Author Andrew Grant once said: “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.”

A job interview is your first chance to impress your hiring manager and get onto the path to your dream job. In today’s world of cut-throat competition, having a good knowledge base and the right skill set for the role are definitely important. But, it is equally critical to possess an attitude that will help you to impress the panel and crack the interview. How you project the information you possess and package yourself become the differentiating factors.

Experts feel that having a professional attitude during an interview is an instant plus because the hiring manager, in her very first impression, thinks of you are someone who is capable of doing the job being assigned to you. The way you enter the room and sit down, shake hands, smile and introduce yourself to the those seated across the table are all components of professionalism.

Watch your body language. Hiring managers reveal that one of the easiest ways to distinguish a college graduate from a seasoned job aspirant is her body language, as students are a lot more “relaxed” about how they present themselves, even formally. Be sure not to fidget, mumble or play with your pen or folder while the interview is on. One must stand tall, sit straight and not slouch. Professionalism should begin from the time you enter, not just in the interview room. Treat everyone, starting from the receptionist, with respect.

While the interview is going on, speak clearly and with confidence, maintain eye contact with the person asking the question and modulate your voice to stress on the important points. Answer confidently, but there is a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Be sure to be mindful of this. Choose your words carefully. Polite language and poise are indicators of your ability to communicate professionally.

It is very important that you reach on time for the interview. In fact, target reaching 15 minutes before time to keep a buffer for a traffic jam on the way or some other factor that could possibly delay you. If you have to delay for reasons beyond your control, inform your interviewer beforehand. It is also advisable to map the route to the interview venue in advance to avoid delays.

Cellphones have become very big distractions these days, and it is best to keep them out of the interview room. Don’t put your phone on silent; just turn it off. The buzzing sound in the middle of a serious discussion can be annoying.

To help students get a grip on the interview process, Hindustan Times, in association with Gillette, conducted personality development sessions at colleges across Mumbai and Pune.

The initiative, which was launched in February, saw experts speaking to students about key topics such as professionalism, confidence, adopting the right attitude during interviews, grooming, and right etiquette.

Students from about 100 colleges in the region were a part of these sessions.

“I congratulate Hindustan Times and Gillette for taking the grooming session for my students. All my students who participated will get participate certificates and an opportunity to intern. It was a very well-planned session,” said Dattatraya Bhise, Associate Professor and in-charge, iCreate Incubation Center, JSPM- Narhe Technical Campus, Pune.

Further highlighting the benefits of such a session, Dr. Vilas Pharande, Professor and Head, Dr. APJ Abadul Kalam Innovation Cell, JSPM, said: “It was a very nice session. My students learnt how to groom themselves as well as be confident. Practical experiences were also shared, which will help my students to study well.”

Hopefully, this programme will go a long way in making every student ace any interview!


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