Thursday, January 3, 2008

Interviews... putting your best foot forward. - Part I

First of all, a very HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008 to each and everyone reading this blog :)

This post is primarily dedicated to all those friends and individuals who will be seating for campuss recruitment drives by major IT companies from all over India. This is just my short and sweet analysis of going through an ideal interview. This is how an ideal interviewee should prepare himself/herself. I have written this by compiling both my experience & my friends' experiences while giving an interview & while preparing for it.

STATUATORY WARNING: Do not take this as a expert opinion or a guaranteed way to get through the interview process, but this is necessarily a probable way to prepare yourself beforehand to put your best foot forward on the D-day.

Prior preparations at home before the D-day ---

Appearance - It is very important to make a first impression on the basis of your appearance. You should have good, clean, well-combed hair & please shave off those facial hairs. Take out the formal apparels that you are going to wear on the D-day. They should be neat, clean & well ironed. The clothes, shoes & other accessories should be strictly formal. No polka dotted, flowery prints (both for boys & girls) allowed. Very bright (orange, fluorescent, etc.) coloured or half-sleeves (for boys) & sleeveless (for girls) are a strict no-no. Your shoes should be shining black. Make sure you select the best formal apparel from your wardrobe.

Technical - It is important to prepare yourselves for the technical interview weeks in advance. Make sure that you are confident to answer simple, basic questions & FAQ's. Note them down, copy them from or other such websites. Remember, it is better to be confident in a few subjects than to be clumsy on a variety of subjects. Popular IT subjects that are generally asked are C, C++, DS, OS, DBMS & other department specific subjects. It is necessary to be confident on at least two programming languages (one of them should have OOPS concept) & two other subjects.

Communication skills - This is a very wide & vague concept which most people ignore. But it is equally important (i personally think its even more important) than your technical skills. You should have fairly good command over the english language & should be able to speak freely on any given topic. Make sure your accent can be understood by the person you are speaking to & that every word should be clearly pronounced. You can develop on this by speaking to your friends in english & by watching good english news channels like Times NOW, NDTV, BBC World etc. Also keep a tab on the non-verbal communication skill. Small things make a large difference. This may seem unimportant but physical gestures like making eye contact, smiling to a witty question/comment, hand gestures while explaining something are very important to make the interviewer understand that you are genuinely interested in giving the interview. You should practice these things as often as possible. Use your home dressing table mirror if you are having trouble regarding this (it helped for me). It is important to be spontaneous & not act like a robot :)

This is the end of PART I of a two part series blog. The next post would be on how to handle an interview & some tips & tricks to remember during an interview. If you have any doubts/queries/remarks, please feel free to write them down as a comment. I would really appreciate it.