Corporate interviews have this uncanny ability to intimidate us even before they actually start. Been there, done that. In addition to the pre-interview jitters, the million questions in our heads just make the experience a whole lot harder. But actually it’s not the questions, it’s just the fact that we don’t know where to look for answers and what to do and whom to ask that makes it hard. So here we are, with a few tips to keep in mind before interviewing for a corporate job!
1. Dress well: Neat, formal and well fitted
Stick to solid colors and clean lines, and avoid florals or prints. It is of utmost importance to wear comfortable and well fitted clothes, neither too tight, nor too loose.
1. If you are picking an Indian outfit go for a churidar or a saree in deeper shades of maroon or black or lighter shades of off-whites and pinks. Avoid wearing overly bright colors or materials that have too much sequin/ bead work on them.
2. If you are picking a western outfit go for a simple straight cut, black, navy blue or beige trousers, paired with a solid color button shirt. White is the safest option when it comes to shirts. If you are uncomfortable wearing a button down shirt go for a 3/4th or half sleeve blouse.
2. Do thorough background reading about the company you are interviewing for
Read through the company’s website, various press releases pertaining to the company, its market position and its major competitors. All of this information is mostly available when you google the company name. You need not to go into the nitty gritty of everything but it is imperative for you to have a bird’s eye view of the company’s position in the market.
3. Prepare and practice the basic interview questions
Prepare answers to questions like - Would you please introduce yourself? What are your negatives? What are your positives? By “prepare” we don’t mean you have to mug up the answers, but you should have a structure and the basic points in mind. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach to answer questions like - how did your shortcoming pose a problem for you? Start by stating the situation, then tell them what you did about it, followed by what the end result was.
4. Don’t neglect preparation for the screening rounds
Before you get to the main interview, every company has screening rounds which may be aptitude tests, case studies, group discussions and the like. There are a lot of websites online which can help you prepare for them. Check out Indiabix for aptitude and group discussion preparation and Consultingcase101 for case studies.
5. Talk to someone you know, who already works there
Sift through your connections to see if you know someone who already works there. Get to know the culture of the company and it may also give you a deeper insight into the role you are interviewing for.
6. Know your interviewer
If possible, try to find out who is interviewing you, a day or two before the interview. This will give you time to look up your interviewer(s) and find out a little more about them - what capacity have they been working in, how long have they been with the company, what their role actually is, and the like.
7. Know your interview structure
How long is it going to be? How many rounds are going to be there? How long will a round last? It is always good to be prepared, and knowing the basic structural things about the interview would help you to organize yourself better.
8. Pay really really close attention to the pre-interview presentation if any
Companies who come for campus placements almost always have a company presentation, before they commence the interview. Pay close attention to it, as it may be the source of a few questions in your interview. It will also help you to understand the company a little better hence refining your approach during the interview. No snoozing, ladies! ;)
9. Prepare a good and intelligent question for the “Do you have any questions for me?” question.
At the end of the interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them. Think of an intelligent question beforehand. Never skip this question and no, do not ask “When will I get the result of the interview?”
10. Do a dry run with a buddy!
Grab your bestie and do a dry run of the interview with him/ her. Practicing together gives you the feel of a mock interview and will also boost your confidence.