Friday, February 5, 2010

A sureshot way to crack that interview…

So, you have that sardonic smile on your face and an expression that says, “Ahan! Here comes another one of those articles that promise interview success. Dream on, kiddo!”


But really, there are numerous ways in which you can stride into the interview room, brimming with confidence and ready to take on whatever bouncers the panel throws your way. Yes, some indicators of your potential such as past academic record, work experience, and past achievements cannot be changed in retrospect. But, if you play your cards right, you can still cover the chinks in your armour and present a positive image. Nestle seems to feel that an interview is all about the 5C’s:

  • Confidence – It is said that, “Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” So yes, you can be asked more than you know, in greater depth than you ever anticipated. But, a courteous admission of your not knowing the answer is better than trying to lead the interviewer astray. Be poised and calm and just say, “I’m not aware of the answer.”
  • Courage – In case you are asked a question that is not rote-based, and needs some level of critical thinking, don’t hesitate to think out of the box. Be creative and original, and defend your ideas strongly. (Of course, the catch is to not appear stubborn and closed to ideas.)
  • Composure – There are interviewers who could try to psyche you out with tough questions, or just by taking an aggressive and attacking stance to interviewing. Don’t let them get under your skin. Maintain a slight smile, and have positive body language. Don’t appear defensive or too protective of your ideas.
  • Competence – Your CV got you this far. But, how does one know how far you will go in the future? How does one judge your potential with a fair degree of accuracy in just 15 minutes? Make sure that you use your opportunities well. Be descriptive when asked to answer behavioural questions like ‘strengths and weaknesses’, ‘biggest successes/failures’, and ‘describing yourself’.
  • Conscience – This is certainly important. ALWAYS take the moral high ground, and show that you have a clear sense of what is right and what is wrong. You might be cross-questioned a lot on this, but be prepared to field any questions with appropriate rationale.

The best part about these 5C’s is that they are not only useful in landing you your first success, by clearing your interview but also in taking you further and further along the road to success in your career. Executives at Nestle are taught the importance of 5C early on in their careers, and vouch for the success of the principles of the model.


Hopefully, you’ll find it useful too. All the best!

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