There are a number of qualities an interviewer looks for in their prospective employees including team work, communication, commitment, leadership skills, time management, and anything else that makes you look like a good professional fit.
Some key points to ensure you do not look unprofessional at an interview are are the following:
- Know your basics: This doesn’t require mentioning, but sticking to – “Turn up on time. Dress smartly. Be polite. Greet the interviewers.” – can go a long way in making sure you start off on the right foot.
- Do your homework: Another cliche, but extremely important thing is to know about your prospective employer, and job role. This not only helps you have pre-defined pointers to talk about during the interview, but statistically employers expect decent amount of research from the candidate on them, before they show up. Giving vague answers shows them that this is just another job for you, thus conveying the message that you won’t be taking your position seriously.
- “What’s your annual leave policy?”: Talking about leaves before you’ve been hired doesn’t is a red flag. Getting a general HR briefing is alright, regarding your compensation, location preference, and designation, however talking specifically about the amount of time you can take off isn’t the best thing. The employer is looking for someone who is hard-working and productive. Rest of the nitty-gritties can be looked into at a later stage, rather during your first interaction.
- Curriculum Vitae: Brush up your CV, keeping it updated as per the job you reapplying for, and ensuring most things are to-the point with just enough room for explanation during the interview, can save you a lot of time. While talking, highlight the qualities that the interviewer could be looking for however don’t confine all your answers to what’s written in your CV and never ask the interviewer to refer to your resume for details as an answer to their question.
- Career Orientation: When asked about your future – ‘Where do you see yourself in 5 years?’ – it is crucial that you try to build a response around the skills they would like to have worked upon, the experience that you should’ve gained by then, and the level of responsibility you’re required like to have. Basically, you need to come off as a long term investment to the employer, and a good one at that. Beating around the bush here will imply that you are not focused, and might be open to job-hopping soon.
- Be Precise: Avoid exaggerating your achievements and the amount of work you can handle. Be rational. Keep everything as succinct, relevant and accurate as possible. Don’t attempt to fool or lie to the people on the other side of the table. They’ve been in the business longer than you – they’d know better.
- Questions: This comes easily to people who’ve done their research and have thought through before applying for the job. Towards the end,when faced with asking the employers questions, ask something that shows genuine interest to be part of the the organisation. Not asking anything is fine as well.