A job interview is intended to allow you to get to know the people you will be working with and for them to get to know you.
It's critical to be yourself, advises Siddharth Maheshwari, co-founder, Newton School, an edtech platform.
An interview allows hiring managers to determine whether or not you can back up what you have said on your job application.
They'll judge if your skills translate into practical exposure and if your personality is the right fit for their workplace.
As a candidate, your goal should be to demonstrate that you can be an indispensable asset to the organisation and fit right in with the workplace culture.
Use previous experiences as examples to showcase that you imbibe the skills they are seeking.
Here's a list of DOs and DON'Ts to get ready for that all-important first interview.
Five things to do
1. Research the company
Spend some time researching the company, so you understand its core business.
There is a wealth of company information available on the Internet.
You might be asked what you know about the company, so look over the 'About Us' section and pick up a few keywords along with the mission and vision statements.
Lastly, check the company's social media pages to determine its immediate focus.
2. Be proactive and take responsibility of the interview
Candidates may become overly quiet during job interviews in an effort to be courteous. However, politeness does not do well in an interview.
An interview is similar to any other conversation that demands dialogues to be exchanged on behalf of both the participants.
Don't make the mistake of simply sitting there waiting for the interviewer to ask you about your achievements.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the interviewer understands your key selling points.
3. Body language
Establishing a bond with the interviewer will help them recall you.
Be friendly in general; it will make both of you feel more comfortable.
Respond to all interview questions confidently and thoughtfully.
Also, prepare some queries for the interviewer.
These questions will prove to be very helpful when the interview is over, and you're asked, "Do you have any questions for us?"
4. Present your projects
Make the most of your projects as companies want to meet candidates who are invested in their work.
Talking and sharing about your projects gives you the edge that you need with technical interviews.
5. End strong and follow up
Making a good first impression is essential, but so is making a decent exit.
How you exit the interview is just as important as the answers you provide.
When the interview is finished, appreciate the interviewer for their time, give a firm handshake, and inquire about the next steps.
This will help you gauge when you should follow up on the job.
Also, always send a thank you note to the interviewer via e-mail to let them know you appreciate their time.
Five things to avoid
1. Checking your phone
We don't always realise we're doing it.
Checking your phone during an interview says that you are distracted and not fully engaged.
The interviewer may get the impression that you don't want the job or that you'd instead be doing something else.
Even if the person conducting the interview has her/his phone on the table, it's wise to keep yours in your pocket or purse on silent mode or turned off.
2. Sounding rehearsed
Although it is advised that you practise what you will say in response to interview questions, sounding overly rehearsed may work against you.
A job interview is intended to allow you to get to know the people you will be working with and for them to get to know you. That being said, it's critical to be yourself.
If you over-rehearse your responses, you come off sounding like a bot and camouflaging your true self.
3. Forgetting something
Whether it's forgetting to print out duplicates of your resume, forgetting to wear a tie, or failing to remember an important detail, it sends the wrong message.
Everyone makes errors, but almost every manager wants an employee they can rely on to do what they are told.
Allowing yourself plenty of time to prepare will help you avoid forgetting something during your interview.
4. Arriving late
Punctuality reveals a lot about a job applicant. It clearly shows that you value the interviewer's time and that you are serious about the position.
How can you be depended on for other matters if you are late for something as important as a job interview?
Show up about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview time.
In the event of an emergency that prevents you from arriving on time, please notify the interviewer.
5. Giving out false information
Respond to questions honestly and as briefly as possible.
Explain and describe aspects about yourself that are relevant to the role being offered and properly reflect your prior experience.
For example, if you are being questioned about a skill that is not your strong suit, be honest and tell your interviewer what you are willing to learn or work on. Then, describe the core strengths that you could bring to the table.
'Don't be nervous,' is easier said than done, but acquiring knowledge to overcome job interview anxieties is essential if you want to appear confident.
Try and relax and show your core personality. The employer will have a much better understanding of how you'll fit into their squad.
Take solace in the fact that if you're being interviewed, the recruiter is already pleased with what you have to offer and will be barracking for you to succeed after combing through countless applications.