Interview preparation begins early

8/04/2015 11:00:00 am 7 Comments

11 things to be well prepared for an Interview

 The world of work is set to witness dramatic changes to cope with the lightening pace of technological changes. Innovation is going the rule the roost in the days ahead. And not surprisingly, uncertainty and pressures could be felt in the corporate corridors. As a consequence of all that, drastic changes could be expected in the areas of desirable skill sets, including domain knowledge, trending technologies and attitudes that are so critical to any Industry. Recent trends point to realignment of skills set mix across Sectors, Jobs and positions.
Skills could very well gain precedence over Scale when it comes to hiring outlook demonstrated by companies. Quality could triumph over quantity in job hiring. Fast paced technological changes could throw up quite astonishingly new and unexpected areas of business opportunities and employment potential.
Come what may, in spite of all the fluidity and uncertain times in the employment scenario , some generic skill sets are surely going to stand the test of time and continue to grip the imagination of Job hunters.
A well balanced and well proportioned CV could well be a game changer in any Interview. And that could happen only when the candidate is able to use that as an active tool in the entire process. However, a good CV can only initiate and inject an early feel good factor into the interview. But the candidate must quickly create opportunities to showcase desirable skills and attitude. Remember, Employers are interested in your skills, not your CV, however professionally or magniloquently could be written. And importantly it’s the fitment to a Job/position that is critical. All companies would like to see their prospective employees to add value to their organisation. Don’t miss the above point!
It’s a well-proportioned mix of physical, intellectual and psychological factors that a candidate must look at if one is serious about a Job interview. Needless to say, preparation must be free from time and resource constraints. The preparation to successfully face an interview must be kick started quite early, not just around campus recruitment season.
The key to developing sustainable skill sets and abilities depend on the freedom in the use variety and use of resources, spread across longer, flexible time /space zones.
What is needs is a simple and imaginative approach at making anlaysis, identifying skills requirements and creating a plan of action, keeping in view the emerging trends and opportunities. Simple but regular focus on key areas of Aptitude and reasoning, communication & presentation skills and the entire gamut of enabling skills, popularly known as Soft skills could well be quite beneficial. Last minute rushes at mastering these skills could be quite unproductive.
This article puts forward a tentative list of most favoured 10 skills that one needs to focus on in the run up to an Interview.
1. Knowing the Self 
One needs to have a clear understanding of his basic personality traits, including strengths, weaknesses, opinions, personal values, beliefs, thoughts, motivation and emotions.
In times of great changes, a clear awareness of the innate thoughts, emotions, words, and behaviour may help someone to effectively channelize energies and resources in a confident and well –directed manner, thus connecting with others .
2. Knowing Technology 
In the times of IT revolution, it’s common for employers to expect skill or expertise in the resources like e-mailing, word processing, and spreadsheet, information search, making presentations, marketing and many other tasks.
Now, the focus is on certain technology-oriented skills relate to the ability to use IT applications, programming language, e-commerce, social media and blogs, and e-banking, cloud computing, coding, Data Analytics and Mobile Apps and gaming.
An interface with future trends in technologies is always useful. Because the future of any business shall be decided by Technological changes that the world witnesses.
3. Knowing to Communicate 
Written as well as oral communication skills rank higher in the wish list of Job hunters as well as Professional managers as we live in a multicultural world. On any given day, a professional in the corporate sector spends quite a lot of working time on e-mails, reports, proposals, operating procedures, presentations, seminars, memos etc.
So it is highly essential that an employee is able to write succinctly and converse effectively, in multiple settings.
Developing an ability to write a short, concise, powerful and well-formatted CV could just be some of the vital activities in which a candidate can put to use his writing skills.
We need to keep in mind that a candidate is as good as his CV. But that does not mean he/she has to confine himself/herself to its perimeter. We need to go beyond and most importantly exhibit an innate flexibility and versatility in dealing with questions or issues in an interview. Please remember that an interview is just a platform to exhibit our skills and abilities by way of clear articulation and precision.
4. Going Global!
Globalization has shrunk the world to a village, seamlessly connected. And businesses have become global in terms of markets, products and employees as well. So, it is important to inculcate openness and assimilate good practices from other cultures. Practically, when we apply for a job in an MNC or otherwise, we have no choice but to be open to accept cultural diversity, manners and etiquettes, habits related to time, behaviour, work styles and communication nuances etc.
In today’s competitive work culture, to be smart is to be global. 
5. Teaming up ! 
In today’s work culture, to be able to work effectively with others is the most desirable employability skill.
In order to positive and productive with other people, we need to focus on  making effective us e of Interpersonal skills.
Good interpersonal skills allow you to participate effectively as a member of a team, satisfy customers and clients' expectations, negotiate, make decisions, manage your time efficiently, take responsibility, and work effectively with other employees.
Hiring managers look for the ability to work effectively with peers and supervisors, and in a cross-functional space.
6. Learning and Assimilation 
Ability to learn to learn and assimilate is a crucial skill in today’s rapidly changing world replete with frequent changes in technology, policies and products.
This helps in your ability to undertake new tasks, filling-in the skill gaps you may and adapt to the task at hand.
Job profiles are constantly changing and evolving, and you must show an openness to learn and grow with this change.
7. Problem Solving, Decision-Making and Critical Thinking
Problem solving is a crucial pre-requisite to a well balanced professional interaction. It allows a candidate to be adequately assessed in various situations and responses.
This includes ability to think, logically as well as creatively, to generate possible solutions, selecting a solution and identifying a set of actions. It allows a candidate to go beyond the surface meaning and gain clarity thereby standing a good chance to prove a point.
Creative thinkers are innovative and inventive, and are more likely to devise new ways of doing things that add value to the work environment.
8. Quantitative and Numerical Skill
An understanding of the basics of quantitative aptitude makes a candidate get well prepared. Because  employers try to find abilities related to analysis of  quantitative data, interpretation, graphs and tables and basic statistics.
In addition, using an electronic spreadsheet for data analysis is an essential skill.  One must be comfortable with different time zones, cross cultural units and terms.
9. Entrepreneurial skills 
Entrepreneurship is about starting new businesses on your own or within an organisation.
In a world constantly moved by technological innovations, employers, today, look for entrepreneurial skills in potential employees. And no wonder, it is looked upon as the most plausible employment generator. One must develop the ability to see the big picture, think big, know the ground reality and plan for taking risks .
Taking initiative, being persistent and learning from mistakes can always help a prospective candidate and help one to achieve goals. Employers also look for risk taking ability and being resilient -- all key traits of entrepreneurship.
10. Networking 
A candidate needs to maintain working relationship with peers and seniors so that the required ground level feedback could be accessed. Networking may enable a candidate to prepare a clear strategy based on an objective analysis of a previous candidate’s experience. One can also avoid pitfalls encountered by others.
11. Knowing the Company
Employers could feel a sense of satisfaction and contentment by finding candidates who have taken care to know about them. A clear understanding of a company’s details related to products and services, verticals, areas of operation, culture and values does a candidate a lot of good while confidently answering related questions. A prospective employee does well by getting mentally aligned with the details of a company.
12. Staying updated
 A candidate reaps benefits of being a good and confident conversationalist when is well abreast of the current affairs in the realm of economy,politics, society , technology etc. Being regular with newspaper reading is always helpful.
In addition, an updated person could well make a good impression on an interviewer and win perception battle.

Good luck