We have written some Job interview tips for Freshers. ( Applicable for experienced candidates as well)
Do you have a Job interview coming up?
Are you getting really nervous about the interview?
Hey! Don’t you worry!
We are here to help you with just that.
How To Prepare For The Job Interview
Honestly, you were waiting for this! Weren’t you.
Okay then, let’s cut this short and get straight to the meat! ( or juice if you are vegetarian )
There are a number of steps you can take before (and after) the interview to ensure that you make a terrific impression during the interview.
Analyze the job
Probably one of the most important parts of interview preparation.
- You should take sufficient amount of time to analyze the job posting.
- While reviewing the post, look for all the things the company is seeking in the candidate.
- Make a list of all the skills, knowledge and all the qualities.
- Look beyond the job title. For example, A position that promises a manager-level title but does not come with the appropriate range of responsibilities is misleading.
- Do research on the company.
- Read reviews online if available, check on Quora, Fb groups, Reddit, Glassdoor, Google reviews, Mouthshut etc regarding the company.
- Visit the company website and do a detailed analysis. Check out specifically ” About Us “ page. For more info, also check out their competitors and how they are faring with respect to them.
- Network. If possible, visit LinkedIn and try to get in touch with the CEO ( rare case), Managers, Executives or even the employees. As much as possible try to get information about the company and job from them.
Match the following
Nope, its not the match the following that you used to do in your primary classes. We are talking about the real deal here.
Matching your strengths and aligning them with the company requirements.
- First of all, create a list of your top 100 strengths. ( You may not even reach 75 but that’s okay. Dig deeper!). List down even the smallest thing. Include skills, certifications, qualities, experiences etc. The point is you are pushing yourself to extract more about yourself. Even if you reach 35, you have discovered much more about yourself than if you hadn’t made that list. This will directly help you in answering the question ” Tell me about yourself”
- Review the job requirement. You have already made it while analyzing the company. Now, try to match and align the requirements of the job. While you are matching the requirements, recall every past experience and examples to illustrate it. For example: For Leadership skills, you could say how you captained your team in your school/college days( doesn’t matter if it was for one day) or you could say you lead the team of your project group.
It could be anything as long as it’s relevant. This completes your preparation for job-specific questions.
- Now, assess all your other strengths which don’t match with the job requirements. Prepare relevant experiences about them as well. Look closely if you can include them somewhere. This is your backup. This backup will help you answering behavioral specific questions.
- Pro tip: List down all your weaknesses separately. Whenever possible, try to identify something within your strengths that would nullify the weaknesses. ( some experience, lesson that helped overcome your weak points )
Practice Being Interviewed
Practicing is the best way to getting prepared for an interview. Mock interviews with a professional or you can search online for mock interviews.
If you get want, you can DIY ( do-it-yourself) interview. There are many ways to prepare at home without the help of a professional.
Here are some ways you can practice.
- Try to predict where your interview can steer to ( the 4 types mentioned at the start of the article) and be prepared for the same so you know what to expect.
- List all the common interview questions and practice them ( more on this later )
- Record yourself while practicing. Re-play the recording to see where you falter.( your body language, your verbal, your presentation )
- Set up interview space and perform a mock interview with help from your friends.
Dressing for Job Interview
An interviewer makes an impression about you in the first 30 seconds of observing you. In those seconds, they can only observe your body language and dressing.
Regardless of the type of job you’re interviewing for, that first impression should be a great one. When dressing for an interview for a professional position, dress accordingly in business attire.
Here is the gist:
For Men and Women
- Formal two-piece business suit (solid dark blue or grey is best)
- Formal long-sleeved shirt/blouse (white is best, pastel is next best)
- Clean, polished formal shoes
- Well-groomed hairstyle
- Clean, trimmed fingernails
- Minimal cologne or perfume
- The necktie should be silk with a conservative pattern
- Dark shoes (black lace-ups are best).
- Dark socks (black is best).
- Get a haircut; short hair always fares best in interviews
- No beards
- Always wear a suit with a jacket; no fancy dresses
- Shoes with conservative heels.
- Conservative hosiery at or near skin color (and no runs!)
- No purses, small or large; carry a briefcase instead
- If you wear nail polish (not required), use clear or a conservative color
- Minimal use of makeup (it should not be too noticeable)
Etiquette means how you conduct yourself. ( simply speaking: manners). It is a crucial part of a personality.
- Greet the receptionist, your interview panel and everyone you meet courteously.
- During the interview, your body language matters- shake hands firmly and make eye contact as you articulate your points. Pay attention, be attentive, and look interested.
- As much as possible make a really positive environment. The more positive an impression you make, the better you’ll do during the job interview.
- Follow up a job interview with a Thank You reiterating your interest in the job. This is the time you can ask questions to the interviewer and discuss anything of importance that your interviewer neglected to ask or that you neglected to answer.
- Always be punctual. Reach the venue at least half an hour ( 30 mins ) before. This buys you time for settling down and getting comfortable with the environment.Watch this great Youtube video on Body language
Job Interview Preparation
An invitation for an interview is a positive indicator that you are one of the ideal candidate required by the organization for the vacant position. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of candidates are rejected at the application stage. So you are really more than three-quarters of the way towards getting the job!
You don’t really need to be that afraid. You are already ranking in the employer’s list of ideal candidates.
Isn’t that a huge relief for you!
Don’t be too complacent about it because the REAL WORK is about to begin!
We will list down some more additional tips and hacks to crack that interview.
But, before jumping ahead, let’s see the…
Different Ways You Can Be Interviewed
There are hundreds of ways an employer can take your interview. Some follow really unique tactics and some just follow the standard boring procedures. While you may not know which way you will possibly be interviewed, here are the 4 common ways that interviewers approach an interview
- The Standard Interview: Where you are asked questions around your CV / Application form. The interview happens in a straightforward chronological way. More often than not you might face the standard interview. ( Actually quite boring if you ask me.)
- The Criterion Interviews: Where you will be asked to give examples of how you meet their criteria e.g., examples of teamwork, negotiating, leadership. These interviews cut straight to the point. You have to really research the company and match all your strengths to the job profile with proofs. An extremely useful tip: Please don’t fake it if you don’t have it. They can smell a rat from miles away.( And it’s a big turn off if not pulled off well )
- The Creative Interview: The off-the-wall questions where you might be asked some bizarre questions. This is to see if you can think on the spot and how creative/logical you are.( for example: Who would you invite for your dinner party and some circumstance etc). Read this book “Are you Smart Enough to work at Google” to get a good perspective of the interviewer and get in his head. Brilliant book to enhance your skills in tough challenging puzzles.
- The Pressurized Interview: where your views will be challenged (or even ridiculed) and you might feel like you are being goaded into an argument. If this happens to you do not lose your cool, it is to test how you react under extreme pressure and to see if you can hold your own without starting a fight or being reduced to tears. ( Remember Roadies Auditions. Exactly!!)
It may happen that all of these scenarios might take place in a single interview.
Nonetheless, you have to be prepared to face all of them. And next, we will discuss exactly how to prepare.
Job Interview Tips/Hacks For Freshers
- Resume/CV Tip
When you are sending your resume online, don’t send it in the usual hours which most people would do. Send it when the hirer would least expect it and might come to his/her notice. Usually, try to send your resume early in the morning between 6 a.m – 9 a.m. That way, your resume has a chance to get noticed. ( Please try this at your own risk ). Always carry extra copies of your documents/resume
- Use GOOGLE ALERTS. Google alerts is a service which keeps you alerted on a particular information of your choice. Signing up for Google alerts is easy, and once you are done you can set alerts for your job company and other related information. Here is how you can set it up.
- Excercise and Pump up.
It is a good idea to get pumped up before your interview. Perform some cardio exercises to release that nervousness. It will also help your blood circulation.
- Right nutrition
Leave the coffee and consume the fruits. It’s been scientifically proven that munching on an apple is just as effective at waking you up as a cup of coffee. Before you go for the interview, do check for bad odors. Keep a spraymint handy.
- Confidence hack.
Just two minutes before your interview, head over to the nearest washroom throw your hands in the air and strike a Victory pose. Open up your body and take up space. By doing this you’re conditioning your body posture to take up more space and open you up physically, two characteristics of a confident person…and confident people get jobs!
- Solve problem for the company ( at least try to )
Take the opportunity to prepare a one-page proposal that outlines how you would solve the problem that the company is facing… and be specific!Even if they aren’t looking for you to solve the problem in the interview, they will be impressed that you took the initiative and more importantly, that as a hire, you will bring a lot of value to their organization.
During the interview, try to be really polite and courteous. Create a positive atmosphere. being open, friendly and professional with everyone you encounter.
- Build Rapport
What this means is you have to mimic the interviewer. Closely observe and do what he does.
It’s been psychologically proven time and time again that people respond better to individuals they feel they are in “sync” with and the best way to help drive that home is to subtly mirror your interviewer’s nonverbal gestures and body language.
Try to mimic their pitch, tone, body language, posture and body orientation. Don’t copy everything because it may freak them out.
- Practice verbal communication: Try to build up your vocabulary and presentation skills. Develop the general awareness. Read a lot of current affairs and Newspapers. Head over to Amazon, purchase this book . This book will help you build vocabulary. You don’t need to purchase if you just have a habit of reading newspapers daily.
From the very beginning of the interview, your interviewer is giving you information, either directly or indirectly. If you are not hearing it, you are missing a major opportunity. Good communication skills include listening and letting the person know you heard what was said. Observe your interviewer, and match that style and pace.
- Use appropriate language
Use a professional language during the interview. Be aware of any slang words or inappropriate references like age, race, religion, politics etc.
- Ask questions.
Asking question to the interviewer bounces off a good signal to the interviewer. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. But, please don’t ask any personal or inappropriate ones. Some of the questions you can ask: The organization’s major current projects, their future development plans etc.
You can also ask what your work will be, training offered ,variety of work, location etc.
Get feedback on yourself by asking ” Is there anything in my resume that concerns you?”
- Social skills and Communication
Listen more than you talk. Address the person by his/her name. ( people love their names ). Compliment them generously. Read books about developing social skills. Here is the one I absolutely highly recommend. This one book will change your life like it did to million others.
Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
Here are some common interview questions you can face.
Q1. Tell us something about yourself
Well! Well! Well!
This question is so intimidating to answer. If you are not prepared, you run the risk of failing on the one question that sets the mood for the rest of the interview. And it is not like you are gonna say, your favorite movie is “Godfather” which you claim but actually its “Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham”
This question is a classic psychological trap to test how you perceive yourself. You could start with your educational background, where you’ve been brought up, some bit about your parents- the usual facts. But quickly transition to your strengths as pertaining to making you a valuable future employee.
- Don’t just mindlessly repeat what you have written in your cover letter.
- Don’t start telling your life stories.
- Highlight the accomplishments that are most relevant to this specific position.
- “Focus on what most interests the interviewer.” It’s not about you, it’s about them, what qualities you bring to the table.
“My name is Ramesh Singha. (exclude this line if they already have your resume/CV ‘coz they already know) . I was brought up in a village in Bulandshahar.
“I have spent the last six years developing my skills as a customer service manager for Megacompany Inc., where I have won several performance awards and been promoted twice. I love managing teams and solving customer problems.
During that time I’ve been trained and certified on a number of different software platforms and systems.
”My parents instilled in me the values of honesty, integrity, and non-violence.
I have always cared for the underprivileged and have helped them several times to organize community festivals like Holi, giving food and aid to small communities.
I have even raised money to help out ex-convicts, thus giving them a second chance at life. I believe in compassion and helping others. That’s the kind of person I am.” …….
“Hi, I am Swati and hail from Karnataka. I did my B.Tech in electronics and communication from Rameswara College of engineering, which is under Bangalore University. I had completed my plus two from Chinmaya Vidhya Mission School and secured 98% in CBSE Boards. I have four members in my family and I am the youngest daughter. I love outdoor sports, specifically athletics and was a member of college athletic team.
From my childhood itself, I had a huge interest in building electronic stuff. This interest seemed to blosoom with time. I took up Engineering in the same.
In my leisure time, I liked to research and work on electronic projects. In my college, I have done many certification programs like Embedded systems, Matlab, VLSI certification to work in Semiconductor industry, Embedded training preferable for interest in robotics and CCNA certifications to work in IT engineering.
Apart from that, I have participated and won prizes in various curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular activities in school and college
As a fresher, I don’t have any work experience, but I am very passionate to work for this company and also have required training certifications.”
I am Mansoon Jha from Pune, born and brought-up in this great city. My father is in the Businessman, my mother is a housewife, earlier, she was working within an MNC. My brother is studying in 10th standard.
I have done my schooling (10th & 12th) from DAV Public School , and Engineering (computer science) from XYZ College Powai, Mumbai. Computer science was my favorite subject, in 10th, 12th and Engineering, I scored good marks in computer programming in 10th, 12th and Engineering as compared to other subjects.
When I was in the Engineering College, I had made up my mind to become a mobile app developer. In my college, I have done many mobile application development projects successfully. Also, I have done certification courses on Android™ Application Development & Programming, App Development tools, and Device Security.
I am skilled in planning, designing, developing, implementing, debugging and troubleshooting mobile applications using Android. Also, I am good in object-oriented programming, Core Java, C++, Android framework & SDK, and Android Studio.
As a fresher, I don’t have any work experience, but I am very passionate to work for this company as an Android mobile application developer. My goal is to build a successful career as a mobile app developer, which can help my company and me personally.
Also, watch this great video on Youtube by Himesh Madaan
Q2. What are your Strength and weaknesses?
- Don’t brag too much about yourself but also don’t completely hold back.
- Your strengths are your strengths, none of their strengths. Same goes for weakness 🙂
- Throw Spotlight on the Strength that is most relevant to this specific position. Illustrate them with experiences.
- You have to be really careful in what you speak.
For example: If you are good at programming like C, C++, Java. Tell them that you are experienced in these. But if you handle any level of questions in C, C++, Python, Cobra or whatever, tell them that you are an expert.
- For weaknesses, it is better to not show them your cards. . Just take one of your good qualities and spin it as if it is a bad thing. I work too hard and my family doesn’t like that. Or say something completely irrelevant like I have a sweet tooth. Like that would matter.via GIPHYExample 1:“I’m a problem solver. I love taking a problem and looking at it from every angle. I enjoy work that challenges me and pushes me to think outside the box. I enjoy situations where I am allowed to come up with creative solutions.
At my last company, we were asked to come up with ways to increase our workflow without decreasing our accuracy. By really analyzing what every department was doing and finding ways to work together more efficiently, I was able to not only streamline the process
but made it possible for us to beat our previous deadline by three days with a superior product as an end result.”Example 2:“I’ve always been known for my work ethic. I am committed to meeting deadlines and taking responsibility for the quality of my performance. In my whole 3/4 years of college, I have always been the first to submit assignments, project reports, dissertations papers journals etc
“Sir, my greatest strength is my ability to learn things quickly. For example, I had to represent my college in an inter-college debate exhibition and was introduced to the team at the very last minute. I was able to understand our assets and liabilities and present them with great success”.Example 3:“I think my greatest strength is my positive attitude, even during the hardest of times. During my college project, there has been a couple of occasions, when our idea was not falling in place and the results were negative.
I had to believe and think positively and keep my team motivated to persist in our idea, and finally, we got the desired result.”
Also, another of my skills would be my verbal ability and articulation skill. I have worked as an editor for our college magazine and have been involved with various literary forums during my school and college days.
Q3. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
They want to know your career goals. It is hard for fresh graduates to look ahead in future when you are really unsure of the present.
Answer this question looking at the bigger picture and leave it open-ended.
Please don’t say, I would be in your position.
Don’t hint them into thinking you would leave the job under favorable conditions.
I want to see myself after 5 years in a managerial, Sr. Manager, team leader position.
Whatever I am right now, after five years I want to be more mature, experienced and professional.“While my main focus moving forward will be on the position we are discussing today, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to grow within this position to take on more and be a part of new and exciting projects in the community.”
5 years from now, I am expecting to increase my knowledge and industrial exposure and I want to develop as a good employee respectable to all.
Q4. Why should we hire you?
- You need to know about the company. What they do, their core values, their performance etc.
- Devise your answer in such a way that it aligns your strengths with the company’s values.
- Highlight how the company can help you grow, giving opportunities and a good platform to reach your career goal.
“Honestly, I almost feel like the job description was written with me in mind. I have the 4 years of experience in programming you’re looking for, a track record of successful projects, and proven expertise in development processes.
At the same time, I have developed my communication skills from working directly with seniors, which means I am well prepared to work on high-profile, cross-department projects. I have the experience to start contributing from day one and I am truly excited about the prospect of getting started.”
“I have the experience and the attitude to excel in this production assistant position. I have almost two years of television production experience — including two summer internships at The Kapil Sharma Show, where I was exposed to all aspects of TV production and worked so hard the first summer that they invited me back for a second summer and gave me more responsibilities.
During my Final year at my college, I have been working part-time for a production company, where I have served in an assistant role but also recently had the chance to help edit several episodes. I have a reputation for getting things done — and with a smile on my face.
That’s because I love working in the television industry and am excited to learn and get experience in every way possible.”
Q5. Do you have any questions for us, our company?
This is the last chance to impress the panelists. So ask something smart. The question should show a healthy interest in the company’s future.
Ask about expansion plans. Or whether they have any expectations of you before you join. For instance, do they want you to familiarize yourself with any tool? Or if you want to close back from where it started, ask them to tell you something about themselves!
Some of the things you can ask can include
- What do you enjoy most about working for this company?
- If I were successful, what would you like me to have achieved in the first 3 months?
- How would describe the culture here?
- What would a typical day look like in this role?
- How will my performance be measured?
- What are the most important issues your company faces in the next 3, 6, or 12 months?
- Why did the last person leave this role?
- Do you have any specific concerns about my ability to do the job?
- What kind of people do well in your company?
What to do when you Rejected?
Being rejected after an extensive interview process can be rough, and when painful enough, can negatively impact the momentum of your transition process. That, in turn, can cause your search to become more protracted, which can eat away at your confidence. And there you go, spiraling into a rabbit hole of job search negativity and hopelessness.
- Build a backup
Don’t let yourself become fixated on one job prospect that you’re crushed when it doesn’t work out. Think Bigger. In your search, you should be seriously talking to five different employers at one time, applying to positions and networking strategically within those organizations.
Take this as an opportunity and build on the experience.
- Reflect and Improve
After an interview, think about what went well, what didn’t go well and why. Seek feedback when possible. Write these reflections down and build on them each time you interview through an improved performance. Share them with a friend, colleague or recruiter and ask them to practice with you in the areas where you felt weak.
- Give yourself a break
The rejection hurts and hurts real bad. You won’t think clearly in such a situation. It is extremely important that you take a break. Sit down, chill, get yourself some popcorn, open Netflix/Amazon prime and watch your favorite shows.
- You deserve better
You have to realize this that not all jobs are suitable for everyone. Whatever the reason, you have to move on now. Focus on what you have and not what you lost. If you think you were the ideal candidate for the company, it’s not your loss it’s theirs. You definitely deserve better.
Trust me, 5 years down the lane, it wouldn’t even matter to you. Instead, you would be laughing it off having good stories to tell your children.
That’s some of the basic job interview tips for freshers. Here is a checklist
Stage 1 – Preparation
- Re-read your resume.
- Prepare questions to ask and to be asked
- Work out clothes to wear
- Rehearse interview
- Work out a strategy for dealing with stress
- Read vacancy details, employer’s literature – what they are and what they want
- Know where the interview will take place
Stage 2 – First Impressions Counts
- Arrive in good time.
- Make a good entrance.
- Body language – handshake, posture, eye contact.
Stage 3 – The Interview
- Be yourself.
- Be honest.
- Be prepared to talk – but not too much.
- Illustrate your answers with examples.
- Sell yourself.
- Be interesting.
Stage 4 – The Final Stage
- Know when the interview is over – read employer’s body language
- Thank him/her for his/her time
- Learn from the experience – ask for feedback if necessary
Questions You Can Prepare For
- Tell us about yourself
- Why did you choose your degree and what have you gained from it?
- What has been your most important achievement in life so far? Why?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why have you applied for this job?
- What do you have to offer us?
- What are the current issues in this sector of work?
- What experience do you have of working in a team and what role did you play in that team?
- Describe a project you have successfully completed.
- How would your friends describe you?
- Describe a situation you have found difficult. How did you overcome it?
- What questions would you like to ask us?
So, these were some of the basic job interview tips for freshers. There are hundreds of ways to prepare for an interview. This article is not the ultimate guide but we would try to update it with as much information as we get. If you feel that this article is missing few things which could have been added, pls do comment so that we can take notice and update it.