With job profiles becoming more and more challenging by the day and competition intensifying among candidates, getting a call for an interview from a reputed organization can be really tough. Since the competition is likely to be really strong, it is extremely important for you to be well prepared to face the interview and impress the panel with knowledgeable and convincing responses. Your only intention in the interview should be to convince the panel to believe that you can add real value to their organization. Below are a few points that you must remember before you appear for your first interview.
1. Present Yourself Professionally
The first few minutes of the interview give interviewers a fair idea about you as a candidate. They are able to to decide through their initial conversation with you whether they would like to engage themselves further in really understanding your skills and competence. It is during this initial exchange of words that you need to impress them with your grooming, your manners and your confidence. Remember that you have been called to the interview based on an evaluation of the documentation submitted initially by you. When asked to introduce yourself, do not waste time in repeating the facts that are already documented with the interviewer; instead try and build upon them to demonstrate how competent you are and how you can be an asset to your employer. Treat the interview as an opportunity for showcasing your talent, achievements and personality. While it is essential that you be relaxed while facing the interview, do not overdo it with an extra laidback attitude or even an overly serious “I-need-the job-desperately” approach.
When asked to introduce yourself, do not waste time in repeating the facts that are already documented with the interviewer; instead try and build upon them to demonstrate how competent you are and how you can be an asset to your employer.
2. Read Up On the Employer Profile
During the course of the interview, you will normally have enough opportunities to display your interest in working for the interviewing company. Before attending the interview it is always helpful if you understand the salient points of the company’s business, its track record, its market position and some of the market opportunities and threats. Take every opportunity to show your interest in the organization and that you have taken the trouble of preparing for the interview.
3. Be Ready To Answer Queries Concerning Your Engineering Specialty
If you are an engineer, it is necessary for you to visualize the requirement of engineers by the hiring company. Be prepared to face questions both at a theoretical level and at a practical level that will help to demonstrate your command over the subject. Be prepared to share the insights that you may got during your internship or during your project work. Interviewers will appreciate your effort in trying to relate practical knowledge attained to theoretical aspects of engineering. Be sure to come prepared with some knowledge of cutting-edge application of your branch of engineering to show your keenness about how new developments can affect the engineering environment.
4. Demonstrate Your Practical Side
Keep in mind that the hiring company is looking for an engineer to solve real-life problems not to engage in theoretical projections of how engineering issues can be resolved. At the interview try and utilize every opportunity to show that you are ready to get your hands dirty and work on the floor to solve operational problems. Be prepared to also show evidence of leadership skills and your high emotional quotient with real-life examples. Knowledge and confidence are definitely going to work for you. Work hard to brush up and polish your stock of knowledge and present yourself with great poise and confidence.
Most of the engineering institutes including UP engineering colleges hold mock interviews during the final semester to help students prepare for real life interviews.
The author is the faculty-in-charge of the placements cell of a prominent engineering college. He has authored several articles in leading management journals regarding employability of young engineering graduates.