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10 Tips for Cracking Off-Campus Interview

Off Campus Interview Tips

“In any interview, you do say more or less than you mean”. -John Hoyer Updike

The above quote by the eminent Pulitzer award winner is a testimonial of how things go haywire during an interview. Even the most eligible candidates falter in their off-campus interviews. Job interviews or off-campus interviews instill fear among job aspirants because of the cut-throat competition. According to statistics, an average job opening fetches an approximate 250 resumes and only 2 percent of job applicants receive a job interview call. So, follow some simple tipsfor cracking off-campus interview. Here, we go!

Before the interview

Go for a company research

Gather some information about the company beforehand. In a digital age, it is not that tough to find relevant information over the web. One of your resources could be the company website to know about its products and services. Check various message boards where former employees share their experience. All these information could give you an advantage over other candidates.

For example, an interviewer may ask you to explain that why he or she should hire you. In such a scenario, use the company information to explain how you have ample work experience with the kind of products or services offered by the company. Remember, a large percentage of HR professionals screen applicants by using multiple social networking sites.

Try to understand the job profile

An interviewer will take a note of you if he or she found that you have applied after understanding the job responsibilities, and not out of desperation to get a job. So, try to understand the job profile thoroughly and try to figure out how you can fit in that role in a justified manner.

Overcome your fear

“Let us not pray to be sheltered from dangers but to be fearless when facing them”-Rabindranath Tagore

During an interview, most candidates fumble while giving their answers due to fear of rejection. Man is a social animal. So, fear of rejection from others is well understood, but survival in a cut-throat competitive world demands courage. Practice regularly in front of a mirror. Under any circumstances, fear should not limit your success.

Wear a neat formal dress with minimal makeup

“Your first impression of a thing sets up your subsequent beliefs.”-Daniel Kahneman.

The quote by an eminent Israeli-American psychologist clearly states the importance of the first impression which is often based on the way of dressing.

While men can stick to gray colored jacket and pants or a navy blue blazer, women can wear a saree, salwar-suit or any formal dress with an appropriate neckline.

However, attire can be casual too with minimal makeup if the job interview is for a start-up company.

Carry relevant documents

Imagine you arrive to face a job interview and suddenly you realize that an additional copy of your resume is not with you! You would start panicking. So, keep all the relevant documents in a folder beforehand. Some of the relevant documents could be the following ones:

  • 3-4 copies of your updated CV
  • 3-4 Copies of your passport size photograph
  • A copy of PAN/Aadhar Card
  • A pen and a notepad
  • Educational certificates
  • Experience letter
  • Internship certificates
  • Recommendation letters
  • Any additional certifications

Among all the above documents, the last four are not mandatory if you don’t have any previous work experience whether as an intern or an employee.

Be punctual

When you arrive late for a job interview, it conveys that you don’t value time. So, try to reach the venue at least 10-15 minutes before your interview schedule.

During the interview

Switch off your phone

It is true that cell phones have now become indispensable. Use your phone to inquire about job openings or to give an interview confirmation, but never use it during an interview. Even when you are waiting in the reception area for your turn, refrain from answering any call or sending messages. Instead, switch off your phone the moment you enter the company premises.

Be an effective listener

Give your profound attention to the interviewer. Answer only after fully understanding the question. Also, do not interrupt because it sends a signal that you are rude or disrespectful.

Maintain the right body language

You may have answered every question and have the right qualification for the job profile, but still, rejection may not be far away. The reason could be an inappropriate body language. Yes, HR professionals are very quick to pick non-verbal clues. So, don’t do the following things while attending an interview.

  • Excessive nodding
  • Crossing your arms
  • Chopping or pointing motion
  • Breaking eye contact
  • Leaning back
  • Fidgeting
  • Keeping your hands in the pocket
  • Distracted eye movement
  • Staring

Believe or not, 60 % of our communication is non-verbal. So, stay alert!

Don’t argue

One of the biggest mistakes that any job seeker could make during an interview is to argue with the interviewer. Such a thing happens when the job seeker has more experience or expertise than the demand of the job profile. So, even if your interviewer raises some concern, do not disapprove them immediately, but inquire more about the job requirements to explain that you are indeed the right candidate for the job. Remember, concerns may not be related to your expertise but about salary, industry mismatch, and more.

Conclude on a positive note

Lastly, shake hand with an interviewer and say thanks for the nice meeting. An interview should always conclude on a positive note in spite of any hiccups in between.

After the interview

Write a follow-up email

For millions of job seekers, composing and sending a follow-up mail is not vital toassure success in a job interview. However, they are wrong. HR professionals screen several candidates in a single day. Sending a thoughtful follow-up mail is a great way to remind him or her about your candidature.

Cracking an off-campus interview is not a herculean task. So, best of luck for a stellar interview. 🙂


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