Shaadi ho naa ho ; Interview hoga hi ! Honi ko kaun taal saktaa hai :)

This blog post shall talk about a few magic mantras which 1) normally people do not know about Interviews and 2) which if prepared well about; can help you crack every interview that you sit for.

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This is a long post. Read it v patiently. Trust me -This is ALL — you need. Read it THRICE and go & crack it ! We have been receiving hundreds of mails, messages on our social media about ‘How this blog post magically helped people clear their interviews’. It did to them. It CAN do to you; as well. Read on ! 

MAKE SURE YOU PREPARE THE FIRST QUESTION WELL:-

90% of the times the first question will be “Introduce Yourself” or “Tell me something about yourself”?. There is a reason for this. Whatever might happen; the candidate will end up saying something in the answer to this question. When he says that ‘whatever something’ ; he will feel 1) comfortably arrived & 2) belonging to that situation and 3) a sense of adequacy shall have happened. This means that you will become comfortable after speaking those first few lines. This is what the interviewer wants. He wants to meet the comfortable you. Your best would not show up; unless you are comfortable. He wishes to meet the best in you. The reason — why 90% of the times; this becomes the first question.

This question is your best (could be the last) chance to sell yourself. It is like your free hit in a cricket match- you will not get out; however — you get a chance to score any many runs of your volition.

How do you best prepare for this Question?

Three Things:-

1) Understand that an ‘Interview’ is a sales process. You are your salesman. Ask yourself — ‘How do you sell anything?’. You sell something — by talking about its positives.

Make a small table — the way I ask you to, next. This is the most valid exercise that you can do; while you prepare for any interview.

 

Areas that I am very good at ; I can comfortably talk at length about

Areas that I would not want to discuss in my interview

1. 1.
2. 2.
3. 3.
4. 4.
5. 5.

(Over the years; I’ve seen serious students making very extensive tables. They delve deep till the tertiary level of any point on the LHS. This gives them the dexterity in answering the questions on that particular point. )

You need to think very deep about your areas on the LHS. They should be the areas where you are a James Bond. I mean, those areas / aspects of your life — where in, if you are quizzed upon — you will be able to happily talk about. The areas on the LHS could be anything. Anything means anything. It could be your career aspirations, plans, a subject in your graduation, your hobbies, your role model, your home town etc.

Code / magic mantra:-

An interviewer ( in any interview) is checking you on your commitment levels in life.

By commitment, I am not meaning the Sunny Deol kind of commitment (where he fought against the entire Pakistan to get his family back in the movie Gaddar). I mean, have you remained committed to the choices you have made for your own self in life? Have you remained committed to the things that you choose to happily do / pursue? Because, if you have not remained committed here — how will you remain committed to something that may not be of your liking e.g. the work areas in your job that you are applying to or the subjects in the B-School ; which you may not like.

Most questions of the Interview which students construe to be questions of GK or academics are actually not. They happen to be questions from the areas that you claim that you are good at / have remained associated with. Understand that:- 95% of the knowledge based questions in any interview will be from the areas on your LHS and the remaining 5% would be such ; that the interviewer is just seeing — ‘how you react to something that you are not expected to know?’.

So, your entire intention in the answer to ‘Tell me something about yourself’ should be to divert the attention to the LHS. You do not talk about the negatives. However, if the interviewer somehow asks you about your negative areas (RHS)— you accept them & do not deny them. Further, you creatively / intelligently shift the attention of the interviewer from the negatives to the positives.

e.g. if you are a B.Com. student & Accounts as a subject is not on your LHS, but Micro-economics is on your LHS & if you are asked a question from Accounts — you very humbly say this — “Sir, I am very sorry, I do not know the answer to this question. Actually in my graduation; my interest area happened to be Economics and not accounts. Even in Economics- I was particularly interested in Micro-economics”.

Now what happens next is that the interviewer is likely to ask you the next set of questions from Micro-Economics (to check you on your commitment). These questions; if you answer right — you will be able to prove your commitment. And this is the code.

Imagine, if you are able to keep your Interview maximum towards the areas on the LHS, by laying them smartly to the interviewer in the question —‘Tell me something about yourself’. Imagine, if it happens like this. Would you not have ensured that you are proving your commitment? Yes!! You would. Also, imagine — if you are not able to sell your LHS & you just give the control of the interview freely to the interviewer. He would then get the freedom to ask you anything from anywhere. Imagine- if from RHS — scary situation naa?

Next, what do you include in the answer to “Introduce yourself?”.

Answer:- You simply pack your LHS in a very humble and intelligent manner.

TIP:- Do not give dead biographical details. Ask yourself this question — ‘Can i let these small points add some extra value about self?’

e.g.

  • Sir, I come from a joint family. I understand thus, that adaptability is the biggest skill set in today’s world.
  • Sir, coming from a defence background- i have become more adjusting to people & places because, my schooling happened from a lot of places.
  • Sir, my name is Arti — arising out of my name is my interest in religious scriptures. Sir, I have read the commentary on Bhagwad Geeta twice.(If Bhagwad Geeta is on your LHS — you’ve very smartly diverted the interviewer there).
  • Sir, I belong to Dharamshala in Himachal. It is famous for 1) being the exile capital of His Holliness, The Dalai Lama and 2) It is the second most rainiest place in India because of a geographical reason.

Now here — you are saying two things — 1) Ask me about Dalai Lama or China —Tibet problem and 2) I am good at Geography.

  • Sir, my name is Prashant. Quite like my name — I am calm & composed. But very unlike my name — I am determined.
  • Sir, my name is Akash but my friends fondly call me Beckham , because of my intense interest in European Soccer.

So, you can let the smallest of the points add value to your profile answer by speaking them smartly.

Two important points worth re-iterating:-

1)           Make humble submissions. Speak with a lot of humility.

2)           End the answer on a positively provocative note. This would increase the probability of the next question to come from; where/ how you are ending the answer.

SHOW; DO NOT TELL:-

Most of the times; candidates commit damage to their ease of success in an interview by just telling and not showing. E.g. :-

–                   My biggest strength is that I am a Team Player

–                   My weakness is that at times, I am short tempered.

–                   My role model is my father

–                   My hobby is reading & music

Now, for heaven’s sake — do not say it like this. You will allow the interviewer to open a Pandora’s box if you only tell and do not show. Let me elaborate :-

e.g. if you say e.g. my hobby is reading ;you are giving him a chance to ask you from my genre of reading. It will be embarrassing if you tell him later that you like reading a particular thing only. Why not tell him upfront?

e.g. if you do not give an example of a situation , when and where you acted as a team player ; the interviewer’s next question will be that only. So, show — do not tell.

e.g. If you say ‘my role model is my father’; the interviewer’s next question will be ‘WHY?’. So, show at the first place only , before he gets irritated and asks you the same thing.

Understand — that in an interview — you need to look sharp; not cute.  

Have a story ready that illustrates your best professional qualities.  Stories are powerful & are what people remember most.  We might have grown into adults but when it comes to stories; trust me- we are still children.  A good interviewee will memorize a 60-second commercial more than anything else.

Provide proof that you aren’t simply shopping for a salary / degree in that interview. Demonstrate your passion for your work a theme that you allude to continually throughout the interview.

The panel wants to see how articulate & confident you are, and generally what type of impression you are likely to make on the people with whom you come into contact on the job (or the in the B-School). For job interviews; if you have been working; the recruiter also wants to learn about the trajectory of your career and to get a sense of what you think is important and what has caused you to perform well. You basically need to be SELLING what the buyer is BUYING. The secret is to match your qualifications, interests & passions with ‘what the interviewer is looking for’.

HOBBIES/ INTERESTS:-

You have to understand — why is the interviewer interested to know my Hobbies / Interests?

Answer :- To ask you questions out of the same.

Reason:- If you cannot answer questions out of your choicest hobby / interest; it seriously puts a question mark on your commitment levels in life and would for sure jeopardise your candidature.

So, what do you do ?

If you have a hobby — get deep into it and learn the aspects about it , which are likely to come to the mind of a normal guy’. Make sure — you are well read about the contemporary relevance / application of what is your hobby. E.g. if your hobby is say- ‘Stock Markets’; you should be in a position to talk about the present situations etc.

What if you do not have a Hobby?

Simple — make one but do tell it to the interviewer honestly that you got into this hobby very recently. There is no substitute for honesty in an interview. You may do everything correct in an interview but if you get caught at even a v small point for being dis-honest- ‘You are gone’.

It will not take you more than a day to become good at a particular hobby — if researched from / at the right places. This is not dishonesty but slight smartness.

e.g. a hobby like *knowing about the tallest buildings in the world or * bonsai cultivation or * India’s missile program or * Cooking Italian food — all it would take you is 5/6 readings of those 10/15 pages of print outs which you should take after very smartly googling google.

Why this Job/ MBA ?:-

Critical Mistakes here:- Making that Job/ seat in a B-School look like the most important thing in the world for you.

Understand here that the B-School / Job applied to is not the end, but a means to an end. Let me illustrate with an example:-

Suppose you are to travel from New Delhi to Mumbai via a Rajdhani Express and you have a confirmed seat. If for reasons as Delhi traffic , you miss your train; would you not go to Mumbai now? Yes, you would. You will take another train / a flight or do something ; but would ensure that you reach Mumbai. Your commitment is to Mumbai and not to Rajdhani.

Here, Mumbai is symbolic of what you are planning to do after your MBA. It also represents what aspect of your long term career plan – that particular job is falling in. Rajdhani is just the MBA / that Job. So, it doesn’t matter how you reach your destination; your destination is more important than the medium to reach that.

I would recommend you to take a print out of the course curriculum of the B-School that you are applying to. Juxtapose this against your interests and long term career plans. This would make you sound savvy and cogent. If you are applying for a job — try and remember the exact KRA —Key responsibility areas of the Job and use them to demonstrate the career pyramid (if an MBA happens).

Some pointer here; which could come to help:-

  • Hobby e.g. Stock Market..
  • Management was a subject in Graduation — Interest- Extension of Knowledge….
  • Good Fund manager- Managed events / funds / People….
  • Fathers business
  • India is growing; want to be a part of it…
  • Read some Autobiography
  • Entrepreneurship

I do not wish to be prescriptive here; but you need to choose for yourself — what shall be the most pertinent reason for you to do an MBA / take up this job. This should be something — 1) which you should be logically be able to defend out & 2) also show / prove your commitment about.

STRENGTH & WEAKNESS

A question as this; gets asked for two reasons:-

1) Can you introspect your own-self? Because if you cannot introspect self — how will you critique the balance sheets or norms in the organisation — you will be working for.

2) The interviewer is looking at character points ; on which the B-School / organisation can build upon.  Again here — the big mistake would be — ‘telling & not showing’.

I am meaning — that be ready with instances & examples.

Strength is that aspect of your personality; which other things remaining equal- has helped you achieve more than the other people around.  Conversely, weakness is that aspect of your personality; which other things remaining equal- has reduced your achievements more than the other people around.

All of us have many a strength & weakness. Think about it.

Also the strengths & weaknesses; they keep on changing / evolving / morphing — as we grow in life e.g. for a girl in a girls school — feeling shy while talking to the opposite gender could have been a weakness; which just went away — when she joined college.

The biggest mistake that people do here is — when they sugar coat strength as a weakness e.g. ‘Sir, at times- I am so hard working that, i loose focus’. I am sure — you are laughing now. But people do it.   Please understand that a weakness is a weakness and should be presented as a weakness. All of us have weaknesses. ‘To err is human’. No particular weakness will disqualify you; unless it appears as blatantly outlandish.

However, a suggestion:- ‘When you talk about a particular weakness- add a qualifier to it —e.g. ‘I realise this to be something which is hindering my performance & I am doing this…this…this… to become better about it’. This shall keep care.

Final words of wisdom:-

  • Please have a good impression about yourself …
  • Take time to answer questions. Do not jump on questions which you were expecting / know the answer to.
  • Avoid School boy Syndrome : Every Q needs to be answered
  • In Career Goals : Do not talk about Designation & Salary
  • Alternative Career Goal : Be a little hesitant to talk ; but then talk firmly
  • Speak Loudly
  • Darna Mana hai…. Take a few Mock Interviews definitely before your final one.

Lastly; even if you get rejected at a few interviews — Just Chill! You deserve a better place.    

I also recommend you to read the following :

–  How to make a killer Resume & CV
–  How to Write a Good SOP (Statement of Purpose)

 

About Author

Akash Gautam is a Motivational Speaker & Corporate Trainer in India. Hundreds of Top Corporates like Google, CIPLA, Vodafone, McKinsey & Co., Maruti, HDFC, RIL, M&M & premier colleges like IIMs, IITs, SRCC etc go to him whenever they need a refreshing, big bang impact. Write to usWrite to us to know how he can transform your Team.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mayur.n Mayur Natarajan

    sir am yet to read, but I alrdy know its too good :) m/

    aapka agyakari fan cum shishya
    -Mayur

  • Pritam

    awesome sir ji…

  • http://www.facebook.com/mayur.n Mayur Natarajan

    sirkya baat hai… this is AWESOME!!!

  • Akshay singh

    HI sir ,
    First of all thanks for giving such a fabulous interview tips.
    I am also in search of job so i hope it will be helpful to me.
    Thanks.

  • soniya khandelwal

    absolutetly r8………..

  • Anonymous

    The last few minutes I spared to read this post would definitely make a huge difference in the coming years of my life!
    Thank a lot sir !!
    :)

  • Agarwal Anuradha4

    again an awesome article…hw u r always motivated n full of energy while writing such article………..

  • MADDY

    fab as usual…thanku soo much sir for giving us fodu wali tips..

  • Gopalsharma

    thnk u sir very much……its like a booster……..it will be very helpful to me ..

  • Shanky Sharma

    Appreciable work sir..Keep it up!

  • http://www.facebook.com/MetalheadAditya Aditya Ghaisas

    :’-D
    mazaa aa gaya!!
    As usual, an amazing post, a fabulous read!!

  • Jaya Wahi

    As usual… great post Akash. :)))

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Akash-Nagpal/100001245693484 Akash Nagpal

    Nice Intense Work Sir…!!
    Would definately help…Looking for more tips from you…!!

  • Parul

    awesome sir ! ..ab toh phod hi denge …. thank you sir … :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Neena-Chaudhary/100000138558464 Neena Chaudhary

    fab sir…awsome…

  • Rohit

    I am an engg. graduate. Like others, I was also selected in multiple Software Companies but kicked out during training from one of them. Now I am in a BPO and trying hard to get into a good MBA college. I am so frustrated about everything happened that I am not able to concentrate on my preparations. I think my problem is not unique and so many people faced it. I am very unclear about my goals and very upset. Little help will be appreciated. Thank you very much for the above post.

    • Director Vinit

      hi rohit.. Its a very general thing you are going through. I will suggest you to first take a deep breath, go to some place where you can talk to urself and can understnd yourself. Ask yourself, close your eyes and just think 5 years down the line of your life what you want yourself to be. Then start the first step. Its hard to take the first step. Trust me as you proceed the journey will be easy.

  • Director Vinit

    Thank you very much sir for your very important blog on INTERVIEW TIPS…. thnk u….

  • Padmanabh Badoni

    all the above things u had shared will surely help !!!!!!!!!

  • Sandeep

    Great article sir.

    I have to face few interviews in coming days at some rajdhanis(you know what i mean) to get a confirmed seat. Earlier i was worried about what will i do if i don’t make it to the rajdhanis.

    But after reading this blog, i realized that destiny is more much important the rajdhanis.

    Thanks again Sir

    • Sandeep

      *Correction in last line : important than rajdhanis

  • ALOK JAISWAL

    thanks for this blog. this may help me.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NIGEPUH36PRII7UJKMR3O7LDSM Harsh

    Hi,

    Great tips sir

    Thanks

  • Diksha Dodani7

    its awesome sir…………..

  • Mahima

    The problem with people who think they are good motivational speakers is that they have a very short-sighted approach to things. Writing on topics like these is sure-shot way of gaining popularity since this is one area in which people struggle. My doubts on you being one of this breed were confirmed when I read the line in which you talked about ‘making’ a hobby if you don’t have one. In other words, you are asking people to be fake so that they become interesting.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Mahima

      Thank you for the classification into the ‘breed’. I am sure I couldn’t communicate myself clearly ; perceptive communication !!

      I was answering the Q ‘What if you don’t have a hobby at all’ . Saying ‘I do not have any hobby’ might look very LOST in an interview. It is definitely better to create a hobby based on your interest and master it further. ‘FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT’ is what I have always believed in. And if you make it as an integral part of your personality (even 50%) – I guess the work is done. All good things start with a start.

      This might actually give you a reason to go ahead and have a hobby in life. All things/events in life happen for a reason. And an interview is a good chance to change yourself and be someone you want to be.

      Best Wishes
      Akash

      • Mahima

        Akash, we seem to be following different schools of thought here. I have always believed in 100% honesty in interviews and being yourself. A lot of times, we fake it just to crack the interviews but actually do not realize that the questions are there for a reason. If we are not suited for the role (job/MBA) for which the interview is being conducted, then we might not make it if we be ourselves. And that’s better than having the role and then realizing that we are not made for it. Anyways, I think we will have a healthy debate around this. Lets see if our paths cross some day.

        As for anonymous, its really not difficult to see why you need motivational speakers. My bet is that if you also believe that faking is the best way to fly through an interview, you will need motivational speakers all through your life. I am not saying that I am a good speaker, but I do know a thing or two about cracking interviews.

        Best,
        Mahima

      • Harsh

        Totaly Agree tht one has to sell himself/herself in interview..I dnt thnk any sales man gives only true sales pitch.”

    • Anonymous

      Mahima

      Name is quite an oxymoron since, i don’t see u appreciating any good thing in life. Seems like u have seen many ‘people who think they are good motivational speakers’ in life and u actually couldn’t meet one who really is a good speaker.

      As far as BREED is concerned; u look like someone who is from the ‘Know-it-all’ breed. Why don’t u write a post on ‘how to ace interviews’ where there is no recommendation of FAKING. I promise we will not take it as ‘SURE SHOT WAY of gaining popularity. Rather, we will consider u to be someone who is actually a good motivational speaker.

      Till then – please save your analysis skills, read what is being said properly and then comment. It is better to inspire your believers than to waste energy on describing your critics’

  • Abhishek

    Beats me, but how do you call yourself ‘INDIA’s BEST’ blah blah .Is it a self conferred title ? It’s good to try harder to be at the top but don’t go about harping this tune.Let people decide,and the ones who really admire your work.Don’t jump the gun !

  • Rupan2310

    Akash , these are some real amazing tips .looking forward for further inputs from your side . ideas dheere dheere chamakne shuru hue hain . thanks again ..

  • Devyaneetu

    thank u sir…..

  • anshul

    awesome sir!! thanks a lot for this post!!

  • sandesh

    thankyou sir for such a great unforgetable workshop you makes our sunday really funny day

  • neha

    sir english ko kaise improve kiya jaye.

  • pardeep

    Great article for me….as interviews are going to start.. i canprepare myself

  • yogendra yourloving

    very good i fallow

  • yogendra yourloving friend

    please tell me how i get a good job in me branch eng..

  • kohima

    very helping sir…keep writing these as it would really help students who are giving various interviews.

  • berozgar_engineer

    whats ur fees ??

  • Chirag

    A ‘Much Needed post’ .. Thanks again Sir :)

  • Shivangi

    Thankyou Akash Sir for such a helpful article.
    Regards

  • http://www.facebook.com/surbhi.sharma.10048 Surbhi Sharma

    Sir! you rock!

  • Mahima

    Thank you:) pretty much in the time of need

  • aashish

    well written,will be very helping in near future.
    thanks a lot. u rock….

  • Dipti

    Sir, thank you so much for this article,it has really helped me in lot of ways..I m sure I would overcome my interview phobia!!!
    Thanks A lot!!

  • Guest

    thank you sir for coming to doon it was really nice of you…
    there are few questions i wanna ask you..
    may i say “story telling” to be my hobby..i can explain about it in detail still i’m not sure should i say that…if yes than what all questions can i expect on this hobby of mine…kindly reply thank you :)

  • Guest

    Recently i attended ur workshop of vocab at kolkata,organised by CL.I came to know abt ur blogs,i read it and d day after that i got a job in a well recognized company..thnk u sir..this article really boosted my confidence,Sir we want some more motivation n tricks on cat.pls guide us n thnks a lot once again.

  • Saloni Singh

    every time i read dis blog,i come across something new!! thums up :) n thanx

  • Ashish Batra

    I’ve read lots of article about how to prepare for interview but i thinks your article is one of the best article you have given the real life examples to make it easy to understand ! Well it is always happen with me . I have not faced too many interviews but ya few and first questions is the same as you mentioned in the Tell me something about yourself to make the candidate comfortable & sometimes i have over exceeded the LHS part and not able to prove it so may be that’s why i have selected . But that’s the true thing that they always pick question from my answer . Like I have said in one of my interview that my hobby or interest is to play chess but in real i had played in school time i have not prepared so i said so interviewer asked questions about the chess question i.e Initally if your turns come you’d like to Attack or defend . Anyways thanks a ton for wonderful blog I’ll be more prepare for the next interview :)

  • want to improve GD

    Sir, Can we get some blog related to “How to do well in group discussion”. I guess we, as a student, will be grateful for you.

  • Monika

    nice..very informative indeed..thanks a lot..:)

  • kundan

    great tips sir……..can you help us to do well in group discussion also?

  • Renu

    hello akash….i have attended ur workshop at n.i.t kuk.
    sir now m full of confidence and i will try my 200%.
    but i have problem that i tried to asked u at that time also but u said to post on blog..
    sir, normally i can talk to anybody but in interviews and conference when time to speak in front of interviewer or many people my body always tremble..sir i know that thing which is asked to me means i have knowledge of that thing but in starting this thing happened always….so how can i work on it…

  • yash

    it is awesome…..it will help surely

  • Shalini Shree

    I have few interviews lined up, hope this article helps. Will surely make that table from now on. The movie was “Gadar” I guess :) #justsaying

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