Strategizing for interviews

Well, I was reading through Kaustubh's post about the interview question 'your greatest weakness' and as much as I agree with whatever 'The Big K' has written over there, I thought there are some more insights that I could offer on this topic. Now I have been through a lot of interviews and have been successful in most of them (Notable exclusion of IIM-L where I was wait-listed after the interview). Here's what I have found through my experiences of interviews on either sides of the table.

Most people DO NOT think enough about the interview before it. Those who do, just tend to focus on the questions that have been asked in the past. Well, the important thing is to understand the psyche of the interviewer. What is it that the interviewer is looking for in you? If you think about this first you'd easily be able to device a strategy for your interviews.

#-Link-Snipped-#First and foremost an ideal interviewer should test you on your strengths and not on your weaknesses and mostly that's what happens. In most interviews you would be asked about your favorite subject. Now this is where you should concentrate. Whatever you answer in this question can decide the course and mostly the result of your interview. Prepare a subject thoroughly - and by thoroughly I mean understand the concepts. Most interviewers would reject you if you say that Thermodynamics is my favourite subject and you are not able to tell the three laws of thermodynamics. So strategy # 1 - Choose your favourite subject and prepare it thoroughly.

Second, if it is an IT interview, please read up something about programming, what does an IT company do, what is expected of a software engineer etc. No matter however well you know your thermodynamics the IT industry would not be interested in you if you don't show interest in their field. So strategy # 2 - Read up something about the industry that you are interviewing for. In fact read about the company as well.

Third, when you are asked to introduce yourself, give an elaborate introduction. It does two things 1st it eats up time , so the interviewer would not have a lot of time to grill you. 2nd and more important is that the interviewer has a better chance of knowing you as a person. It is better to be rejected for the kind of person you are rather than to be selected for what you are not.

Fourth and the last one as far as this post is concerned. If you are asked 'Do you have any questions?' please try to ask some questions (not ridiculous one's though) about the company/work/its plans etc. it shows that you are interested in knowing the company better. And anyone feels good when others are interested in knowing what he/she is doing.

So these are some very basic strategic inputs that I'd like to share. I hope these things help you.

Replies

  • Kaustubh Katdare
    Kaustubh Katdare
    Nice post, Kartik. I'm coming up with a post on preparing for your favorite topic in InterviewūüėÄ

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