The moment we get the call announcing, “your interview will take place on…” we start fretting, worrying, and getting all nervous in anticipation of how we will do in the interview. Most of us start thinking in terms of what to wear, from shoes to our ties, and from make-up to the hand-bag that we will be carrying. Interviews are more than just dressing up and looking pretty and/or handsome. This article will provide strategies of how to deal with the interview call.
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind is that you should begin the strategizing process the moment you get the call. There are few very important questions that you need to keep in mind when you pick up the phone and make sure that you ask these questions straightaway. Keep your cool, the person on the other side is a human as well and he or she is NOT the one judging you, at least not on the phone call. The first thing you should ask for is the name of the caller so that if you need to call back for some more information you should know at least who called you. If possible, note this down somewhere along with the number/extension from which you got the call.
Know the Job Description
During the call make sure that you ask for the Job Description (JD) in detail. The person calling you might seem reluctant in giving away too many details. One reason for this might be that he or she has to make a dozen more calls and, therefore, does not want to spend too much time on one call. However, try to be polite and wheedle out as much information as you can. Knowing the JD is critical. Why? Because you have to tailor all your experiences to fit that specific JD! For example, if you organized an event where three hundred people took part in, you can modify it differently for each JD and for each department, so for instance if you apply for:
Finance “I had to manage the finances for the event. In total we raised $XYZ and I had to allocate this amount to the boarding, lodging, activities, and social activities budget heads. I did so by using Microsoft Excel and then conducted regular budgetary checks to ensure that the amounts for each budget head were sufficient. At the end of each day I shared this data wih the event heads and ensured that everyone was strictly restraining to the budget allocated”
Marketing “For the event we needed a total of $XYZ. I made a list of sponsors who will be willing to contribute for our event. By approaching each sponsor with the event proposal and presentation we convinced JHT, KJY, and TYU to sponsor our event.”
Therefore, it is critical that you know the JD. Also, it is certain that you will be asked about it during the interview. So, make sure that you have the memorized the entire JD. Also, after the call Google the JD and see what is required of you.
Know thy Interviewer
During the call make sure that you request for the name of the Interviewer, in some cases you will get the name of the Interviewer instantly, in some cases you will have to badger the caller a little. Why is it important to know who the Interviewer is? Knowing the person who is interviewing you will help you prepare better. So, once you get the name of the Interviewer go on the internet and Google the shit out of him/her. Most professionals have LinkedIn profiles these days which reveal a great deal about them from their professional experiences to their skills and from their career objectives to their interests. EVERYTHING. If you are smart you can take a great deal from their profiles. If they have written research papers, articles, and blogs- Go through them. Know their psyche. Know what interests them and then try to model your answers based on what they would like to see in a candidate. Plus if during the interview you can quote what they said about a particular subject it would prove to them that you are actually interested in job and you made an effort.
Know the Misc.
While some callers will tell you to bring the resumes and related documents, some won’t .Ask specifically for the documents that you are required to bring along. After you get to know the documents require- Get a file. Organize your documents. If possible make a separate file for all papers that you have written, this will show your preparedness for the interview. Have at least three copies of your resume, tailored according to the JD, neatly stapled, and put in file covers already. It is always impressive as an Interviewer to see that the candidate is meticulous and well prepared for the interview. Know that an interview is the gateway, and for you to clear the gateway you should be excellent and impeccable. During the call, ask for the timings and the place of the interview. Ask also for the floor you are required to come to. This will save you a lot of last minute hassle. Try to be there at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
© Junaid Shafqat Interview Skills and Resume Writing Material, 2014