Interview Preparation

How to Ace your first professional interview?

Whenever we talk of ‘Interviews’, two types of people’s perspectives come to mind. On one hand, people have dreaded the thought of interviews and on the other hand, some people, consider interviews as the easiest round in their job application process.

The first-time interviewers often fall in the former part of the spectrum and the people who have given a lot of interviews in their careers are not feared of the thought of an interview.

For some, interviews are unscientific and not the best for judging a candidate’s caliber but we can’t run from it as it is our stepping stone into a professional career. 

Young professionals are always feared of the thought of interviews, as for them it can be a bit intimidating but in this blog, we will be talking about the things that a young professional can do to ace his first professional interview.

Understand the job description:

Job descriptions (JDs) are the document that is associated with every hiring post whether it is posted on your campus careers or any other’s recruitment agency’s website. It is very important to read the JD, understand it well, but not get too intimidated by it since JDs are made for a perfect candidate, and to be true,  perfect candidates don’t exist. 

After reading and understanding the JD you need to be very sure of three things:

  • You have the requisite skills required for the given job, if not try and learn the required skills.
  • You should highlight your internship/college experience which aligns with the JD.
  • Your resume should be carefully crafted with the projects which are aligned with the job role and you must highlight bias for action in your resume.

In order to understand the job description well, you can reach out to your friends/seniors working at the organization if you know anyone and if you don’t know people you can always reach out to people on Linkedin.

Maintaining Professionalism during the interview:

A very common mistake that first-time interviewers make is that they are very casual during the process. They are unable to maintain professionalism which is a very big put-off for the interviewer. You don’t need to do something that you are not used to but you can keep a few things in mind as it would help in the interview.

  1. Don’t be ambiguous in your answers. Always be very thoughtful while answering. If you don’t know the answer to any particular question, don’t beat behind the bush. You can always tell the interviewer that you don’t know the answer and he will be happy to discuss the problem or proceed to the next question.
  1. Have concrete points for questions like :
    i. Why are you the ideal candidate for this job role?

ii. How do you plan to succeed in this organization?

iii. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Answers to these questions should have logic, they should indicate your interest in the role, your plans to upskill yourself continuously, and your capabilities.

  1. Avoid mistakes like coming late for an interview. It is extremely important to be presentable for the interview as shows your dedication to getting that job.

Read more here about – Top Interview Mistakes To Avoid

Ask questions when you get the chance: 

At the end of every interview, the interviewer asks the candidate to ask any questions that he has in his mind and this is a golden opportunity to establish a connection with the interviewer. Most of the candidates, do not ask questions and this indicates that you might not be really interested in the job and organization because ‘humans are curious about the things they are interested in. 

Here are a few examples of questions you can ask during your interview:

i. What are the problems we will be solving in this role?

ii. How is the career progression look like in this firm?

iii. What does a normal working day look like for a new joinee at the organization?

iv. What skills are must-haves before joining the organization?

Give Mock Interviews:

Irrespective of how much we learn it is very important to practice some mock interviews before getting into the real interview because even the greatest Sachin Tendulkar would do net practice before going for a world cup match.

The mock interview would help you in understanding the interviewer’s frame of mind as well which would help you in structuring your answers.

For mock interviews, you can also reach out to a buddy at Seekho as it would give you a real-time experience of understanding the pressure of an interview and your buddy would always give you constructive feedback. You can also practice some mock interviews with your friends/seniors who have the same career path as you are preparing for.

By keeping these four things in mind, you can ace your professional interview. It is very important to understand that the Interview is a process-driven round and you need to be very true to the process in order to ace the interview.

In the end, it is pertinent to mention to not get disheartened if you are not acing your first or second interview, but it is very important to learn from the interview process itself as it would help you in becoming a better professional which should be our ultimate goal.

Thank you for reading the blog, you can also read – How Strong Storytelling Can Help You Nail A Job Interview

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