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Having a background of HR and working in different companies for over the years, I have learnt quite a few skills myself to overcome that fear of “interviews”. Off course we are young with no experience of the real world because our universities don’t teach us that, it’s like we were living in the books and the job hunt is the first time we have come to the real world. It looks scary and uncertain. But we don’t have the option now, we have been thrown out to the real world with no preparation.

As a result, many of us take whatever job we get whether it suits our educational background or career path. Many of the engineers, Phd’s, MBA’s we have seen working in call centres because they were too tired to look out for job relevant to their profession. But how do others reach those positions they applied for and you didn’t? Before going towards the solution, let me tell you that my first job was in a call centre as well, yeah it was the call centre of Mobilink and the pay was good but that wasn’t going to benefit me in the long run if I wanted to pursue as an HR professional.

Coming back to the real deal, Let’s talk about the ideas and tips to get better in our interviews. These tips are based on my personal experience and since I have conducted many interviews myself both in Pakistan and Dubai, here’s what I believe can work for us.

1. Self Confidence
Might seem like something you have heard a lot, from friends, from family, to have confidence in yourself, which means it’s not an unknown word to the readers. In my first interview in Mobilink, I was totally blank, I was a fresh graduate from a private university which didn’t prepare me for the interviews at all, all I knew were some definitions of What is Economics? What is the meaning of HR? What is Probability? and so on.. I didn’t know anything practical about job life at all. Which means, I shouldn’t have done good in my interview since I know nothing, and to have confidence you at least should know something. They asked me few questions related to problem-solving techniques, for instance; What should I do if a caller is persistent to have his issue resolved immediately, however, the issue can only be solved in 24 hours. It’s a simple question, it doesn’t need a degree to answer such a question. But I was nervous, it felt like the interviewees were coming onto me, they needed an answer quickly and I was babbling and I blacked out for few seconds, there was silence, it felt like I have done a crime and the jury is investigating me for something I will be punished for later.

I asked them for few a seconds break to get myself together and rotated my chair to the other side, talked to myself a few seconds, it’s a simple question, you can do it, say something, they won’t eat you. And a few seconds later, I answered them what they asked for. I was certain I won’t get the job after this incident but well, I got it, it was pure luck although I tried my best to suck in the interview.

It wasn’t that I didn’t have a degree, it was more about self-confidence which is the first and foremost key for any interview, and if you don’t have that, I am sorry to tell you, your degree has no weight.

From this incident, I learned a few things;

  1. The interviewee won’t eat you
  2. They have no right to disgrace you
  3. They are only there to ask you few “designed” questions
  4. They are mere people like you and me

And I also learned, that if I am not confident enough to face two/3 people interviewing me, my 16 years of education means nothing. So here, now you know the first thing required to get ready for an interview.

2. Review the Job Description

Okay now that you have geared up to face the interviewee’s panel, and assuming that you have of course applied for a job relevant to your education or experience, this tip will help you big time to prepare for your interview.  That is, go through the Job Description that must be available on job link you have applied to and if JD is not linked or written you can google the job title to read through its JD. Reading the Job Description will work as self analyzation, each task would tell you if you are suitable for the job.

Because JD’s are work duties you will be performing in that particular position. Go through every task carefully and prepare yourself accordingly. For instance, you applied for a job of Recruitment Officer, and you have it’s JD where the first task is ‘advertise vacancies on different job portals’. You must search for different procedures of advertising a job opening because the panel can ask you your method of advertising for a vacancy. Work on each task mentioned in JD as a potential question in the interview. Once you know it all, your confidence will automatically boost having all the information required. Remember that the panel will only ask you questions relevant to the job or your previous experience.

3. Research on the employer
This is not something to be ignored, researching on your employer is an important task to prepare for an interview, the more you know about the employer, the better you will be able to answer their questions.

For instance, I was volunteering in an open day of a food company and my task was to conduct interviews, the company had given us shortlisted qualities the incumbent must possess like they wanted people who are more social and extrovert, that was the requirement of the job. Hence along with degree, knowledge and confidence, your personality also plays part in getting you hired.

Just like that, If the incumbent had conducted research on the company, they would know what kind of employees the company is looking for, know your employer to understand their questions.

4. Dress Code!!!!! very important
The first impression is the last impression, probably the most used quote we have read, heard literally everywhere, be it your first date or a Job interview. The first thing anyone notices about you is how you carry yourself, they see your clothes before you open your mouth. And that first glance matters the most, it represents your personage before you even start expressing yourself. Again, researching on your employer would tell you a lot on how to dress, for instance, a sales/marketing job or front desk jobs would require you to dress up nicely since you will be interacting with customers a lot, similarly, a textile designer job might look for a hippy outlook wearing colourful attire.

Please wear good perfume, a good smell can make a really good first impression.

Do take shower on the day of your interview.

Don’t wear too much of makeup, bright-coloured lipsticks, bright pink blush-on etc

No heavy, long jewellery, too many rings, big button cuffs etc.

Try wearing soft small heels, sandals are too casual.

Try wearing single coloured shirts

5. Upbeat and Focused
Although if you follow all of above 4 points, you will be upbeat and focused automatically. Because everything you did in first 4 points will boost your confidence.
Also remember, It would leave a good impression if your answers are followed by examples. Examples like your personal experiences, not of Einstein or Ibn Battuta.

I am sure these tips will be very helpful to prepare you for your interviews, if you have ideas and experiences, please share with me in the comments below. Nudge me any time you have something to share or ask.

Also, wait for my next blog where I will be sharing ideas, links on how to look for a job in UAE/Dubai.

Wise Girl Signing off…….