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10 Easy Steps to Zap an Interview

Posted by Chris On May 13, 2011 1 COMMENT

Starting a career with a good job is a dream for all students when they finish their professional college. Placement preparation training  plays an extremely vital role in helping a candidate zap the interview. We have prepared 10 simple steps that could help you in your Interview process. We have also provided few very useful online resources which have sample aptitude and technical question papers that would help you in your Interview preparation.

Step 1 to Zap an Interview: Prepare the PERFECT RESUME

One should ideally get start and prepare for a job clearly six months ahead of job interviews. The first step is to start by training yourself on how to write a perfect resume.

  • The layout must be clean and avoid unnecessary clutter, fancy  fonts or colors.
  • Keep the text sharp by editing out unnecessary words but at the same time make sure you highlight your strengths.
  • Choose your words strategically. For instance, ‘was captain of my college cricket team at the inter-college sports meet’ could be worded as ‘Led my college cricket team in inter-college tournaments.
  • An important point to consider while writing the Perfect Resume is providing relevant information that would help the potential recruiter make a decision about you.For instance, writing your father’s name or marital status (in most cases) adds no value.
  • Projects, training and internships must be described in such a way that they reflect your contribution. You could use a three-point format, each point not more than one sentence describing your project objective, what you did and what you achieved. Highlight your extracurricular activities where you excelled over others.
  • Show the first draft of your resume to your mentors and guides or anyone with professional exposure. Get it reviewed by as many people as possible and incorporate whatever feedback  that makes sense to you.

Step 2 to Zap an Interview: Get to know the various job opportunities

Get to know the job opportunities

Talk to everyone and keep abreast of companies visiting the campus for interviews, the jobs on offer and their selection criteria. Get to know through newspapers, television and internet about the various career opportunities and job openings existing in your area of expertise.

Step 3 to Zap an Interview: Practice interviewing techniques

Practice Interview Techniques

What would you do if you were asked to prepare a major presentation in 1 months time?  You’d prepare and practice till the last moment so as to make an effective presentation. Do the same for your interview:

  • Train yourself on all types of interviews and Interview questions.
  • Create and prepare a list of common interview questions.
  • Reflect on who you were as a child, a teen, a student and a friend. What excites you in life and what depresses you?  what are you good at and what are you bad at? The key is to knowing yourself, only then can youanswer all the questions with conviction.
  • Next, think about the interview questions:
    • Strengths/Weaknesses,
    • Long-term /Short-term career goals,
    • What motivates you?
    • Your skills and career interests.
  • Practice with professionals having industry experience to review your answers. Revisit your answers and incorporate feedback  that makes sense.
  • The objective is to portray that you know yourself well enough to be able to make sound career decisions. When someone asks you about your strengths and you take two minutes to blurt out a badly- formed answer, he would think you don’t know yourself well enough and hence he cannot trust you when you say you are interested in working for his company. All the thinking and preparation that can be done before the interview should be done before the interview.
  • Get someone to coach you–ask your friend or your mentor to interview you giving you an objective feedback.
  • Top 10 Interview questions are listed below:
    1. Tell me about your education and or your college education.
    2. What is your experience with consulting?
    3. What do you know about our organization and our operations?
    4. What challenges are you looking for in a position?
    5. Give me examples of ideas you’ve had and implemented?
    6. What can you do for us that other candidates can’t?
    7. How do you handle stressful situations?
    8. How long would you expect to work for us if hired?
    9. What negative thing would your last boss say about you?
    10. What can you do for this company?

Step 4 to Zap an Interview: Practice for written tests

Practice for written Tests

Talking of hurdles, that is a big one! If you don’t get through the written tests, both (aptitude or technical),you won’t able to cross the first hurdle towards your dream job. Get hold of some tests and practice as much as you can.  Following sites have collection of  sample aptitude and placement test interview question papers.


Step 5 to Zap an Interview: Review course curriculum

Review course curriculum

Information is power, and having prior information about who is coming to recruit on campus or in the interview panel, will help you determine what you need to prepare for your interview beforehand.
If you are clueless about the kind of questions might be asked in the interview, then be ready with a list of three to four of your favorite subjects.
Most of the members in an interview panel try to test how good you are in your strength and select you on the basis of the knowledge, communication and adaptability skills even though you may not be directly relevant for the  job profile on offer.

Step 6 to Zap an Interview: Master Group Discussion Techniques

Group Discussion



Form a group discussion(GD) practice group along with your classmates who are serious about cracking the GD. GDs can be tricky affairs because you need to walk a fine line between being too aggressive and too meek. You can’t be too loud or too soft. Practicing in the training sessions will get you the balance right before your interview.
During the group discussion  you must share your own views, or else you will not be able to speak with conviction. But to develop a viewpoint, you need facts and awareness. Read newspapers, magazines and watch the news regularly, know the world around you. Awareness will give you sufficient fodder for a discussion and will be huge boost for your interview. During a group discussion you can discuss against or for the topic.

Step 7 to Zap an Interview: Research companies and industries

Research companies and industries

Surf the Internet for information regarding the company-history, location, main products/services, and for any major news story in the past two to three months. Also read about the

  • Industry  major players
  • Industry history,
  • Major challenges,
  • Trends and future direction

knowing the company and industry, adds credibility when you say you want to work there.  Being well-informed reflects interest, a potential to become productive early, and also one’s ability to make a sincere effort.

Step 8 to Zap an Interview: Dress Code

Interview dress code for men and women

You may already possess a white shirt and a pair of black trousers. But get a new set for your interview. The best policy is to be conservative. Go for plain white or light colored well-fitted full sleeve shirts, black trousers without pleats (and other fancy stuff) and a pair of plain black leather shoes. You could give the tie a miss. If not, then make sure you are comfortable-wearing a tie in the hot summer sun and getting drenched in sweat is hardly impressive. Just to reinforce, on the conservative side instance, avoid metal embellishments on shoes and breast pocket buttons on shirts. Avoid shirts with 2 pockets.
Women have several options when it comes to formals.  A light – colored formal shirt and black trousers or a simple, light – colored saree or salwar suit, will do. Avoid something too flowery or ornate, and team it up with a pair of formal shoes (but avoid heels).

Step 9 to Zap an Interview: File all certificates


Get together all your educational/ non-education certificates including class 10 and class 12 mark sheets, technical certifications and the NCC/NSS certificates and every other documentary proof of achievement so far. Arrange them neatly from latest experience in a file folder and have them at hand during your interview.

Step 10 to Zap an Interview: Enjoy the Interview Process!

This is more important than it seems. After all, how can you come out as a winner in your interview if do not enjoy it?  Few tips that may help you enjoy the interview process are.

  • Remain relaxed – There is no need for you to get all worked up before your interview.
  • Do not show any desperation that you badly need a job – It does not look good in an interview.
  • Ask questions about the job profile – This shows you are interested.
  • Be positive and remain confident.

Think of all your successes and achievement.  Get into a positive, confident mood.  Visualize your success and expect the best result.  Just go out there and have fun. Success in an interview is your ticket to a great future.  Plan well, and prepare hard.

Good luck for your interviews Potential Champions.

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