After jumping over the barricade of Group Discussion, it is the Personal Interview that will welcome candidate to the one-to-one battle. Since most companies have a separate Technical interview round, the personal interviews are completely non-technical in most cases. The main motive, of course, is to measure the personal abilities of the candidate, with questions ranging from what he was, what he is and what he wants to be.
The Personal interview is being seen by many as an occasion to showcase your achievements and it thus happens that people who have not achieved much during their academic time tend to feel the heat. This is a completely wrong concept. It is not the merit certificates alone that speak, but the true values you have inside. Remember, a spark can come from anywhere and that may be enough to make your way into the lands of hope.
Be in peace with the world before the storm arrives
Personal interviews are not like its technical partners where you need to mug up whatever you have learned in the past years at college. The questions asked will be about you and the answers are well known. It is just that you need to polish this a bit so that the evaluators find your presentation impressive. Be at ease and browse the internet for some frequently asked questions a couple of days before the interview and think about some answers that will stand out of the normal oldies.
Incident: Rahul had his personal interview at 8.00 am in the morning. While his friends were busy preparing answers for the “100 Questions for personal interview” article, they found in the internet, he was in the library reading the newspaper. One of the questions asked during the personal interview was – “What did you find interesting in today’s newspaper?” Rahul was the only one to answer and clear the round, while most of his friends who were restless at the last moment had to go back home. This is what happens if you have a cool head before the personal interview begins and grow your confidence.
Respect the clock
Being at time for the interview is one thing that needs to be followed. This will not only make you feel comfortable, but also gives time to quickly rewind the answers you have already prepared. You also get a chance to adjust to the environment. There are some people who try to be present a long time before the interview starts, which is not a wise plan as this may make you feel bored and may even push you into a nap.
Have the looks
Try to always make a statement by the way you dress because this is one of the first things that the interviewer is going to notice about you. Dig yourself into the right formal dress for the occasion so as take your confidence high. A light colored shirt and dark colored trousers will work out the plan. A very important thing to remember is to polish the shoes, which in many cases are forgotten. A shabby shoes can spoil the look of the decorations done above it.
Maintain the right postures
This starts from the time you walk into the interview hall. Follow your normal style of walk. The best thing is not to make any effort to adjust it to the occasion because the lack of comfort due to this may betray you. Do not try to walk very fast, as to grab the chair in front of you. This may make you appear like a participant of a musical chair competition. This doesn’t mean that you have to be very slow. Maintain a normal speed. The interviewer will ask you to take the seat in most cases and that means you don’t have to ask for his permission. But if that doesn’t happen, be prepared to ask. Sit with your hands on your lap. Maintain eye contact with the interviewer throughout the interview. Maintain the right postures while you sit on the chair. Do not position yourself to give an impression that you do not possess a backbone.
“Tell me about yourself” – The king of personal interviews
You will be welcomed with a question – “Tell me about yourself” in most of the personal interviews. Most often, people with lack of preparation tend to get confused about where to start. You do not have to start by telling your name, because in most cases, the interviewer’s question will include your name (Rahul, tell me about yourself). A lot of candidates tend to practice the story from –“My name is……” and get clueless at this point. Try to practice this scenario earlier by thinking of a perfect start so as to lay a path for the points to come.
Include your details and achievements as you go by
Start with an incident in your school life which sparked the interest to opt a career in the field for which you are attending the interview. Support this with your efforts during school days to achieve this goal. You can bring your dad and mom into picture now by mentioning the support that they have given you to reach the stars. Mention their names and details so that the family details are indirectly said. Mention the reason why you selected your course or branch at college. Include the achievements in school and college as you go by – put up examples to prove that you are a good team player, proactive and have leadership qualities. Make sure that you know enough about the hobbies you mention in your resume.
Be clear on your answers
Always try to make your answers specific to the questions. Be clear about whatever you say. Trying to convince the interviewer about a topic you do not know, may lead to more and more questions being asked and may set a trap for you. Be wise to accept it if you do not have sufficient knowledge of the topics asked. In turn, tell the interviewer that you can learn it if a chance is provided. The common questions asked will be the reason you choose to attend the interview of the particular company, your salary expectation, and you expectation from the company. Make sure that you have researched the organization, their products and services, as this will help you in answering why you are fit for the job. Include points on how your skillset can fit into the company’s requirements and how your presence can help the organization grow. Do not try to create a feeling that you are overconfident by listing out things that are practically impossible. Have an idea about the salary that companies usually offer for the post you are applying to, so that you can round it to an appropriate figure. Try to answer controversial questions if any, without hurting the feeling of a culture or group. You do not always have to stick to whatever is printed on your resume. You may get a chance to include only the significant points while creating the resume. The rest of the arsenal, which you think, can earn you points, can be presented during the personal interview.
Do not hesitate to ask
In most cases, the interviewer ends the interview asking if the candidates have any questions to ask him back. Make use of this situation and ask him if you have any. Be sure that your questions are sensible and it does not lead to a controversy or negative opinion.
Learn every time
Thank the interviewer for the chance you got, once the interview gets over. Tell him that it was a very good experience. Do not get disheartened if you feel that you have not crossed the line. Learn from your mistakes, try to work hard on the negatives and remember, there is always a next time when it comes to attending interviews.