'How honest should you be in a job interview?'
In an online chat with readers on November 12, Mayank Gupta, COO, EduKart.com addressed reader queries on how to be honest and perform better in a job interview.
For those who missed the online chat, here's the unedited transcript:
Anwar asked, My 2nd round of telephonic round with head commercial went on fine till he asked me the costings of travel cost per student, electricity cost per sq feet, electricity cost per student etc. which I was not prepared at all. What should one do if questions are put up at a very micro level which we are not prepared. Interviewer was writing all the figures which I was not aware. I lost my confidence meantime. Tks Anwar
Mayank Gupta answers, at 2012-11-12 16:17:28Dear Anwar, if you are an expert in that area, you will be expected to know the approximate figures or a range in which they fall. If you are unable to recall, please ask for time to calculate the figures based on the given data.
sampab asked, Pls suggest the Certification
Mayank Gupta answers, You can go for Certifications in Wealth Management, Stock Broking or Financial Management, depending on your area of interest.
Parveen asked, How we tackle USA ascent in interview.
Mayank Gupta answers, Answer in your usual accent, unless it is specifically mentioned that American accent is a pre-requisite for the job.
rk asked, sir, good afternoon to you. kindly tell the best dress code for interview. is wearing tie is necessary for a senior excecutive post interview.
Mayank Gupta answers, Dear RK, always wear formals to indicate your seriousness for the interview.
Som asked, Ppl say "first impression is the last impression". How to give that perfect first impression in an interview ?
Mayank Gupta answers, A smile on your face, well groomed hair, shine in your eyes, and a firm handshake is a perfect recipe for a good first impression.
samir asked, I have been fired for my last organisation(worked for 10 years) since I was involved with one friend on starting a organisation. Now it has been 9 months and no Job. I have tried to say true in my interview however no positive response. Can you guide me a better approach during the interview?
Mayank Gupta answers, Samir, focus on the strengths and learnings from the experience you had, and talk about the precautions which you will take in your further jobs to enrich the job outcomes. This will give confidence to the interviewer that you have learned from your experience, whether adverse, and are ready to look forward in life.
R asked, I want to know the name of Interviewer at my interview season. The y told me very rough. What I have made wrong?
Mayank Gupta answers, Dear R, you can politely ask the HR the name of the interviewer before the interview. However, do not think you have done any wrong if the name is not shared with you. Companies sometimes prefer keeping the name secret, or the interviewer may not be finalised.
jain asked, Is it advisable to say truth during interviews? Most of my friends have got good pay and post as they have lied about the knowledge. However I am finding it difficult to get a job, since I have tried to keep all the information transparent. However now I am having double thoughts. Kindly advice
Mayank Gupta answers, Honesty is a virtue which should never be compromised. Any false information provided during the interview would be uncovered sooner or later, and the repercussions will be very bad.
Skanda123 asked, Hi Mayank Sir, Another question is about notice period & expected salary. What is the best answer suitable to give in an interview
Mayank Gupta answers, Best answer is to tell the right notice period and expected salary.
Mayank Gupta says, Few thoughts on being honest in an interview - An interview is a start of a potential relationship between the company and the individual. This relationship feeds the family of the individual, and the revenue of the company. Therefore, this relation should be built on trust and honesty.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier
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'Don't sound too judgemental and inflexible'
Skanda123 asked, Hi Mayank Sir, I am in the same KPO industry for 7.5 years as a Senior accounts payable executive. I am looking out for a job from past 6 months in a good company with a better designation & pay in accounts payable. But in all the interviews that i have attended, its either because of my lack of knowledge in other departments of accounts or designation or pay that i am still unable to get proper job. Please advise me on how to improve my chances to get a new suitable job
Mayank Gupta answers, Dear Skanda123, you can not change your designation and pay. The only change you can do is to improve your knowledge about other departments of accounts. Try to read up about other departments, talk to your colleagues and friends from other companies to understand the dynamics of their jobs.
Skanda123 asked, Thanks Sir, But the question here is i should also have the practical experience in other fields of accounts which will be important in a new job or just knowledge is sufficient.
Mayank Gupta answers, Dear Skanda123, if possible, get some practical exposure if possible. Otherwise, even knowledge about other verticals would increase your chances of getting selected.
vrunda asked, hi, what should one avoid saying in an interview?
Mayank Gupta answers, Do not take any extreme stands about a particular topic. Don't sound too judgemental and inflexible. Also, be a good listener.
vrunda asked, if you insist on being honest, what if i left the old organisation due to office politics? should i mention that as a reason?
Mayank Gupta answers, Yes. But also mention the learnings you had from that experience, and how do you plan to manage the same in future, because no office runs without politics.
Skanda123 asked, Hi Sir, My actual notice period in current company is 2 months since i am an experienced person. Also in most of new jobs, they are looking for immediate placement. In that case what is the best answer to be given
Mayank Gupta answers, Tell them you will talk to your existing employer about reducing the notice period. You can also ask the interviewer if they will be interested in buying out your notice period, i.e., pay the notice-pay to your existing employer to let you leave early.
vrunda asked, is there a way to find out whether the employer is going to reject me? through body language, signs, expressions etc?
Mayank Gupta answers, No. Interviewers can never be judged. Give your best without thinking whether you are being liked or disliked by the interviewer.
Skanda123 asked, Sir, I am waiting for answer of below question:- Skanda123 says, Thanks sir, but if they asked about practical exposure in other fields & if i tell i dont have practical exposure in current company & if given a chance & training I can do it in new company - Will the interviewer give me a chance
Mayank Gupta answers, Dear Skanda123, it depends on what the interviewer values the most - your practical exposure, or your knowledge. So you may or may not get a chance, depending on the job requirements.
Skanda123 asked, Hi Sir, I am desperate for a new job as said before in earlier questions that i am in same field of accounts in current company for 7.5 years & dont have knowledge & experience in other fields of accounts. What is the best way to deal with this?
Mayank Gupta answers, You need personalised counselling. Please contact a job consultant or take help of a job portal for further guidance.
aravindh asked, yes, but sometimes knowing that you are going wrong will help correct the rest of the interview. pls give some advice on that
Mayank Gupta answers, Aravindh, if you are in a case study mode, you can get clues from the interview by asking questions such as - 'Am i thinking in the right direction'? Other than this, it is difficult to find out if the interviewer liked your answers or not.
Max777 asked, i have recently apeared for the interview for a senior position. I went through 2 levels and was asked to wait of the HR round. However the HR was told me that they will take feedback and inform me. It is more then 5 days. What are my chance of getting through. I would like to add that I know the HR people. Should i wait or call the HR people for the status.
Mayank Gupta answers, You can call the HR to ask the status. There is no harm in asking.
aravindh asked, pls also give some tips on how to do less damage in an interview especially if i go wrong
Mayank Gupta answers, Accept your mistake and restart.
aravindh asked, m told that sometimes interviewers ask you questions to upset you just to check how you deal with it. is it true?
Mayank Gupta answers, Yes. They may be checking how you manage stress and failure.
Max777 asked, How does one come to know that he is a success at the interview
Mayank Gupta answers, Only when the results are declared!
zuby asked, hello sir i have an gap in between mine gade and master and in between i have did mine personal work dont
have any org experience will it be disadvantage for me to getting good job ?
Mayank Gupta answers, No disadvantage. If you have learnt something from your personal work, it can be used to your advantage in the interview.
Mayank Gupta says, Thank you all for putting your questions forward. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for any further queries.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh