“I know my stuff but I am not doing well in interviews” said the young man. “I know I have lost out, but I don’t know why”.

An interview is an opportunity to project yourself. It is the last stage of a long and expensive process. People have invested time and effort to identify the best talent. To see if you match their requirements. To know how you can contribute.

You can be sure that they have studied your resume and allied papers thoroughly. The face-to-face interview is your best opportunity to speak of yourself and your achievements. Your goals and your plans.

You have but one objective: Convince the interviewer that you are the right candidate- that you fully meet their requirements..

I don’t know why the young man lost out either- but here are a few tips I shared with him:-

  • Be prepared. You know your application and resume better than anybody else- you are the one who wrote it, right? Get your facts, chronology of events and positions on issues crystal clear. You cannot be seen to contradict something you wrote about yourself.
  • Be yourself. You are at your best when you come across as being natural and authentic. Skip the fake accents and clichés. Allow the interviewer to see you as a person.
  • Be confident. Confidence is seen from the way you carry yourself. Not only by what you say but the way you say it. Speak with an assertive tone. Maintain appropriate eye contact when in conversation. Speak at a pace where you are clearly understood.
  • Be bold. Speak of issues that matter to you. Ask questions about issues you are not certain about or want greater clarity. Don’t ask questions for the sake of asking them.
  • Be honest. The worst thing you can do is to lie. If you are not sure of something say so. Don’t lie to get temporary relief. Be candid in admitting to failures or improvement areas in yourself.
  • Be positive. Cash in on what makes you unique. Project your strengths without being overly boastful.
  • Be to the point. Don’t underestimate the interviewer’s intelligence. Don’t over-explain. Your answers should be informative yet precise.

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