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Fireup’s Personal Interview Preparation

A lot of candidates find personal interviews nerve-wracking. Many of them are otherwise calm, cool, and collected individuals, but find that something about interviews just sets them off and make them feel edgy and unable to present themselves at their best.

Feeling nervous at interviews can create a vicious cycle. You feel nervous, which makes you perform badly at interviews. But the fact that you perform badly at interviews understandably makes you feel nervous.

FireUp’s Interview Tips of the day- Almost all major MBA entrance examinations are over. IIMs have just declared the results of CAT. It’s high time for the candidates expecting calls or those who already have calls to buckle up their shoes for GD-PI preparation.

FireUp is here to help all of you in clearing these hurdles.  We will post few well researched articles on “How to Prepare for Group Discussion” and “How to Prepare for Interview”. So here we start.

How to Prepare for Interview

1. Getting Off to a Great Start

You may have heard people say that most interviewers make up their minds within the first five to ten minutes of an interview. And, in many cases, it is true – a lot of interviewers judge candidates on what they say and do within those initial few minutes.

So make sure that you put in a commanding performance:

  • Ask for the permission to enter the room. Wish everyone in the panel. Offer a solid handshake. Wait until the interviewers indicate to sit.
  • Demonstrate your enthusiasm. Always have a smiling face. It is the best way to hide your nervousness.
  • Make a positive comment. Avoid it if you are not comfortable with it.
  • Be prepared for some chitchat but don’t be casual. Never use slang or abbreviations.

Concentrate on making a great impression in those first few minutes and the interviewers may well warm to you and make the rest of the interview that much more enjoyable. But keep your guard up at all times – listen carefully to every question, never interrupt the interviewers, and think before you speak!

We can discuss in details each point above with various examples, if students would like us to do that. Leave your comment below.

2. Communicating with people

At times you need to prove that you are good at communication skills. This is very much possible if you have mentioned “Good Communication Skill” as your strength. When discussing your communication skills with interviewers, think of examples of occasions when you:

  • Listened to the needs of other people, such as colleagues or customers.
  • Conveyed information to other people – perhaps on a one-to-one basis or to a group of people.
  • Handled difficult situations, such as customer complaints, on the telephone.
  • Used your written communication skills in preparing reports or documents for other people to read.

3. Using intonation and inflection

Interviewers can spend a couple of days at a time interviewing. And they can feel really bored when all candidates seem to be saying pretty much the same thing. To make the interviewers sit up and take notice of what you’re saying, focus on your tone of voice.

Follow these guidelines to come across as an interesting and enthusiastic – but also calm and confident- candidate:

  • Introduce inflection into your speech: Actors sometimes talk of using ‘light and shade’ in a voice. Occasionally raise the tone of your voice or speed up the pace to convey excitement or passion about a topic. Deepen your voice or slow down a little to transmit seriousness.
  • Emphasize key words: Say key words and phrases a little louder to make them stand out. This tactic is the auditory equivalent of typing important words in a bold typeface.
  • Articulate your words carefully: If in any doubt as to whether you pronounce your words clearly enough. Practice with others. Ask a variety of colleagues for their opinion. Don’t ask friends, as they are too used to your way of speaking to give you objective feedback.
  • Think about leaving pauses between sentences: Remember that full stops appear at the end of sentences. Make sure not to let your sentences all run together.

Intonation and inflection are really difficult to get right. The best way to tell if you sound okay is to tape record yourself saying interview answers out loud and then listen to your responses to see how they come across.


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