General Interview Tips And Tricks
Whether you are searching for jobs,
looking for career avenues or climbing the corporate ladder, you can't escape
team interviews these days. The problem is that such interviews don't have a
pattern to them. They come in different forms. You could be facing your
prospective team members. Or you could be up against the top brass?HR
vice-president, the section head, the operations chief. Or you could also be
sent to a recruitment assessment centre for multi-parametric evaluation
(psychological tests for pressure-handling abilities, team-player skills and so
Try these ten tips for
surviving, and scoring, in a team interview.
GIVE VARIETY TO YOUR ANSWERS
Remember you might be interviewed
by different panels. Don't give a stock answer to all of them. They'll be
Repackage your skills so that they
sound different. If you're showcasing project X as your major achievement in
your present job before one team, talk about project B before another interview
A technical team will tune in to techie talk; an HR team would rather hear about
your interpersonal skills.
FINE-TUNE INTERPERSONAL SKILLS
Pull out the stops on your group management and group presentation skills.
Interviewers are people after all.
Look for the personality type underscoring each interviewer.Then try and connect
with each one of them without getting personal. Usually the best way to make
contact is to project values that you feel you can share with your interviewers.
DON'T QUAKE IN YOUR BOOTS
Interviewers are not ogres.
They are looking for excuses to hire you, not spill your guts.
Don't be obsequious. That
conveys low self-esteem.
If you face your interviewers
with fear in your eyes, they won't like what they see. They are NOT sadists.
PREPARE FOR STRESS
You'll be up against a time
crunch in a team interview.
In one-on-ones, the interviewer
might be taking notes, allowing you little breathers. No such luck with four
people firing questions at you. Use stress control techniques to soothe your
nerves. You might even use the extra adrenaline to sharpen your responses.
SHOWCASE THE IMPORTANT THINGS
List seven important things
that fit the job description of the advertised post. Prepare to present
skills that fit such traits.
It helps to talk to friends
familiar with the job description. You can even ask them to prepare tests
that you can take from them.
Put together three family
members or friends with diverse personality traits.
Recreate the formality of a
team interview situation and ask them to fire nonstop questions at you. That
will serve as a useful practice session.
Ask for serious feedback,
especially about weak areas in your answers. Questions about qualifications
and work experience are usually generic, so what your mock team asks you is
bound to be pretty close to the real stuff.
CREATE A MENTAL PICTURE OF
Boost your self-confidence by
seeing yourself as star performer who's a cut above. See yourself answering with
elan the questions you expect. Then replay your answers and ask yourself these
How interesting were your
Did most of your responses
begin the same way?
Did you use 'we' often,
suggesting team-player attributes?
Are there traces of humour in
ASK GOOD QUESTIONS
Research is integral to a good
interview performance. Find out as much about you can about the company
concerned. Browse the Net, check company reports, put together news clips.
Armed with your background
brief, ask relevant questions about the company.
If you think you have a bright
idea about any ongoing activity, try this: "Did the company consider
this option ..."
LOOK BEYOND THE OBVIOUS
Your interview team has some
core queries about you. It's these they want you to address. Try and look
beyond the upfront questions to decipher their exact intent. Then respond to
fill in what the team is really looking for.
Flesh out your answers to focus
on the team's concerns. If they ask you about your perception of the
company's ESOP policy, they want you to present your expectation from a
stock option plan.
Answer in sync with the general
tenor of the interview. If your work involves individual research besides
team work, don't go overboard about team-player abilities. Balance your
answer. Mention how sometimes individual work is more productive though team
work is needed to put into action ideas generated by individual research.