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The Interview: Things you will be judged on and how you can ace it

Welcome to the real world. Be scared — be very, very scared

Nairita Mukherjee Noir_Memoir 2 May 2018, 8:55 PM
You're hired!

You're hired! Imaging: Tapasri Saha

So, you have a job interview, your first one. It is exactly the kind of work you want to do, and let's face it, the pocket money isn't cutting it for you anymore. The word 'salary' has a nice ring to it, too. But even with the perfect resume in hand and straight A's in school, you sadly may not be able to crack the interview. 

Err... we don't mean to throw you off but the truth of the real world is that you will be judged constantly on everything, all the time. And an interview is nothing short of a Colosseum with you defending yourself against all attacks in the middle of an arena. Sure your grades and your resume are your weapons, but you need an armour, too. 

Here's a list of things you will be judged on from the second you walk into the room, and a guide to how you can ace your first exam in the real world. 

Kylie Jenner cannot be your fashion icon here

 

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Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have — but that doesn't mean you can turn up at your interview dressed as Batman. So, formals are the safest options. Women can choose between Western or Indian attire based on their comfort level, but men, sorry, it's strictly Western for you. As a thumb rule, stick to solid and neutral colours. In case of shoes, it is best to be conservative. Avoid anything flashy, lacy, blingy, pointy or Justin Beiber-y. Geddit?  

The interview is with you, not your hair

 

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Ladies, you may have the loveliest long hair that makes heads turn but at the interview, keep it all tied in a neat bun. As for beards, trim them so that the interviewer doesn't end up having a conversation with your beard instead of you. 

No, you're not throwing yourself on the couch in front of your interviewer

 

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You have to be comfortable, but not too much. Your posture actually communicates confidence so be sure of the signals you're sending. Keep your head parallel to the floor, looking up may signify arrogance, and looking down may signify lack of confidence. Do not sink into the chair. Lean forward but don't rest your elbows on the table. Look them in the eye when you talk, but not in a creepy way. Hope you got that. 

Love puns? Hold your awkward jokes and nervous laughter for now

 

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It is important to be yourself in an interview. So, if you are naturally someone who has a good sense of humour, you can definitely showcase that side of your personality. Humour and even a smile can definitely help break the ice and build rapport. But stay away from making personal remarks on one individual, community, religion or politics. You may have a lot to say about the current state of the country and that's really good, but keep that within yourself till you get the job. 

Have genuine questions? Go ahead, ask

 

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An interview is a two-way street. Your potential employer wants to find out about you and you want to find out about them. So, if you have any queries about your role and the company, ask. Of course, you have to research the organisation before you can do that. Also, make sure you aren't asking something that's been covered before. So, listen carefully lest you miss out on any important information.

(With inputs from Greeshma Thampi, chief image consultant and director, Avancé Image Management, and Kalyani Kamble, personal excellence coach)

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