The job interview preparation, especially for freshers, starts from the time you come across an advertisement and apply for it by submitting your résumé. Once your résumé has been shortlisted, its time to get ready for the interview rounds.
The three critical rounds of evaluation are:
- Written Test which comprises of Technical/Aptitude or both and can be conducted online or on paper.
- Group Discussion (GD)/Just a Minute (JAM)/ Extempore that evaluate communication skills and thought process. It helps filter candidates clearly especially if there are too many for the position.
- Technical and HR Rounds.
When you look at a job description, you will find several criteria mentioned -the degree, academic track record and the skills the company is looking for. Resist the temptation to send your standard resume at hand and customize it for that particular role. Painful as it may sound but for every single job you apply for you should tweak or if required even completely re-write your resume highlighting the areas relevant for the role. This will ensure you get called for the interview.
Once you receive a communication asking you to attend an interview, remember to check the date/time/venue for the interview so you can be prepared.
As you get ready for further rounds of the interview follow the mantra of three Ps’ – Prepare, Practice and Present.
You should start preparing for the first round which is usually a written test. Revise subject matter, then practice sample papers of the company or online tests.
For the next round of Group Discussion, JAM or an extempore, read and stay updated on the current affairs - domestic and international. This will help you participate actively in the Group Discussion or speak fluently in the JAM session.
Extempore speaking is an art by itself. A sound vocabulary, concentration and streamlining of thoughts are some of the key factors for a successful and interesting extempore address. More than the preparation, practice is handier. Speak in front of your siblings or friends, continuously for a minute, but without any interruptions. This practice will not only help you to get through extempore but also GD and JAM round.
The next two rounds are Technical and HR which are more challenging than the previous rounds. Before participating in these rounds, there are three important things you must know to tailor your interview response.
- Research about the company. Is it a service or a product-based company or anything else? The best place is to go to the company website and find out all the details. Once you understand the company profile, re-look the job description that you have applied for. Understand the key skills the company is looking for that particular job. Analyze yourself and understand your relevant skills. This will help you answer technical questions effectively.
- The final round is the HR round which is the most important round of an interview. Complete your homework before going for the interview. Check out the company's website for all details - how they have grown, what they specialize in, the products and services they deal in, their revenue model.
- Learn other details too - branches and locations of the company, the number of employees, mission and vision, core values the company believes in. This will help you answer HR questions effectively and with confidence. Remember that the HR round is the decision maker.
So before you go, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Dress like a professional. Your appearance should be pleasant and professional.
- Ensure that you carry all the specified documents including your résumé
- Reach the venue 10 minutes earlier than the expected time and connect with the concerned person
- Maintain the right body language and etiquette throughout the interview
- Speak to the point
- Stay grounded and answer questions in a manner that gives them the confidence that you are the right candidate for the job and that you will be an easy person to work with.
The most important thing is to prepare; always prepare for success and not for failure. As Thomas Alva Edison says, “Good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.”