In this article we shall appreciate 5 points to be kept in mind while appearing for a personal interview.
Understand the challenge
The interview follows a buyer-seller interface.The panel is the buyer and you are the seller. The buyer has specific needs, which need to be researched. While some needs are organization specific, most of the needs are generic in nature. For example, all organizations look for candidates with a strong willingness to learn, high levels of initiative & energy, strong task orientation, good interpersonal skills and capacity for hard work. The organization specific needs would be reflected in the organization’s website under headings like vision, mission, quality policy etc. You need to design the value proposition accordingly, and support it with examples and illustrations.
Create Competitive Advantage
The value proposition should be based on a mapping between your core competence and the expectation quotient.Demonstrate competence through relevant achievements and contextually strong inputs. For example, you may showcase your willingness to learn from participation in extra- curricular activities, apart from academic curriculum. Similarly, your sense of social cause may be demonstrated through voluntary work with NGOs.
The panel is there to assess you; not intimidate you. This realization will help you to dispel the myth that the interviewer may ask you just anything under the sky! Infact, the panel likes to be led and will give you multiple opportunities to do so. Seize all challenges which offer leadership opportunities - introduction is the biggest such opportunity. It is here that you may create a set of harmless teasers for the panel to hold on to. For example, if you introduce yourself as a person with strong initiative and good interpersonal skills, the panel is probable to ask you questions around initiative and interpersonal skills. This may range from basic definitions of these terms to examples supporting their demonstration.
Communication has two dimensions – verbal and non-verbal.Verbal is the usage of words and is measured by parameters like fluency, articulation and modulation. Non-verbal includes areas like body language, facial expressions and overall energy.Effectiveness of communication is measured by its ability to achieve the desired outcome, which in the given scenario is to respond confidently to the questions asked by the panel and present yourself as a well composed person.
Behaviour is under scanner right from the time you enter the room.Infact behaviour is reflected in things as basic as your dress, the way you organize/carry the interview file, the way you look at the panel etc.For example, if you walk in with your file of certificates held very closely to the chest, then you my come across as nervous and under confident. Similarly, the file held in the hand which is dangling freely with a swing, is indicative of being careless and irresponsible. Certain panels have psychologists to assess your behaviour who constantly scrutinize your behaviour.