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Anatomy of an Interview. December 18, 2006

Posted by Azeem in Uncategorized.
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I don’t know how it is done in other companies, i.e. if there is a formal method for conducting an interview, but where I work someone throws an email to a few of us when they need to interview a candidate. Most of the time we are too busy (translated as “don’t care”, even if you have the time.) to read the resume. I realize now how important it is to dress up. The people we interviewed were very well dressed. I didn’t even think about what to ask for the interview, but some others took it like their life depended on how well they interviewed (be careful of those types). From a practical point of view, I made a mental note of what I should be doing for my next interview.
1. Dress the part.
2. Always be prepared to explain your current situation.i.e. your back ground and how it relates to your current job.
3. A lot of times people ask you, fuzzy questions or feel good questions (typically done by a business guy). For example do you like working in a rigid environment or a flexible environment? There is no right answer to this one. Try to dive back into your past and recollect your experiences and explain what you felt and more importantly, you have to take a stand. Just because you prefer one over the other does not make you look bad. It only shows that you know what you want.
4. This is a big one. LISTEN, and PAUSE (think) before you answer and go slow on your answer. Give your interviewer time to digest the information you are delivering.
5. If you do not know an answer, DO NOT BEAT around the bush. No one knows everything. You can play it out in a positive way by saying that you are more knowledgeable in something related and that you are willing to learn. It gives you more credibility.
6. Some interviewers like to ask simple questions. They figure if you know the basics you will know or easily pick up the complex parts. So know your basics well. Dont overload yourself with the advanced topics.
7. If it’s a group interview i.e all the interviewers are present in the room with you, try to gauge the interpersonal dynamics of the interviewers. Just because one guy keeps asking you tough questions (and you cant answer them), it doesn’t mean that the others think you are not good. Be positive through out the interview.
8. If one person is dominating the interview, its always a good idea to deflect the answers to an interviewer whom you think is more agreeable.
9. If you do not understand the questions, keep asking them to elaborate again and again. You are not at fault, if you don’t understand what they are asking you.
10. Do not try to show off your knowledge. You are indirectly challenging the interviewers knowledge.(Play it safe, unless you have the clout.)

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