|Once you are
invited into the interview room, the first impressions you make
will be hard to shift. As already mentioned, studies have shown
that interviewers can make up their minds within the first four
minutes of the interview (that is not to say that they do not
change their opinions, but you will have to work harder in order
to make them do so).
Take a deep breath, calm yourself and enter the
interview room slowly and serenely. Don't poke your head around
the door timidly to see if they are ready, as this shows your
lack of confidence. You do not want to give the impression that
you are apologizing for disturbing the interviewer. Walk over to
the chair, shake hands if the interviewer offers his/her hand
and sit down. (The candidate should not normally initiate the
handshake but should be ready to respond.)
Your handshake should be firm, but not gripping or
domineering. It is supposed to be a gesture of friendliness. It
should make contact with the interviewer, without being limp of
seeming as if you
are trying to keep your hand in his for as little time as
possible. Don't hold on to the interviewer's hand for too long
or you will appear over familiar. Smile at the interviewer and
look him/her in the eyes as you shake hands. Don't give the
interviewer a toothy grin. Don't shake hands looking downwards.
You should seem self-assured rather than push.
Remember to make yourself comfortable, particularly if
your are nervous. Keep you actions deliberate. Look around the
office if that makes you feel more relaxed. Take a deep breath,
pause and be ready to listen to the interviewer, who will talk
first. Usually the interviewer will introduce him/herself. In a
panel situation, the chair will introduce the other members of
Don't chatter instantly just because you are nervous.
The interviewer will set the pace and style of your discussion,
and at least at first, you should take your lead from him/her.
When the interviewer begins the small talk to help you to relax,
don't give long descriptions of your travel or what ever he asks
you about. This kind of question is only to help you settle in -
don't take it too seriously.
Sit comfortably but upright without slouching or leaning
on the interviewer's desk. Sit attentively, leaning slightly
forward. Put your arms slightly in front of you. Don't adopt an
over-relaxed posture. Try to stay still, without fiddling with
your fingers, your hair, or with rings, earring etc.
If you have established good eye contact with the
interviewer, the interviewer will feel friendly. Eye contact
reflects your confidence. Don't avoid their eyes altogether or
stare. Look at the interviewer as he/she talks and glance at
him/her as you speak. If you are addressing a panel, address the
questioner for most of the time but glance at other members of
the panel too.
Recapturing The interviewer's Attention :
Watch the interviewer for evidence that he/she is
listening. If not, vary the pace of your speech, or stop for a
moment. Generally all that is needed is a slight pause. Signs
that the interviewer's attention is wandering may be due to your
rambling or verbal diarrhea. Curtail whatever you were saying
and ask if they require any further information. Look at the
interviewer and smile. A sure sign that the interviewer's
attention is wandering is if you just get an 'I see' or 'indeed'
response as you are speaking, with those familiar glazed eyes!
Work immediately to regain the interviewer's attention.
Arguments, Arrogance And Anger:
At all costs, avoid having an argument with the
interviewer - you won't win. If you give up once the argument
has begun you will be seen as a wimp. If you don't you will be
seen as argumentative and probably unable to accept authority.
Avoid sarcasm even if you think your interviewer has
said something particularly stupid or obvious. Don't correct him
or accurse him/her of getting it wrong or of twisting your
answers. Say firmly, without being drawn into aggression
yourself, that it was not quite what you meant, and explain
again. Watch your voice and body language. If you get angry, the
pitch of your voice is likely to go up and your expression to
harden. This will in turn provoke a more aggressive response
from the interviewer.
If you become angry at something that has been said to
you, count ten! Try to analyze why the offensive question has
been asked before you respond. Take a deep breath and respond
slowly and calmly. Don't apologize or be forced into a defensive
attitude. Awkward questions do arise at times, the interviewer
may have no intention of making you angry or upset. If you ask
the interviewer to rephrase the question, the emphasis may be
Overstating your claims to fame will not go down well.
It is seen by interviewers as arrogance, as is over-informality.
This is a classic error in people who are scared to admit their
faults or are
over-anxious to impress.
Leaving the interview:
Once the interview has drawn to a close, get up, shake
hands, thank the interviewer and look him/her in the eye with a
smile. Pick up any belongings, walk briskly to the door and
Your clothes should be clean and neat, tidy and conservative. If
you have studied the organizational culture, you should feel
that you fit in with the others in the company and that you do
not stand out unduly. Men should be formal in their appearance
preferably wearing dark colored trousers and light colored full
sleeved shirt. You may wear a tie if you are comfortable with
it. Your shoes should be clean. Woman may wear a light colored
cotton sari or salwar kameez. Do not wear the western outfits if
your are not comfortable in them. Do not put too much of makeup
or jewelry as we are attending an interview and not any
function. If you have several interviews for the same post,
don't wear the same clothes each time.
You should be freshly washed and have clean
fingernails, use deodorant (particularly if you suffer from
interview nerves) and a mouthwash. If you know that you perspire
in interviews, try not to wear clothing that is tight under the
arms and that will mark. Do not go into the interview room
smelling alcohol, tobacco or garlic. If you use perfume of
after-shave, make sure this is not overpowering or intrusive.
Your hair and beard or moustache should also
be neat. No matter how neat your clothes, you can ruin the whole
appearance with unkempt, untidy locks.
Coming up next is an article about 'Entering
the Interview room' the posture' and all about recapturing the
interviewers attention. Stay Tuned..........