Business English: 7 Things to Do for a Successful Job Interview
With our constant endeavor to help you learn English online and staying true to our reputation of being the best online English speaking course in India, Speechify has covered a series of topics like Business negotiation skills, effective email writing, composing effective presentations and delivering smart business presentations.
However, if you are struggling with basic spoken English fluency, we recommend online Spoken English classes. As many ground breaking business ideas you may have, they are all futile if you are unable to communicate effectively.
As an online English speaking course in India, our online English teachers train our students in persuasive storytelling, body language, speech delivery etc. – all essential features of a great speaker. Hence, its best to enroll to an online English classes and then gradually finetune other skills necessary for work place success.
In this blog, we will cover few basics to perform well at job interviews. The job interview format has evolved constantly over time and especially over the last two years with the onset of the pandemic and the introduction of a virtual workplace across the globe.
Today, acing an interview is not only about a good resume, technical know-how, personality and fit with the organization but also about nuances such as availability of a good microphone and video camera, stable internet connection and ability to handle pressure in a remote discussion while staying focused.
Cracking an Interview – Online versus Offline
After amassing feedback from multiple candidates who have gone through the arduous process of preparing and attempting interviews and cracking their dream jobs, here is a roadmap of the success mantra for a successful job interview. This is only a guiding path and an overarching theme – every candidate will have an individual approach depending on their job type, industry and work profile. Here are the 7 things you must do
Review your resume
Be it online or offline, the first step to crack an opportunity of an interview depends a lot on the resume. It’s a one pager description of who you are and should be prepared in a way that matches with the broad ask of the profile. Few things to be kept in mind while preparing a good resume
- Be concise – You will have time to talk about your achievements in detail, that is part of the interview
- Keep it engaging – Interviewers would want to be interested in your profile, so keep your best achievements in the 1st 20% of the resume. The rest can be discussed in person.
- Should look clean – Don’t stuff up your resume for the heck of it. Even, CEOs with 20 years of experience usually keep their resume to a single page. Keep it legible.
- No Spelling mistakes – Typos are a strict No. Please use spellcheck and ensure that there are no grammatical mistakes or spelling errors.
- Peer review – It always helps if there are more eyes reviewing your resume since you would tend to overlook the mistakes you have made yourself. Feedback is crucial and preferable from someone in the same industry or profile
- Carry a resume – If its an offline interview, carry a printout. If its online, then do send a soft copy in advance or have it saved in your email to forward if required.
The ideal method of preparation for an interview is a multi-pronged process:
- Have your resume by heart – Every achievement and success metric mentioned in the document should be backed by logical data that you can present at hand
- Practice repeating the details to yourself. The idea is to remain casual and smooth when queried about your experience and not fumble for answers
- Get ready with common questions – Tell me about yourself, what are your strengths and weaknesses, what are your top 2 achievements / failures, what do you know about our company and the role, what questions do you have for us, where do you see yourself few years from now on
- Meditate – If you are new to interviews or super conscious in such situations, then meditation can be super helpful to keep you calm
- Get yourself quizzed – Ask a friend who does not have previous knowledge of the specifics of your work experience and get quizzed. The idea is to see if you can explain your work in a layman fashion. Those who make it simple have the best chances of conversion.
- Sleep well before the night of the interview – It is imperative that you walk in / join in to the discussion with a fresh mind.
- For online interview, please cross check you have a stable connection and a backup hotspot ready for any issues. Cross check if you can join the e-invite in advance and do a sound/camera check. Don’t forget to dress well in either case. Impressions do last and are often the deciding factor of a selection.
On the day of the interview, nothing else matters. Let go of past inhibitions and failures, criticism or negativity of any sort. The core focus should be as follows :
- Rely on your strengths and guard your weaknesses with an approach that you are a work in progress.
- Start the interview directing your answers towards your key achievements – you can probably do this by mentioning one such highlight while describing your journey (usually the first question).
- No one believes in a perfect candidate so don’t hesitate to say no if you are genuinely not sure of an answer.
- However, if an interviewer presses for the same, do try. He/she is probably checking if you will go out of your comfort zone to solve a problem.
- Always try to show ownership and enthusiasm in the work / role you are being interviewed for and a general mindset of flexibility. This gives the interviewer a peace of mind that the candidate is someone who can fit in well within the organization.
Know your own data
Be thorough with your knowledge. There is no interview in which you will have all the answers. The best interviews are often those where you have failed and come back. It shows resilience and ability to handle pressure. However, mistakes in your own data points cited in resume are an absolute eliminator. It is mostly interpreted as fictional work with no real contribution from your end. This implies to data of your own experience as well as research on your future company and role. A candidate who displays decision making backed by data will always have an edge in any selection.
Watch out for the Devil’s advocate
This is a crucial and often unnoticed element of a job interview. This is more prevalent in a multi-interviewer panel where there is one individual who does not ask any question except for contradicting a point that you have established thoroughly. If you notice this pattern, then calm down and understand that you are being evaluated on three aspects :
- If you can handle pressure when contested by senior peers
- If you can hold your ground when you are correct in your logic (this would be relevant for matters related to your own experience)
- If you are amenable to suggestions and can consider an alternative logic (this is more relevant for pointers being discussed in your future role)
Quite often, in a single interviewer panel, this role can be played by the same person through a different tonality when he or she suddenly starts contesting your data or the logic / hypothesis you have made. The idea is to stay calm and not be perturbed by the provocation. Keep deep diving into the discussion and remain open to opinion.
Body Language / Personality
Mannerisms and body language are two key elements of making a first and lasting impression in an interview. Dressing up is an important aspect of that judgement. Be cognizant of the role you are applying for and accordingly wear either full formals or smart casuals. This might be a simple but super crucial aspect in your selection decision. At the end of the day, it is a matter of you standing out across multiple talented folks and peers.
Practice, Prepare, Repeat
The key to success is any effort is to never give up. The core aspect of job interviews is that you only get better as you give more interviews. Failures or successes are stepping-stones to evolve you into an even better candidate for the next interview or the next role. So, keep practicing and repeating step 1 through 6 and you would be amazed at your own transformation.
All the best for your next interview!!!
Contributed By- Anjana Dutta