5 Awesome And Practical Steps To Nail Your Next Job Interview

Posted on April 15, 2014 in Education, Lists

By Rohit Gupta:

If you are on a perpetual lookout for a better job in which you are not just a cog in the giant machinery- a job in which you get more respect; you would also furtively hold a desire to inculcate qualities of that exalted rank of humans with extra special skills to crack tough job interviews. Or if you are going to graduate soon, you will witness a tiny facet of the unpredictable real bad-bad world soon enough; far removed from the congenial environment of the academia. I know, you might be even dreaming of that sexy job this very second, with big bucks and free lunch and unlimited Wi-Fi and foosball in the evenings, along with that divine personal cubicle of yours where you’ll hang posters of Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin.

interview

Interviewing is an art as well as science. In basic terms, you are selling yourself to an organization, convincing them that you’re worth more than your takeaway salary (else why would they hire you). But alas! You are just a tiny coordinate on the wrong side of the demand-supply curve, unfortunately floating amidst a mob that will slit your throat the moment they get a chance. Read this, so that you know that jobs are not exactly served on a platter for graduates (this is not to scare you, of course!)

The Internet is replete with job interview tips and suggestions. “You need to reach on time- have appropriate attire- look yourself in the mirror before you appear for the actual thing!” The problem is, the actual process starts where generic advice ends. The recruiters are in a mood to rescue only few warriors from a huge battalion bleeding profusely in the war. You need to be that fearsome lone warrior- the sparkling superhero.

I somehow feel that I can go on with this topic endlessly, but I have a job to do (pun intended). Hence, I present you with some awesome and practical ways to hack your next job interview.

  1. Breathe the industry: Before you convince anyone else of your fit with your future job, make sure you are firmly convinced about that yourself. Decode the DNA (Description, Nature & Attributes) and study it under the microscope of your interests and skill-sets. If you are joining an organization, you should know not just about that particular organization, but also about its competitors, the macro environment, the problems plaguing the industry etc. Be a living example of backward integration.
  2. Take employees out for a lunch (or coffee if you earn just pocket-money): Most current employees will be happy to help, if you ask them the right way (most of the people sadly never ask in the first place). Do your homework and ask extremely specific queries. Don’t pester. Ramit Sethi, the successful entrepreneur and author of “I Will Teach You to be Rich“, has found that 85% of the work is done before any serious candidate steps into the interview room, after testing hordes of data.
  3. Love their products: The industry insiders know that this is a natural indicator of how passionate the candidate is about a company. They might hug you (or kiss you!) if you can sing exact specifications of their products, just like a melodious tune. Yet, you can’t force yourself to love their products, in which case you are probably pacing in the wrong direction in the first place.   
  4. Impress the gatekeepers: Keith Ferrazzi believes that the secretaries secretly run the whole organization (he has a ton of corporate experience to back his opinion, by the way). They can provide you with information that you are unlikely to get anywhere else. So now you also know how and why it pays to be humble.
  5. Add value: Don’t bore them by bragging about how awesome you have been your whole life or how you are a natural “team player” (of course you played cricket while in high school). Make a contribution before they hire you. Tell them how you were able to detect a specific loophole in their web security. Show them statistics unraveling untapped revenue streams. Suggest a new design for an existing product. The multi-faceted James Altucher has a lot to say about the importance of adding value.

If you keep these simple (definitely not easy) tips in mind, you have just differentiated yourself from the heap. I agree that you can’t wash away your past sins, but it is always better to have the rudder of your ship firm and steady in your hands.

What have you learnt from your own experiences and those of others? Have any awesome ideas to add? Comment. Don’t hesitate to share your happiness in case you rock the next interview.

P.S. I love beer, just in case.

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