Technically, you should go prepared well for tests, algorithms/tech puzzles… Prepare yourself well before going for the test/interview.
For non-technical questions, the following will help:
Interviewers primarily evaluate the following:
1. Does this candidate have the knowledge and experience required for producing results as per the job requirement? (This is the reason why they probe into the projects completed by you.)
2. Can this candidate consistently produce the expected results if selected? (This is the reason why many organizations say they want consistent 60+ in at least 6 or 7 out of 8 semesters.)
3. Is this candidate the best fit out of the candidates shortlisted for the position?
4. Will this candidate gel well with the team and the organization after he/she joins? (They also try to gauge if you are a loner / solo performer or a team player.)
5. Does this candidate possess the type of communication & leadership skillsrequired for the job to be done? (This can be gauged through group discussions as well as interviews.)
6. Does this candidate have a potential for further growth in our organization or will he/she not be able to grow in our organization because of his/her limited capabilities/potential?
You should go well prepared for any interview if you want to get selected.
Many good candidates are rejected because they don’t handle interviewers & their questions well. Sometimes they blurt out something they should not say.
There are some Dos & Don’ts to follow when you appear for an interview. The same are listed below. Also, some frequently asked questions with suggested answers are stated below.
1. Don’t try to do anything unusual to impress the interviewers. (If you try to do something unusual, then it may look a bit odd and may work against you.)
2. As the first impression definitely counts, dress well for all your interviews. Don’t take dressing casually for any of the interviews. Not even for the 2nd,3rd or … th interview in a company.
3. Recommended dress code: Well ironed full sleeve shirt (preferably plain white or light), dark trousers, shoes. Short, trimmed hair. For women, any conservative formal dress like Punjabi Dress is okay. (Dress for the job for which you are going to be interviewed. If you are a software engineer and you are going for a marketing job, then dress like a marketing person.)
4. Give respect & importance to all panel members even if some of them are silent. Remember that all panel members give their rating. Sometimes, the most silent or unimpressive person in a panel is the most important person. Only those people are selected who are liked by the panel members. (Remember, out of many technically equal candidates, only those who are liked by panel members are selected.)
>> You should show your ‘I can do it’ / ‘I will do it’ attitude throughout your interview. You should not say things like ‘I am not sure’/ ‘I will try’ as these indicate that you are not likely to take responsibility for your on-the-job performance. If you indicate that you are not sure and you are not confident about producing results, then why should an interviewer select you?
5. PREPARE YOUR ANSWERS IN ADVANCE to these typical questions:
a. ‘Tell us something about yourself’:
Tell only positive things about yourself in 10-20 sentences. Your education, experience, something that you are good at… Make sure that whatever you say highlights those skills which are required for the job for which you are being interviewed. Rehearse 5-10 times at home.
b. ‘Tell us about key projects that you have executed’:
Make sure that you can explain 4-5 good projects well, including (1) What the project was about,(2) Application (like Inventory control, Financial accounting, Device driver…),(3) Client name, (4) Industry, (5) Technology, (6) Team size, (7) Your role,(8) YOUR contribution, (9) Challenges, (10) Highlights…(THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART in any interview. So, prepare yourself well for this part.) Rehearse 5-10 times at home.
c. ‘Why would you like to join our company?’:
Before going for an interview, Study the company’s website well. Try to understand what they do, How they are different, Read some latest press releases which are normally available on company websites. Based on these, you will know what you find interesting about the company… You should know the following if you are going for a technical interview (1) Company’s exact name (as many companies in the same business group have similar sounding names) (2)What are its products & services? (3) Which products/services are of interest to you?
IF you are going for a marketing/finance… interview, then you should know (4) CEOs name (5) Names of prominent individuals, if any, on the board of directors (6) Total Revenue (7) Profitability (8) Information stated in the latest press releases which are typically available on company website (9)Competing companies………
d. ‘Why do you want to leave your current company?’: Have a logical answer for this. Don’t say ‘For better prospects’ or ‘For a higher salary’. Talk more about the work content that you are looking for.
e. For each job-switch in the past, you should be able to give a ‘logical reason for leaving and joining’. But, Don’t criticize your past/present company or boss.
f. For each gap in your education and job, you should have a justification.
g. ‘On which technologies you would like to work?’: You may like to ask them about the kind of technologies being used by the company and then talk about which technologies would interest you and why?
h. ‘What kind of role are you looking for?’: You may like to ask them about the kind of roles available and then talk about which roles would interest you and why?
i. ‘What are your strengths?’: Indicate your strengths keeping in mind the job for which you are being interviewed.
j. ‘What are your weaknesses?’: Indicate a weakness which will not come in the way of the job for which you are being interviewed. (Like: I am a bit emotional compared to my friends.)
k. Don’t say anything negative about yourself in the interview.
l. ‘How much salary do you expect?’:.
Be reasonable when you quote the figure.
Neither quote a low figure nor a very high figure.
You may like to say, I am expecting 15/20/25% hike on my current CTC. (Quote whichever percentage you feel is reasonable.)
OR, just say ‘as per your company standards’ if you are not comfortable quoting the figure.
m. Prepare well for tests by giving free tests available on the net.
n. What do you see yourself doing after 5 years?
This is normally asked to know the following:
Are you clear about your career plans & career direction?
or Are you a directionless person?
If you are a directionless person then your interviewer may not like it.
If you are a person with a direction then he would like to know if your plans match with what his company can offer you in the next 5 years. If there is a substantial mismatch then you may not be offered the job.
Normally, when somebody is employed, we would like him/her to be with our company for a long period unless we don’t like him/her attitude or his/her work.
So, if you say ‘I want to go for post-graduation in the next year’ or ‘I want to start my own business after 2 years’ or if a girl says ‘I am planning to get married in the next year.’……….., then the interviewer may reject you as the interviewer would like you to be with the company for a long period and not just for 1–2 years. Employees start producing substantial results only after 1–2 years and so interviewers would like you to be with the company for a much longer period than just 1–2 years.
(‘I am planning to get married in the next year.’ can mean that she may have to relocate and so may leave because of that reason.)
Please note that employment is almost like a marriage. It is intended to be for a long term.
If you start talking about divorce (=leaving) for whatever reasons even before getting married, then the interviewer would not feel comfortable with your selection.
Your answer to this question could be on these lines: “As I see it, I should be a team leader in 2–3 years handling larger projects, and may be a manager leading a larger team in 5–6 years.”. Say whatever is reasonably logical.
If you say that you would like to be the General Manager or CEO in 5–6 years, then the interviewer would feel that you are a dreamer with unrealistic expectations. If you give this impression then the interviewer may not select you.
(In reality, you may get quick promotions if your on-the-job-performance is very good. But, don’t sound unrealistic/ immature during interviews.)
o. What are your hobbies?
Please note that your hobbies reveal some personality traits of yours.
For some jobs like General Management, Sales, Sr IT / Business Consultancy positions etc. you are required to be an extrovert person and a team player who is very good in dealing with people, as you are required to deal with internal teams and client personnel continuously.
For some other jobs, it does not matter much whether you are an extrovert or not. (These are jobs of programmers, mathematicians, research people, clerks…)
Those who play outdoor/group games (which involve interaction with many people) are typically considered extroverts / good in dealing with people. (Games like cricket, basketball, baseball, hockey, tennis, table tennis……)
Those who play only indoor games or have hobbies which don’t require much interaction with other people (except for a couple of people in the room) are likely to be considered introverts / not so good at dealing with people. (Hobbies/ Games like reading, singing, cooking, chess, cards, carom, web browsing, facebook, philately……)
So, the hobby highlighted by you should ideally be in line with the job for which you have applied, even if it is not your major hobby. Make sure that you have adequate knowledge of the game/ hobby as otherwise you will not be able to answer questions on the same if asked.
If you do this much, then you will do well in your interviews.