Skill at the interview

A job interview is indeed a place where even a small slip can go a long way. Candidates need to be alert and well prepared before a job interview, so that they can project a complete holistic picture of their qualifications, as well as strike a chord with the interviewer. In some instances, a candidate may be otherwise, well suited for the job role, but small character traits and behavioral glitches may land him/her in a tough spot, and the offer may, in turn be withdrawn. Here are some of the common mistakes candidates make and ways in which you can avoid them:

Bad mouthing past employers is a strict no-no. Sometimes when asked to relate an experience of having dealt with a difficult colleague and how they have handled it. Such questions have sometimes been responded to by criticizing the current employer, boss or colleagues. The question on handling a difficult colleague or subordinates has sometimes revealed an insightful saga of bitterness, pettiness or poor interpersonal abilities of the candidates.

Suggestion: Respect for employer, a balanced perspective on reasons for leaving and interpersonal abilities are all important considerations while hiring a new employee and must be handled with care and sensitivity. Cite career enhancing reasons to explain the purpose of leaving your last job. Never badmouth your current employer.

The candidate does not respond to the specific question asked and instead wanders to respond to some other question that is in his/her mind or uses the opportunity to deflect the interviewer’s attention to some other part of his/her CV is a common practice these days. A candidate asked a specific question such as “tell me about the employee engagement initiatives that you are driving in your current assignment” and the candidate has gone to talk about a high point experience in his career, where he designed an assessment center and how all his senior managers appreciated him and was commended by the CEO for his outstanding work!

Listening is an important attribute. Listening keenly and responding accurately to the question, specifically asked, is an indication of the focus and attention, more importantly, the comprehension of the candidate. Besides, if the candidate is doing this to deliberately distract the interviewer this could be a good reason for disqualification. Also, the interviewer may wonder about the credibility of the facts stated on the CV if these are not addressed or substantial during an interview.

The candidate has the tendency to give the impression that he/she knows/has done it all:

This kind of a tendency can be due to over confidence or just with the objective top impress the interviewer. They need to understand that interviewers do have a sound understanding of the job requirements and they are able to understand if the candidate is genuine or if he/she is giving a false impression.

It’s okay to admit and say they know or have done and what they have not done, as this makes the employer understand his/her strengths and weaknesses, the gap areas of the person, as this would help the company to take a fair call in terms of finalizing the selection.

Candidates are unable to clearly articulate their portfolio of transferable skills:

In today’s dynamic business environment, it is vital for candidates to be able to succinctly talk about their unique portfolio of transferable skills and how they have developed skills over a period of time, in undertaking various assignments where these skills were used and tested. Some candidates get too bogged down into the operational details while explaining about their past or present job responsibilities that they are unable to express their value addition, transferable skills or their roles and responsibilities in an effective manner.