That nobody is perfect is the maxim that sounds even more pertinent in the context of an interview. Interview is without a doubt a trepidation for everyone, and the novices and the old hands alike find themselves on pins and needles at the prospect of being interviewed.
What makes people lose sleep over the interviews is essentially an apprehension of the unforeseen, a dread of being confronted with something they don't know; and no matter how many interviews has one faced and sailed through, every new interview brings a new pain in the neck. Jitteriness hangs over everyone; only the intensity may differ.
And though there are no alternatives to awareness and conviction, there are certain guidelines which when followed will put off some seemingly trifling slip-ups, which could turn your interview into a dismal affair at the end of the day. These are the gimmicks that must be exercised if the interview is to be saved from some apparently petty blunders.
Before Taking the Bull by the Horns
The homework starts right from the word go- immediately after you receive the interview call. Apart from brushing up your technical know-how, which is undoubtedly pivotal to your success, you need to pay heed to some aspects that will pump up your confidence level and help keep off nerves at the interview table.
Reaching for the interview late may put the interviewer off, as it can also dampen your spirit. So to have an idea as to when you should leave for the interview, just go by the venue at least one day prior to the interview as a rehearsal.
Envisage the likely questions and picture yourself answering them with confidence. Keep telling yourself that you are good enough to sail through. This will infuse just enough confidence in you, and that'll make all he difference in the interview.
Consider the dress you'll be wearing. 'Formal dress' is often a deceptive phrase as it may mean different clothing for different companies. Sometimes, it's indispensable to put on a three-piece, while the other day it may seem too much of affectation; only a tie with formal shirt and trousers may do. Make out what dress could be apposite for a particular company.
If the company is too far-off and your dress is likely to get rumpled in the bus, better travel in a taxi. Carry a comb in your pocket. There is no excuse for a clumsy appearance in the interview.
Reach the venue at least half an hour in advance so that you have enough time for having a breather and bracing up for the interview. Arriving at the last minute and entering the interview room panting will reveal you in a poor light and you won't be in the right kind of frame to take on the interview.
In case the interview does not commence on the scheduled time, don't lose you focus. Don't be distracted and maintain your composure. Read some magazine or talk to the people about the company. Go out for a breath of air but don't go too far away. And don't ever let it show that you disliked being made to wait. You have got some time on hand, so use it discreetly.
Inside the Interview Chamber
Pull yourself up the moment you are summoned inside the interview chamber, and enter the room with an air of confidence. And while you are taking on the real deal, practice the following:
Maintain a body language suggesting confidence and cheerfulness. Don't look uneasy or dispirited. Smile at appropriate moments.
Maintain eye contact while answering the questions. This will suggest that you are confident enough.
If there is more than one interviewer, address to all of them. Remember names if you can and address by the names. Sound confident but avoid being brash.
Saying 'sorry' or 'pardon' when you couldn't quite get the interviewer is civility, but making the interviewer repeat something for you too often could really make you sorry at the end of the day. You say 'sorry; once, and the interviewer willingly repeats, you say again, and he takes notice, you say thrice, and his exasperation shows, you go on to say yet again, and you just lose it all. What puts the interviewer off is the revelation that you are not all ears during the interview. So better listen attentively and minimize 'being sorry' or 'begging pardon'.
Don't speak too loudly or too faintly. Maintain a pitch that is audible as well within the perimeter of courtesy.
Don't delve too much on a topic. Neither keep the answers too short. Just speak enough on every topic.
Use wit and make the interviewer smile. But again, discern the faint edge between humour and discourtesy. Also, whatever you speak to bring smiles on the interviewers' face should sound germane to the topic. However, use this trick sparingly- making the interviewer chuckle twice in an interview is just sufficient.
Some questions may be devised to judge your self-restraint and tolerance as a professional. So if a question sounds provoking, don't fall for the trick. Avoid acting feverishly and maintain your cool. Handle such questions discreetly and with shrewdness.
Try to make out what is going through the interviewer's mind while you are answering to the questions. His body language may well give you a clue if he's listening to you attentively or you are just pushing on an off-putting gab. Put on the brakes the moment you discern that you have deviated off the point.
The interviewer might ask you towards the close of the interview if you have any questions. Don't think it impolite to ask a question or two. Rather, not asking a question could revel that you just want the interview to be over, so go ahead. However, exercise caution regarding the question you pose. Never inquire about the salary. Preferably, show inquisitiveness about your role or the organisation.
In the end when all is said and done and you make an exit from the interview cell, you might well be knowing in your heart that you've just made it. After all, it's all about being confident and acting astutely.