Lessons from my first job interview

Job interviews are pretty much all you hear about in the final year of college. Although for me, my first interview was somewhat unusual as an undergraduate, for I was on the relaxed side of the table. Machinser Technologies, the company that I’m part of was hiring technicians for the hardware division of the firm. Most of the job applicants were freshers and I joined a couple of my colleagues to hire the best of them.

We’re happy that we’ve hired the ideal candidate for the job, and at the same time, this for me was an exceptionally fascinating experience. Being a debutant in the interview room, I was pretty nervous myself, and I had done my homework going through the résumés, researching the necessary technical details and listing a few purposeful questions I would ask the candidates.

Here are a few thoughts from my first experience as the interviewer. I wouldn’t call this advice, just a few things that I think you should definitely keep in mind preparing for your next job interview (seated on the edgy side of the table.)

1. There’s nothing like work experience!
This is definitely a cliche, but it’s a cliche for a reason.

There’s nothing that counts as much as the fact that you’ve done it before while proving that you can do the job.

All of our applicants were freshers in the context that they just completed formal education in the domain, but the few that had worked in the field before, or even assisted other professionals stood out beyond a shadow of a doubt.

2. Never say “They didn’t teach us that.”
I assume that this is common knowledge. Turns out, not everyone would agree. When asked whether they can perform a specific task, a candidate responded: “no, they didn’t teach us that at the institute.” He might have had a shot had he responded with “I’m not skilled in it yet, but I can learn to do it!”

3. Helping friends is fine, but copyright your résumé!(pun intended).
This one needs no explanation. Don’t let your friend copy your résumé by editing just the personal information.

Identical résumés are a total turn-off.

It’ll also question the credibility of your résumé.

4. Know your résumé.
It’s quite evident that your résumé is exaggerated when you don’t know about what’s written in it.

5. Honesty is always a good policy.
While there were people who exaggerated skills on their résumé, there was a person who didn’t have a long résumé but described to us the exact details of technical experience and training he’s had, though not in a formal institution. He later added that he didn’t include those details in the résumé for he didn’t have any certificates to prove it. He could’ve easily included those in the résumé and we may not have asked for certificates. But his honesty earned respect right from the beginning.

6. Ask questions.
The interview isn’t an interrogation. You can ask questions to your interviewer (from what I understand), about the nature of the job, the company etc.

When you ask questions, you suddenly seem confident and interested.

If it is me on the other side, I see an aura around you that glows when you keep asking questions! (For more on this, see http://bit.ly/2c4u4G2)

Well, that’s pretty much it. Cheers!

Image courtesy: www.shutterstock.com

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