TIPS FOR INTERVIEWS

Interviews are conducted for a fresh appointment or for a departmental promotion. These are mostly held after successfully qualifying a written test and in certain cases of promotion after becoming eligible for the same depending on your length of service, qualification, performance, and annual performance reports etc.

Candidates must understand that the final merit would depend upon the marks they obtained in written test or for their performance in the department they have worked, plus the marks they obtain in the interview. Generally, the ratio of marks between the written test/performance to interview is 80:20. Your chances of success are therefore 4 times higher on your performance in the written test as compared to your performance in the interview. You should, therefore, be more concerned about your written test/performance, of course not belittling the importance of interview. An example below will make things more clear.

Suppose a candidate X secures 60 marks out of 80, in written test/performance and he for certain reasons fares not so well in the interview and is awarded 10 marks out of 20, as compared to candidate Y who fares very well in interview and secures 18 marks but has got 50 marks in written/performance test. Who will be on the top in merit list? Definitely X in spite his less score in the interview. So please work more seriously for the written test. However, interview definitely enhances your chances of success so also needs to be taken with equal seriousness.

Following tips will help candidates to successfully face an interview:-

  • Your desired level of knowledge and intelligence/performance is covered by the written test/departmental assessment in case of promotion. The interview is conducted to judge your personality, traits, aptitude, behavior, shrewdness, understanding of problems, innovative attitudes, patience, confidence level, the way of talking, convincing power, effectiveness and clarity in tone and speech, level of general knowledge and level of alertness etc. etc. All such things cant be evaluated by a written test, so interviews are conducted.
  • While going for an interview, please please stop discussing any issues regarding the interview with your co- interviewees at least half an hour before your turn for the interview is about to come. Remain silent, cool and composed during this period.
  • Generally, people become tense at the last moment and all their knowledge sometimes gets evaporated because of this last minute tension. Take a glass of water, gently rub your both hands on your face, neck, and ears. Take three to four deep breaths and feel easy before entering the interview room. This will ease your tension.
  • Please understand that you are going for an interview before a group of intelligent people from whom you may learn a lot during your interactions.You are not going before a police team for an interrogation, then why fear? Go with full confidence.
  • When the bell rings for calling you in, please enter the room gracefully and wish all committee members with a smiling face. Don’t say “May I come in,” as the ringing of the bell itself is a permission for you to enter the venue. Don’t sit on the chair unless asked to do so.
  • When asked to sit, sit straight facing the interview committee. Don’t lean against the back of the chair. Don’t sit cross-legged. Don’t rub or close your hands or make fists. Keep your hands comfortably on your thighs and use them to make natural gestures while making a point.
  • Remain composed and confident with the natural smile on your face. Don’t look here and there. A good interviewer will make you comfortable by asking about you. Keep eye contact with the person who is talking to you but don’t stare at him. You can read many things from his body language and act accordingly. Give the precise answers.
  • Go well prepared about the subjects you have studied or the pieces of training you have undergone, as you may be asked about them in the interview. Simply saying that it was long that you studied the subject or underwent training shows how poorly you have taken your studies and trainings. It creates an impression in the mind of interviewing committee that you would take the job assigned with same lack of seriousness as in your studies and trainings, and that will be a negative thing for you. Try to recollect things and try to explain whatever you remember.
  • You may be asked as to how you would be useful to the organization you are going to join if selected or how best you would deliver in case promoted to a higher cadre. Here think for a while and put up your proposal in an effective and convincing manner. You should go prepared for such questions. Simply saying that you will work hard with dedication shows lack of innovative ideas. Give something solid.
  • Remain attentive and understand the question well before reacting. Don’t overreact or start lengthy discussions. Don’t fumble.
  • Even if you don’t know the answer to a particular question, never get tense. You are not supposed to know everything. Don’t guess and start beating around the bush, instead politely say sorry and depending upon the atmosphere and mood of the interviewer, respectfully request him to clear the point for updating of your knowledge.
  • Speak clearly with normal speed and pitch which is comfortably audible to the interviewer.
  • When you are confident about the answer you gave, please stick to it. Sometimes interviewer may try to confuse you just to check the level of your confidence. Stay firm on your stand with confidence and respect. Always remain polite. Don’t falter or get perturbed. Your confidence and calmness would make you face the interview well.

After the interview is finished the chairman of the committee will signal you to leave. Don’t start begging for the post by putting up adverse conditions of your family or chances you have already missed. This shows lack of self-confidence and is against the general ethics. No one is going to give you extra marks on such issues. Just stand up, wish all members respectfully, and gracefully walk out. Don’t rush or stumble, as all your moves are under the observations of the interviewing committee.

 

Author: Kuldeep Kumar Sharma

I am an Ex-banker having 38 years of experience in different fields and capacities in banking and social life. I started the career at a very humble position and ended at a senior position of President of the bank.