Getting it right at the Interview

Getting it right at the Interview


As the economy struggles to sustain high growth rate, job creation and new opportunities are also directly impacted by this sluggishness. With growing competition in the talent market, focus has shifted from a volume driven hiring market to quality driven approach.

A recent Global Recruiting Trends Survey for India by Linkedin indicates that recruiters agree that improving quality of hiring is the top most priority in a supply rich job market. Given this context, it’s critical that prospective job seekers adopt a smart strategy to get potential opportunity and have a high success rate. So what’s the secret mantra of striking it right? Here are some of the often asked questions and suggested approach.

What mistakes do candidates generally make during interviews?

One must try and put his/ her best foot forward for the interview. Very often, candidates fail to clear the interviews due to inaccurate or incorrect information given in their resumes. Interview panel focuses on key traits and behavior, which a candidate must demonstrate to succeed in the position being interviewed for. Sometimes, candidates end up discussing about areas in which they have little knowledge and experience. Too much of self-talk can also be seen as a negative attribute if the role needs a good team player. This shows them in bad light.

It’s always better to start with areas of your strength, show a positive approach and accept wherever you are unsure of the right answer. Interviewers do not expect candidates to answer every question; they also assess the forthrightness, professional behavior, team work and work ethics of the candidate. One should avoid bad mouthing previous employer or talk negative about previous work experiences.

Often candidates start discussing compensation and benefit related aspects even before the final offer has been made. These questions should be taken up only when asked about or when the final round of interview is conducted. One must keep his answers succinct, focused to the subject in discussion to avoid any long rambling conversations.

Does interview expect the candidates to have a fair idea about the company and the position they are applying for?

It’s always better to know the background of the company where you have applied for and understand the job profile as well. This shows the seriousness of the candidate for the interview. It also demonstrates that it’s a planned career move to align long term career goals with the organizations future strategy.

How important are soft skills (team work, communication, leadership etc.) for companies while selecting a candidate?

Soft skills are very critical for individual success in any role. Interviewers focus on assessing the team work, group behavior and leadership ability of individual through various case studies, questions on past experiences and also seek examples where the candidate has displayed these key attributes to successfully accomplish the goals.

To perform a role successfully, one must display fair understanding of behavioral aspects and good communication skill. As one moves up in career ladder, soft skills become critical differentiator to perform senior manager and leadership roles.

How important are the background/reference checks? Do companies hire people without these checks?

Background check and reference check is mandatory in most organizations today. This is a non-negotiation aspect of hiring today. NASSCOM, which is the trade association of all the IT / ITeS / BPO companies in India has taken up a significant initiative called “Trusted Sourcing”. This initiative aims to develop and project the industry as a safe and trusted destination for sourcing, development; outsourcing and process work so that overseas clients develop confidence with the safety of our industry and assign more work.

NASSCOM, has developed a robust information infrastructure about all present and prospective employees of the industry called “National Skills Registry (NSR)”. NSR facilitates development of fact sheet of credible, permanent and accessible information about each registered person. You can refer to the link for more details on NSR. This clearly explains how important background check is in today’s times.

As hiring becomes more niche and focusses on skills rather than qualification, it’s advisable that job seekers focus on acquiring new skills and differentiate in the job market. With growing mismatch between talent supply and business need, it’s extremely critical that you make the right move for the best job position.

-Says Ajit Chouhan, Senior Human Resource, Business Partner Leader