies, the school or university where one has graduated from matters, nowadays, this is not the big factor anymore.

The knowledge and skills an applicant possesses, and much more, his attitude and personality are being considered, and these can be figured out during the interview.

How does one hurdle an interview and gets shortlisted and finally gets hired?

In his book, “Succeeding In Intervews,” Subhash Jagota shared the following tips:

* Be positive about yourself.

You have been invited to an interview because you are a good candidate.

The interviewer has seen your application and must have been impressed.

* Remain calm, be enthusiastic about the job and be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses.

The worst that can happen is, you won’t get the job.

* Take a deep breath, calm yourself and enter the interview room slowly and soberly.

Be ready to listen to the interviewer who will initiate the conversation.

* Walk over to the chair, shake hands if the interviewer offers his/her hand first.

* If you are worried then your hands will be sweating because of anxiety and nervousness.

You should not initiate a handshake but should be ready to respond.

Your handshake should be firm, not gripping or domineering.

It is supposed to be a genuine gesture of friendliness.

* Don’t hold the interviewer’s hand for too long.

Smile at the interviewer and look at him/her in the eyes as you shake hands.

Don’t shake hands looking downwards.

* When you sit down, don’t slouch and try not to freeze into one position. Breathe.

* Try to eliminate nervous gestures such as toe tapping, hair pulling, scratching, fidgeting with props, etc.

* The interviewer will be doing his/her best to put you at ease.

Most candidates look a bit nervous—interviewers are used to this, so they start with some questions regarding the weather, or your journey to the office, etc.

Don’t take these questions very seriously.

The interviewer will want to hear your answers in good spoken English. You must be clear and audible.

* Don’t put your hands over your mouth as you speak or you will not be heard as easily and will appear more nervous.

The interviewer wants to hear simple answers, which are not too long and show a good grasp of the facts.

Talking too much may irritate the interviewer.

* Your answers should be backed by examples.

Speak slowly and deliberately pause for a few seconds during answering. This will also help you relax.

* It is important to show a sense of humor as this will reflect your positive attitude.

Observe whether the interviewer is listening.

If not, vary the pace of your speech, or stop for a moment.

* Try to use silence to your advantage by mentioning your strengths.

Jagota summarizes that organizations are looking for candidates who have positive attitude, fire of enthusiasm, ability and keenness to learn, good team skills, ability to think BIG and grow in the organization.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 06, 2013.


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