Interview Preparation

TIPS FOR INTERVIEW PREPARATION
1. Always remain positive during the interview even if things aren't going as well as you'd hoped. In school, did you ever write a test that you were sure you'd failed, only to find out you passed? You never know, you might be doing better in the interview than you think and you don't want to give up. Try to leave the interviewer with at least one thing about you that might be unique from other candidates that would be valuable to the company if they hired you. Once they've interviewed several people with similar backgrounds, they will tend to look for reasons to hire one person over the others or they might try to eliminate candidates who don't meet certain criteria.

2. If during an interview you realize that the position is not of interest to you, complete the interview and answer the questions as you would if you were interested in the job. I've seen situations where the candidate wasn't good for the job they were interviewing for but the hiring manager referred them to another hiring manager in the company for a different position that they ended up receiving. It doesn't happen often, but it can happen.

3. Don't speak negatively about your former or current employer or divulge confidential information that you shouldn't. I have seen people lose out on jobs by criticizing former employers or by mentioning things about their current employer that they shouldn't have.

4. Don't forget to listen during the interview! Sure, you are there to answer questions but don't forget to listen. Listen to the questions you are asked, listen to the answers to the questions you ask and also listen to comments that the interviewer makes that might help to shed more light on the job, the company, and your interest in both.

Success in Interviews:
Interview Tips:

Interview is arranged to understand aspects of your personality. A lot of explanation is required and real life / other examples play a very important role in putting your point across. When you just say "I have a positive attitude." That's not enough, "Whenever I face a difficult situation, I face it with a positive attitude. When I was in 12th standard, I was not at all prepared for my exams because of ill health and everybody told me that I will fail. But just seven days before the exam I worked hard and was confident of clearing my exam and I cleared it with flying colours."

There are very high chances that you will be nervous in an interview for various reasons. If you put forward a wrong information ("I have 7 years work experience in Sales" when you have only 2). You will have a tough time justifying if the interviewer asks many questions. On the other hand, if you don't know something, admit it gracefully. "I am sorry sir, I do not have a 50 wpm speed but 30 wpm on computers, but if you can give me 10 days time, I can definitely reach that speed."

Before going for an interview
- Know the company name, job description and other relevant details
- Collect information about the company from company’s website or any other source
- Understand the role of your department
- Be sure about the date, time, venue of the personal interview
- Print two copies of your resume and check for spelling / grammatical errors, missing information.
- Carry two passport-size snaps, if possible
- Think of the interview questions you might face and do mirror practice of all till you are satisfied.



An interview is not about just talking and answering questions. After major part of interview is completed, if appropriate, asking couple of questions will demonstrate your interest in the job and will also make you aware of your role, if selected.

Suggested questions:
- What will be my exact role in the company?
- What will be my key performance parameters?
- What are company’s future plans?
- What will be my career-path in your company?

Commonly Asked Interview Questions and Suggested Answers

Describe yourself as a person.
People tell me that I am a very confident and mature person. I think one reason people tell me that I am confident because in any situation of my life I handle it with a positive attitude. For eg. When I was working with a marketing company I was assigned a target of selling 20 machines. My senior colleagues told me that this was one of the unachievable targets. But I took it as a challenge and I worked hard on it continuously for all 30 days and at the end of it, I had achieved sales of 27 machines – which broke all the records. I think this was all because of my confidence and positive attitude.
What are your strengths and your weaknesses?
[First of all, take time to write down 3 of your strengths and 3 weaknesses. These are examples from personal life; you can quote your relevant real professional life examples.]
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I have observed that your company has grown very fast in the last five years. I want to contribute my services and be a part of this growth. I think in five years I would like to see myself as a Head of a Department.
There are other 3 candidates with same age, experience and work-profile. Why should we consider you for this post?
I know about myself, hence I can comment about myself. I not only have relevant experience in the required field, but also, I am passionate about my work. Most people become Software Engineers because there is a demand, but I got into it because I love & enjoy programming. Additionally, I have achieved two promotions in three years, which clearly shows my performance in my current job. I think these qualities qualify me for this job.
What if you do not get this job?
Based on my qualifications, experience and skills, I am very sure that I deserve and will get this job. But for some reason, if you decide to select somebody else, I will respect your decision and would like to know from you the reason. I will then work on the skills that need improvement and maybe come back to you again.
What if you get an opportunity in other company?
[Fresher] I am working for this company currently and as far as I know myself, once I make a friend, I maintain the friendship for life and it is the same in my career. Once I work for a company, I take it as a long term commitment. In this highly competitive market, offers from other companies will always be there but I want to work with your company to build a Career with you.

[Experienced] I have studied about your company in detail. I am seriously looking at dedicating my services for the company’s growth and I know that your company offers excellent growth opportunities to employees who deserve it. So I am looking forward to work with your organization in long-term.
GROUP DISCUSSION
A group discussion (GD) is a simulated exercise, where you cannot suddenly put up a show, since the evaluators will see through you easily. In this page you can find tips on GD and how to handle them to ensure a positive outcome.

Here's how most group discussions work
Normally groups of 8-10 candidates are formed into a leaderless group, and are given a specific situation to analyze and discuss within a given time limit.
- The group may be given a case study and asked to come out with a solution for a problem.
- The group may be given a topic and asked to discuss on the same. A panel will observe the proceedings and evaluate the members of the group.

OBJECTIVE
Lets start from the basic. One needs to know what one's objective in the group is. A good definition of your objective is - to be noticed to have contributed meaningfully in an attempt to help the group reach the right consensus. What does this essentially mean?
The first implication is that you should be noticed by the panel. Merely making a meaningful contribution and helping the group arrive at a consensus is not enough. You have to be seen by the evaluating panel to have made the meaningful contribution. What does that mean in practice?
You must ensure that the group hears you. If the group hears you, so will the evaluator. That does not mean that you shout at the top of your voice and be noticed for the wrong reasons.
You have to be assertive. If you are not a very assertive person, you will have to simply learn to be assertive for those 15 minutes. Remember, assertiveness does not mean being bull-headed or being arrogant. And most importantly, you have to make your chances. Many group discussion participants often complain that they did not get a chance to speak. The fact is that in no group discussion will you get a chance to speak. There is nothing more unacceptable in a GD than keeping one's mouth shut or just murmuring things which are inaudible.
Participate in as many practice GDs as possible before you attend the actual GD. There is nothing like practice to help you overcome the fear of talking in a GD.


The second important implication is that making just any sort of contribution is not enough. Your contribution has to be meaningful. A meaningful contribution suggests that
- You have a good knowledge base
- You are able to put forth your arguments logically and are a good communicator.
- The quality of what you said is more valuable than the quantity. There is this myth amongst many group discussion participants that the way to succeed in a group discussion is by speaking loudly and at great length. One could not be more wrong. You must have meat in your arguments. Therefore, think things through carefully.
- Always enter the room with a piece of paper and a pen. In the first two minutes jot down as many ideas as you can.
- When you jot down points, keep these pointers in mind.
If it is a topic where you are expected to take a stand, say for example, "Should India sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty?" note down points for both sides of the argument. It will be useful on two counts - - One, if you do not start the GD and are not amongst the first five speakers and find that everyone in the group is talking for the topic, then it makes sense to take the alternate approach and oppose the topic even if you initially intended to talk for the topic.
- Second, it helps to have a knowledge of how group members who take a stand diametrically opposite to yours will put forth their argument and to be prepared with counter arguments.
Everybody else will state the obvious. So highlight some points that are not obvious. The different perspective that you bring to the group will be highly appreciated by the panel. Some pointers on being relevant while having a different perspective are:


- Be careful that the "something different" you state is still relevant to the topic being debated.
- Can you take the group ahead if it is stuck at one point?
- Can you take it in a fresh and more relevant direction?
- The last implication is that you must be clearly seen to be attempting to build a consensus.
- Gaining support or influencing colleagues is the mantra adopted by many a successful Business Leaders.
- Nobody expects a group of ten intelligent, assertive people, all with different points of view on a controversial subject to actually achieve a consensus. But what matters is "Did you make attempts to build a consensus?"
- The reason why an attempt to build a consensus is important is because in most work situations you will have to work with people in a team, accept joint responsibilities and take decisions as a group. You must demonstrate the fact that you are capable and inclined to work as part of a team. If you do not want to take chances with your GD-PI preparation, meet us today at our branches in Ahmedabad/ Anand/ Vadodara/Surat.

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