HR expert and soft skills trainer, Glancy, offers some tips on how to prepare for an interview and what to do in the waiting room a few minutes before the big interview.
How ready are you before you walk into the interview?
by Glancy Albuquerque
Are you ready to impress strangers of your professional prowess?
Yes?! Let’s check see, shall we?
My questions to you: Are you ready to win this interview? Do you really want this job? Do you really want to belong with this company?
If your response is anything but a resounding ‘YES’ to my queries; don’t bother to go for the interview!
I mean it.
Don’t go for an interview if you are not ready to win!
Go with the attitude that you are going to ace it. If you are not sure of yourself and what you want, you will never put in the efforts that ensure Success.
Don’t waste your time and most importantly, don’t waste their time.
I always counsel people: believe that you are the best – work towards being the best – so that post any-kinda-interview, the decision is always yours to take– whether to Accept or Defer, the offer made to you. Go with the belief that you are the best and you will be Sold!
Now, presuming that you are all so excited to engage with people for the job of your dreams and with the organization of your dreams, let’s move forward.
Study the Job Description
Make sure that it matches with your skills and desires!
Research the Company
Do you have the vital stats of the firm ready at your finger-tips?
Size| Structure| Industry| Turnover| Profits| Revenues| Stock prices| Tag line| Vision| Competitors.
Annual stock reports of listed companies are readily available. You have no excuse!
The same way you would if you were dating someone you felt you had an affinity to – you’d be dying to know all about them. You’d spend hours asking, googling, even stalking them online to find out all there is to know; to help you decide that he or she is Right for you.
I advise many a candidate,(post-interview), that they should cultivate an attitude of ownership–you should be looking to get into a long-term relationship of mutual benefit.
If you are not interested in knowing about a giant conglomerate and you walk-in, knowing next-to-nothing about the company you applying for, please, as an employer, we are certainly NOT interested in you. Why should we be? It’s not fair!
There are many a hungry, passionate, professionals out there, let’s give them a chance. Opportunities are for those who fight for them.
I’ve heard this reason by many an individual – they go for interviews to check their “market-value” – sorry, but first get to know your – “self-worth”.
I’m going to very quickly run through the basic checklist – most of which I expect you to have covered already and I’m adding a few tips here and there as we go along. Here goes:
Always be on time for the interview
Never more than 10 minutes early than the scheduled appointment time. If, God forbid, you are late, apologise – sincerely and graciously to all concerned. Speak the truth and if you aren’t unforgivably late, they might even see you. Be wise.
Dress for the interview – Dress to show respect.
Always dress-up and dress conservatively for a job interview – even if you are applying for a job in the relaxed environment of an IT company. We show respect for an organization or an individual by dressing up. Your polish indicates that you think the interview and potential employer matter and that you respect them and the situation.
There is no harm in checking before-hand with the HR, the protocol for dress-up. If it’s the final interview then jacket and tie is a must. Please do not wear the suit you wore for the wedding. No shimmer please. Aim to be looking – crisp, clean, comfortable.
Dress for the weather. Anticipate the worst weather and prepare accordingly.
A quick tip for the gentlemen – get your tie-knot perfect and neatly aligned with your collar. The length of your tie should just touch the belt at your waist.I’m surprised to see that many a senior gent, have still not managed to get their tie just right.
Ladies: now’s not the time to try the new shiny bright shade of lipstick. Neutral shades in matt work best.
Your hands speak for you – keep them clean, nails neat and trimmed. Ladies: unkempt nails is an absolute NO. NO. Get a manicure.
Request your escort or receptionist for the names of the individuals that you are going to meet. Best if you could get them to write it down for you – name and designation.
Don’t lug your bag with you. Politely request the receptionist to keep it safe for you. You want to able to move quickly and comfortably.Be free of any encumbrances – physically and mentally. J
What to do just before the interview:
Be interested in the happenings around you – Observe. Read the literature displayed on the walls and the coffee-table brochures. They may provide you will additional armament. You can learn a lot about the set-up that you are potentially getting into by just watching the framework of human interaction around you.
Breathe in the atmosphere
Understand if the vibes resonate with yours. You don’t get me? I’ll explain – if you are a stock broker – the nature of your business being the hustle and bustle of a noisy shop-floor, and now as you walk through this place you find it uncannily quiet…that’s your cue to find if you belong there. Get my drift? I’m trying to be brief here.
I am giving you two powerful tips, you master this and I assure you that you can get into any high-powered, evaluative, stressful situation and come out a winner.
Our minds change our bodies and our bodies change our minds. These tweaks will change you!
Hold your own stare
Remember to look yourself in the eye, in the mirror without looking away for 30 seconds.
Try this daily, and you will be able to maintain eye contact with anyone.
The Power Pose
I call this the Superman pose.I have coached many a nervous Manager, just before they have to address an audience into adopting this one. It’s pretty easy.
Find a quiet private place – the elevator, the cloak-room. Visualise any SuperHero/Heroine! He’s wearing his Superman costume – standing tall – back straight, hands resting gently yet firmly on his hips, head held proudly.
Now, raise your arms above your head in a gesture of victory – yes, the same as you have watched every winner on or off the screen, at the end of any victory, however, big or small; throw their arms up in the air – yelling out their joy!
Scream to yourself – silently – YAY! Feel it. Clench your fists! Punch the air!
This should take all of two minutes. You will immediately feel powerful, more relaxed, energized and confident.
It’s not just about standing like a superhero for two minutes; it’s about carrying yourself with power and pride and poise, as you deserve to do.
If you’re still there and listening, I end with a quote from Maya Angelou.
Stand up straight, and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.
About the author: Glancy has been working with a multinational conglomerate (Siemens Technology & Financial Services P. Ltd.) as a Finance Analyst/Professional – in the cross domains of Finance and IT. With a career spanning 25 years, she has rich and varied experience across various corporate and diplomatic missions. She is also an HR expert and conducts Learning & Development programmes internally, as a counsellor / soft skills trainer. She holds degrees in Information Technology, Human Resources, English Literature, Psychotherapy & Counselling.