Ever had the human resource (HR) manager of the company you’ve applied to for a job say “We’ll get back to you” but they never did?
The interview process is the last and the most important part of any hiring process. The goal of this round is to see whether the candidate knows his or her subject and will gel with the organisation. The interview round can make or break your candidature. Many a times, you’ll have cleared written, group discussion and even the document verification round but after the interview session, all communication from the company will suddenly stop and they’ll have hired someone else for the position.
What Else Is Making News?
This round is as easy as it is difficult to crack. With a calm, composed and confident demeanour, you can easily sail through but one wrong sentence and all your hard work will be wasted. It is a tightrope walk between what the company is looking for and what you want out of your next job.
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HR heads and senior managers tell The Indian Express their views on what people should not say or do in a job interview:
Previous work experience:
“In case you had a bad experience at the organisation you were working for before, you should not indulge in elaborating too much about the same during the interview. It shows you are a negative person and only look at bad things in general,” says Neeraj, Senior Director, HR, hCentive.
Satya Kumar, Vice President, HR, To The New, agrees. “Badmouthing your current or previous employer would only make you look as someone who is a whiner and is indiscreet,” he says.
Questions you don’t know the answers to:
Suchita Dutta, Executive Director, Indian Staffing Federation, says, “If you don’t know the answer to something, accept it rather than bluff as interviewers will be able to notice it most of the time.”
“In case you don’t have an answer, be honest in accepting it,” Neeraj says.
Questions to ask the interviewer:
It is always a good idea to prepare at least one or two questions beforehand to ask the hiring committee, be it the HR or the manager.
“Never say, I don’t have any questions. Be prepared to ask some questions which show your eagerness to know more about the organization,” said Neeraj, adding that what you shouldn’t ask, however, is the organisation’s basic function or what the profile you have applied for is about, as you are expected to know all these beforehand.
“It is good to ask about the decision-making policy, growth and profitability of the company but did you research about the organisation and the job profile beforehand? An ignorant interviewee will be considered as someone who is not serious about working with that company. Take a look at their website and company memo as well as talk to previous employees before your interview,” he says.
“Don’t ask about salary, increment, holiday policy, office in-time or out-time or the work pattern as this will show that your interest is only towards taking holidays. These should be discussed only with the HR,” said Suchita, adding that your questions should be related towards work and the company.
Personal working style/flexibility/personal opinions:
Neeraj says, “Never show inflexibility to adapt to situations while answering your questions. This is the last thing you want to project in your interview.”
Satya, however, feels that one should avoid having no opinion or stand. “Trying to be extremely accommodating and flexible at times can make a candidate look as if they will agree to anything rather than having a mind of their own,” he says.
“Never say anything discriminating. At all cost, avoid making any remark on the opposite gender, sexual orientations, nationalities, ethnicities, race, handicaps and religions in negative language,” says Jindra Háchová, Chief HR Officer, Home Credit India Pvt. Ltd.
When asked about your weaknesses:
“The interview is about projecting your strengths and down playing your weaknesses. You should portray your weaknesses in such a way that they become strengths for the organisation. If you are not able to do so, leave this question,” says Suchita.
Along the line of one’s weaknesses, Neeraj advises against nervousness at the time of the interview. “All organizations want to hire confident candidates who can perform their job well and influence others, hence, avoid getting nervous during the personal interaction,” he says.
One shouldn’t talk about how many years it would take to get a promotion, Neeraj says, adding, “Rather, enquire about how this role will evolve over the years and would shape up your career.”
Suchita feels the same as she says that while money related questions should be directed to the HR only, and that too not during the main interview, it might be okay to talk about perks but such questions should be limited.
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