Walk-in Interviews are a different ball game altogether and you will need all the extra preps you can lay your hands on. Unlike the normal interviews, here your interviewer would have no premonition about your potential or working style and would bank entirely on your resume to draw an image of you. However, the manner of your appeal and presence would act as your self-summary, pushing forth decisions in your favour. To paint the perfect strokes, I believe in 3Ls…
From the moment we read the ad till the moment we land there, we have to keep a keen ear. Collect as much as details about the organisation possible. The Internet and media can act as a 3rd, 2nd and 1st sources of information. Besides these it would be best to retrieve information from sources already working in the organisation. If I had an interview for a job at a bank, I could walk in as a customer and OBSERVE (only) or safer to ask a friend who has familiarity with the organisation. Provided the time, it’s a solid groundwork that’s worth every effort of it.
With all the information at hand, the next part is to understand and relate it to our current level or state. We can find a perfect place where we would fit in that scenario. Understand all the given challenges and strain your prospective position would carry. Imagine yourself being there and how would you conduct yourself.
Chart out the basic questions and ask yourself, how you suit them, as far as technicality goes which would answer your problem solving abilities and result orientation. Other than that most reviewers would be looking for your skills in Team Player or Leadership Qualities, Communication Skills and how you can handle yourself at any given situation, mostly tight spots. Though they may never ask you a direct answer, your responses would give them a pretty general picture.
With all these in head, you should be able to think clearly before answering questions. Abhor aimless rambling at all costs rather take a second or two before answering.
It also helps by understanding a fact that Employers look for talents as good as what they have already, but that’s only their minimal expectation, in the obvious truth they prefer for the better. By making yourself look like one of their perfect employees your chances to snatch the seat are pretty slim especially at heavy competitions. I strongly believe “It’s better to be overdressed than to be feeling naked”, if you are lucky, people might treat you with compassion and kindliness only out of sympathy and that’s just about it.
Luring your recruiter to choose you can be harder than proposing to someone you love. You aren’t just walking forward to impress, you are going to make a mark leaving you as the last person where their search ends.
Fishing for the compliments isn’t our goal; we are trying to catch the bigger one – The Opportunity. So, it makes no point flaunting what we have learnt to show “Yeah, I know that too…” But at the same time too much modesty can dig your own grave. Here’s a little tip: Don’t serve yourself completely. Walk-in interviews are very time stiff, so keep your answers precise to the point. But interestingly you can close a short description with a topic opening into another strength of yours. Let the interviewer probe into that point when you can explain about it, briefly. This way you will still be calm, delivering all your strengths at your interviewer’s interests. You would have shifted the planes; they would be more interested in you, than you seem to be ‘desperate’ about the job, placing you in a very elite niche
Preparing the Mind
As per any Employment Scripture, mental preparation before the big meet is a very important segment that needs to be tended to.
Here are a few things you could tell yourself before and during your preparations.
Remind yourself that you are not heading to a slaughterhouse and you aren’t going to be sacrificed. They are just trying to find out how good you are, however hard the scrutiny maybe. In many cases of failures due to nervousness, the person does not loose the opportunity because he/she was incompetent. It mainly is based on the lack of confidence that puts off the employers. At the same time a fake confidence would clearly be shown or may even portray a picture of overconfidence depending on how well you are faking it. Your fear will be screaming out loud to the employer’s eye. Remember only those who are wrong, fear and that is the general impression you might be showing. With your fear, an employer may suspect that the details provided by you on the resume aren’t true or valid.
To conquer fear
Courage is not the absence of Fear, rather it is the presence of fear and yet the strength to fight with confidence and to trust in yourself.
If you have your fears, they would actually help if you can learn how to use them to avoid mistakes and plan more carefully.
- Who and what you are as a person who knows the job?
- As an organizational animal how would do you fit in the office?
- As an aspirant what are your needs and wants?
- How would you handle any potential problem (technical/organizational) and what preventive steps would you take?
Half your interview would be smooth if you could answer yourself these problems.
Here’s a small tip:
Before an interview, talk to a new friend. Watch how you communicate to their questions/queries and how do you express yourself. Ask a friend to watch you in silence. Let your friend give you feedback on how you conducted yourself. This will give you an idea of how you look from an interviewer’s eye.
While sitting there waiting, remember you might be watched. So from the moment you enter the organization to the time you walk into the interview panel, you need to maintain your poise. Wagging your legs like there was is an emergency for “Nature’s Call” is a taboo. So is fiddling with the pen or any accessory, worse a small hole or crevice on the sofa. Keep calm and if the wait is long, try to read something, not necessarily something related to your field.
The most elementary of all etiquettes is The Handshake. Several of my acquaintances and colleagues have always commented on my handshake. They felt good when I shook my hand with theirs. Though my reasons to them then were aplenty that left them giggling or hoarsely smacking my shoulder, I knew the true reason.
There are a few secrets about the handshake one should know before you could actually learn the tips.
A handshake is the most powerful form of communication between two people. The handshake acts as the first and last form of a powerful personal contact. It is when two people break their personal bubbles making that one contact that mentally prepares them for the communication. The handshake is the perfect opener to a communication link and it leaves a subliminal message after you have left. Trust me, you don’t want to leave an “error in connection” all through the meeting or leave an ugly distaste behind when you part.
You don’t have to learn acupuncture from the ancient Chinese to know that every pressure point in the hand can trigger an emotion. Your handshake will reflect the state of your mind so make sure you are mentally stable before making that contact.
The 10 Commandments of the Handshake:
1. The Nail Rule:
Clean hand, well trimmed nails for men and neatly manicured for women. It is suggestive to have it professionally done before a big interview or meeting. Besides the fact that a professional manicure is a blissful experience it also leaves a lot more talking about you as much as it would avoid communicating annoyance.
Please note: They shouldn’t be too short, bitten off or chipped either. They don’t leave a good message either.
2. The Slip not Rule:
Sweaty Palms is the biggest taboo when it comes to handshakes. If you have hands that can water plants then take immense care to keep them dry. Don’t ever try talcum powders, there’s a good chance they may fail and make an excellent lubricant. A good way is to keep your hands open at all times even if fear grips. Keep your hands in the open and keep them busy with gestures as you talk. Keep simple gestures though, if you do not have the practice of doing it.
3. The Side Wipe Rule:
The biggest put-off before shaking your hand is the Side Wipe. The worst thing to do before shaking your hand is swiping it on your sides like a credit card you might leave that uneasy where-was-that-before feeling and you’d usually receive a half-baked handshake in result to it. Make sure your hand is clean and dry even before you enter the scenario.
4. The Ring Rule:
A single ring is most ideal for a man and maybe 2 for a woman. If your hand is heavy enough to sink a ship, you cannot and should never make a firm shake. Avoid a heavy bracelet, bangle unless they were looking for Rudolf’s replacement.
5. The Stretch Rule:
Keep a clear distance when you are near so you can give about more than half a hand’s length to stretch. This rule is very important in the case of varying heights. Offer your hand heartily and not thrust it or crawl it into the space. This would mean a perfect speed of pushing your hand forward too. Step forward if you have to and try avoiding the gymnasium-pose to reach for their hands. They would come forward too.
6. The Clip Hold Rule:
The 3rd most important commandment is the perfect hold. This holy rule is to make the right contact before enveloping your fingers into a grip especially when it comes to giving your hand to the opposite sex. The best way to do this is make sure the point of connection of your thumb and fore finger meet the same point of your acquaintance’s hand. Don’t hit it too hard. Make a soft landing not too soft either. This is to make sure your hands are at evened out lengths and ready for the Big Grip.
7. The Pull Back Rule:
Removing your hand from the shake is as important as giving it and the shake itself. You could destroy the complete procedure if you did not pull back right. Pulling back your hand too fast could communicate a showing of disgust. Pulling them too slow could leave an eye raiser. Keep a normal pace just a little slower than the speed your hands approached. One more thing about removing your hand, dragging or tracing along the inner palm isn’t the best thing to do and the same time do not do a vertical lift off. A small rub less than an inch and pull off at a relaxed pace.
8. The Hesitancy Rule:
It’s a sacrilege to forget that a halfhearted shake is a half-baked cookie. It makes no sense offering a limp hand, clear your mind of inhibitions before your offer your hand. This is a classic mess-up you find when it comes to the opposite-sex handshakes. A good communicator would clearly be able to know what’s on your mind by just feeling your handshake.
9. The Shake Rule:
The most abused and confused part of the contact is the shake itself. The golden rule is the 2-and-a-half Shake. Two firm shakes of both hands traveling an up and down distance of say not more than 2-and-a-half inches and a half shake. Making it 2-and-a-half shakes in total. Sometimes you might be in a hurry then it could be one and a half but most cordial feeling is achieved from the 2-and-a-half Shake.
10. The Big Grip Rule:
The most important commandment is The Big Grip Rule. The main crux of the handshake is to know your hand as much as you should know your partner’s. The first shake when you meet needs to be a firm but not too firm hold. Don’t get squishy… you aren’t handling tomatoes. Gentlemen! Please don’t show your strength on the women’s fingers. There are other ways. Women! Lets put in some grip on it; you aren’t offering your hand for a ball dance. Don’t force yourself though.
Best would be to test and practice a few handshakes with your friends before affirming on one by yourself. Try and practice for a neutral handshake. Not too firm not too soft and with a perfect speed of offering.
Before your mouth can start talking your attire would, creating that first crucial impression. Planning ahead on how you are going to look would require you to have a clear understanding on the nature of job and your prospective employer. I’ll look upon other interesting details too, such as the climate, the time of meeting and how am I representing myself. What am I going to be? A Strategist? A Highly Refined Corporate? A Creative Thinker?
Before an interview I’d do my little shopping. What I’d be looking for…
I’ll go in for good brands if not for the top in line, probably the mid-ranged ones.
Here’s a tip: Each design leaves a touch that will add you a little more character
Unless you are confident of who or what you want to represent it is better to take the usual thumb rule… of being conservative and very generic, which would be as follows.
It’s better to be overdressed in the first meeting than to be underdressed and look like a castaway. Try dressing for a notch higher than the position you are applying for. Not that it would make you get the higher post, but it sure would make you look eligible for it. And make you seem like you are prepared to have a larger scope in the organisation.
Most dressing is all based on the message you want to communicate. The point at an interview is not to appear ravishing or provocative, rather it is to make a powerful impression. Show you are a thinker, planner or strategist. Get a nice well crisp dressing up. I would suggest corporate brochures or manuals more than magazines to pick my ideas from. Most magazines portray very trendy dressing that may not suit probably the Indian culture, pardon me if I may be wrong. Unfortunately they may also not match with all body types.
Here’s a tip: Plan ahead on how you want to look get a few dressing rehearsals done with a neutral review panel
Trim haircut and well-controlled facial hair. If you are going to work for the mafia look like a mafia, if you are going to work for a corporate then look like one.
Avoid heavy jewelry. Keep your tattoos and pierced body parts covered, away from your employer’s eye; sometimes they may be too obtrusive for comfort. Keep a clean face – no pierced tongue, no pierced lip or nose; ‘officially they should not exist’. Not more than one ring on each hand. Lock away those that have flashy gems that are too obvious.
Minimal and a very light cologne should do the trick. There’s a good chance you might not leave that ‘Musk’ feeling.
kets free of bulges. Maintain a neat flow of your dress tracing your body.
Better have not smoked before an interview. No (chewing) gum or candy.
Well-done nails (or manicured), not longer than your fingertip. (Women – use a mild or light colour or better yet just the gloss and no colour. Men, please don’t dare.)
|Please do not wear Mehandi on such occasions too. They offer only the simplest distractions, but still better off in this case.|
Carry a nice, not too large briefcase to carry your documents.
If you are wearing a belt let it match with your shoe (most applicable for men). Keep a plain and simple belt latch.
Most suitable colours for the occasion are dark or maybe pastel. This would be considering the fact that you are going generic. You could always experiment with other colours, but plainly avoid choosing colours out of a Hawaiian tourist.
Keep your bare minimum from a formal half sleeve to a full suit. Jeans are best avoided. At the same time your dressing should make perfect sense.
Pick a nice conservative patterned tie. Avoid blurry or too glossy ones. Soft silk ties are best. Use a complimentary but not too gaudy tiepin/holder if necessary.
Men, please avoid pink. It may communicate aversion for you.
Slip on some non-flashy, smart-looking accessories like cufflinks or tiepins if required.
Wear simple designed, probably non-textured, laced (recommended) shoes and obviously well polished with matching socks (if not just go for black).
Wear your belt just below your navel. Above it would break the symmetry and look like your pants eating your torso