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Surehire Ways to call the Shots at the Interview


ongratulations, Assure consulting's tips on resume writing in the articles Bowl over Recruiters with a High Powered Dynamite Resume and Make Your Resume has landed you the interview. Now's your chance to convince the recruiter that you are the perfect fit for the company's requirements. This is not an easy task but neither is it impossible. Primarily, the interview is a technical and behavioral test of the prospective candidate. Your technical expertise will get you noticed, but it does not offer a surehire guarantee. Soft skills such as excellent communication skills, the ability to function as team member are equally, if not more, important. An exceptional engineer with average communication skills stands lesser chances of getting through the interview than an average candidate with exceptional communication skills. provides you with tips to breeze through the interview process.

Do your homework: Thoroughly research the company's area of interests, its products, technologies and its competitors. This will help you establish an immediate edge over other candidates. The easiest way you can gain information about the company is by visiting its web site. Closely go through the contents and read every bit of information available there. Go through a search engine to find out what other sites have to say about the company. Read the company's latest annual report. The more informed you are, the better you will be able to understand the reasons behind particular questions and answer accordingly.

Prepare for basic questions: Anticipate the questions the interviewer is likely to ask you. Most interviews are designed on the following pattern: a warm up stage, wherein the recruiter asks general and personal questions, the second stage where the recruiter focuses on technical skills of the candidate followed by the third stage where the company attempts to gauge the salary expectations of the candidate. Some questions you are most likely to be posed to the candidate are:

Tell me about yourself?
Don't be caught unawares by this one. The hidden meaning behind the question is why should we hire you? Include everything which answers the question. Prepare your answer to include examples of achievements from your work life that closely match the elements of the job before you.

What qualities do you think are necessary for this job?
Think outside what's in the job ad.

Why do you want to leave your present company?
How much ever you hate your present job or boss, do not blurt this out as a reason. Instead. stress on better learning opportunities and new challenges this job offers.

How was your previous company organised, and where did you fit into that structure?
Your interviewer wants to know the similarities and the differences between this and the previous job.

What is your ideal job?
Stress on a healthy work environment, opportunities for growth, challenging atmosphere, and training opportunities.

So far, what has been your greatest accomplishment?
Select an achievement that's related to the needs of the prospective company.

What has been your biggest failure or what is your greatest weakness?
Provide an honest answer and emphasise what you learned from it.

What are your future plans?
Link your goals to the prospective job. If you have stated a job objective in your resume weave this into your answer.

Remember prior preparation will give you greater control over the interview process. However do not over-prepare your answers that they appear rehearsed.

Games interviewers play: Certain companies in order to test alertness levels of the candidate may at times pose questions that startle you. These questions may have very little to do with the job profile for which you are being interviewed. For instance, you may be asked: Did you travel by a taxi, what was the number? Don't look stunned. Nobody expects you to know. Just state any number that comes to your mind The recruiter is not looking for authenticity but whether you are quick-witted to think of a solution if caught in an unexpected pressure situations.

Build a dialogue: Interpersonal skills can make or break your chances. 0o not treat the interview as an interrogation. Remember the recruiter is interested in you, that's why you are facing him in the first place. Maintain a conversational flow. Feel free to cross-interview the recruiter. Ask intelligent and relevant job-related questions. For instance, what are the areas you would like strengthened, what are the priorities and challenges you foresee for this annual year, could you elaborate on the management philosophy or style of your company?

Mind your body language: Recruiters closely monitor body language of prospective candidates. Facial expression and body movements can give away a great deal. Here are some tips to perfect your body language.
Be spontaneous
Walk energetically.
Smile and shake hands firmly.
Sit erect and look interested.
Do not keep your hands on the table or flail them wildly while speaking.
Do not fidget.
Lean towards an interviewer and show interest and enthusiasm.
Maintain eye contact while speaking.
Dress appropriately.
Speak in a well-modulated tone.

Do not overlook small details: Some candidates while preparing for the big questions downplay small but vital details such as appropriate dress and punctuality. Remember these can have hiring implications and Its best not to mar your chances even before you enter the interview room by dressing shoddily or arriving late. Also, take multiple copies of your resume to the interview.

The salary question: Be smart about money questions. Don't ruin your chances by telling the interviewer your exact financial expectations. Say that you expect to be paid a fair salary in accordance with industry standards. Use this opportunity to display your interest in the job and the growth opportunities it offers.

The Final word: Remember at the interview you are hardselling your skills and personality to the interview. Therefore, remain work-focused, task-focused, and function-focused throughout and you will have a win-win situation in your hand.

*The views expressed here are that of the author.

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