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Show Off your Personality at an Interview

"Selling" your experience, education, skills and personality to the interviewer is very important and often differentiates you with your competitive candidates. So why is it important ? Because your communication power, your personality and your enthusiasm are shown and these form important selection conditions.

I conduct about 10-12 interviews a day, some phone while most others online or personal. While resumes may look good, the presentation skills of most candidates is lacking. Their ability to present their overall candidature is a let down.

Below are a few pointers that you must follow.

Your Introduction

You can form a professional introduction to your self rather than just "hello". An introduction like "Good morning, this is "X" speaking can be more appropriate. You can also setup a voice mail in the event you miss a call and the voice mail could be "You have reached the voice mail of X. I am unable to take your call at this moment, but if you can leave your name and number, I can call you back".

During this introduction, there must be energy, and enthusiasm in your voice. This shows confidence and professionalism. Sounding sleepy, tired, lazy is a huge huge put off, especially if you intended to be considered for a role in a multinational.

Give Open Ended and Descriptive Answers

Answers are often "open ended" or "closed ended". Closed ended questions (or answers are often those that lead to a one word reply like "Yes", "No" , "Maybe" etc.

When asked a question by the interviewer, it is important that "closed ended" replies are avoided. Use this opportunity to talk for a couple of minutes at least. If you are in the midst of office work or with office colleagues, best to request a call back (or you can call back) at a more convenient time, where you can really talk without hesitation of restrictions.

An example of a closed ended reply

Interview Question: Have you worked on JD Edwards?

Candidate reply: "No" or "I have not"

An example of a Open ended reply

Interview Question: Have you worked on JD Edwards?

Candidate reply: I have worked on SAP and Oracle for 4 years and have basic knowledge of JD Edwards which is why I feel that I can learn JD Edwards even before I join and during my notice period, if I am selected.

Notice that "NO" did not come up.

Your Sales Pitch

Your Interview is your "sales pitch". If you are serious about the job (or even if you are not), it is important that you really sell your experience and everything associated with the job responsibilities.

Interviews are no longer "just to answer a question". Interviewers assess candidates in different areas ensuring that the right personality, communication, presentation, attitude and enthusiasm have become dominant criteria's in the selection. Often they maintain a score sheet to draw comparison between candidates on different parameters.

Communication is the ability to get the information heard and understood clearly.

English is the grammar and vocabulary used in communicating.

Your Best Shot

In almost all situations, you have only one best shot at an interview, which I can share by experience, has changed the lives and careers of hundreds of job seekers. Hence it is important that you showcase your skills.

  • Use the "right words" or industry/product terminology.

  • Be descriptive, covering all aspects of your work from start to the end of the day.

  • Do not expect your interviewer to ask you every small question, but it is important that you share all relevant details even before you are asked.

This showcases your enthusiasm, preparation and presentation.

Take at least 3-5 minutes to answer a question and explain it in detail. Allow the interviewer cut you if he//she needs to move on. Also be aware your answers should not be so detailed so as to bore the interviewer.

Practice interview questions and answers if you are a serious career seeker, and do not be content with a "satisfied job" if you want to reach the top.

Even if you are not a sales candidate - become one for the interview.


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