A date with an Interviewer – are you prepared?

It’s an established fact that, in India, certain skills desired by the industry are lacking in the campus graduates/post graduates who appear for the interviews at their campuses. A simple google search on “Employability of Indian graduates 2015” will reveal that across the domain (area of studies), as low as 37% students are considered employable.

While many universities and campuses are aware of the challenge and have updated their curriculum to prepare students for the industry by grooming them on certain skills like Communication, critical thinking, problem solving etc. there is still a long way to go.

Some of the key challenges that lead to unpreparedness of the students at the interviews are:-

  1. Unclear expectations: As soon as an interviewer asks a question, instead of answering the question by what they feel is right, candidates start thinking why this question has been asked and start making up some answer according to their perception of the question. Interviewers are smart enough to see through this. Also, students don’t understand the purpose of certain rounds and how are they expected to perform in those rounds. E.g. GD being an elimination round in most of the companies, does not warrant you to perform the best. You need to be in top 30-40% in your group. Once the expectations are clear, students will be able to pick up the right areas for preparation and will know why a particular question is asked, to answer is aptly.
  2. Not knowing what to prepare for: Human psychology leads us to do those things more and more which give us a sense of accomplishment. The same happens when students start preparing for their campus placements. If someone is good at communication, she/he would like to practice more and more of that. If someone is good at numerical ability, they will end up practicing more of that, leading to an unbalanced preparation. Every organization will follow a certain sequence of interview rounds and one need to clear all the rounds. Knowing the area they lack in and then sequence in which they would be tested for skills becomes and important input for preparing in the right direction.
  3. Not knowing how to prepare in the right direction: Even when some of the students know what to prepare for, the direction is missing. Knowing ones strengths and weakness and then preparing along same lines using a personal development plan leads to a measurable preparation. However, very few follow this methodical approach, which leads to gaps in their preparation. Knowing how to prepare for their areas of improvement and sustaining their strengths plays a critical role in channelizing ones energy in the right direction and eventually be better prepared

Apart from the above three, there are some common mental blocks that prevent them from preparing well. E.g. Procrastination, distractions from social media, mismanagement of emotions and lack of confidence are some of the major obstacles which lead to low performance in the interviews. Overcoming mental block becomes imperative for students to deliver their best during the interviews and manage themselves better, before and after the interviews. In my mind, this is the biggest hurdle to overcome and is currently missing in most of the interview preparation guidance programs currently available.

I would conclude by saying that there is a need for students to take the interview preparation more seriously and methodically and taking a professional help to align their preparation is surely an option not to be missed.

Author: Siddhartha Dubey

Siddhartha is passionate about building innovative and sustainable organizations for future. He believes that People are the most valuable assets of any organization and to achive the goal of organiaions succes, we have to unleash peoples potential by helping them develop their abilities, creating a culture that ensures their energies are best channelized and unleash their creative and innovative potential. At Kognitivus he works with CXOs, Senior Directors and HR heads to design and execute organizational change management to ensure business goals aligned people development, business strategy aligned people strategy and innovation capabilities at all level.